Microsoft’s Zune Is Officially Dead



Microsoft is killing the Zune player after five years of unsuccessfully trying to compete with Apple’s iPod.

The Zune is being discontinued thanks to weak ongoing sales, Bloomberg reports. It will not be refreshed when current units sell out.

When the Zune was introduced in 2006, in mold-breaking brown nonetheless, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer predicted the player would one day overtake Apple. But it failed to even crack the top five MP3 players. According to NPD, Apple had 77% market share in 2010.

“MSFT abandoning Zune last sign AAPL totally dominated portable music for the last decade,” tweeted industry analyst Michael Gartenberg. “Sony, Samsung, Dell all failed to move needle.”

Gartenberg also predicted that tablets will be the next Zune.

Pundit Paul Kedrosky said: “My main reaction to news that Microsoft is going to stop selling Zunes is … Microsoft still sold Zunes?”

Instead of selling hardware players, Microsoft will shift its focus to putting Zune on smartphones running Windows mobile OS.

With its world class design, Microsoft’s young hip image, and ground-breaking advertising like the spot below, is it any wonder the Zune failed to take off?

(This is a joke, btw)

  • Lawrie

    you fail to mention the availability of zune on all windows phone 7 ???

  • brownlee

    Zune’s going software. The brand’s not dead, just the player: it’s going the way of the iPod in that regard, from a player to an app on your phone or tablet.

    It’s also kind of sad, because the Zune was actually a pretty good PMP.

  • ikepigott

    For a long time, the speculation was that WP7 was really going to be the “Zune Phone”.

    And I agree — bad loss, because it was a pretty good product (when not in Brown.)

  • vanmacguy

    It was, after all, only a matter of time.

  • Dan Miller

    The Zune is dead. You will be missed…………Not.

  • Al

    Less competition is bad for everyone.

  • Brandon Dillon

    I am the biggest most defensive Apple fanboy in the world, but by all means Zune was a damn good media player. In fact the Zune HD actually IS the best media player right now. It is so tiny, so thin, has an absolutely beautiful screen, and the interface is simply gorgeous. It’s the best at what it is, which is a media player. It is NOT, however, trying to be like the iPod Touch in the regard that it doesn’t try to do EVERYTHING. Zune stuck to being the best media player, and it by all means won that. I love my 120Gb Zune and my Zune HD to death, but at the same time I am a huge Apple fanboy.

    Those of you making cracks at Zune like it was a piece of trash, you are blind, and you are the ones that make Mac owners seem like a cult.

  • guest

    MS does not have a clue. They had media center years ago and never spent any time on it. They could have had the perfect solution for watching recording tv/ movies, buying tv movies on yor big screen. They totally blew it! Their drm and extenders sucked! I still use the lastest version for doing all of this but I now have 2 apple tv’s, Iphone ipad and I am hoping that apple will keepbuilding on their hobby, since they are the only ones who know how to make products that just work. :)

  • Nan

    Zune is dead … how can they tell?

  • Tommy Peters

    A beer to the one who did the vid – two beers

  • gareth edwards

    yup. as a die hard I have to admit that the Zune hardware was a very good bit of kit. Even the earphones were absolutely brilliant compared to most average cans on the market (fabric wrapped wires? yes please!!!) and monumentally good compared to crApple’s own 50p effort. The interface was funky as f**k, the build quality was brick like, some of the features were very cool, like the sharing BUT they just didn’t get the ecosystem thing. It’s one thing to make a killer bit of hardware but if it doesn’t sit within anything it’s just a paperweight waiting to happen. Not releasing it outside of the US also was a massive mistake. In a digital, global world releasing a product in the same country only as the dominant market leader was always going to be a uphill fight to gain any meaningful traction.

    I think that this is Apple’s greatest strength, their focus on brining things together makes sense for the end user. Everyone moans about Apple’s walled garden approach but from a tech-agnostic user POV they don’t care about ‘freedom’ or whatever most nerds wet themselves over, all they want is consumer devices that do stuff that they want to do, that work simply, that don’t give them too many choices and confuse them and that make them feel like they are in control. Apple got this right with the first iPod, it was a simple recipe that they’ve been recooking ever since and for all the nay sayers, most people enjoy using their products when they try them. This is the end game. A happy consumer is goal and most tech companies seem to ignore this most simple of goals.

    Bye Bye Zune…. next!

  • Mike Rathjen

    I have only one response to that.