Windows 8 to Remove Zune Support

There’s been a lot of hype regarding Microsoft’s new Metro interface in Windows 8, but many people might be disappointed as the applications they know and love in previous versions of Windows might just go *poof* in Windows 8. While most Windows software that worked in previous versions will work in Windows 8, Microsoft has somehow decided to get rid of its Zune application. Many people are upset, but even more people are indifferent, particularly because practically no one these days uses the Zune device or its software. Apple dominated that market already with its iPod, and I doubt that Microsoft could have had a fighting chance.

Why Does Microsoft Remove Zune?

“Awesome” was an understatement, if anything, when describing the Zune media player device. Sure, the application it used to sync with your PC was some bloated proprietary voodoo, but the device itself was a very high-end, classy, and well-built media player. Still, no one paid attention to it. It’s like you would come up with a cure for cancer and everyone would just shrug their shoulders and say, “Well, we have chemo already. Why do we need a cure?”

As illogical as it sounds, the situation becomes more logical if you look at it this way: Apple’s iPod was already hitting it big when Microsoft launched the Zune. Since everyone had one, nobody thought twice before purchasing one. No one said, “Gee, what if there’s another media device that would match my tastes and be a bit harder to break?” And, of course, you can add “poor marketing” to the list of reasons the device didn’t take off. Seriously, ask a neighbor with an iPod if they know what the Zune is.

The real deal-blower, though, was the iPod touch. Suddenly, the old “button” interface found in the Zune became less and less attractive. Microsoft was losing the race rather quickly, and Apple took the torch with its ingenuity. The following image represents the last we’ll see of the Zune:


The result: Microsoft pulled the plug on the Zune device. It’s a shame, really, but MS wasn’t cutting it with this device. Now, the company is making the next logical move in phasing out the device: It’s removing Zune software support in its next version of Windows.
Windows 8 to Remove Zune Support

What Happens to My Zune Pass?

Just so you know, Microsoft is rather clumsy, but it’s not so dumb as to completely eliminate support for people who currently use the Zune. They’re going to keep the Zune Pass, but merge it with the XBox Live Music Service. This is only a temporary measure, before it’s replaced entirely with an interface that works much like Spotify.

Now, it seems like Microsoft is going to try to redeem itself with the new Windows 8 OS – for desktops, tablets, and laptops – and Windows 8 Phone operating systems, possibly making a comeback after being full of so much fail these past years. Hopefully, the company will use decent marketing and level the playing field with Apple. We’re ready to see some head-to-head competition like back in the early 2000s.

While that’s all still happening, feel free to leave a comment or have a moment of silence to honor the death of such a splendid media player.

Miguel Leiva-Gomez
Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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