Microsoft rubbishes rumors of the end of Zune

By on March 17, 2011
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Zune’s business development head offers clarification.

Yesterday, a Bloomberg report claimed that Microsoft was soon going to pull the plug on its Zune media player, with the site’s source citing poor sales as the key factor behind the decision.

However, this came as total surprise to David McLauchlan, Zune’s sensior business development manager, who took to anythingbutipod (how fitting) to offer a rather lengthy statement regarding issue.

There’s been a TON of traffic about the Bloomberg article that posted today – plus I noticed they updated the article a few hours ago:

“We have nothing to announce about another Zune device — but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via the Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We are thrilled by the consumer excitement for Zune across many new platforms, including Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.”

I’ve had tweets, emails, PMs and phone calls. People offering condolences, checking in on me, etc… etc… Stop, stop, stop!

The Bloomberg article is NOT an official statement from Microsoft (apart from the quote above). The headline is purportedly from a “person familiar with the matter” – which of course tells you nothing.

Here’s what you should know – ALL consumer electronics products have a lifespan, and the Zune HD is 18mo old. We were completely frank about this year’s Zune hardware being the WP7 phones, and we continue to both sell and fully support the Zune HD line of products. And as I’ve promised – we continue to bring new apps and games to the platform. More of those are in the works, I promise you.

I manage business development for Zune hardware, and I still have that job. Our PR folks released a statement today that included the text: “We’ll share more information about the evolution of the Zune entertainment service and Zune hardware as future plans develop.”

To be 100% clear – NO information about our future plans, no matter what the incarnation, has been shared. Until then treat with healthy skepticism anything you read. That’s probably a good general rule actually.

So for those who tweeted or emailed asking what I’m “going to do now” – I’ll be going to work tomorrow, working on Zune hardware bizdev. And when Microsoft announces news that is actually news, you’ll hear it from us directly, and I’ll be sure to pass it on immediately. Only then should you take it as gospel.”

Despite the clarification, McLauchlan’s post came across as vague and it still is not clear what will be of the Zune hardware.


About

Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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