Microsoft Confirms That Zune HD Isn't Quite Dead Yet

So, wait. The Zune HD isn't dead? Hmm. After hearing that Microsoft was 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.
Tags:  Microsoft, Zune, PMP, Zune HD, dead