Microsoft’s Zune man is leaving the company

By Tom Warren, on 7th Sep 11 12:00 am with 48 Comments

Zune HD devices

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.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Zune is dead… 

    • http://twitter.com/qka qka

      Was it ever a”Live”?

    • http://markcarruthers.blogspot.com Mark Carruthers

      No

    • http://markcarruthers.blogspot.com Mark Carruthers

      No

    • Avatar Roku

      There are many things called Zune:

      1. The MP3 player.
      2. The PC software.
      3. The music & video marketplace. (On Xbox, Windows Phone, PC, and Zune.net)
      4. The monthly subscription service (“Zune Pass”).

      You are right that the MP3 player is no more, but everything else called “Zune” is still rocking.

  • http://twitter.com/harlemS Travis Pope

    I thought Dave was the Business Dev for Hardware, in fact i’m entirely sure he was the Business Dev for the Zune HD. Your headline implies something different. Dave just confirmed this for me on Twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/paint99 Larry

    I love the Zune but it has to go. It is a failure in terms of market share and is a joke to anyone who hasn’t used one. Kill it and let it’s soul live on in Xbox Live.

    • Avatar Roku

      What exactly are you talking about when you say that?

      There are many things called Zune:

      1. The MP3 player
      2. The PC software.
      3. The music & video marketplace. (On Xbox, Windows Phone, PC, and Zune.net)
      4. The monthly subscription service (“Zune Pass”).

      1. – The MP3 players were discontinued many months ago. So that doesn’t “have to go” because it’s already gone.

      2. – The PC software is exceptionally good and essential for syncing & updating Windows Phones. Obviously that can’t go.

      3. – The music & video marketplace are incredibly important to Windows Phone and Xbox. Obviously that can’t go.

      4. – The Zune Pass subscription service could be cancelled, but that would be idiotic since it has no equal. If anything Zune Pass should be expanded to include video subscription options.

    • http://www.twitter.com/wixostrix WixosTrix

      Larry, you’re a joke.

  • Pedro Roque

    Zune is a horrible brand, unknown or unavailable to most, target of jokes in the us, but beloved by the few that used their services. Time to rebrand the thing, and bring their amazing services to the rest of the world.

    • Anonymous

      I see more and more people walking around with WP7 on campus, they tend to say they use the Zune pass and love it. It doesnt need a rebranding, it needs marketing.

  • http://twitter.com/macintux John Daily

    Did his tweet perhaps have a “Sent from my iPad” tagline?

    • OMG55

      STUUUUPIDDDDD…….Now Go Have a Drink Mr. Daily and Cry Over Mr. Jobs Stepping Down

    • http://twitter.com/macintux John Daily

      My apologies for failing to insert the proper topical reference clues; I assumed the bigger news of the day (Yahoo’s CEO Bartz being fired mid-air by telephone, and sending an email announcing her departure with the iPad signature) would trigger a synapse or two.

      Of course, this is a site for Microsoft fans, so the synapses may be a little frayed these days.

  • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

    Keep the services and rebrand it.

    • Avatar Roku

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the brand other than the fact that the company has done nothing to establish it. If you don’t run commercials or even release your product internationally you can’t really expect people to know what it is.

      Rebranding Zune as “Xbox Music and Video” or “Windows Live Music and Video” is dumb. That is the alternative to the Zune brand. So please don’t ask them to rebrand Zune.

    • Anonymous

      I really hope that Microsoft doesn’t go with the rebrand because that is one stupid move! I mean Zune is quite easy and cool but Windows Live Music and Video is just not cutting it. They have to quit it with these long names.

  • Anonymous

    Sad to see Zune failing, I love my HD and don’t understand why Microsoft basically killed it the minute it was launch by keeping it with in the US only.

    I imported mine into the UK and everyone that has seen it wants one, even some Apple fan boys do.

    • Anonymous

      Zune lives strong in WP7 and hopfully Win8

    • Anonymous

      Many (most?) manufacturers do similar things. They introduce a product into a market to test acceptance, then expand when good sales suggest it will work. The Zune happened to not do well in the US.

    • Guest

      They made a lot of mistakes with Zune, launching in the US was only one of them. If anything they should have started overseas where iLove was less of a factor (at least at the time). But coulda shoulda doesn’t matter. They didn’t and it failed.

  • Anonymous

    This whole “Zune is being rebranded” stuff has been going on for ages. When are we going to see any facts to back that up? Sure, it’s possible, but there’s been almost no confirmation of it.

    Sad to see Dave going — he always kept us Zune owners in the loop. I wish Microsoft would keep trying, because the Zune HD is the best music player I’ve ever owned.

    • Anonymous

      exactly, all there has been is speculation, not facts yet why is winrumor claiming that it’s dead if they haven’t confirmed this? Personally it think Microsoft needs to keep the Zune brand name and not be calling it Windows Live Zune…. Zune is simple enough and has won the hearts of many people around the world. I believe the problem with Zune has been advertising. If they had released Zune Worldwide and advertise the hell out of it they would have a huge market share in the mp3 players. It’s nice that zune is available in phones but they are missing the key fact that not everyone want’s a Phone bundle with the expensive data/voice plans. I hope the hardware still lives and we will see Zune HD2.

  • Guest

    Confirms Zune is a failure! Say hi to the Kin for me! NOT! HAHAHAHA! Should have bought an iPod!

    • Anonymous

      oh shut up troll… go home to gizmodo or engadget…

    • Anonymous

      Even hardcore Apple fans like Alex Lindsay prefers Zune over the Ipod as an MP3 player.

    • Guest

      You’re forgetting successes like Kinect, Sharepoint etc.
      Zune wasn’t a failure. They hardly tried.
      Kin sold well when prices were set appropriately, Verizon just set price incorrectly.

  • Anonymous

    They should kill Windows Media Centre and Windows Media Player and mash it into the Zune software so everything is one.

    • Hardcoreplur

      Agreed, Zune is sweet and does a lot of work that you have to do manually on wmp.

    • Guest

      The obsession of “Windows This” and “Windows That” is so outdated and MS just does not get it.  IT is one of the reasons why WP7 is dead in the water, only old guys and a few MS geeks want a “Window:” phone. 

    • Guest

      Funny that it has been reported it is popular with females then, and I’ve seen first hand.

    • Guest

      Its a chick phone… great :(

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3OIDXOI5OEMTX6Z3O5YUBFSISA Diego3336

    MS should axe the WP7′s cellphone functions and launch this OS as “Windows Zune 7″ and license it to OEMs like Creative, iRiver, Samsung and others. It would be good for the WP7 ecosystem in the same way the iPod touch was (and still is) for the iPhone.

  • http://twitter.com/billabong222 Billabong

    ZUNE is dead.

    • Anonymous

      i don’t believe you.

    • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

      You are a dead troll

    • http://twitter.com/s_a_r_k_i_s sarkis chamelian

      @AlienSix ROTFFL !!!!!!

    • Guest

      LOL AlienSix that is the wittiest reply I have ever seen on the whole World Wide Web!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Absolutely Certain

      Please people report this person to Twitter. They use several aliases
      and spam this tech site regularly Their aliases are

       

      http://twitter.com/#!/Translatethis27

      http://twitter.com/#!/Sophiakarr

      http://twitter.com/#!/nissetisse

      http://twitter.com/#!/UgglyUI

      http://twitter.com/#!/Admiralopeness
      http://twitter.com/#!/billabong222

      The link to report them is here

      https://support.twitter.com/forms/general

      Report them for using serial accounts and spamming.

    • Guest

      @absolutelycertain:disqus you really need to find yourself some real hobbies  ;(

    • Guest

      Shoe fits, huh?

    • Absolutely Certain

      Got loads man. Kung Fu, theatre, film, practically permanently out of my Apartment. Ya gotta love Mobile Internet though, gives you time to cram in a little browsing and commenting here and there in between.

    • Anonymous

      That’s nice. Can I call you Arnold? Every loser deserves a name, I think yours should be Arnold. Bye Arnold, im sure I’ll see you soon.

  • Delta470

    I started with a Zune 32GB first generation and that thing is still going strong with no issue’s at all.   Minus that one fateful new years eve but it corrected itself and continued to work through the gym, the sauna, the being ran over by my car a few times.    It was a solid device and a solid music marketplace platform.   MP3 players in general are going to die as smartphone’s take over the market place.   Why carry an MP3 player when my phone can do it.   

    A rebrand was a long time coming but what it really needs is a marketing blitz like Windows 7 and the xbox360 got.

  • Alien66

    Bomp. Bomp, Bomp, Another one bite the dust…Hay, Hay

  • Anonymous

    I really like the Zune brand … much more then “Windows” :(

  • Geoff Hirst

    The Zune concept is excellent although a name is just a name, as long as the service like Zune Pass remains I don’t really care what it’s called. With regards those people who flame a product without even trying them, well good luck in your lives. WP7 is excellent, we are a house of WP7, I have one, my wife has one and so does my son and we are all looking forward to getting the Mango update. The fruit company does not have a monopoly on good ideas, just on robotic customers who will hand over their cash for anything with their logo on. Long live Windows Phone and Zune, whatever you end up being called.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/TGZ75URQ6DKTCNXV3RV36ZKALQ Matthew

    This guy still has a job in 2011?  Really?  Next, you’ll tell me the inventor of “new coke” is still getting paid the big bucks at Coca-Cola!