Ah, Zune We Hardly Bought Ye

Published on March 14, 2011
by John Paczkowski


Chuck: Do we carry any Rush CDs?

Morgan: No, but not to worry buddy! I have every Rush track on my Zune.

Chuck: Wait, you have a Zune!?

Morgan: Pfft! No, I’ll go get my iPod.”

— Dialogue from a 2008 episode of NBC’s “Chuck” (see video below)

“For something we pulled together in six months, we are very pleased with the satisfaction we got. The satisfaction for the device was superhigh.” Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said that of the Zune in October 2007.

Gates may have been right about superhigh satisfaction, but if he was counting on superhigh adoption, boy was he ever wrong.

Four years of mediocre sales and lack of consumer interest followed, and now Microsoft is finally conceding defeat. Sources tell Bloomberg that Microsoft is ending Zune hardware development to focus solely on the Zune software found on the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7. The current iteration of the Zune will be its last.

Microsoft declined to confirm Bloomberg’s report, but the tone and focus of the comment the company issued did lend it some credence.

“We have nothing to announce about another Zune device–but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America. We are thrilled by the consumer excitement for Zune across many new platforms, including Windows Phone 7. Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms, and we remain committed to providing a great music and video experience with the Zune service.”

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