Wait a minute, I thought the Zune already died in March. Apparently it didn't, because after Microsoft prematurely scrubbed its existence from the Zune site, then said it was an accident, it now says the Zune hardware is
officially not dead. Long live Zune software!
Those following the Zune closely will have seen this coming from five miles away. Microsoft's sleek and slim challenger to the iPod Touch made for a great alternative, but it just didn't have enough firepower to keep up with Apple's growing universe of apps.
Going forward, Zune will still be supported as the choice multimedia app on Windows Phone 7 devices.
We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players. So what does this mean for our current Zune users? Absolutely nothing. Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today. And we will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices. Customer service has been, and will remain a top priority for us.
Interestingly enough, the Zune HD website was restored and if you click the "Buy Now" button, it redirects to a Walmart link for a 16GB Zune HD with car charger bundle. If you love the Zune or just hate Apple, it's going for $160, which is a steal compared to Apple's 8GB iPod Touch that sells for $230. You won't get any cameras, many apps or a larger Retina Display, but, you will get a piece of Microsoft history.
RIP. Zune hardware, you deserve a good, long sleep.
UPDATE: It would appear there is turmoil within Microsoft. The official @ZuneSupport Twitter page is tweeting out the message "The Zune hardware is still being supported. There is no official info pertaining to discontinuing it" to many concerned fans and owners.
So...the Zune hardware is not dead? Who knows!
Conversely, the official support page linked to above is apparently gone. It now shows a "Page Not Found" landing page. Maybe after seeing those new iPod Touches, the Zune HD decided it wasn't time to die just yet.
UPDATE #2: Microsoft says it's dead again. Ugh. Just let the Zune HD die already. It wants to die!