Microsoft confirms Zune HD death, “we will no longer be producing Zune players”

By Tom Warren, on 4th Oct 11 6:34 am with 51 Comments

Zune HD Originals devices

Microsoft has officially confirmed the death of its Zune player devices.

The software giant removed references to the Zune HD from its Zune site on Monday and later claimed that the removal was “a mistake.” It appears that the reference removals may have been planned for later but were mistakenly pushed early. A new support article on Microsoft’s Zune support pages makes it very clear:

“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.”

The confirmation marks the end of Microsoft’s range of Zune devices that failed to prove popular against Apple’s rival iPod offerings. Microsoft killed off its Zune originals devices earlier this year, marking the beginning of the end. The company urged consumers to purchase a Windows Phone 7 device for the Zune experience. “See how Windows Phone isn’t just a phone,it’s also a great Zune music and video player!”, said the final part of Microsoft’s message confirming the axe. A learn more button at the bottom of the page pushed users to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 site.

Microsoft recently confirmed that it is working to port Zune HD applications to Windows Phone. Former Zune senior business development manager Dave McLauchlan revealed the company’s plans in a recent Zune Insider podcast. Zune has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Microsoft was forced to confirm it is not “killing” any Zune services after it was revealed that the company plans to rebrand Zune into Windows Live shortly.

Thanks to WinRumors reader Simon Jenkins for the news tip

  • Anonymous


  • MsRose

    Well that sucks. A phone doesn’t have the battery life to function as an mp3 player really.
    Next time Microsoft, maybe try selling something outside the US, and perhaps some advertising would help.

    • Nick

      I felt the Zune HD really could have been the iPod killer.. but from the moment Zune was released there was 0 advertising done outside the US and even within the US it was so minimal.. they probably spent around $5000 and said “that should be good enough”

      So eventually it was dropped out of Canada because no one bought it.. because they had no idea what it was. All well, this isn’t going to help all the people I talk to that say “what’s a Zune” because iPod is so engraved in their heads.

    • CorvidaeSoresu

      Zune HD is rocking that Tegra processor, it’s FAR more powerful than the iPod, and it looks cooler too. The few 3D games they’ve produced look absolutely beautiful, bordering on PSP quality, with essentially no lag. Damn Microsoft for hell to not doing anything with it.

    • Oktay

      So true. Zune flopped like there was no tomorrow due to no promotion or a worldwide release. At least they’re doing really good with WP7.

    • Luis E. Padilla

      Good? With only 35 countries out of 150+? With incomplete services and few options in all those 35 except the US? Until they expand their services to more countries, WP7/8 will remain a 5% option for most users!!

    • Guest

      really good with WP7?  if by good you thinking compare to KIN your right but any other comparisons is closer to bad, very very bad 

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t they create a MP3 player based on WP7?!

    • Anonymous

      I’m a very fanatic Microsoft lover, but I don’t get the point of how the Zune is managed and promoted.

  • Guest

    Is anyone surprised? The writing has been on the wall for YEARS.

  • Zorp311

    If the ipod death rumors turn out to be true too, maybe the other portable players will finally get a chance to shine. With apple and microsoft, it’s not about what you want to buy, it’s what they want to sell you.

    • Anonymous

      “With apple and microsoft, it’s not about what you want to buy, it’s what they want to sell you.” That is the correct method of doing business. The only customer that matters is the one giving you money.

      If you want to buy a Ford Mustang with a Corvette engine, good luck getting it from Ford.
      If you buy a Garmin GPS, you won’t get it to use TomTom maps.
      There is no incentive (money) in either of these situations.

      Can you name a successful business that does differently?

      The iPod death rumor is only for the iPod classic, the hard-drive based unit, and currently the least selling iPod. Besides, the music player only market is overshadowed by the smartphone market.

    • Zorp311

      I’ve been in business thirty years. If you aren’t selling what your customer wants, they go elsewhere to get it. That analogy about mustangs with corvette engines is pretty ridiculous. If I sold oranges as a big part of my business and then stopped selling them completely because the business slowed down, and I then offered my customers apples instead, my customers who want oranges would go to my competitor for their oranges. Sure I would sell all the apples people want, but I would also keep selling oranges.

    • Anonymous

      True, but the point was about the competition. No company is going to sell a competitor’s products, just like you wouldn’t sell your competitor’s produce.

      There is a big difference between your example and the one I gave. Selling produce in your example is not about selling your own brand. As a grocer, you can sell any brands you want. But, as a producer, it’s bad business to sell your competitor’s products. HP selling iPods – BAD move.

      Ford, an engine producer, won’t sell a GM engine, regardless of what a customer wants. A customizer will certainly put a Corvette engine in a Ford Mustang on paid request though, as he is not selling a competitor’s product.

      The same goes in the world of produce. Sunkist won’t sell Tropicana oranges. Dole won’t sell DelMonte peaches. (Does Dole own DelMonte now?). Chiquita won’t sell Dole bananas.

      My initial point was that it’s normal practice for producers to sell what they have, and not necessarily what customers want.

  • Sean M

    Was the Zune ever alive? The Zune HD was quite a nice product though, too bad it never took off.

  • Anonymous

    So So Sad.. I think the Zune HD is (was) a great product, and i really really wanted to get one but there was no advert or sales point in the UK… UNBELIEVABLE RIGHT!?
    Was about to order one from the US but what baffled me the most was the fact that they never advertised, and i came to the conclusion that they have an agreement with Apple or something not to encroach into each other’s markets (hey, its just a thought).
    In my opinion, i think they should keep the zune hardware alive and update it to the WP7 OS but with GSM disabled. I mean i’ve got a WP7 (main device) and an iphone (used as an alarm mainly) and the sim in the iphone is not even activated but i can still check emails with it.
    I think MS just threw away a great product!!!! RIP ZUNE HD

  • Tim Acheson

    Awesome! And inevitable. WP7 along with the Xbox and PC platforms has always been the best way to use Zune. :)

  • Anonymous

    So, Zune is finally dead as a product. About time! It wasn’t popular with the important market – those who BUY music and music players.

    BTW. Zune is a terrible name – Zune? Zoon? Zoom? Remind anyone of Mazda (the not too popular car brand)?

    Now Microsoft is pushing Zune as a great feature in WP7. It was unpopular on its own. Will it really help WP7?

    • Anonymous

      Zune is a great, catchy name.

    • Lewis McCrary

      Zune doesn’t make much sense as a name but it’s far and away better than Spotify.  It just sounds too much like something that sometimes happens to a woman around that special time of month.  Even my wife agrees! ;)

      We just signed up for our second “ZuneZune” account. :)

    • Anonymous

      Hahaha. I never thought about that. The name Spotify is strange, but it didn’t say anything like that to me.

    • Guest

      So what does your wife think of the name “iPad”?

    • Zaksousa23

      Mazdas are Unpopular? LOL That is all i see on the rich side of Orlando! And a few BMW here and there

    • Anonymous

      Comparatively no. Not as bad as Isuzu (they still around?), but nothing like Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Chevy, Mercedes, BMW. Heck I think Subarus are more popular… But, of course, there are pockets of popularity. Even a few Pontiac Azteks were sold. I don’t know why, but they were…

  • MeGuest

    haha.. monopoly practices didn’t work this time.

  • Technogies

    well thats nice technogie.. it may be submitted technogies dot com

  • squidlr

    Windows Phone 7 next on the critical list….

  • David Abraham

    It should have been called XPlayer or something like that. Zune as a brand would never scale

  • Timmay

    Why would I buy a WP7 if this is how they support their products?  I shell out another $200 for a phone and in 2013 they will say, sorry we no longer support this phone.  Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.  Next contract getting an iPhone or Droid.

    • Guest

      Okay, go away now troll.

    • Guest

      Not a troll but a very realistic attitude and if you can not see it as that maybe your the one that needs to go away, along with old Ballmer for he thinks like you do.  

    • Guest

      LOl, scratch one troll, up pops another.

    • Ben

      How is it trolling?

      I don’t buy from several companies for this very reason. They hype something up and then drop it shortly after. I’m not buying into a platform when a company has that kind of track record. It’s a perfectly pragmatic response.

    • WM kills WP7

      He’s telling it like it is. I used to keep a new “windows mobile phone” and they can still do what all these newer phones do (with more screen presses) but they just stopped development and support and expect people to “downgrade” for something newer (WP7). I wont look at another one of their products (outside of a computer) every again because they give up to easy and I don’t want to be on the losing end AGAIN.

    • OMG55

      If you feel this way, you would never buy a WP7 to start, so please go to Apple or Android. We don’t have time for people who are to shallow to see that a new product will take time to catch-on in a market that already has mature devices in it; apparently out an immature adult who probably hops from one job to another…..Unstable like Android & Apple!!!!! I’ve had both and my Samsung focus is a much better device all the way around.

    • Ytrozs

      I do so love comments like this one.  How long has Windows Mobile/Phone/Lite/Whatever been in development?  Every time, Windows has been playing catchup with whatever is the latest and greatest – Blackberry, Palm Treo, whatever it is – and it’s always the same story, “Hey, it’ll take time to catch on in a market that is already mature.”  Uh, maybe if MS was innovating, rather than playing catch up, this wouldn’t be an issue?

  • Michael

    What Microsoft should seriously do is name the “Zune” component of every Windows Phone
    to “Zune HD +” . They really need to integrate the name and brand forward. The Zune HD device needs to “graduate” to the Windows Phone. There is a huge opportuity here for Microsoft to put to bed the dedicated player hardware while not saying they are giving up against the iPod. Just seriously take my suggestion free of charge. Every Windows Phone is also a Zune HD +. Mercy how easy is that? 

  • JMG

    It will eventually go away, as the Windows 7/8/9 phones fade away.  It was/is a nice interface.  I still love my Zune 80 and listen to is every day. 

  • Mrdeezus

    I love my Zune and Zune pass. I think MS should rethink thier “Points” system. I believe they should get rid of “MS Points” and go to pay per song like everyone else. Simplify buying a song like everyone else. Also, relese WP7 devices with 16,32 and 64 gb so we can take advantage of our Zune pass.

  • oolong2

    Well it was clear one of two things would happen, either WP7 would replace Zune or WP7 OS would replace Zune OS.

    If you look at the trend of MP3 players vs Smartphones then you can see why.   MP3 players are a dying market. 

  • RockTheGlobe

    …Except that the statement is now gone and the Zune HD is back up on

  • Anonymous

    I would just rather use my focus as my media player anyway. Zune HD was dope but I honestly dont need to have 2 devices on me at one time. I dont even know why there is an iPod a touch still.

  • Zorp311

              in reply to GDal   
     ”True, but the point was about the competition. No company is going to
    sell a competitor’s products, just like you wouldn’t sell your
    competitor’s produce.”

    I don’t know why you keep talking about a company selling another company’s product. I never said anything like that.

    A company that stops selling a product that they were selling, and wants you to buy another product that you don’t want, is what I’m talking about. I know of a number of people who don’t want to listen to music on their phone, but still want a portable solution. Everybody is trying to emulate Apple, even Microsoft has jumped on the mobile bandwagon. There were rumors that Apple was going to discontinue the iPod, but they didn’t. That was a good decision. But, Microsoft killing the Zune device is a bad decision. People who wanted a Zune, are not necessarily going to buy a Windows Phone as a replacement. Apple understands this. Microsoft needs all the devices out there that they can get out there right now. Excluding a portion of their market, even if it was a small one, is going to lose them customers in the long run.

  • Pallab Gupta

    what’s funny is that when I asked my two teenagers what mp3 player they wanted, both said Zune. They said that the HD picture quality was much better than the i*. Till today, they have not regretted their decisions.

  • Zzz

    The Zune is dead. Long live the big ass table.

  • Jay Wiese

    Looks like the iPhone turned out to be a Zune killer.

  • kim

    yall r right the zune was not overly promoted and i think that is the problem of why they r not continuing on with making new ones or even better apps but believe u me if the zune was overly promoted such as Apple then we kno for sure that there would be better apps constant upgrades and updates for the zune without a doubt….but i love the zune and was with it from the beginning but it is not fair that microsoft is giving up on those who r still standing beside it and not overturning to apple.

  • Guest

    I was going to get a zune for my birthday this year but now there all gone! I’ve been wanting one since they first came out  :’(

  • Guest

    now I probably wont even get a mp3 player for a few years to come :’(

  • Mshbabb

    Android FTW!!!!!!!

  • Mshbabb

    But it is sad that the Zune died. I still have my 80GB Zune and I still love it and I do not like Apple products.