To make room for the new Xbox Music service, Microsoft continues its plans to extinguish the Zune brand from the world’s collective memory.
Microsoft has quietly confirmed that it will no longer be producing its Zune HD MP3 player and that Windows Phone devices will be the future of its media strategy.
Microsoft announced on Thursday that its Zune Music Pass will offer a more competitive $9.99 plan for all-you-can-stream music starting Oct 3. The company also said it will being offering Zune services in Canada the same day.
Three years ago, Microsoft opened its Pioneer Studios skunkworks operation to create cool new consumer technology experiences. The group was headed by J Allard, the executive who co-led the development of the Xbox and Xbox 360 game consoles. Now the company has shut down the division.
After trying (and failing) time and again to take on Apple’s iPod, Microsoft is finally killing off its Zune media player, a source tells Bloomberg’s Dina Bass.
Microsoft announced that it will release a tool later this year to let Mac users sync “select content”, Engadget reports. In other news, we finally have some idea of how the platform will handle external storage, thanks to technology reporter Paul Thurrott.
Microsoft finally launched its new mobile platform, Windows Phone 7, at a press conference in New York today. CEO Steve Ballmer hit the stage to give us a glimpse at the OS and the platform’s launch phones.
Microsoft has reinvigorated Xbox Live, the online game service launched in 2002, just about every fall. Today, it previewed to some users its latest update to the Xbox Live Dashboard in advance of new features such as the launch of its Kinect motion control system.
Microsoft‘s Xbox business has been smooth sailing of late, and the lowered cost of production has enabled the company to introduce its new slim model recently. That said, in the most recent quarter ended June 30, the Entertainment and Devices Division (EDD), which houses Xbox, PC consumer and Zune, saw its operating loss increase 22 percent year-over-year to $172 million. Sales, however, jumped 27 percent to $1.6 billion.
J Allard was the design brains behind almost everything cool that came out of Redmond in recent years, from the Xbox to the Zune. Now there’s a report that he may be resigning from the company because one of his favorite new projects, a tablet computer called Courier, got axed.
Apple’s Steve Jobs ridiculed the Microsoft’s Zune, saying by the time you finish fiddling with one of its main features, “the girl’s got up and left.”