Major media outlets are all predicting the final end to Zune media devices with most forecasting that Microsoft will not be introducing any future Zune branded hardware devices to the market. Zune will remain a software ecosystem and they will continue to push it on mobile media devices along with the Zune Pass music subscription which has seen mild success as the best offer in that niche.
Only time will tell how accurate these predictions are but they seem a likely path for Microsoft to take with the Zune brand. Microsoft was never able to catch Apple in the hardware or design factor and the many stumbles they made in marketing the Zune platform and devices meant it was doomed to failure from the very beginning. This website came about after rumors surfaced that Zune would be released and we have been online since June of 2006 as one of the first 10 Zune websites online.
I personally have watched as Microsoft made one mistake after another from the very day of the launch when the failed give away one single device to seed the market. The highly touted wireless sharing features were useless unless you had two zunes and they could have done well had they given a few to the top musicians and artists for use in music videos or even reference in actual songs by top performers and made the Zune cool but instead they let the line languish with confusing television ads and a fractured marketing plan that had people more confused than excited.
The first generation device was decent but the followups were mediocre at best and failed to grab any market share over the uber cool Apple devices and the powerful brand awareness. I always thought Zune had a chance until I realized that it was it’s own worst enemy with me too designs and the misguided advertising campaigns. Microsoft was able to succed with Xbox in gaming but they have failed to make a dent in the music business and they have lost their strong start in the mobile market as well so they must be worried that few of their new ventures have met with any success other than Kinect which has led the Electronics Division to record sales.
What does this msean for the Zune blog and community? Well we have been writing about Windows Mobile, Xbox and Kinect more than Zune for some time now and it will probably continue on that path as we bring you more news and information on Microsoft products and applications and how they fail to compare to the other offerings on the market.
Bloomberg reported that Microsoft will stop introducing new versions of erstwhile device as it shifts its focus to other devices. Microsoft will focus on placing the Zune software on mobile phones running on WP7.