Microsoft pulls plug on Zune players

Microsoft has said it will pull the plug on its unpopular Zune digital media player.

Microsoft pulls plug on Zune players

While the hardware will no longer be produced, Microsoft will continue offering music and video using the same software platform for its Xbox game console and Windows phones.

The decision not to further develop the handheld device effectively ends Microsoft’s five-year bid to unseat Apple’s iPod, which revolutionised the portable music market in 2001.

“We have nothing to announce about another Zune device,” a Microsoft spokesman said in an emailed response to questions about the Zune following reports of the media playar’s demise.

“Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms, and we remain committed to providing a great music and video experience with the Zune service.”

The Zune devices, which have a small but devoted fan base, play music and video downloaded via the Zune Marketplace, Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iTunes.

Many technology experts regard the Zune as a superior product to Apple’s iPod, but analysts agree that it came five years too late to tackle Apple’s commanding lead in the music market.

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