Microsoft is shutting down its Zune music service, marking the end of an era that never was

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Zune is over! If you want it.

Microsoft announced that the music service and butt of jokes since 2006 is quietly being put out to digital pasture.

Microsoft has announced that on November 15 "Zune services will be retired." That means that whatever Zune customers remain "will no longer be able to stream or download content to [their] device from the Zune music service." The service launched in 2006, and was meant to compete with Apple's iTunes and iPod products.

For what it's worth, Zune MP3 players will still work, though the BBC points out in an article grimly titled "Microsoft to kill Zune music service in November" that Microsoft stopped producing the hardware in 2011. As far as I'm concerned that makes it less of a killing and more of an exorcism of a spooky software ghost.


This isn't the end for music fans who are also deeply devoted Microsoft customers. The company will convert Zune Music Passes into Groove Music Passes (Groove is the company's new music platform).

If that last sentence didn't mean anything to you, then don't worry, it will continue to not mean anything. Instead, just remember all the good times you had playing with Zune in a Best Buy and/or Circuit City in the mid-2000s while waiting for someone, anyone to help you find what you were looking for.

Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at

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