I still use Windows Media Center on all my machines running Windows 8.1 Pro. Though they may not be actively developing it anymore, I would hardly call it abandoned when they still support, update, and ship it. Though in reality, the main reason they are not actively developing makes sense in some ways. With Hulu, Netflix and other video providers now making standalone apps for Windows 8, there was not a need to continue development. There is a video app, music app, and pictures app that split the functionality out of Media Center. Everyone seems to hate Windows 8.X, but for my computers hooked up to the TV, it seems to work out well navigating from afar. The Media Center remote control also works for navigating the start screen (to a point). The only thing I wish Microsoft would do is split out the TV app from media center and put it with the other apps like Xbox Music, Video, etc... That is the only reason I still use Media Center.
Zune was an awesome product (still have a Zune HD), but just late to the game. Apple was already trying their best to phase out older style iPods in favor of the iPod Touch. Everyone was wanting either the iPhone or the iPod touch and killing the sales for the other iPods. Microsoft tried to follow a route of moving the Zune app to their Windows Phone platform, but they failed to have Wi-Fi only version like Apple. Once they did that, Zune started to fade out in favor of the Xbox title.