Is the Zune Dead or Alive?
When the Microsoft Zune was launched back in 2006 it was meant to serve as a competitor to Apple's line of iPods and provide users an alternative portable music player. Fast forward to 2011 and the iPods are still around, with the recent Apple event announcing more features and functionality for the Nano.
The Zune's future however is mired in some confusion. A day ago Ars Technica reported that the Zune was officially dead and new hardware was going to be discontinued. They provided a link to the official Zune website where Microsoft had made the announcement. The text apparently stated that while the Zune brand would remain in use but no new hardware would be provided.
However, the page has now been removed and there is a tweet from @ZuneSupport which pretty much states that there is no official word on the discontinuation of Zune devices. No explanation has been given for the release of the statement and Microsoft says the page was added in error to the Zune website.
While the Zune has never been a completely shoddy piece of tech, it has never had the cultural cache and cool factor required to go toe to toe with Apple's formidable lineup. We do not know what caused the about-turn at Microsoft, but seeing that the new Apple announcement did not bring about many great changes to the iPod field, perhaps Microsoft is planning one last tilt at the MP3 market.