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MS kills, un-kills Zune HD media player

Posts death sentence, pulls it, denies it

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So why doesn't Microsoft just come out and say Zune - its iPod wannable MP3 player - is dead?

Actually, earlier this week it did. It put up a note on the Zune support site re-iterating past comments that its focus is now on Windows Phone 7 - which contains a Zune section for media playback. It also said it will no longer be making Zune players, but that anyone who buys one will be supported through the lifetime of its warranty.

And then it yanked that message.

Yesterday, it said the note had been posted in error. In a Tweet from @ZuneSupport, MS said: "No official info has been released stating hardware is being discontinued."

Maybe, but since the original claim that Zune has been killed off appeared on the official website, that kind of puts the seal on it, in our view.

Zune was launched in the US in 2006, and though MS promised to bring the player out over here, it never did. The player went through several incarnations, finally arriving at the Zune HD, in 2009, which is the version available, two years on, today - if you can find it anywhere.

Back in March 2011, moles said MS had quietly called time on the device - a reasonable move given declining media player sales, even iPods, alongside rising smartphone shipments and MS' desire to drive demand for its WinPho mobile OS.

So come on, Microsoft. It's time to draw a line under Zune. ®

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