In a note on its website, Microsoft has announced that it will no longer be producing its Zune portable media players but will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices.

The decision is not surprising since Microsoft has not updated the Zune hardware since September 2009 when it introduced the Zune HD.

While the hardware is being discontinued, Zune branded media playback software will continue to be developed for Windows Phone devices. These phones sync with the Zune PC software and are compatible with Zune Pass.

First released in November 2006, the Zune was Microsoft's answer to the Apple iPod. Introduced with great fanfare, the device failed to take much consumer interest and by early 2009 had just 2% of the market for portable media players.

The Zune was sold in Canada for a brief period of time. Microsoft began selling the device in this country beginning in June 2008 but by August of 2009, most Canadian stores had stop selling them.

Discuss the Zune device in Digital Home's Portable Electronics forum .