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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 14, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Report: Microsoft kills Zune player

Microsoft is going to stop making Zune media players, ending a five-year effort to catch up to Apple’s iPod, according to a Bloomberg report.

The company will continue developing the Zune software that’s used as a media player on the Xbox and in Microsoft’s mobile phone platform.

Although the latest versions of the Zune drew respect for their hardware and software design, Microsoft seemed to have lost interest in promoting the gadgets as it turned its focus to phones.

Killing Zune hardware comes as Microsoft is reportedly building up a team in the same division to develop new media services allied with the Xbox.

A Microsoft spokesman provided the following statement:

“We’re absolutely committed to providing the best movies, music, and TV show experiences through Zune on Xbox, the PC, Windows Phone 7 and Zune devices. We’ll share more information about the evolution of the Zune entertainment service and Zune hardware as future plans develop.”

Here’s Bill Gates launching the Zune at Seattle’s Westlake Park, sporting a brown Zune coat.

Comments | Topics: Bill Gates, digital media, gadgets

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