If you took Sheldon Cooper's advice and purchased a Zune rather than an iPod, changes are afoot. Reports are coming in that e-mails are going out to Zune users announcing features that will be changing. The features are actually not changing as much as simply disappearing.
Ex-Microsoft exec and shepherd of both Xbox and Zune, Robbie Bach, has admitted that the Zune PMP was a cavalcade of mistakes, though argues his entertainment division team did try to replicate its successful gaming strategy with its iPod rival. Speaking at a Northwest Entrepreneur Network event in Seattle, Geekwire reports, Bach described the Zune project as "probably universally viewed as less of a success" than Xbox, though denied that either had succeeded or failed because they were part of the Microsoft behemoth.
Microsoft’s Zune hardware met with an ill-fate, but the software ecosystem has managed to coexist happily with other such services thanks to the unlimited music plan paired with the ability to keep 10 DRM free songs per month. The Verge reports that Microsoft is set to revamp the Zune service, unveiling the replacement at E3 2012.
Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system may not be particularly popular, but it's nice to see that the company keeps trying to tweak the operating system to gain traction. Microsoft is set to make some changes to the marketplace for Windows Phone. One of the changes is that the Zune Desktop software will no longer allow the user to browse through apps and purchase them.
In the next generation of Microsoft's Windows operating system, you won't be signing into your Windows Live Mail account or your Windows Live Photo Gallery Account, or your Windows Live Messenger account. You'll be signing in, simply, to your Microsoft account. The "Live" branding is going away in an attempt to make all of Microsoft's products and services more tightly integrated. Ironically, that was the goal of the Live moniker in the first place, but it just isn't working. Windows Live Photo Gallery is just too long of a title.
Microsoft has seemingly hammered shut the casket on the Zune HD, despite the PMP's reluctance last week to stay dead. The news was confirmed in the official Windows Phone Blog Radio podcast, and the contentious support page that originally tipped the end of the hardware line - and which Microsoft subsequently said was posted "in error" - has been restored.
Microsoft has apparently flip-flopped on the Zune HD again, resurrecting its PMP hardware from the dead and claiming axing the media player lineup was never its intent. After first squashing rumors that the Zune hardware line had been killed, then promptly admitting that the Zune HD was, indeed, dead, Microsoft's support team now insists that "no official info has been released stating hardware is being discontinued."
Microsoft has officially confirmed that its Zune PMPs - including the Zune HD - have been axed, despite having denied yesterday that such a decision about the media players had been made. "We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy," Microsoft's Zune Player support page claims, "and that we will no longer be producing Zune players"
When Microsoft unveiled its Zune Pass price drop with a new splash page showing the service working for PCs, Windows Phones, and the Xbox, the company appeared to have pulled any reference to its Zune HD mp3 player. This quickly sparked reports that it was the end of the road for the device. But not so, says Microsoft, clarifying today that the whole thing was a publishing mistake.
Starting on the 3rd of October, those hoping for a lower price point for the Zune Pass unlimited music service will be jumping for joy as $14.99 turns into $9.99. With this price cut comes a few other cuts as well, including the option to download 10 songs per month that you can keep for your own forever. This price cut will take place on October 3rd, 2011, and will be available to Canadian Zune users as well. Will this cut finally convince you to jump in on the Zune revolution*?