Contrary to reports from last week, Microsoft says the company is "deeply committed" to the Zune. Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer had hinted that the company might be preparing to "throw in the towel" on their digital music player and instead focus on software, however Adam Sohn, head of the Zune marketing division, said, "We're not getting out of the hardware business at all."
There's no question that the Zune has encountered problems as it struggles to cut into the iPod's dominance. While the Zune marketing department would obviously want to sound optimistic about the future of their product and downplay the discontinuation talk, they have at least outlined some possible ways to expand the Zune's visibility, including delivering the Zune music service to the company's XBox 360 consoles.
Expansion would also mean developing software for non-Windows-based phones, and possible apps for competitors like Apple and Google. "We would be thinking about nailing experiences in our own platforms concurrently with, if not before we're thinking about going beyond that," said Sohn.
In other news, if you think nothing says "I love you" on Valentine's Day like a Zune, the Zune Originals store is offering free laser engraving and a Valentine's Collection of designs between January 15th to February 14th. Plus, the 120GB Zune will be offered in the color red to celebrate the Hallmark holiday.
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies