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Former Microsoft exec says Apple killed the Zune before it even launched

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:25PM EST

A former Microsoft executive in charge of the company’s Zune division has admitted its music players were a mistake, GeekWire reported. “The portable music market is gone and it was already leaving when we started,” Robbie Bach said at an entrepreneurs’ event in Seattle last week. “We just weren’t brave enough,” he said, admitting that Microsoft had been targeting Apple “and there wasn’t a reason for somebody to say, oh, I have to go out and get [Zune] that thing.” Bach regrets that he never pushed the company’s Zune software to Microsoft’s Windows Mobile team to “produce the coolest music service for your phones ever.” The former executive also blamed the Zune’s failure on a music industry that was “hooked” on Apple. “The music industry just didn’t get it,” he said, adding that Microsoft’s Zune marketing message was also very confusing. “I don’t think people walked away saying, this is what Zune is and this is why it’s different. This is why I have to have it. We did some really artsy ads that appealed to a very small segment of the music space, and we didn’t captivate the broad segment of music listeners,” Bach concluded.