Background and Identification
Originally released in 2006, Zune is a line of digital media products marketed by Microsoft. The line includes portable media players, digital media player software for Windows PCs, the “Zune Music Pass” (a music subscription service), music and video streaming services for the Xbox 360 game console via the Zune Software, music, TV and movie sales, and desktop sync software for Windows Phone.
The first-generation of Zune devices were developed by Microsoft in collaboration with Toshiba and was closely modeled after the Gigabeat S, a portable media player by Toshiba. A peculiar event took place on December 31st, 2008 at midnight, when all first generation Zune 30 models froze at once. Microsoft later stated that the problem was due the way the internal clock driver, written by Freescale, handled a leap year. The issue was fixed automatically through the device 24 hours later.
The second generation of Zune devices included the Zune 4, 8, and 8 devices produced by Flextronics. These devices introduced the touch-sensitive Zune Pad which was shaped as a square with rounded edges.
Released in 2008, the third generation of Zune devices featured Microsoft XNA and included a 120 GB model—one of the largest storage capacities ever released for a portable media player.
The fourth generation of Zune devices were released on the same day as the Zune 4.0 software to support the Zune HD. Now, Zune Pass subscribers could stream to tracks through a computer’s web browser.
Then, on March 15th, 2011, Microsoft announced the discontinuation of Zune devices, although existing models would remain on sale.