The Zune HD lives...again

There's a Mark Twain saying that would fit perfectly here, but let's keep it simple - the Zune HD isn't dead; or at least not yet.

Less than 24 hours after a support page sounded the death knell for the Microsoft music player, which enjoyed less-than-stellar sales figures, a single tweet appears to have brought the Zune HD back to life.

In response to a question from Australian tech site Windows Phone Down Under earlier today, a staffer on the official Zune support account replied that the support page announcing the discontinuation of Zune HD hardware was put up in error. The page has since been taken down. The staffer followed up an hour later with a further affirmation of Microsoft's commitment to the little music player that could:

''We are still supporting the Zune HD hardware. No official info has been released stating hardware is being discontinued,'' the tweet read.

Today's backpedal on the death of the Zune HD is no less than the third episode in what has been an intriguing - and confusing - few days. Yesterday it was reported that the player was on its death bed, after Microsoft pulled the ability to purchase a Zune HD from both Zune.net and the Microsoft Store. Just hours later, the company blamed the changes on an ''inadvertent publishing issue'' and reinstated the purchase links.

While the Zune hardware division today appears to be alive and kicking, its future is far from certain. At this point, the big question has to be: why was the page declaring the end of the Zune HD hardware created at all, if Microsoft doesn't intend at some point to kill off the player? A question to that very point by Windows Phone Down Under was met with little more than a generic ''we have nothing more to say'' style reply.

The now-removed support page expressed Microsoft's desire to focus on Windows Phone as the primary platform for mobile music and video, a logical move that many had been predicting for some time - and will likely continue to predict despite today's news. Lackluster sales and a growing mobile OS base do not bode well for a product's longevity and it's fair to say the Zune HD's days remain numbered.

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Dead'Soul said,
)

now, die zune die!!!!


Why would you want the good sound quality die? To make people forget that iPod's sound is crap?

DKAngel said,
could be just trying to distract people and get some publicity

Like the iPhone 5, that was an heartbreak for the fanboys...
Better get a Windows phone to enjoy Zune Player...

No matter what, I am not interested in Zune Player as my Windows Phone has Zune integrated already. :-)

GraphiteCube said,
No matter what, I am not interested in Zune Player as my Windows Phone has Zune integrated already. :-)

I agree. Now they just need to get phone battery life better. Until they do, I am going to need a standalone music player... Batteries need some advancement at this point.

What is this, the Elvis/Hitler/any famous person thought to still be alive "He's dead... no, he's not, he's in Venezuela, I swear..." revolving door joke-a-thon or something? Geezus Microsoft, just put out an official statement for Pete's Sake(c).

MarkusDarkus said,
Hmm. I still want a Zune HD though. It's a really nice media player wether or not it is old.

Why not buy one then? It's obvious the Zune isn't selling because even those that want it aren't buying it, hence why they might fold.

This has become a joke because of the company's inability to control what information it releases. I guess they just want the Zune HD to allow a sufficient life cycle before it is actually killed but now the cat is out of the bag. The Zune HD is EVENTUALLY going to die. Just hope they release more apps regularly from the WP7 portfolio for the Zune even if they don't bring new hardware.

I have a Zune HD and I love it. As a music lover I need a dedicated unit I can hook-up to my stereo. The HD FM Tuner is an awesome bonus. A few comments:
* As someone mentionned on another thread, Microsoft only manufactured the hardware to gain a foothold in the marketplace. With Windows Phone 7 now out, it can potentially get of the hardware business and license the tech to third-parties. Hopefully.
* The new pricing of $9.99/month $99.99/year DOES NOT include the ten free songs for month. I just confirmed with Microsoft support. I had renewed my Zune pass at $149/year on 10/1/2011, so I needed to know!
* If you read the ratings and comments on Amazon.com for the Zune HD you will find reviewers consistently give it the highest rating and has mostly very positive comments.

Microsoft-branded Zune hardware is dead? Long live the Zune.

techfreak said,
I have a Zune HD and I love it. As a music lover I need a dedicated unit I can hook-up to my stereo. The HD FM Tuner is an awesome bonus. A few comments:
* As someone mentionned on another thread, Microsoft only manufactured the hardware to gain a foothold in the marketplace. With Windows Phone 7 now out, it can potentially get of the hardware business and license the tech to third-parties. Hopefully.
* The new pricing of $9.99/month $99.99/year DOES NOT include the ten free songs for month. I just confirmed with Microsoft support. I had renewed my Zune pass at $149/year on 10/1/2011, so I needed to know!
* If you read the ratings and comments on Amazon.com for the Zune HD you will find reviewers consistently give it the highest rating and has mostly very positive comments.

Microsoft-branded Zune hardware is dead? Long live the Zune.


Microsoft licensed the tech, but nobody wanted to implement it. That's why they had to create Zune players to show how it's done.

RealFduch said,

Microsoft licensed the tech, but nobody wanted to implement it. That's why they had to create Zune players to show how it's done.

Exactly. A possible future form factor cuuld be that of a Windows 8 ARM-powered tablet.

On another note: my teenage son claims he can sync subcribed DRM content from Zune to his 3 yr-old Creative Labs music player via WMP.

Your article heading is wrong!! They are not retracting anything; the Zune HD hardware is dead but they will continue the service and honor support and warranties.

Claiming the Zune HD isn't dead because the technology has gone into Windows Phone 7 is like saying WinFS isn't dead because the technology has gone into SQL. The reality is that Microsoft no longer care about the Zune HD player beyond keeping existing customers happy, and how long they do so is entirely up to them.

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