So, wait. The Zune HD isn't dead? Hmm. After hearing that Microsoft
transitioning away from the Zune
HD hardware and focusing more on
software, it seemed easy to assume that the Zune as a standalone
hardware icon was dead. But that may not quite be the case yet.
Microsoft made it pretty clear that Windows Phone 7 would be their focal
point this year, and the media integration aspects were taking over for
Zune in some sense.
But now, DaveMac-MS -- manager of business development for Zune hardware
-- is saying something a bit different. He claims that he still has the
title just mentioned, which wouldn't be possible if Zune were dead. He
was quick to point out that no one at Microsoft has officially given out
any information on the future of Zune hardware, and to treat anything
you hear as rumor for now. Here's his headline quote, though:
"Here's what you should know - ALL consumer electronics products have a
lifespan, and the Zune HD is 18mo old. We were completely frank about
this year's Zune hardware being the WP7 phones, and we continue to both
sell and fully support the Zune HD line of products. And as I've
promised - we continue to bring new apps and games to the platform. More
of those are in the works, I promise you."
This is quite the interesting read. On one hand, it helps to convince
readers that the Zune isn't "dead." But on the other, it sort of hints
that Zune is on the way out, or at the very least, that Microsoft is
evaluating that option. There's no question that the Zune simply never
managed to best the iPod at its own game. It never came close.
Continuing to support a product that the public has clearly ranked as
second best is something that Microsoft will have to decide for
themselves, but even if the Zune has been deemed "alive" for now, we
doubt it'll remain healthy for too much longer.