Rumors are gaining steam that Microsoft will discontinue their Zune mp3 players. While the company has neither confirmed nor denied that the recently released Zune HD would be the last device created, Microsoft did release the following email statement:

“We have nothing to announce about another Zune device — but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via the Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America. We are thrilled by the consumer excitement for Zune across many new platforms, including Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.”

In other words, the Zune software will live on, but the actual hardware has been laid to rest. Not to state the obvious, but this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Microsoft premiered the Zune back in 2006 as its way to compete with Apple’s iPod. Can you guess how that’s turned out? Microsoft simply wasn’t able to create or attract the same interest in the Zune as its competitor. One could even argue that it’s a surprise that the Zune even lasted as long as it did.

We’ll keep you posted if more develops on this story, but for now, we bid the Zune farewell. You were the best mp3 player that no one ever used.

[via Bloomberg]