Lost in the meda frenzy over the passing of Steve Jobs was Microsoft killing off the Zune HD. No, that was a mistake its alive. Yes, it is dead. Nope, that was another error. Apparently, at least as of this writing, the Zune HD is in fact discontinued.
“We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players.”
Bear in mind that this is found on the Microsoft's Zune support page. You can find a big BUY NOW button at the entry for the Zune HD. Following that link takes one to the American retailer Wal-Mart. The Zune UK web site has nothing on offer, nor does Amazon. Further complicating matters is that whoever runs the Twitter account for Zune support seems to have missed the memo as well.
The story here is not so much that the Zune HD has been discontinued, its not surprising as sales have been lackluster at best and Microsoft wants to steer users to Windows Phones as their all in one media consumption device, but that the announcement was so badly handled. It is quite obvious that the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing here. The timing was also interesting in that the original announcement was made the same day that Apple announced the iPhone 4S. That was a good move on Microsoft's part as the ending of the Zune HD was pretty much lost in the iPhone coverage. However, the “red light, green light” of the days after not only ruined that, but given that journalists were looking for something to move on from the death of Mr. Jobs, Microsoft's indecision has become more newsworthy with each change in direction.