Back in April 2009, a group of workers over at Microsoft filed a patent for a music player which can only be related to the company's Zune brand. Upon inspection of the images, the design of which suggests it was purposed to compete with Apple's popular iPod Nano.
As Manan Kakkar was browsing through patent documents he came across a design of a Zune that never made it. While there is a slim chance another Zune could make it through the development process, the introduction of Windows Phone 7 has left many in doubt whether Microsoft's range of digital music players can go anywhere. The situation hasn't been particularly helped by conflicting information coming out of Microsoft and the closure of Pioneer Studios that was working on electronic consumer products.
While Microsoft launched several generations of Zune over the years, the company has struggled to get the Zune product released on a worldwide basis leaving only the United States and Canada consumers able to buy the digital music players. Those more desperate were able to buy them from selected websites which imported the music gadgets.
What is of particular interest is that Jonathan Harris who was co-founder of Pioneer Studios has his name amongst others in the patent. This was at a time during which the Zune HD was soon to be released where Microsoft stated that at least one other Zune player would be coming to the technology market. Since then though, news and developments have been focused around Zune as a brand for music and entertainment rather than that of a physical product.
Image Credit: United States Patent and Trademark Office