Summary: Despite financial backing from the Gates Foundation and in spite of executive connections with Microsoft (e.g. Microsoft’s COO), Walmart continues to de-emphasise Microsoft products, according to an eyewitness account; IronPython has problems similar to IronRuby’s
Well, the Zune has been virtually dead for a long time, but there was never any formal announcement about discontinuation. Moreover, some shops continues to stock and put this unpopular item on a shelf. When will an announcement finally be made to say that Zune is officially dead, just like “KIN”? It’s probably inevitable. Walmart also de-emphasised Xbox 360 earlier this year.
“…[I]t wouldn’t make sense to just drop it from stores in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio so I assume it’s gone”
–Ryan FarmerIn order to ensure that the Walmart situation is just a localised thing, we inquired further only to be told by Ryan Farmer that “they probably don’t want to make an issue of it [...] the one here no longer carries them… buying decisions take place on at least a regional level… that includes most stores within a few hundred miles of here… and it wouldn’t make sense to just drop it from stores in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio so I assume it’s gone” (Microsoft was responsible for making GNU/Linux disappear from Walmart's shelves).
When can Zune be added to our list of dead Microsoft products? It probably won’t be long. Last week we prematurely added IronRuby to it (still walking its last mile [1, 2]) and Microsoft’s IronPython too might be on its death throes based on this new report:
Microsoft’s open source IronRuby and IronPython projects are shrouded in a dubious future as the last of the full-time IronRuby developers departed the company last month.
Both the IronRuby and IronPython mailing lists are getting hit with questions as to the longevity of both projects, particularly from people looking to deploy the software for business use.
In the case of IronPython, Microsoft has demonstrated recent commitment to the project by sponsoring the first PyCon held in Australia back in June.
One concern for the developers is the source code hosting infrastructure is managed by Microsoft and some have suggested moving the code to a third-party repository effectively “forking” the projects.
Mono developer at Novell Jean-Baptiste Evain wrote a response to Schementi’s resignation notice on his own blog saying a fork is “indeed a possibility”, but IronRuby’s code is “far from being a simple”.