Microsoft To Stop Making New Versions Of Zune Player

Microsoft is planning to pull the plug on its Zune music and video player owing to a dwindling demand for the product, thanks largely to the dominance of Apple's iPod in that market.

A person familiar with the Windows maker's plans has told Bloomberg that the company is focusing on integrating Zune's music player and online store software on mobile phones running on Windows Phone operating system.

Microsoft's Zune music players, which were launched back in 2006, failed to grow beyond a certain point and have seen a fall in demand from consumers who only have eyes for Apple's iPod line of media devices. As of last year, Apple held a firm 77 per cent share of the market with Zune failing even to secure a place in the top five.

Zune's software not only lets you play media files, it also comes with an online music store, movie catalogue and even the ability to stream unlimited music.

Microsoft's decision will see no more new Zune devices being launched, but the company will continue to sell existing Zune devices, the source said.

“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,” the company said in a statement.