Oct. 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM ET
Five years after would-be iPod killer Zune proved unable to gain mass appeal, the Windows Phone has taken over its role as Microsoft's premier digital media player and absorbed its predecessor.
While some may be surprised the Zune is still alive, it was, but whatever Zunes are around now will be the last of their kind. So says this note from the Zune player and support page:
We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players. So what does this mean for our current Zune users? Absolutely nothing. Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today. And we will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices. Customer service has been, and will remain a top priority for us. To get the most out of your Zune player or for additional support, see the following sites:
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
The only Zune that even appears on the Microsoft store is out of stock: the Zune HD 16 GB, which sold for $169.99. The device worked a lot like an iPod Touch, with the ability to browse the Internet, check email and check news/traffic updates. Like previous Zune models, it also has free access to local HD radio.
In 2009, Zune tried to make a comeback with its first touchscreen, HD version. But by then, 250 million iPods had been sold.
But the Zune software was still viable, and Microsoft chose to integrate it into its Windows 7 phones, which began the Zune's path towards becoming obsolete.
Coming in five years after the introduction of the iPod, the Zune always struggled for a foothold with a public already enamored with the slimmer, simpler device. Some might say it never stood a chance against Apple's ubiquity, but it has its fans. Were you one?
-- via VMPoweruser.com