Report: Microsoft to end Zune hardware line | iLounge News

Report: Microsoft to end Zune hardware line

Microsoft plans to stop introducing new models of its Zune media player, according to a new report. Citing a person familiar with the decision, Bloomberg reports that the company will instead focus on building out its Zune software for mobile phones and Xbox 360. The software offers music and movie purchasing options, as well as an unlimited music streaming subscription service. In an email statement to Bloomberg, Microsoft declined to comment on the report, instead saying “We have nothing to announce about another Zune device—but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via the Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America.[...] Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.”

The report notes that Microsoft plans to continue selling existing versions of the Zune, which include the Zune HD, the company’s last all-new hardware model released in 2009. Microsoft first introduced the Zune in 2006 as a rival to the iPod, with CEO Steve Ballmer saying at the time that “We can beat them, but it’s not going to be easy,” referring to Apple. The company later split the Zune team into two separate groups, with one focusing on hardware and one focusing on software, mostly for other platforms including the company’s Windows Phone and Xbox devices.

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As an iPod Touch/iPhone user, there’s only one thing about the Zune I envied even a little bit: wireless syncing.

Posted by Clint on March 15, 2011 at 11:52 AM (CDT)


I agree and up to today, I still don’t know why apply don’t give us this capability.  Picture you downloading a few apps at work on ur iPhone, just coming home from work, taking care of a few things and then sitting down on the sofa to watch some news.  You pull out your iPhone and sync wireless to your home computer.  another option would be soon as you be in close range your iPhone would sync up with your home computer.

It’s something really simple, where just a few security checks and functions need to be implemented.  Apple even can safe and protect the environment by cutting down sync cable’s and other.

In the world of today, where technology is the driver, apple dismisses little things like that.  Why?

After all, the little things show that you understand and pay attention.  So, Apple.  I’m a solid apple consumer but can you tell me WHY?

Posted by dennis on March 15, 2011 at 12:34 PM (CDT)


Ouch. This is a slap int he face to Microsoft. With the release of the iPad 2. The zune does not stand a change with Apple.

Posted by Nathan on March 15, 2011 at 1:56 PM (CDT)


Oh, were they still making those Zune things? Huh. Go figure.

And while the capability to wirelessly sync would be neat and all….given the usual speed of some syncs, would you REALLY want to drain your battery by doing a multi-minute sync wirelessly? I mean…yeesh. As far as I’m concerned, keep me corded.

Posted by Daniel S. on March 15, 2011 at 5:32 PM (CDT)


I agree with #4. I am syncing a large amount of data with each connection. But, with that said, I can see that there are some people that are simply syncing a few items at a time. Just minor changes to a playlist or a couple of on-the-go purchases. I think an option for wireless sync would be welcome though. Simply make it an option in Settings that is selectable and that shows a note that wireless syncing could be a lengthy and battery intensive process. I think more people than not would try it a few times and revert to a wired sync personally.

Posted by Mitch on March 15, 2011 at 6:50 PM (CDT)


I think people would use both. You could still easily sync up to a GB of data in around 10 minutes or less over a 802.11g network, and even faster over 802.11n. 10 minutes of syncing, considering my wifi is being used continuously already, wouldn’t even represent a mite’s fart in my battery use.

Unless I want to swap out 3GB of high def movies or I’m already in my home office, why would I ever NOT want the choice use the wireless option? People who think it would take all that long either really move a lot of data (I probably swap about 500MB at a time, insignificant over wifi) or they’re just not thinking things through and reflexively assuming it’s a lot more taxing than it truly is.

Playing Angry Birds for 5 minutes will hurt your battery a lot worse than your average person’s content sync of a couple of hundred megabytes or less.

Posted by Code Monkey on March 15, 2011 at 9:35 PM (CDT)


Did anyone not see this day coming?

I’ve never understood the desire for wireless syncing.  If you’re close enough to connect to Wi-Fi, you’re close enough to take a couple of steps and plug it in.

Posted by hardcle on March 15, 2011 at 10:11 PM (CDT)


I agree with you, and a little bit of physical activity could benefit a large portion of our population.
However, just to play devil’s advocate.
If you’re close enough to use the remote for the TV take a few steps and change the channel. I don’t think many people are going to agree with that statement.
Wireless syncing is not so much about the need, as it is the convenience. If I had to applaud the Zune for anything, it would be this option.

Posted by Cereal in Japan on March 16, 2011 at 1:14 AM (CDT)


Microsoft might’ve sold a few more Zunes if they were actually AVAILABLE IN CANADA.

Posted by Richard on March 17, 2011 at 2:30 AM (CDT)


It’s definitely a convenience issue. It’s not like walking to my home office and plugging the iPod in is taxing - been doing it going on 8 years now - but it does require me to stop being wherever I was to do it, and when you’re currently a stay at home dad with a 3 y.o., being able to sync from anywhere would be a major convenience. Considering that it would be possible to do countless “micro” syncs throughout the day, I’d love it.

What is amusing about some of the “logic” used in poo-pooing what was a very cool feature of Zunes and very noticeable lack of a feature for iPods is that we already have wireless streaming of audio, video, and data used constantly. Apps like Stitcher are used to listen to podcasts without ever directly downloading them or syncing them. There is Pandora and other wireless radio, streamed Satellite radio, airplay of video to our devices, Netflix, direct to device app and music sales, direct to device app updates, etc., etc., but, ohnoes, it’s syncing the device wirelessly that’s going to be too much stress on the battery, puhlease. If you want to play mental gymnastics to explain away why a good feature implemented by MS wasn’t a good feature you’ll have to try a lot harder than that line of “reasoning”.

Posted by Code Monkey on March 17, 2011 at 10:08 AM (CDT)

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