One of Microsoft’s key Zune evangelists is quitting the company to form a new startup.
Dave McLauchlan, Senior Business Development Manager for Zune, announced his departure from the company on Tuesday. “I have some news to share,” he wrote on Twitter. “Last week I offered my resignation to MSFT, and my last day is Fri.” McClauchlan revealed that he plans to do a startup called Buddy. The startup promises to allow developers to build mobile apps cheaper, faster and easier and will launch shortly.
McLauchlan famously denied that the Zune hardware was on the way out. Microsoft was forced to confirm it was not “killing” any Zune services after it was revealed that the company plans to rebrand Zune into Windows Live shortly. The axing of the Zune was further confirmed after Microsoft revealed that it is working to port Zune HD applications to Windows Phone. Microsoft also revealed that it was discontinuing the Zune HD original set of devices in July. The Zune Originals devices were customized editions of Microsoft’s Zune HD video and audio player. The devices were available to order directly from Microsoft. At the time of the axe, Microsoft promoted Zune users towards Windows Phone devices.
Microsoft’s Zune death has been a long time coming. The company previously reorganized the Zune team structure. Microsoft split the hardware and software Zune teams into separate units. Microsoft’s reorg ultimately pointed towards the demise of the Zune brand over time. Microsoft isn’t commenting on whether the Zune brand is going away but the company is pinning its hopes on the Xbox brand to be the number one entertainment service for customers.