In the Age of MP3 Players, the Microsoft Zune Was (Kinda) a Thing

In the tech world there has always been anti-Apple sentiment. Chief among its rivals is Microsoft and in 2009 it sought to challenge Apple’s dominance in the MP3 market. To dethrone the iPod, Microsoft created the Zune HD. It failed.

Forget if people still use MP3 players. Just remember they once had a separate device for music. Apple had the iPod. Microsoft had the Zune. The Zune was a clunker. It came in black, white, pink and brown. It was the new kid on the block that wanted to be cool, but couldn’t fit in. Zune HD was the product’s final model and was eventually discontinued in 2012. The software abandoned in 2015.

While Apple won, the Zune did allow consumers to share tunes with friends, subscribe to a music service (not unlike Spotify), and it could be synced wirelessly. All of these were characteristics the iPod lacked at the time. According to CNET, “The Zune HD’s brilliant OLED display, HD Radio tuner, long battery life, movie rentals, and subscription music integration finally give iPod expatriates something to shout about.” However, those shouts soon turned to whimpers. Microsoft tried to succeed the Zune HD with Windows Phone then Windows Mobile Devices, but brands like Samsung and Google had already entered the game.

The Zune HD ultimately failed, but it provides a chance to remember that short branch on the tree of the mobile device. You never know, maybe the Zune HD will be the Homo Neanderthalensis of its evolutionary tree. Once disregarded, it’s now known to have contributed significantly to the world’s dominant species. Cue Also Sprach Zarathustra.

  • BRANDS: Zune, Microsoft
  • WHY YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Bring up Zune today & you’re sure to get a good laugh

AUTHOR: Dan Nelsen
ORIGIN: Speaking Human Contributor

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