Microsoft Zune Officially Dead

In a whimper, Microsoft said it is laying to rest its Zune brand, the one-time attempt to compete with Apple’s iPod.

Microsoft made some big announcements at the E3 games conference in Los Angeles, but it also made a small one.

Microsoft spokeswoman Melissa Stewart told the New York Times that Zune is going away so that the company can concentrate on its much more popular Xbox video game console.

In fact, the conference included the announcement of Xbox Music, a new music service that will run on the Xbox console and Windows 8.

Zune was introduced in 2006 as a direct competitor to the iPod portable media player. It lived on as a music and video service for the Xbox and Windows Phone operating system, but never really caught on.