Microsoft will no longer release further iterations of Zune hardware, but will instead concentrate on integrating Zune software and functionality into other devices like the Xbox and those running Windows Phone 7.
According to Bloomberg, Microsoft will continue to sell existing versions of Zune devices, but will no longer innovate its hardware line. Microsoft have not yet officially confirmed these reports but are quoted as saying,
“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.”
Introduced in 2006, Zune allows users to buy music and movies, and stream unlimited music for a monthly fee. Microsoft have always built dedicated devices since Zune’s inception but have had limited success, and certainly have provided limited competition to Apple’s iPod. Microsoft hope that by adding Zune features to Windows Phone 7 they can better compete against iOS and Android devices within the mobile phone space.
The Zune now joins a growing list of discontinued Microsoft products in recent years, including the Microsoft Kin last year.