It’s a sad day for those who hoped for Microsoft to take a chunk out of Apple iPod sales. Microsoft is throwing in the towel on its Zune media players. Sales of the device have been dismal since its release. The device just failed to blow anybody out of the water. It was one step behind as Apple had already moved to a touch screen with the iPod Touch by the time the first Zune hit the market. Microsoft was left with a device that looked old out of the gate and could only trump an iPod Classic.
The Zune did have some bright spots though. Owners I’ve talked to love the subscription service where you pay a flat fee for unlimited access to almost any song ever made. The Zune software was also a hit, until Microsoft redesigned it in an effort to make it ‘idiot proof’.
While it may be a major bummer from Microsoft to have failed in the media player arena, the Zune wasn’t exactly a complete waste of time and money for Microsoft. The Zune OS was a nice stepping stone for Windows Phone 7. It allowed them to do a lot of research and user testing before releasing what was essentially a 1.0 phone operating system. Hopefully for Microsoft, it won’t meet the same fate with phones.