Remember the Zune? Well, forget it

Microsoft’s foray into the music player arena hasn’t been what you might call wildly successful, and now it seems they’ve all but conceded defeat in market. The software giant recently announced it’s dropping all models of the player, save the high-def version that hasn’t even been released yet.

The Zune was supposed to be Microsoft’s challenge to the uber popularity of Apple’s iPod. But after a dismal launch and a lukewarm reception, the player never quite seemed to capture the fan base of its rival.

Now, consumers will have even fewer options. The new high definition edition of the player isn’t set to come out until mid-September, and that will be a week after Apple announces new models and service upgrades to the iPod.

Always a day late and a few dollars short, it seems.

The Zune HD, the first touch-screen version of Microsoft’s multimedia player, is supposed to go toe-to-toe with Apple’s iPod Touch and give Microsoft a stronger competitor against other high-end MP3 and video players.

Lots of luck with that, fellas.

The iPod seems to be firmly in the driver’s seat where MP3 players are concerned. Apple’s taken to upgrading it frequently and offering users well-integrated services and applications. Their strategy has driven the company’s profits and stock prices through the roof — even in a lousy economy.

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