Microsoft has officially confirmed that it will no longer be producing its Zune music players, though it will continue to offer support for the music devices.
Microsoft promises to still honor warranties for existing devices, as well as those players that may be purchased in the coming days. Despite this kill, there is no news of a Zune fire sale. The 16GB Zune HD, which we found to have a sophisticated design and a quick interface from our first impressions of the sleek device, is currently available for $159 at Walmart.
As Microsoft shifts its focus towards Windows Phone, the decision to discontinue the Zune comes as no surprise. The Zune made its debut in 2006, as Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iPod, though despite positive reviews among critics the MP3 player never really caught on with consumers.
As a result of less than impressive sales, Microsoft folded its Zune software into its Windows Phone platform, which launched last fall. That move initially brought on rumors of the Zune’s demise, though Microsoft kept manufacturing the MP3 player for another year.