It’s been a long time in the making, but the Zune player is no more.  Ars Technica reports:

With the Zune gone, Microsoft has lost the potential to extend the Windows Phone platform to devices where consumers wouldn’t face recurring costs or contracts, which Apple has in the iPod touch. Microsoft could still extend its mobile platform to non-phones, though the Windows Phone branding will make that a bit difficult.

Microsoft’s true hardware success stories are few and far between.  The Xbox 360 launched as an extreme loss leader and took years to turn a profit (and don’t even mention that billion dollar “issue” the system suffered).  They do pretty good with mice, I suppose.

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