In March of 2011, Microsoft effectively executed the Zune, its unpopular iPod competitor, by announcing that it would no longer be releasing new versions of the Zune hardware due to “tepid demand.” As far as most people were concerned, this was the end of the Zune, and it quickly faded into the myths and legends of a society that had already moved on to bigger and better things (made by Apple).
Against all odds, though, the Zune desperately clung to what little life it had left, surviving on the memory of the people who convinced themselves they liked it. Sure, nobody was making new Zunes, but Microsoft was still taking care of the existing owners. They could still stream and download music for a flat fee, which was the Zune’s big selling point in an age before we had watches (made by Apple) that could do way cooler stuff than that. These brave Zune owners would live by the Zune and die by the Zune, no matter what mass-market bullshit the sheeple were being fed from Cupertino. Truly, the brave souls who continued using Zunes long after they had proven to be stupid and useless are some of the world’s greatest heroes.
The thing about heroes, though, is that—much like their beloved mp3 players that are actually garbage—they all must someday fade away. Today is that day, as Billboard is reporting that Microsoft has officially shut down all Zune-related services, meaning the few devices that still function can no longer be used to stream and download music. They can still be used as generic, featureless mp3 players, but that doesn’t make them any better than the average rock or Dell DJ.
Some say the Zune died back in 2011. Some say it never really died, and it lives on in the hearts of the true believers. The more accurate answer, though, is that it died today. Not with a bang, but with whatever sound a boring mp3 player that can’t handle Candy Crush makes. R.I.P., Zune. You will be missed by no one, because everyone thought you were already dead.