Zune HD support page, podcast end lineup
Microsoft in spite of its earlier claims has said it will drop Zune players. A support page has made clear the company will "no longer be producing Zune players." It will keep honoring support and sales, but hasn't made mention of future OS updates.
Microsoft said axing Zune players permanently
Microsoft will mark the end to a sidetrack in its history by phasing out its Zune hardware once and for all, according to a Bloomberg source said. Under the strategy, the company would keep selling the existing Zune HD but would phase it out entirely once considered obsolete. The Zune software would be left, as would the Zune Marketplace key to getting content for Windows Phone 7 and the Xbox 360.
Jobs says Android fragmentation not true openness
Google is being "disingenuous" when it tries to claim openness as an advantage for Android, Apple's Steve Jobs said during a rare appearance in the company's fourth quarter 2010 results. He accused Google of sidestepping its own real problems with Android fragmentation, saying that the real debate was over whether or not to go integrated. Windows is "open" in supporting many forms of hardware, but it provides a consistent experience; Android can't claim that as there are too many custom interfaces and too many phones, leaving the user to "figure it out."
Acer chief thinks of iPad and iPhone as plagues
Apple's products are "mutant viruses" that need to be cured, Acer's creator Stan Shih claimed to reporters late Wednesday. Shih saw Steve Jobs' insistence on revolutionary hardware as creating rampant but short-term growth for devices like the iPad and iPhone. While initially successful, the approach would eventually be defeated by competition that "evolves naturally" and becomes "immune" to the Apple effect, the executive insisted.
Jupiter on Zune Phone
Any attempt by Microsoft to release a Zune-branded phone would clash with the very fundamentals of Microsoft's mobile operating system business and with the partners it depends on to succeed, according to early observations by Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg. He warns that the frustrations with success in the market that led to the creation of the Zune media player don't exist with Windows Mobile. While companies selling Windows Media-compatible players and the relevant protect music format had largely struggled before the Zune launched in November 2006, Windows Mobile is still considered successful with 20 million copies sold for various devices in the company's fiscal 2008.
Microsoft Buys Danger
Microsoft today revealed that it was acquiring Danger Inc., triggering a shift in the mobile phone business. The deal's terms have not been disclosed but will see the smaller firm, best known for the software powering Sidekick messaging phones, folded into the Entertainment and Services Division at Microsoft. The buyout will help Microsoft enter the "consumer space" for phones and will simultaneously let Danger expand its partnerships to other companies. Neither firm has said when they expect the deal to be approved by US officials.
Wal-Mart Axes Videos
Wal-Mart has shut down its fledgling movie service with virtually no announcement, according to user reports. Visitors to the official site are greeted with a message that the site has shut down as of December 21st and redirects users to information about the closure. Videos and other content remain playable but will still include the copy restrictions of before, which prevent the videos from transferring to non-purchasing computers but allow their use on as many as three portable media players that support guarded Windows Media content. No refunds are available and customers will have to visit a Wal-Mart store to buy more videos, the retailer warns.
MS Rebrands PlaysForSure
Microsoft today said it was rebranding its well-known PlaysForSure copy protection scheme to Certified for Windows Vista, driving users to make a connection between the media digital rights management (DRM) scheme and the company's newest operating system. The decision will see media players, music phones, and similar devices use the new logo and places these in the same category as unrelated products such as digital cameras and printers. Microsoft has not explained the reasons for the decision but is believed to have made the choice as a marketing move.