Microsoft finally ready to flush Zune?

In a report by Richard Waters for The Financial Times, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appears to cast considerable doubt on the future of the company’s Zune debacle.

Waters reports, “Mr Ballmer seemed all but ready to throw in the towel on the Zune mobile device, which has failed to gain ground on Apple’s iPod. But he suggested that the focus of competition in digital media was moving onto ground that Microsoft understands well: software.”

“He said that, with the market for dedicated portable media players in decline, the future lay in more ‘general purpose’ devices – such as Apple’s iPhone and touch,” Waters reports.

“Asked if Microsoft would counter with a ‘Zune Phone,’ Mr Ballmer said: ‘You should not anticipate that.’ He added that the company would stick to its strategy of developing software to support a range of mobile devices,” Waters reports. “That suggests that, if there is a future for Zune, it lies in planting the software and online service linked to the player in other devices.”

Full article here.

33 Comments

  1. In other Zune news, Consumerist.com published this story on Monday about a woman who returned her $400 custom Zune to Microsoft for repair, who then basically blew her off for three months, and then lost the Zune.

  2. I saw Ballmer’s keynote and it was almost embarassing how they briefly touched on the Zune’s performance and how “innovative” it was…….they they moved on to other stuff.

    Windows 7 had better be ALL THAT and then some!

  3. Windows Mobile 7 will have the Zune and Windows Live store available to third parties for inclusion into their mobile devices. But, it’s been rumored that the Microsoft is now planning to nake Zune and Live Store a required component for all Windows Mobile 7 devices.
    I’ve also seen rumors that the Zune will die as early as late spring 2009.

  4. “That suggests that, if there is a future for Zune, it lies in planting the software and online service linked to the player in other devices.”

    So they’re going back to Plays For Sure™? How many companies will sign on this time? Sadly, probably many.

  5. Sad to say, but software is their strength. If Vista is representative of 5 years of work and untold billions to develop, MS is in deep sh*t. Stockholders should be suing them for malfeasance. That Uncle Fenster looking stooge should resign and get a job at a car wash where he can use those snow-shovel sized hands to do something constructive.

  6. Nooooo R.B. just said they are super happy with their huge user base and all these cars putting Zune compatibility when he was on stage. They just added 12 people from Canada for their user base. Zune is at the tipping point of taking over the market. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  7. Microsoft understands software?
    Now, THAT’S news!

    Does Ballmer understand anything?
    … anything, except the trajectory of a fork traveling from a plate to his mouth?

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