The Zune, Microsoft's signature paperweight, hasn't seen a significant upgrade, or really anything in the way of marketing or promotion, in almost two years . . . No, really, they still make the Zune. I know, right?
Microsoft bloodhound Mary Jo Foley writes at ZDNet about "Project Ventura," a music- and video-based service that seems to be exactly what Zune and the Zune Store is, but thankfully, not the Zune.
Ventura, from what my tipsters tell me, is the name of a set of services being developed by Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices (E&D) unit. These services are focused on music and video discovery and consumption.
Foley goes on to post a job ad from the Microsoft site seeking applicants for something called "Ventura Media Services" and listing details of a cryptic-sounding team of "music and video lovers."
It's not certain whether Microsoft will completely kill the ill-conceived/received mp3 player and all record of it, or somehow integrate the Ventura project into it. But Zune, by most accounts, is a failed brand, and it wouldn't be surprising to see the company bury it in an unmarked grave.
Foley is also unsure.
Does Ventura end up replacing the Zune music/video service? Does it end up complementing it in some way? Will Ventura end up built into future Xbox consoles, Windows Phones, and Windows PCs? I've still got a lot more questions than answers. In fact, the only answer I did get from Microsoft about the future of its Zune service is that the company is "committed to providing a great music and video experience" -- which may or may not be Zune -- across its various platforms.