We knew this was coming and now it’s finally here. Officially. Microsoft has secretly unveiled that they will no longer produce Zune-based hardware, instead opting to go with Windows Phone as their platform of choice. It’s been said before, but hearing from the horse’s mouth that there will no longer be Zune PMPs demarcates the end of an era and the tragic death of the best media player ever created with only half a decade under its belt.
None of this is really a surprise to anyone, though. Microsoft’s been doing a pretty fantastic job ignoring the brand and its capabilities while Apple doesn’t even get excited about iPod iterations anymore. I’d actually thought about picking up a Zune HD when they announced, but only a 64GB version, but that’s irrelevant now. The standalone Portable Media Player is a dying dream and it makes little sense for anyone to dump their resources into developing apps for say, the Zune HD, when Redmond has already shifted its attention to its mobile platform. Zune may as well be gone for me since I still don’t have a Windows Phone yet and Spotify has won me over with their Facebook functionality, causing me to cancel my Zune Pass after four and a half years.
Oh well, it’s your ball Microsoft. Do what you want, I guess.