But however good a product may be initially, better or more user-oriented stuff could easily overtake it in popularity, demand and sales. It is all about managing the pressing needs users encounter. Any product that fails here, particularly in comparison to other competing products, will sooner or later get extinct. Microsoft’s Zune media players are a case in point.
Microsoft has officially stopped production of the Zune media players. Zune was launched to rival the Apple iPod. But it never bothered iPod’s sales and simply hasn’t been as popular thanks probably to Apple having launched its model first. When Microsoft arrived with its Zune, consumers had already got used to the iPod and new innovations such as smartphones were not too far away.
Microsoft had already reported its intentions of using the Windows Phone platforms and Xbox Live for promoting its video and music content delivery platform, so the news hasn’t surprised many. Mobile phones running the Windows Phone operating system and the Xbox 360 console will be loaded with Zune software.
This is probably a sensible move by Microsoft as the demand for standalone digital music players has been shrinking since new technological innovations such as tablets and smartphones that offer a great listening and music downloads experience have arrived. Apple has its smartphones, the iPhone, and media tablet, the iPad that have been hugely successful. But even Apple (whose iPod was a runaway success), has been experiencing shrinking demand for iPod players.
Microsoft has been quick to diffuse any panic from current Zune users. A statement from it claimed that customer care towards Zune users and buyers of its final models will continue to be top-notch. The Zune media player will continue to be compatible with Zune services, even as Zune is being added to mobile phones running the Windows Phone operating system. Warranties of Zune media players already in use and those purchased recently will continue to be upheld.
The final death blow for Zune media players was sounded when Apple launched the iPhone smartphone in 2007. It offered all the attractive features of a smartphone along with enriching audio and video capabilities for a reasonably attractive price in India. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that a device offering only media playing capabilities cannot hold on, how ever advanced it may be.