Tech news from around the web:

  • Microsoft is not planning to release any more of its Zune devices, Mashable reports.  The music and media player was launched in November 2006 to take on Apple’s iPod, however sales never came close to beating its rival device. Microsoft now plans to focus on Zune software for smartphones.

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Time to throw out the 78s, LPs, CDs, cassettes and even your digital downloads? With so many services offering to stream your favourite songs over the internet and store playlists now, there seems no need for a permanent record collection. After exploring cloud gaming last week, the Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section this week looks at cloud music services, ahead of the inevitable entry of Google and Apple. Read more

  • A Yahoo / Microsoft deal could still be struck if it involved “a boatload of money.” That was the word from Carol Bartz, Yahoo’s chief executive, who said her company is no longer in serious talks with Microsoft over a deal to combine their search efforts. But she acknowledged that negotiations between the two companies were continuing “a little bit”.
  • Time Warner is close to a decision to spin off all of its AOL internet business, according to three people in contact with the company. Although a decision has not yet been finalised, executives prefer spinning off the whole division rather than a part. Over the past year, Time Warner has considered spinning off either its advertising-driven “audience business” or its legacy dial-up internet business, they say.

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dead-parrot-sketch.jpgMatt Rosoff, writing on Cnet today, reports Microsoft’s increasingly irrelevant claim that the Zune is not dead – at least, not yet.

It’s irrelevant because, given the latest disastrous sales numbers, it’s now clear that the moment for the Zune device to make any sort of impact in the digital music business has passed. The battle over digital music is moving on. Read more

Zune 30A Happy New Year to all owners of Zune 30 MP3 players – you may finally be able to use them again.

Microsoft issued a support note on New Year’s Eve after hundreds if not thousands of users found their Zune’s freezing at the same time. Read more