Zune Is Not Dead: Dave McLauchlan’s Statement

Zune HD Hardware 560x243 Zune Is Not Dead: Dave McLauchlans Statement

We don’t usually post block quotes, but we feel this needs to be heard directly from the source. Dave McLauchlan, Senior Business Development Manager for Zune, stopped by our forums to give an official statement on the “Zune is dead” rumor that took the internet by storm. Here’s what he had to say…

Hey guys:

There’s been a TON of traffic about the Bloomberg article that posted today – plus I noticed they updated the article a few hours ago:

“We have nothing to announce about another Zune device — but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via the Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “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.”

I’ve had tweets, emails, PMs and phone calls. People offering condolences, checking in on me, etc… etc… Stop, stop, stop! smile Zune Is Not Dead: Dave McLauchlans Statement

The Bloomberg article is NOT an official statement from Microsoft (apart from the quote above). The headline is purportedly from a “person familiar with the matter” – which of course tells you nothing.

Here’s what you should know – ALL consumer electronics products have a lifespan, and the Zune HD is 18mo old. We were completely frank about this year’s Zune hardware being the WP7 phones, and we continue to both sell and fully support the Zune HD line of products. And as I’ve promised – we continue to bring new apps and games to the platform. More of those are in the works, I promise you.

I manage business development for Zune hardware, and I still have that job. Our PR folks released a statement today that included the text: “We’ll share more information about the evolution of the Zune entertainment service and Zune hardware as future plans develop.”

To be 100% clear – NO information about our future plans, no matter what the incarnation, has been shared. Until then treat with healthy skepticism anything you read. That’s probably a good general rule actually.

So for those who tweeted or emailed asking what I’m “going to do now” – I’ll be going to work tomorrow, working on Zune hardware bizdev. And when Microsoft announces news that is actually news, you’ll hear it from us directly, and I’ll be sure to pass it on immediately. Only then should you take it as gospel.

Cheers, Dave.

So there you have it. Zune is not dead. This year’s Zune hardware is Windows Phone 7, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see new devices down the line.

In a follow-up post, McLauchlan summarized it perfectly:

I’m not sure I’m able to “clear up” much, since I really can’t say a whole lot. What I can say is – until you get it from us, don’t read into ANYTHING published from “sources familiar with the matter”.

We haven’t said what comes next – or what doesn’t. It’s as simple as that. Until then, if you love your Zune keep loving it and if you don’t, then find something else to love. But don’t get your knickers in a twist on assumptions… smile Zune Is Not Dead: Dave McLauchlans Statement

Source: Anything But iPod Forums


Fiona on March 15, 2011 8:33 AM

For starters, Bloomberg has its source which Bloomberg deems reliable.

If we had to wait for Microsoft to officially sanction all news stories, we’d never get any news.

Microsoft’s statement essentially says the same thing. No more Zune models this year. Just Windows Phone 7.

It’s worth remembering that Microsoft used to deny that Windows Phone 7 was a “Zune phone”. It denied it was making one. Now Microsoft is trying to tell us that Windows Phone 7 is Zune.

Bizarre. No wonder Microsoft never gets many sales in mobile.

Podesta on March 15, 2011 8:47 AM

Dave McLauchlan did not say there will be future generations of the Zune hardware. You did. He was very evasive, but what can be gleaned from his remarks is that Microsoft will continue to support the Zunes it has sold. No statements from Microsoft say new models of the Zune will be manufactured.

James on March 15, 2011 9:05 AM

All I have to say is this: http://tumblr.com/x2w1s2bxp3

thebettertwin on March 15, 2011 9:15 AM

Where does he say that the Zune Hardware isnt dead? In fact he specifically doesnt say that.
“this year’s Zune hardware being the WP7 phones”
“we continue to both sell and fully support the Zune HD line of products”
Doesnt mean that there will not be another zune device.

tds101 on March 15, 2011 12:13 PM

I’m waiting, as I hope SOMETHING is in the pipeline.

VKBaldwin on March 15, 2011 12:52 PM

I am over Microsoft; their slide down a slippery slacker slope of customer support, now double talk? Seems like the approach is to play catch-up in an industry they dominated: Innovation. Even if the excellent Zune device is not ending…per se. I do not want to hear more about a product they are belatedly focusing on/with another retiring giant (who also stupidly rested on their laurels) for a cell phone?! Really? I still have the original Zune, a loyal customer because I believe in the product, the marketplace, etc. When/If this ends, I do not intend to purchase an Apple product, but no one but other Zune owners understands why that is and what the Zune marketplace provided. MSFT should.

kasrhp on March 15, 2011 2:17 PM

Yet another vague statement from Microsoft. Since when do they make Windows Phone hardware? How do HTC, Dell, Samsung, and more effect the hardware for their mp3 line, which they make and brand themselves?

This statement doesn’t mean or say anything about the Zune hardware. It is another sidestep statement by an employee of the company.

1)introduced a 16 month old device in Canada.
2)said they would “support our devices in North America.”
3) their long term strategy is “strength of the entire Zune ecosystem”

That doesn’t mean they will still have Zune hardware. I don’t think anyone believes the software is going anywhere. It’s the hardware in question. If they don’t have any plans for another Zune device by now, or at least some information for what’s already in place, then the device is dead.

Ed on March 15, 2011 2:51 PM

Microsoft needs to take quick and definite action and let everybody know that this news is inaccurate in order to save any prospect of a future hardware release. All people are seeing right now is hundreds of articles that say “The Zune is Dead!” All of these vague, non-committal responses are just fueling the fire.

Robbie on March 15, 2011 4:26 PM

Let’s see if MS has balls to back this sup by allowing the Zune Marketplace in Canada.
When this happens I will be the first to grab a ZuneHD.

daglesj on March 15, 2011 4:42 PM

This is just incompetence from top to bottom on Microsoft’s part.

How many times now have we seen this? Two or three at least. Dave keeps on going about “I can’t really talk about this…!” everytime.

Yeah, probably cos he has nothing to talk about. It probably is over and has been for some time.

It’s been a mess since 2006. Great hardware, not too bad an ecosystem and totally lousy project management.

Kendy Louwaars on March 15, 2011 6:08 PM

it is not up to Dave McLauchlan to say ZUNE is or is not “dead” ..it should speak for itsself. And coming out and claiming these things only puts more focus on “DEAD”.
If anybody would state that iPhone is dead, nobody would take it serious. The fact that this “zune dead” statement is discussed so much says enough ..

Arugg on March 15, 2011 6:51 PM

I love my Zune and I am dismayed, despite Mr. Devereux’s statement, that they seem to be moving away from Zune only devices. Maybe if they could release a Windows 7 Phone on Verizon (my service) and allow it have storage capacity befitting of a Zune Pass subscription, then I’ll feel a little less like Microsoft is throwing me under the bus.

Martin Sägmüller on March 15, 2011 7:53 PM

This “official” statement doesn’t prove or disapprove anything that’s been said – typical DaveMac, never telling anything at all, in as many (misleading) words as possible.

Jose on March 15, 2011 8:08 PM

I was about to buy a ZuneHD friday :( now I don’t know if to buy it or wait till September to see if they release something. And I just don’t like the WP7.

The DarkSide on March 15, 2011 8:37 PM

So, is the Zune half full, or is it half empty? I guess you’ll wait another 6 months before you get even a hint at where the truth lies. Deceptive, as always. Steve Jobs may be an azzhole, but he’s straight to the point compared to this.

kasrhp on March 15, 2011 8:57 PM

DS, I couldn’t agree more. Microsoft is digging Zune’s own grave right about now. If it isn’t dead, it will be soon. Anyone planning on buying a Zune now?

Jay on March 15, 2011 11:05 PM

@kasrhp — I just bought my 2nd one today :)

Dood on March 15, 2011 11:47 PM

Definitely, a company the size of Microsoft couldn’t possibly ever have the resources to work on a new MP3 player at the same time they played catch up an reskinned an existing OS to put on phones and got OEM’s to release GSM phones with that software on it.

Apple, a much smaller company can release ipads, iphones, ipods, macbooks, AND iOS updates on a yearly basis.

I smell BS. If it walks like a duck, quacks likes a duck, it’s a duck.

The ZuneHD was dead the moment WP7 with no app store support for the ZuneHD was announced.

William Devereux on March 16, 2011 1:42 AM

@Jose I’d still recommend getting a Zune HD. As Dave McLauchlan said, Windows Phone 7 is this year’s Zune hardware. But the Zune HD is still a great device. In fact, a good friend of mine purchased a Zune HD a few weeks ago. The software and services aren’t going anywhere, so go ahead and enjoy it. :)

Deezul on March 16, 2011 1:47 AM

So now all you have to do is ask a company a question and if they deny it, it means no? Go ask Apple if they are designing an iPad 3, and they will say they’re aren’t. CONFIRMED, no iPad 3.

JudaZ on March 16, 2011 7:05 AM

Well if Zunes new hardware and platform is WP7 … Zune is as good as dead. WP7 is joke. iOs is bad, WP7 is worse

Ken on March 16, 2011 12:18 PM

Why do all these companies think everything HAS to be in one device? I do not want a phone that plays my music and takes pictures etc.. I have a phone to make and take calls, I have a MP3 player to listen to music and maybe play a game now and then, I have an e-reader. One device doesn’t have to be everything to everyone all the time. I can only hope and pray that this statement about the Zune not being dead is true, because it’ll be a cold day in …. before I sell my soul to the devil to listen to music.

Martin Sägmüller on March 16, 2011 2:30 PM

William Devereux – “Windows Phone 7 is this year’s Zune hardware” – you do know the difference between a phone you have to pay monthly fees for and an MP3 player? DaveMac’s spin doctoring statements are quite the BS. A phone is not the same as an MP3 player. But you never get a straight answer from these marketing guys anyways.

Big Bear on March 16, 2011 3:01 PM

In 2009 the Zune team worked on the Zune HD.
In 2010 the Zune team worked on WP7
In 2011 the Zune team will work on something else, they can’t tell us yet.

Dave just wanted to refute the rumors about the Zune hardware being dead. That’s it. There seems to be one team to do everything portable, so they can’t do both Zune and WP7, so lets just wait and see.

As they said, if you can’t wait or are fed up, buy something else. Pretty uncompetitive, I know, but it is what it is.

kasrhp on March 16, 2011 6:51 PM

I agree completely. How does the Zune hardware (mp3 player) affect the WP7 world? Considering most WP7 hardware isn’t completely new, more refreshes than anything, it doesn’t make sense that WP7 is “this year’s hardware.” Corporate BS at it’s finest, and all this does is cater to the Zune fan base to give them hope. It’s dead, and Bloomberg’s source was right.

AnythingbutZune on March 16, 2011 8:56 PM

Wow. Look at all the haters.
Should change the name of this place to anythingbutzune.com

kasrhp on March 17, 2011 4:11 AM

I don’t think the hate is directed at Zune. your name and comment is a little misplaced. The frustration is aimed squarely at Microsoft, and their PR debacle. They are handling this extremely poorly. All they need to do is make an official statement that the Zune hardware lives or dies, and these issues would be squashed. Dave’s statement does nothing to calm the storm. I actually think this much action is a testament to how good the Zune line is, rather than being “haters.”

bigpalooka on March 18, 2011 2:03 AM

Before abandoning the Zune, PLEASE fix the software:
- scroll the names of the songs, albums, playlists, etc so we can read long names.
- allow an alphabet selector in playlists so we don’t have to flick down scores of playlists.
- allow categorization of movies, and scrolling of their names too.
Once this is done, you’ll be abandoning the best mp3 player out there.

The DarkSide on March 18, 2011 2:12 AM

Were all Zune owners or former owners,…we have a RIGHT to be pissed at MS. Talk crap all some may, it doesn’t change how MS lies to us all. Deceit is not the way to go – and Apple my deny things when asked, but a month or 2 down the road you have a 100% solid answer. With Microsoft you still get deception or straight out lies!!!

Nathan on March 18, 2011 7:46 AM

Bloomberg has its own sources, which are “not always” reliable.

Few years ago, Bloomberg spread news about the death of the King of a country in South East Asia. No need to say how the news shackled the whole country.

The stock market that day immediately fell down 100-200 points, and spring back to it previous state the day after when it was confirmed that such news was not true at all.

brickdungeon on March 18, 2011 9:52 AM

I owned my Zune HD for very long, but I love it, and if there is no “Zune HD2″, then when my Zune dies on me I’ll probably buy an Android PMP or go back to using Sansa.

Nada Lemming on March 19, 2011 12:39 AM

You said it brickdungeon.

mysteriousknome on March 20, 2011 4:07 AM

Guys please remember that the article is a rumor and only a rumor(only the statement portion is true) also please check the zune insider podcast. That podcast is run by Jessica Zahn and Matt Akers who are program manager on zune software client and program manager for zune and they have squashed this rumor twice and reported that the article is unsourced. I won’t deny that the statement made in the article is pretty shady on microsoft’s part but still that doesn’t mean they dont have anything in the works. I personally am hoping for either firmware 5.0 or HD2 I have faith that they will act when the time is right. I have been faithful to zune ever since first gen. and will continue to be until an OFFICIAL (that means by microsoft or on the insider podcast) announcement is made that zune is no more. Well that is my rant on that.

confispect on March 20, 2011 6:44 AM


I wonder what the next one will look like.

Zeph on March 22, 2011 2:23 AM

Eh, my Zune does the job perfect for me right now and if it doesn’t change I’ll be fine with that.

Sparks on March 24, 2011 6:36 AM

I have no dog in the Zune fight. I’ve played with a Zune HD at the electronics store…seems like a nice MP3 player.

But that blather by the Microsoft guy is classic defensive PR nonsense. Especially after that sorry-excuse-for-a-response, I think you have to be majestically naive to believe that Microsoft is bringing out any more Zune-dedicated hardware.

When you have an active business, you are happy to share “tidbits” with your enthusiastic supporters (“Yes, we’re working on something…”). When your business is dying you emphasize things like “continuing to sell”, “support”, and the best of all…”apps and games”!

The nail in the coffin is “We’ll share more information about the evolution of the Zune entertainment service and Zune hardware as future plans develop.”–in other words, future plans are not currently well-developed.

Yes, every company protects its blockbuster secrets…but for Microsoft to be so cagey about the future of something as mundane as an MP3 player (or phone-like thing….whatever it becomes) is not a good sign for current enthusiasts…

Al on March 25, 2011 12:51 AM

Just checked again, you cannot buy a Zune in Canada via Zune Originals. I don’t know where this information keeps coming from but it is not possible.

swirlibra on April 8, 2011 10:59 AM

I don’t believe thar Zune isn’t dead. Apps and games for that device comes out very little and their library of them is tiny. Until I hear a Zune 3D, I will conclude its dead.

William Devereux on April 8, 2011 9:49 PM

While I haven’t actually looked into it, I’d actually argue that the pace of app and game releases has remained roughly the same since the Zune HD was released.

lkmoody on May 27, 2011 2:17 PM

I have had a Zune for years and love the marketplace. My problem is that I need to upgrade to a newer mp3 player and I am affraid I might be forced to buy a different brand that will not work with the marketplace.

Will on June 17, 2011 6:56 AM

@lkmoody- Why upgrade to new? I have an 80gbV2 (Still avalible in Zune Oringinals last I checked by the way) and it serves me beautifully. We all know MS couldn’t sell water to a dehydrated man…in the desert….on fire. Zuners let the hardware and the ecosystem stand by themselves, and it stands well- hopefully even better in the future.

zunehdkid on July 8, 2011 5:52 AM

I read the comment to this article and im just downright confused. I guess I can only hope Zune isnt dead. Last week, however, I discovered Zune came out with 9 more apps in one release including an extremely useful notepad app- WOW!

Comments Closed. Please continue the discussion in the forums