updated 09:00 am EDT, Wed October 5, 2011
Microsoft says Zune end not yet official
Microsoft's support team claimed late Tuesday that it hadn't officially ended the Zune. Despite a public support page explicitly stating no more devices were being made, the support team told a user that "no official info has been released" dropping the platform. The division didn't have an explanation for the apparent self-contradiction.
While it's true the company hasn't put out a press release or separate statement, the support page made it clear the company was at least planning to wind down its MP3 players. The focus shifted to Windows Phone as soon as it launched in fall of last year and has seen few updates to the Zune HD in hardware and software, slowing down noticeably in the past year.
The conflicting points of view mark a mixed exit for the Zune hardware that parallels its launch. Microsoft started off the Zune in November 2006 with the ambition of cutting deeply into the iPod's market share. Limited Wi-Fi features and what amounted to a decision to compete against Microsoft's own music player partners quickly clouded its release. Microsoft became more aggressive and coordinated in 2007 but eventually slowed down and let the faster-moving Apple hold its lead.
Apple during its October 4 event has mentioned that most of the iPod's 10-year history has seen it hold on to over 70 percent of the MP3 player market in the US, actually climbing higher to 78 percent this year. [via WinRumors]