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Posted at 8:55 AM ET, 02/17/2011

Are Zune's days numbered?

By Hayley Tsukayama

Rumors that Microsoft was nixing the Zune player and its services caught fire this week after respected Windows blogger Paul Thurrott casually mentioned that he thought the Zune brand might be on its way out, as it was "conspicuously absent" from the list of Microsoft and Nokia brands.

Not so, said Microsoft. According to Zune's Facebook page, Zune fans have nothing to worry about:

Zune Nation, let us give it to you straight: We're not 'killing' any of the Zune services/features in any way. Microsoft remains committed to providing a great music and video experience from Zune on platforms such as Xbox LIVE, Windows-based PCs, Zune devices and Windows Phone 7, as well as integration with Bing and MSN. Thanks for being a part of this community, we appreciate each an every one of you! \m/ \m/

But Thurrott isn't convinced. After all, he says, he never said that Zune services were disappearing, only the brand. And, he noted, Microsoft did not deny the Zune's brand was going away. He wrote, that if you "re-read that Microsoft 'denial' what you'll see is that they do not deny what I'm really saying at all. That statement very conspicuously and decidedly ignores that issue."

Thurrott says his best guess -- stressing, by the way, that it's only a guess -- is that the Zune brand will be gone by the time Windows 8 rolls out, and its services will be absorbed into another Microsoft brand, such as Windows Live.

Over at ZDNet, Mary-Jo Foley broke down the reasons she thinks the Zune is being "Kinned" and put forth the theory that its services would find a better fit under the Xbox brand.

Zune fans: If all this is true, where would you like to see Zune's services go?

By Hayley Tsukayama  | February 17, 2011; 8:55 AM ET
Categories:  Gadgets, Music, Windows  
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What's a Zune? Some sort of iPod?

Posted by: ThomasGLayton | February 17, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

We all know that no matter where the services land, and whatever branding they may apply to it, that Zune music players will go on forever as Microsoft promised they would, just like their other music effort, playsforsure. Right? It's not like they would ever abandon something quickly at all. That's what deep pockets are about, right?

Posted by: leicaman | February 17, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

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