The End: Microsoft officially axes Zune brand

“Microsoft is sending Zune to the pasture where Microsoft brands go to die,” Nick Wingfield reports for The New York Times. “It’s the end of the road for a name that once symbolized Microsoft’s grand plans to curb Apple’s entertainment ambitions.”

“A Microsoft spokeswoman, Melissa Stewart, confirmed that the Zune brand is going away so Microsoft can use the better-known Xbox brand for its entertainment services, including its online video service,” Wingfield reports. “Ms. Stewart said Zune Music customers who created playlists using the old service would still have access to those songs through the new Xbox Music service.”

Wingfield reports, “The Zune was a failure in the market, coming too late to stop the iPod juggernaut and falling short of the high bar Apple had set. A version of the player that came out in 2009, the Zune HD, did little better. In the meantime, Apple shifted most of its focus in digital entertainment to the iPhone and iPad. This shift eventually sank in at Microsoft, too. The company discontinued the Zune line of music players and the brand lived on [until now] as a music and video service for Xbox and the Windows Phone operating system.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Through our laughter, we’re also a tad misty-eyed as we trot out one of our favorite graphics for the last time:

Zune Dock

Ah, the memories. Oh, what the heck, let’s relive it a bit more for closure’s sake:

Zune error

Zunephone

Zune anus

Zune Tard

Some photographs really do speak a thousand words. This one from Christmastime 2006 pretty much says it all:
Zune iPodded at Costco

Adios, Zune. Too little, too late. Yet another Microsoft failure.

“All the way back on July 25, 2006, I told you so.” – SteveJack

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fernando” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Microsoft: ‘We will no longer be producing Zune players’ – October 4, 2011
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Microsoft pulls plug on Zune – March 14, 2011
Opinion: More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Microsoft pulls plug on Zune – July 25, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Germany’s Maxfield files for bankruptcy – February 20, 2008
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Microsoft pulls plug on Portable Media Center – May 09, 2007
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Dell’s ‘DJ Ditty’ flash-based MP3 player is dead – August 22, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Dell dumps ‘DJ’ hard-drive MP3 player line – February 04, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: iRiver gives up on digital media player market – May 23, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Sony’s Walkman Bean is cooked – February 13, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: iRiver pulling out of Europe? – February 01, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Thomson gives up on MP3 player, CE markets – December 12, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: BenQ withdraws from MP3 player markets – November 28, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Olympus halts production of portable digital music players – November 09, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Rio is dead – August 26, 2005
Apple’s iPod has blood on its Click Wheel: Virgin Electronics is dead – March 08, 2005

57 Comments

  1. I actually met a student in ’07 who swore by the Zune. He said it felt more stubstantial and only crashed 2 or 3 times a day. He hated Apple and did nothing but talk MS up the whole time he was editing his video on a G5 PowerMac.

    Poor guy. What’s he gonna do now. It’s the only Zune I ever saw in the wild.

    1. I’ve only seen ONE Zune out in the wild. I was riding the Washington Metro home one evening , and I spotted a lone fellow, looking forlorn and depressed, listening to his Zune. Somehow it fit.

  2. Great management decision on their part not unlike when Apple turfs a product as they might be doing with their desktop CPU. Only wish that our Country would be managed the same way. Redundancy is not good… Deal with it.

      1. @ZuneTang®, a brave comedian serving a righteous cause or making us laugh day after day at the follies of Microsoft. I know the human behind the mask remains here among us, but we shall miss the dear little mask and wish it was back among us, highlighting our days with hilarity and mirth. Fare thee well great satirist. Fare thee well. 😥

        1. Contrary to popular myth, I was never ZuneTang®, and I too will miss his brilliant satire and biting humor. There was no better way to call out the newbies on the site than to bait them with one of ZT’s comic masterpieces. We’ll miss you, old friend.

          But we won’t miss the Zune. Rest In Pieces.

          -c

  3. The second pic stil gets a LOL. Looks like two girls making out, and the one on the bottom… getting much more.

    Obvious they chose that picture to distract from the “Installation error” message.

    1. Moss,,,,, man, you missed the point. its a guy on top and …… he is having installation problems… as shown by the girl..

      sorry about that but it had to be said. :-0

      1. Look closer (I did before posting earlier, just to be sure).

        The “guy” on top is wearing an open top, has strap tan lines, and you see the start of a ponytail.

        Since it’s not a guy, we can safely assume this is a different kind of “installation problem.” :-p

  4. “The Zune was a failure in the market, coming too late to stop the iPod juggernaut and falling short of the high bar Apple had set.”

    Uh, can’t we just replace “Zune” with “Windows Phone” and ‘iPod” with “iPhone”? Looks like we’re headed for a replay.

    Ok, everybody, one more time… 🙂

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