Microsoft To Kill All Current Zunes, Go Zune HD Only

So look, Microsoft's Zune HD looks promising. Really promising, even. But promising enough that it shouldn't give the general population any other choices in the Zune range? That's evidently the case, as news has surfaced asserting that Microsoft is planning to kill off its entire Zune range save for the forthcoming Zune HD.

At first take, this seems like a really odd decision. The Zune HD is great for high-end users who will appreciate an OLED display and a premium design, but what about lower-end users who just need a basic music player but would love to give Microsoft $14.99 per month in order to have access to the Zune Pass music subscription service?

Even Apple, a company notorious for giving users fewer options and forcing them to "take it or leave it," has a whole line of iPods, from the inexpensive Shuffle all the way up to the App Store-friendly iPod touch. Without question, there's an iPod available for pretty much any media lover, and we're a bit baffled by Microsoft's decision to follow the "my way or the highway" approach. We're hearing that the current Zune models (as in, all of them) are discontinued, leaving the Zune 8, Zune 16, Zune 80 and Zune 120 on the bargain racks while supplies last.

So, do you think this strategy will work out for the software giant in the long run? Do you think they'll simply introduce smaller versions of the Zune HD to cater for the low-end consumers? Considering that Microsoft's Windows XP is the dominant OS on the lowest end notebooks available (that would be the netbook group), we find it amazingly hard to believe that the company would shun such a huge potential market.