Time called on Zune hardware

Having never succeeded in standing toe-to-toe with Apple’s mighty iPad series, reports are claiming that Microsoft is ready to call an end to its Zune hardware business.

However, it doesn’t mean the end of the Zune brand – that will continue to be leveraged as a mussy and movie sales platform and will live on in various guises across the company’s mobile, gaming and PC operations.

reports that despite a renewed marketing effort and the launch of a brand new iteration of the device in the US in 2009 Zune hardware has consistently failed to sell in anything like the numbers Microsoft envisaged.

It is believed, however, that the existing Zune HD will continue to be supplied to retail.

We have nothing to announce about another Zune device,” a noncommittal Microsoft statement read.

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.”

Last year Microsoft also scrapped its social-networked focused mobile device Kin.

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