Microsoft have now discontinued the selling of its Zune HD original devices which were sold directly from the company. On its website, Microsoft recommends using Best Buy or Walmart to buy a Zune HD device, by saying "we are no longer taking new orders for Zune Originals. To purchase a Zune HD device, please visit one of our retailers." Following on with that, on its website, Microsoft are recommending users to purchase a Windows Phone instead which also offers similar features to the Zune.
While the purchasing of the ordinary Zune HD devices is still open to consumers at a couple of stores, ZuneBoards, which first spotted the change, has stated that they believe this is the beginning of Microsoft's efforts to take the Zune out of the market. Given that the Zune HD original devices were customised versions of the standard Zune device, it won't affect the overall availability to consumers but it does represent the beginning of the end for the portable music device.
In some sense, this has been a long time coming given that we firstly heard rumours that the devices and the brand were being scrapped and later confirmed that parts of the brand would be merged into Windows Live services. Microsoft have done nothing to promote the Zune brand and have been primarily focusing on the release of Windows Phone, so much so that the company recently announced the porting of applications from the Zune HD marketplace to WP7.
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