Microsoft says Zune isn't exactly dead, that it doesn't want to go in the cart

Microsoft sort-of says Zune isn't dead, doesn't want to go in the cart

Microsoft is still offering neither a firm confirmation nor a denial of yesterday's Bloomberg report citing those "familiar with the decision" that Zune-specific hardware, a la the Zune HD, is dead. Now, much like last time, folks from the Zune team are rebutting those claims -- sort of. Dave McLauchlan, Senior Business Development Manager for Zune, made a long statement in the anythingbutipod forums, but he stopped well short of saying that the Zune hardware platform is alive and kicking. Here's a taste:

ALL consumer electronics products have a lifespan, and the Zune HD is 18mo old. We were completely frank about this year's Zune hardware being the WP7 phones, and we continue to both sell and fully support the Zune HD line of products. And as I've promised – we continue to bring new apps and games to the platform. More of those are in the works, I promise you.

The big question is whether that 18 month old Zune HD will ever get a phone-free replacement. Whether it's WP7 or nothing from here. That is what Zune fans want to know, and as of now they still don't.

[Thanks, Ed]