RIP Zune 2006 – 2011. We Barely Knew Ye

rip zune

rip zune 2006 - 2011

No, really. We didn’t. Did it even get released over here? I honestly don’t know. In fact, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t even know what Zune was. If you don’t know, it was Microsoft’s response to the iPod but about 5 years too late.

As of today March 15th, Microsoft has announced that they will halt the developement of new zune devices which basically means that they’re still gonna make Zune devices, but the team of guys who sat around figuring out what to do to possibly make the next version appeal to the market have all been given the sack ( I presume. Who knows, maybe they got moved to another division designing x-box head sets or something).

So why did the zune marketplace never take off in the same way as itunes did? Well, the long and short of it is, apple got there first. I myself am far from an apple fan boy. I have yet to purchase my first iPod and don’t intend to for at least another month or 2, who knows, the iPod touch mini + might be released by then and I may just have to buy it. But there is no denying that when apple released the IPod way back in 2001 they revolutionized the music industry. By marketing the release of each new iPod version as the best thing since sliced bread, Apple have amassed a huge fan base who worship the ground that Steve Jobs walks upon in his turtleneck sweaters. The iPad 2 which only went on sale a few days ago has already got a waiting list of up to 3-4 weeks which proves the dedication and loyalty a huge amount of the population have to Jobs ( cause they’re willing to fork out close to a grand for something that will have an upgraded version released in about 6 months and then they’ll have to buy that too).

On the other hand, we have Zune. Released in 2006 as Microsoft’s answer to the iPod, Zune never managed to find its way into the media devices market to quite the same effect as it’s rival. Even with all the extra little handy features such as Wi-Fi and a built in radio tuner, the Zune barely managed to make over 3 million sales in it’s short lived time in the media player market. The major downfall for the Zune was the fact that they tried to make a mimic the iPod’s exclusivity to the itunes marketplace and set up the Zune marketplace. Starting off with only 2 million songs available, they were already at a disadvantage to apple who at the time had already surpassed 1.5 billion sales for their music store and 45 million video sales. From what I’ve read on Wikipedia, apple currently have over 14 million songs, 1 million podcasts, 300,000 apps and thousands of movies and tv shows etc available where as zune has significantly less at only 11 million songs available.

The other major weak point in the Zune sales figures is the fact that Zunes are only available for residence of the USA and Canada where as apple have almost total global availability. Yes there are still quite a few countries who have yet to gain access to the itunes market but when you look at the two side by side, Zune never stood a chance.

But now that they’ve stopped making new Zunes, what will become of the Zune market place? Well for starters it will continue to serve those who have purchased the Zunes in the past *Duh*. As for new devices, the Zune marketplace will now become the itunes for the windows phones which, if you haven’t heard, are teh awesomes!!!! (at least they look awesome and the one I spent 20 minutes messing about with before realising that my broke ass student budget wouldn’t stretch to the 400 quid it would cost to by it was one of the most enjoyable phones I’ve ever used… I need a hobby). But yeah, with the deal that Microsoft have recently made with Nokia to incorporate windows 7 mobile OS on all new Nokia smart phones, I’m sure the Zune marketplace will receive enough traffic to keep it going. Who knows, maybe in  a few years the Zune will return brand new and improved to a world over run by windows smart phones. Surely the Apple fanboys will get tired of buying updated model after updated model eventually right?… right?

Apple Fanboys... I mean Zombies

Apple Fanboys... I mean Zombies


Posted on 15/03/2011, in random and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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