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  #1  
Old 03-14-2011, 11:29 PM
DaveMac-MS DaveMac-MS is offline
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Default Today's rumors...

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!

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.
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Last edited by DaveMac-MS; 03-15-2011 at 01:00 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2011, 11:36 PM
xxbraveguyxx xxbraveguyxx is offline
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Thanx @Dave clearing it up becoz twitter is going nuts on this right now lol "RIP Zune" is #4 TT worldwide right now.. _that shows you how much we love Zune :-)
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:37 PM
aimran aimran is offline
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Thank you Dave for the update and clarification. I'm just waiting to see what Microsoft has in store for tomorrow.
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  #4  
Old 03-14-2011, 11:40 PM
lip lip is offline
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Business development for Zune hardware : What does that mean? I'm assuming it doesn't mean accessories or such things as there isn't much...I always thought you were the go to guy for the software platform of zune on the Zune hardware...
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:42 PM
wthsound1 wthsound1 is offline
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Let's hope not. If I hear officially that Zune is dead I will personally buy a ticket and fly up to Microsoft Campus all the way from Florida and will protest with the Zune guy and a lot of other people.

Of course I kid Dave. No protesting but I certainly won't be happy and I'm sure millions of people won't be because I refuse to buy a Windows Phone until November when my AT&T contract ends.
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  #6  
Old 03-14-2011, 11:43 PM
DaveMac-MS DaveMac-MS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lip View Post
Business development for Zune hardware : What does that mean? I'm assuming it doesn't mean accessories or such things as there isn't much...I always thought you were the go to guy for the software platform of zune on the Zune hardware...
It means the apps/games on the device, sure... but also means any kind of inbound or outbound business negotiations, licensing, partnerships or "deals" - tied to the Zune hardware. It doesn't include Zune Marketplace media content (movies, tv, videos, etc...) and it doesn't mean the PC software, Xbox integration, etc...

Cheers, Dave.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:46 PM
DaveMac-MS DaveMac-MS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxbraveguyxx View Post
Thanx @Dave clearing it up becoz twitter is going nuts on this right now lol "RIP Zune" is #4 TT worldwide right now.. _that shows you how much we love Zune :-)
Well, to be clear - 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...

Cheers, Dave.
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2011, 11:51 PM
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^ lol...Dave-MS, I feel your pain. Ain't the media great?
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  #9  
Old 03-14-2011, 11:55 PM
Uberman5000 Uberman5000 is offline
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Thanks for calming the mania, Dave. You're a champ!
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  #10  
Old 03-15-2011, 12:06 AM
wthsound1 wthsound1 is offline
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I am not having a heart attack anymore. Phew!
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  #11  
Old 03-15-2011, 12:49 AM
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eddie.exe eddie.exe is offline
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I'm not disappointed anymore.




...but I still feel like an orphan.
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  #12  
Old 03-15-2011, 02:03 AM
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Strider_Aus Strider_Aus is offline
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Did you see Elvis in your brief foray into the Zune Netherworld ?

Good to hear from you

Seriosuly - Thanks for the post - and apologies +1 for adding to the unnecessary tweet/inbox traffic you probably didn't need when you woke up today (or yesterday whatever the US time zone!)

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  #13  
Old 03-15-2011, 02:45 AM
louser louser is offline
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Dave,

I just want to say thanks for clearing this up. All of us Zuners here in Iraq were freaking out a bit! Thanks a again.

Lou
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  #14  
Old 03-15-2011, 07:01 AM
nanohead nanohead is offline
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Thanks Dave. Although to be honest, the whole Zune thing doesn't feel like it has attention within the Redmond campus. The Zune "ecosystem" keeps shrinking, and it gets harder and harder to stay enthusiastic about the whole thing. Great device, but some of the decisions (not yours BTW) have made Zune HD ownership a difficult experience, regardless of how beautiful the HD hardware is.
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  #15  
Old 03-15-2011, 07:11 AM
potomac potomac is offline
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Default Windows Phone Zune

Is the Windows phone Zune experience identical to that of the Zune device?
I know the apps are different.
How about the music component?
Thanks.
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  #16  
Old 03-15-2011, 07:20 AM
snicholls snicholls is offline
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"I've promised - we continue to bring new apps and games to the platform. More of those are in the works, I promise you." Well the existing ones seem to have vanished when I came to reinstall the Zune HD software so whats up with that? AudioSurf tilt etc are nowhere I can see... its just filled with Windows Phone stuff that is no use to me.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snicholls View Post
"I've promised - we continue to bring new apps and games to the platform. More of those are in the works, I promise you." Well the existing ones seem to have vanished when I came to reinstall the Zune HD software so whats up with that? AudioSurf tilt etc are nowhere I can see... its just filled with Windows Phone stuff that is no use to me.
Did you click the "zune HD" section of the apps?
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  #18  
Old 03-15-2011, 08:30 AM
Mr Manager Mr Manager is offline
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I really hate to bite the hand that feeds, as it is so great to have someone from the company as part of this community. In fact, Dave, it was you who gave me a one month free trial that kicked off my Zune Pass membership (still going strong almost a year and a half later). However, I don't really see why everyone is so relieved by this. It is basically the same non-denial denial that Microsoft issued last night.

I absolutely get that you aren't able to say more, but I don't understand why Microsoft isn't saying more. This isn't some Paul Thurott/Mary Jo Foley rumor circulating among the die hards. This is being reported by every major tech news source. Friends of mine who have never even used a Zune are emailing me links to the story on CNN, Wired, and Ars Technica. Sure, there was some initial confusion about whether it was the entire service that was being discontinued or just the hardware, but within a few hours that was clarified and the story being widely reported now is about as unambiguous as it gets. The story from Microsoft (including -- sorry, but I have to say it -- Dave's post here on the boards) runs from ambiguous to completely opaque.

Zune is a great product. We've all had reason to feel frustrated that it wasn't marketed better, and thus has been saddled with a bad reputation in the tech world. That reputation is now pretty much shot. If Zune devices aren't being discontinued, Microsoft needs to say so today (actually, they needed to say that last night), clearly and definitively. I know Microsoft has an announcement coming today. I really hope it involves the future of Zune hardware. If they don't, then Zune hardware is effectively dead, whether Microsoft realizes it now or not.
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  #19  
Old 03-15-2011, 08:59 AM
RagingDaemon RagingDaemon is offline
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First Courier, then KIN and now Zune. What is next: Windows Phone 7?

Why should we bother picking up a WP7 device as replacement for Zune when it doesn't have all the features and niceties of a Zune HD?
We can't dock a WP7 device. WP7 devices can't output at 720p. Where is SmartDJ on WP7?

Maybe MSFT should ask Nokia to build some XpressMusic phone and brand it as a Zune device, that is the only way I could see for Zune hardware surviving.
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  #20  
Old 03-15-2011, 09:04 AM
Olley Olley is offline
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The tech sites are all just passing on a "guess" as news reported by Bloomberg. Blame the general lack of anything exciting going on in the tech world for the runaway fire that one little match caused.

My "guess" is that there is probably a prototype or two in the labs at microsoft of a "next generation" Zune PMP or media player series. They should be looking at how the current range of android PMPs fare in the market to see if there is a window where a new Zune device makes market sense. The price has to be perfect. Capabilities have to be perfect. No "hurry" to come out as Microsoft is a generational company and not a flash-in-the-pan. The original flash-based Zunes remained the same for a few years, with only minor memory/color updates and firmware updates as experience/feedback and the Zune Pass evolved.

Of course this strategy never earned more than token market share relative to Apple's stronghold. Archos has set record sales with its gen8 android players. There is clearly a demand out there, but no telling if MS can make a device with the desired capabilities at the right price. Cowon has taken a shot with their D3, but missed with too high a price and a crippled version of android on it. I would understand both scenarios being possible. MS could just give up, or they could take another shot. Do a Samsung and make a phoneless version of one of their Win7 Phones for sale as a PMP. Anything is possible, and from experience we know that what MS actually does doesn't have to make sense to us.

JMHO
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