that's disappointing. oh, well.
i don't know that it's dead. yeah, the apps probably aren't going anywhere, but was that ever the point of the zune HD?
The Zune HD is most definitely dead(*). Only the most fervent Zune fans would claim that apps weren't the point of the Zune HD. Microsoft expended a lot of resources and development to have apps on their portable media player.
From the choice of the Tegra chip, updates to the interface, desktop software, and Zune Marketplace, apps were to be an integral part of the Zune HD experience.
For those who will claim that the HD was some sort of test-bed for WinPho7 keep in mind that at the time of the HD's development, the HD and WinPho teams were separate. And that WinPho7 specs had changed numerous times after the HD was released....including finalizing the decision that 7 would be incompatible with 6.x.
If my experiences at IBM and with Microsoft are any indication, what most likely happened was that at an executive level, the decision was made to kill the Zune some time after the release of the Zune 120. But work on the HD was already in progress and commitments and contracts in place so the "momentum" of the HD project continued forward for it to be released. But it was clear that the release of the HD was anti-climatic and almost a non-event in terms of accessories and other 3rd party support.
It's sad and frustrating. The Zune HD (and older gens) had the potential to be a great player, but Microsoft was never serious about producing a great player... only in drawing people to the Marketplace.
* Dead - no longer being actively supported and enhanced.