Microsoft's less-than-popular Zune MP3 players are dying in droves all across the world, according to several reports on the Internet and forum complaints. The 30GB Zune players stop, reboot themselves, and when the start-up status bar reaches 100 percent, they freeze.
The timing seems especially strange, as most players reportedly died around midnight leading into the last day of 2008. Already sources are dubbing this massive Hara-kiri as Z2K9.
Microsoft updated the Zune support website with an acknowledgement: "Customers with 30GB Zune devices may experience issues when booting their Zune hardware. We're aware of the problem and are working to correct it. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience!"
The 30GB Zune affected is an older model, so those who have purchased Zunes recently will probably be unaffected by the synchronized suicide.
It's unclear what has caused the problem. Maybe it's the most brilliant marketing scheme ever: program older Zune models to self-destruct before 2009 so users are forced to buy new ones -- or, of course, buy an iPod.