Microsoft, you've really got to let us in on these kinds of things. We knew when the Zune was announced that the writing was on the wall for Portable Media Center. After a couple of years of flops running the XP-esque embedded OS, we knew it wasn't long for this world. And it was especially clear that PMC was the media device OS which seemed to provide the foundation for the Zune; then all those next-gen PMC devices stopped trickling out. In fact, you could say we're still haunted by the memory of the Gigabeat S, the one truly amazing PMC device that literally provided the Zune hardware framework -- but all that's legacy now. Finally officially confirmed by a Microsoft employee, the story goes that last year Redmond sent out a letter to hardware partners that was heretofore unbeknownst to us, the gist being PMC 2.0 is the last version you're gonna see, so wrap up your devices now, we're not supporting it anymore. We'll definitely miss you PMC, from your syncing with our Media Center PCs, to the wacky variety of devices you rode in on. We're still a little unsure of your successor, but perhaps with time that little brown wireless player will actually pull it together and do you proud.

Check out the Portable Media Center devices of a bygone age.

[Thanks Eliot, via Mavromatic]

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Microsoft Portable Media Center, RIP: 2004 - 2006