back to article Zune exec bails ahead of player's upcoming HD launch

Microsoft’s Zune general marketing manager has quit the firm. Chris Stephenson is understood to be leaving the software giant to join Universal Music Group. According to the Wall Street Journal, Stephenson has turned his back on MS, whose Zune execs are undergoing a tough time following an appalling 54 per cent drop in sales …


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  1. Antony Smith

    Apple Event

    I wouldn't be surprised if the Apple Music event for early September will feature a new iPod Touch to stick the boot in on the Zune HD, what's the bet it'll have a higher spec and is cheaper/same price. It looks a decent product but I can't really see it going anywhere. As for Zune as a platform/service I'm sure developers will be queuing up, anyone remember Plays For Sure.

  2. Craig 12

    Going so zune?

    I don't need to be a highly paid exec to spot 3 immediate problems with the Zune: 1) existing plays for sure stuff doesn't work, 2) it was never released outside the US, 3) the forthcoming Zune HD should be the Zune Phone.

    The millions these companies spend on R&D is a waste...

  3. Ian 11

    Ah so that's why the Zune failed up until now.

    The Zune show was being run by an RIAA bod whose now going back into the fold.

    If anyone fails to grasp the way forward for the modern music industry and associated devices it's certainly not RIAA folk.

    This can only be a good thing for Microsoft if they actually get someone in who understands technology and how it relates to music and other digital content instead of a clueless RIAA puppet.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    The WOW starts NOW!

    As in WOW!?!? Are they sill doing the Zune?


    Seriously, did anyone buy one, I mean they wouldn't bother doing a HD version if no one bought the first one so people must have been buying it....right?

  5. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns


    I wonder if he's the guy who decided to call it the Zune HD, even though it isn't actually HD? If so, I'm not surprised he's leaving.

  6. Ray0x6

    this guy

    just look at him. he looks like a REALLY REALLY EVIL cross between WILLEM DAFOE and DEATH from Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.

  7. Andy 97

    too late

    Why ever did MS continue diversifying away from their core business into a market where they don't have the product to win.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    One door opens

    Universal Music's loss is Microsoft's gain, no I mean Microsoft's gain is, no, I mean...

  9. Jason DePriest

    Zune is alright

    I bought my wife a 120GB Zune and a raft of accessories for it about six months ago.

    While she doesn't like it as much as her Creative Zen, she does like it.

    The biggest limitation I've seen is that the desktop software to go along with the Zune is fairly weak. Creative's software gave you much more control over what was and was not sync'd.

    For the Zune, it seems, if it is in your library, it gets sync'd. Good thing I went for the 120GB version.

    There are also some strange quirks like cutting some songs off after 45 seconds or so.

    The Zune is a nice little gizmo. It is unfortunate that after all of this time, it *still* needs some polish.

    You've got to give Apple credit for that. If there is one thing they excel at, it is polish.

    At least I didn't have to install iTunes.

  10. Anonymous Coward


  11. Charles Manning
    Thumb Down

    @Jason DePriest

    Why would you buy her something that she doesn't like as much as her Zen?

    Those quirks you mention aren't lack of polish, they are complete fails.

    MS relies on people like you to keep in business. Maybe people are smartening up which is why thir business is dropping off.

  12. Franklin

    Just looked up while reading this...

    ...and told my girlfriend "Microsoft Zune sales are falling again."

    She said "What's a Zune?"

    Says it all, really.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: One door opens

    What you mean to say, AC, is that the average intelligence of both companies is raised.

  14. Goat Jam

    MS Music Biz takeover - Third times the charm!

    "following an appalling 54 per cent drop in sales of the music player."

    So they sold like 46 fewer?

    "sales of $85m"

    Say what? That seems a lot considering I have never actually seen anybody with one. Who is buying these things?

    "The Zune team is also rejigging how it punts the business, by shifting its focus from the device to the service Microsoft can offer. It is understood to be considering making Zune available on a range of devices, including its own Windows mobile phones."

    Sounds like a winner. They could call it something reassuring like, oh, I dunno, "Plays For Sure (tm)" to allay the punters fears about the DRM system restricting their access to songs.

    Oh, wait . . . .

    "According to WSJ, Stephenson’s final day at Microsoft is 4 September."

    Didn't Jim Alchin leave MS just as Windows Vista left the MS womb too?

  15. Ascylto
    Gates Horns

    @ Charles Manning (and Jason DePriest)

    Charles, don't have a go at someone who has had the courage to say he bought a Zune. Admittedly it was for another person.

    The only questions to be asked here are concerning his wife. Does he hate her THAT much? Was it his wife who demanded a Zune in order to humiliate her husband? Things don't look good there.

    All power to Jason for public admission of buying a Zune. Of course had he been in the UK he would have been put on some Register or other.

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