The recent round of price reductions by Microsoft for its portable media device the Zune has seen an increasing number of shoppers searching for the unit as well as sparking rumors of its demise.

The Zune is a portable media device manufactured by Microsoft and perceived by many to be a viable alternative to Apple's iPod. Like the iPod with iTunes, the Zune runs on a specially developed program known as Zune software.

Throughout the first week of May, Mircosoft's decision to reduce the prices of the Zune spread around technology blogs such as Digital Trends and Computing Forever.

These blogs and others also speculated that the reduced prices could signal that Microsoft were preparing to discontinue the Zune, however there has been no official confirmation of this.

Microsoft also recently stated that the Zune software was the only official means of updating the company's Windows 7 phones after an unofficial, and unreliable, alternative update became available on the net.  

This reduction in price and the controversy over the Windows 7 phone are most likely the reasons why the product was one of the items with the largest increase in searches over the last seven days under the category Products according to Google Insights trends.

The Zune HD 16 GB device currently retails on for $199.99.

Nokia's mobile device the N8 was also a popular search term over the last seven days as was the generic phrase "running shoes."

 The top ten search terms with the most significant growth worldwide, in the last seven days, in the category Products  as measured by Google Insights, recorded on May 11 were:

1. roger hargreaves (breakout*) - due to ‘Google Doodle'
2. nokia n8 (+40%)
3. running shoes (+40%)
4. zune (+40%)