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Microsoft Zune with Altec Lansing M604 Speaker Dock
Microsoft is cautiously optimistic with Zune sales figures

Although the Zune has cooled off a bit in sales since its November 14 debut, Microsoft still expects to have shipped more than 1 million units within its first seven months of availability. The expectations are pretty modest on the part of Microsoft and could reflect some trepidation over what Apple has in store for the first half of 2007.

"We're forecasting just over 1 million units for the fiscal year. We feel pretty good about that number," said Zune marketing director Jason Reindorp.

The Zune launched with quite a bang (for a new player on the market with little to no brand recognition) managing to capture 9% of the market during its first week on the market according to NDP Group. Interest in the Zune has cooled off considerably since its launch as the Zune's market share has dwindled down to 2%.

Research firm IDC is forecasting that 21.5 million hard drive-based music players will be sold in 2006 with the Zune contributing 500,000 units to the figure. Microsoft itself projects that it will have 10% to 15% of the 30GB or larger music player market by June of 2007.

Microsoft also noted that a firmware update is on the way for the Zune. The new firmware will include compatibility updates to allow the Zune to function in Windows Vista, general bug fixes and performance tweaks. There will, however, be no additional features included in the update.

So for those of you that were expecting to get expanded WiFi functionality, you will be least for now. "It is plumbing stuff, but it is stuff customers will notice and appreciate. It's not going to be a whole new wireless scenario or anything like that," said Reindorp. CNET reports:

Microsoft also needs to expand how the Zune's Wi-Fi can be used, probably to allow a direct connection for downloading music from Microsoft directly to the Zune. Gartenberg notes, however, that such a connection is tricky to engineer in a way that is still easy to use on a device that has no keyboard.

Microsoft also needs to push out a flash-based player to allow the Zune to gain more traction in the marketplace. According to Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg, flash-based players like the iPod Nano are unstoppable this holiday season. "There is no flash Zune at a time when the (iPod) Nano is just flying off the shelves. Those are the things they are going to have to address in 2007 if they are going to be a credible player."

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RE: Actually Impressive
By Crusader on 12/7/2006 4:28:41 PM , Rating: 0
I think we need to boycott devices that increase DRM. Even if they have impressive hardware.

Not really. When its on the Zune who cares if it puts on DRM.
Apples converts MP3s to AAC when they are transferred to the Ipod as well.
It doenst matter, neither of those situations do.

Just shoot your MP3/WMA to your Zune... and enjoy.
I do the same with my Nano, minus WMA :( everyday.
DRM doesnt scare me away.. esp when you can put any MP3 on it you want to.. they are just preventing people from pulling songs off the Zune unrestricted (which I have no problem with.. who cares.. and besides the music industry would flip out about it)

You cant pull songs off an Ipod at all (without alot of work).. you can at least "loan" a song to a friend with the Zune.

I like it, and its impressive hardware.

RE: Actually Impressive
By Xenoid on 12/8/2006 2:09:16 AM , Rating: 2
You cant pull songs off an iPod at all (without alot of work)

You can do it quite easily. I have a small EXE file (forget the name) on my Ipod that will rip songs off it and onto a computer and it works within 2 clicks.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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