updated 03:55 pm EDT, Mon October 3, 2011
Zune HD references temporarily disappear
Microsoft sparked a brief moment of panic after dropping all references to the Zune HD on its Zune Pass page. The absence, which only left PCs, Windows Phone, and Zune, led some to believe that Microsoft had quietly dropped the MP3 player. Michael Yaeger from the company's team posted a clarification noting that the product pages were still up and it was a "publishing mishap."
The move won't necessarily assuage concerns that Microsoft is phasing out its dedicated Zune players. It recently dropped Zune HD Originals and now turns customers only to retail to buy the stock players. Work is already underway to port Zune apps to Windows Phone.
Zune should eventually take on the Windows Live name and effectively diminish the role of the name it once hoped would challenge Apple's in 2006.
Most of Microsoft's effort in the past year has been on supporting Windows Phone, where much of the Zune HD's experience has been ported and redesigned to work on the longer-lasting platform. The shift has brought music streaming to the Xbox 360 as well. The lack of significant device updates for two full years and frequent price cuts have suggested the company has no near-term plans and that it may have conceded the MP3 player market to the iPod now that the industry is in decline.