Oh Zune, we barely knew thee.
Five years ago Microsoft made the decision to invest a lot of time and creative effort to design a product that was to rival Apple’s iPod. The Zune was supposed to be the alternative for the non-conformists who didn’t want to contribute their $200 to Steve Jobs’ plan to take over the world.
Today, Microsoft has announced they will stop production of future Zune devices in North America. The product that was supposed to save us from the culture-defining Apple machine is being laid to rest. All hope is now lost.
The Zune has been ridiculed since it’s arrival in 2006 when Microsoft declared digital war on Apple. CEO Steve Ballmer made the bold statement that “we can beat [Apple], but it won’t be easy.”
Roughly five years later the iPod continues to dominate 77 percent of the market, while the Zune fails to crack the top 5 best selling mp3 players. This is baffling because for the life of me I can’t name one other mp3 player, let alone four.
Microsoft has not officially given up on the Zune, but in a statement to Bloomberg Microsoft said that they are shifting focus to creating smart phones that support the Zune technology.
“We are thrilled by the consumer excitement for Zune across many new platforms, including Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.”
In related news they are also excited to announce that the Zune HD has recently been released in Canada to much fanfare.
The Zune was supposed to be a cheaper and more accessible alternative to the iPod, but due to the fact the device is only compatible with the Microsoft operating system it never had the opportunity to catch on the with the Apple-loving public. And as MacBooks have continued to pop up in every office, coffee shop and college dorm, the market for a device the solely operates on Windows computers is quickly vanishing.
In addition the Zune wasn’t remotely successful with inventing culture from technology. For example, when the iPod was released, the white ear-bud headphones were basically a fashion accessory. When the Zune was released it quickly became nothing more than a punchline.
However after hearing the news, that the Zune we were too lazy to give away is officially off the market. We at Death And Taxes are now officially rescinded our offer to give away our brand new, unopened Zune HD for free.
Now I’m planning on framing it, and passing it down through generations of my family, as a pointless heirloom. I’ll convince the foolish youngins’ that in time it’ll have unmeasurable worth, and it will be passed down to my great great grandchildren.
Then one day when my family is short on money (which if they are anything like me, they probably will be), they’ll take the mint condition Zune to a pawn shop or on “Antiques Roadshow” where they will find out that it’s completely worthless.
The Zune may be on it’s last legs, but hopefully the joke will never die.