Microsoft: Just kidding, Zune is alive and well... for now

By on October 5, 2011, 4:30 PM

Microsoft has recanted its recent announcement about the demise of its Zune media players. On Monday, the device was pulled off the company's Zune.net web store and a support page was released with a paragraph explaining Microsoft's plans. In the statement, Redmond said it would continue to offer customer support, but it would stop producing Zune players so it could shift focus to Windows Phone devices and related mobile services.

That information was contradicted on Twitter yesterday. Addressing the concerns of a disappointed fan, a Microsoft employee said the company "is still supporting Zune HD hardware. No official info has been released stating hardware is being discontinued." Again, Microsoft's site explicitly claimed that it would halt production of Zune players -- a.k.a. discontinue them. The page even assured customers that all existing orders would be fulfilled.

It doesn't get much more official or clear than that. Oddly, the original announcement has since been yanked offline without an explanation, though you can still see the page via Google cache. The Zune HD is available again and Microsoft claims the device's product page was removed because of a "publishing mishap." That's open to interpretation. An optimist might argue that Microsoft has had a change of heart and it will offer the Zune HD indefinitely.

Realistically, we imagine the company simply released the guillotine prematurely for one reason or another. Perhaps it wants to flush its existing supplies before "officially" axing the Zune HD sometime in the near future. That much seems inevitable. The device has failed to gain serious traction among competing portable media players such as Apple's iPod and that general market is arguably being cannibalized by smartphones anyway.




User Comments: 6

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venomblade said:

They may "support" it but Zune HD people have like a total update 30 apps, not even updated monthly. It might as well be dead lol.

tehbanz tehbanz said:

i've got an old zune fatty and love it to death, the software is pretty wicked too, and the "Zone total pass" package was awesome while i was subscribed, i discovered so much new music. sad to see a nice product go, my girlfriend has gone through 2 ipods in the span of my zune.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Realistically, we imagine the company simply released the guillotine prematurely for one reason or another. Perhaps it wants to flush its existing supplies before "officially" axing the Zune HD sometime in the near future. That much seems inevitable.

I think it's neither. I think Microsoft did it on purpose as way to know how the market would react if Zune were indeed discontinued.

I mean, one could also argue it was an accident, but updating the website saying they would still support the hardware even though they would stop production? To update such thing you have to go though a lot of hoops. I doubt somebody just hit an edit button accidentally, edited it accidentally, and also happened to hit a submit button accidentally. I mean seriously, updating a website's content is not the same as updating a forum post. They either think we're stupid, or maybe this is all poor management and coordination.

I say all of this is just a marketing play. Then again these are nothing but conjectures...

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

lawfer said:

Then again these are nothing but conjectures...

Amen.

Xero07 said:

Thankfully Zunes are immortal. I'll probably replace with a phone eventually, maybe WP7 if a good phone comes out on verizon.

aj_the_kidd said:

Surely by now they are spending more money to keep the Zune alive, then they are making from profits from Zune and Zune related sales

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