Tonight my worst fear was confirmed - http://www.zune.net/en-US/support/zuneplayers/supportzuneplayers.htm. OK so not my absolute worst fear but, still disappointing news. There's been a lot of speculation in the press that this was going to be the direction that Microsoft was taking, but I still hoped it wasn't true.
This weekend it all came to a head for me.....
I've had a first generation Zune since 2006. Yes my device is five years old. I'm not a gadget junkie, shoes are my drug of choice. In fact, aside from computers (I always want the latest and greatest) I tend to be a late adopter when it comes to all things electronic. My TV (definitely not a HD flat panel) and home entertainment system (surround sound but no blu-ray) are both 11 years old. I don't have cable TV. My Windows Phone is the first smartphone I've ever owned. Hell even my car is even a 2001. By the time I joined MySpace everyone had already migrated to Facebook. I couldn't figure out Google+ so I gave up. At least I own an Xbox 360 and a Kinect.
But I digress.....
Besides that unfortunate New Year's Eve 2008 incident, I haven't had any problems with my Zune. However, for the last six months or so I've been wanting to buy a Zune HD. My best friend has one and every time we hang out she has it with her. I also noticed a few years ago that Zune apps and games only work with HD models. So for a while now, whenever I thought about it I would visit the Zune website to check out different models. However, I kept putting off making a purchase for another day. I decided that this past Friday was going to be the day that I finally buy a new Zune HD and as I had in the past I returned to the Zune website. Only this time there was no link available to buy directly from the site. I thought it was kind of odd so checked out the Microsoft Store website and the only Zune player I saw there was a 16 GB model that was out of stock. Then I checked the internal company store and couldn't find one there either. Obviously something was going on that I couldn't buy a Zune from my own company. I started getting nervous thinking that I waited too long to make a purchase. I finally called the Microsoft Store in Oakbrook, IL and was able to purchase a 32 GB Zune HD there..
After all that effort I wanted some answers. I started an e-mail chain at work but no one was really sure about what was going on with Zune players. Finally someone sent a message containing the link above and that was that.. I was optimistic that now that Windows Phone 7.5 seems poised to really begin to take off that there would be a renewed interest by both Microsoft and consumers in the Zune player. I'm one of those people who prefers keeping my MP3 player and phone separate. I don't want to carry my phone in the gym. I just want to strap my Zune to my arm and work out. When I'm in my car or on a plane I want to listen to my Zune, not my phone.
Deep down I'm hoping the powers that be change their minds. Zune had an uphill battle from the beginning because we were so late to market. However, Zune owners are fiercely loyal. I've been hooked since day one and never wanted to own anything else.
Hey a girl can dream, right?
My two Zunes
If you are interested and while supplies last, you can purchase a Zune and accessories from Amazon.com and participating Walmart and Best Buy stores. If you live near a Microsoft Store you can scoop one up. If you don't live near a Microsoft Store, they will ship one to you.