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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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