Is The Zune Gone For Good?

Microsoft's attempt to dethrone the iPod, its music, movie and video game-playing hardware known as the Zune, may have just been put out to pasture. Bloomberg reports the Zune HD, introduced in 2009, will be the last of its kind.

Microsoft will reportedly continue to sell existing versions of the Zune, but won't introduce new models.

Bloomberg blames the demise of Zune hardware on "tepid demand," with Microsoft refocusing its efforts on supporting the Zune distribution platform—selling movies and music via digital distribution—on other platforms. Zune services are already available on Windows, Xbox Live and Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft offered the following statement about the Zune's fate.

"We have nothing to announce about another Zune device - but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America. 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."

Microsoft released a small amount of Zune HD-only games after adding the function to the platform, including variations on Project Gotham Racing and Audiosurf. The company has since moved its mobile game efforts to Windows Phone 7, which integrates with Xbox Live and features games based on the Fable franchise, Game Room and more.

Rest in peace, Zune, and so long to the social.

Microsoft Said to Stop Releasing Zune as Demand Ebbs [Bloomberg]