updated 12:00 am EDT, Wed September 7, 2011
Zune manager McLauchlan exits for Buddy
Microsoft's Zune media players faced an extra setback Tuesday after Zune HD business development manager Dave McLauchlan said he was exiting the company. The company veteran resigned last week and will finish Friday. His ultimate destination is Buddy, an early startup that will help make mobile apps "cheaper, faster & easier."
McLauchlan characterized the departure as friendly.
The shift comes after a string of senior-level exits from Microsoft. For McLauchlan, it also carries a degree of irony as he had promised half a year ago that the Zune HD will live on. While the project isn't known to be ending, his withdrawal will still cause some disarray at a time when many are questioning the survivability of an MP3 player that hasn't been given a hardware revision since 2010.
His quitting also follows a month after Microsoft dropped Zune originals. Zune HD players are still in stores but can't be customized like they could for all their previous history. Theories about the ramping down have varied but have suggested that Microsoft both wants to switch attention to Windows Phone and considers the MP3 player category 'lost' to Apple's iPod.