Yesterday’s widely-propagated reports that the Zune has died (in pure, player form at least) are being downplayed by Microsoft. In a post over at Anything But iPod, Zune Hardware business guy Dave McLauchlan had this to say:
NO information about our future plans, no matter what the incarnation, has been shared. Until then treat with healthy skepticism anything you read.
ALL consumer electronics products have a lifespan, and the Zune HD is 18mo old. We were completely frank about this year’s Zune hardware being the WP7 phones, and we continue to both sell and fully support the Zune HD line of products. And as I’ve promised – we continue to bring new apps and games to the platform.
So, clear enough, right? Yes, but also just unclear enough for us to continue with our original understanding of the Zune’s “death”: no new dedicated Zune hardware is likely, and the service itself will be integrated into a larger suite of media management tools, probably a big unified one for rollout around the time the big Nokia push happens.
I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s sad considering how solid the Zune HD and subscription services are. But thanks to Dave for setting the record a little straighter.