Summary: Sources close to Wal-Mart claim that Zune no longer sells so it is not put up on display, either
THE Zune is dying while it’s losing Microsoft a lot of money. The same person who told us that Xbox 360 had lost space on the shelves at Wal-Mart probably ought to know this because he is a former manager at the store. But Ryan tells us now that Wal-Mart has stopped stocking Zune, at least in stores he is aware of. “Microsoft was bribing Wal-Mart with sufficient rent to keep every store at a 10% net profit on Zune even if no Zune units were sold. Apple pays much less rent because iPod sells,” he wrote earlier today. Is this the beginning of the very end for Zune, whose sales are said to have declined by 54%? Microsoft is currently trying to salvage some crumbs and make use of the Zune in creating a new line of phones (which already disappoint [1, 2, 3]).
Now that "Courier" is dead (OpenBytes compares it to Zune) and "Slate" is dead too, what’s left for Microsoft in devices? Not much. GNU/Linux, on the other hand, makes spectacular appliances and that’s why Microsoft is running after Linux, trying to scrape some of the associated revenue using software patents. The iPod is also very bad in the sense that it is all-proprietary and DRM-laden, not to mention its expected intolerance of Ogg (like Steve Jobs). Trust Microsoft to find money even when its own products don’t sell. █
“We’ve been very focused on producing a DRM system. [...] We think DRM is important”