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Microsoft ships its one millionth Zune ahead of schedule

Microsoft shipped its one millionth Zune MP3 player after nine months on the market according to Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division. The company had originally expected to top the one million mark in June, but the company achieved the feat a month early.

"We're very pleased with the progress. We've sold a little over a million Zunes. In the category we're in, the hard-disk-based category, we've got about 10 percent market share," said Bach. "It's a good start. It's not an overwhelming start. I'm not going to pretend it's some gigantic move."

Even though Microsoft shipped over a million Zunes, it's still well behind segment leader Apple which recently celebrated its 100 millionth iPod sold after nearly six years on the market. As of February 2007, the iPod commanded 73.7 percent of the MP3 player market. Microsoft's 2.4 percent share was good enough for fourth place behind SanDisk and Creative Labs.

Microsoft is expecting a rather large uptick in sales leading up to the 2007 holiday season. The company is building a new manufacturing plant in China which will produce a second-generation HDD-based Zune along with a flash-based Zune.

In the mean time, Microsoft is likely to add firmware updates to existing Zunes to further enhance their capabilities. New MP3 player entries on the market such as SanDisk's Sansa Connect offer wireless downloading functionality that many assumed the Zune would feature from the start.

"As to the Wi-Fi, we think the idea of these devices being connected where you want them connected is very important. That's why we shipped the original Zune with Wi-Fi built in, remarked Bach. "The cool thing about that is, the innovation can all be in software. Wi-Fi is an important area. We'll see how that SanDisk project does."

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By hughlle on 5/28/2007 2:33:11 PM , Rating: 2
despite it selling it's one millionth zune (is that selling or shipping though, a big difference) i am not aware of a single person i know owning one

RE: hmmmm
By Niv KA on 5/28/2007 2:38:26 PM , Rating: 3
Same here. More than that, none of my friends (most of us tech people) know anyone that has one, nor ever seen one. Maybe thats because I live in Europe (Belgium), but many of my friends visit the US on a monthly basis.

RE: hmmmm
By Samus on 5/28/2007 2:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
im the only person i know with one. mmmmm, brownies.

RE: hmmmm
By jcyeadon on 5/28/2007 3:10:19 PM , Rating: 5
I bought 2 of them which inspired my buddy to buy 1 as well. My sister wants one after she saw the one I got for my dad.

What stops me from telling everyone to go out and get one is the fact that there is this great hardware inside that is limited by the software. I want to share songs and not have software time it out. I can understand them doing it for protected song and albums but what about audio I create? and why not videos? I transfered home videos that I couldn't send to my dad last time we were within zune sharing distance.

Why can't I send it to his device via the internet or connect wirelessly to begin with. I am dissapointed and losing hope in the worst way. I am going to break this thing apart and curse microsoft's hardware devision if they don't release some good updates BEFORE they release a more capable version of the hardware.

Don't spit on the early adopters MS! I get plenty of use out of this thing but only because I know how to convert all my own videos. Why can XBOX offer videos but zune marketplace can't? You need to work the legal issues out. Are you waiting on me to offer an independant video service designed for content on the go? I'll do it if I must but I will take it upon myself as 3rd party to support Ipod video players and sandisk and all those others as well.

Why not update xbox360 to let me rent videos and download mobile versions? That way I can watch a video at lunchtime at work or (sitting on the toilet) Oh yeah like I am the only one who brings a zune into the can!? I watched Superman Returns entirely in 10 - 15 minute intervals for that very reason.. yeah yeah! new marketing direction.. buy a zune and learn to create your own ripped videos and even you can watch movies on any toilet, EVEN PUBLIC STALLS!

Before the new marketing direction though improve the software before my zune ends up inside the toilet.

RE: hmmmm
By Gul Westfale on 5/28/2007 6:05:12 PM , Rating: 4
hardware limited by software- isn't it always so?

look at the 2 xboxes: perfectly capable little PCs, but where are their web browsers? guess MS doesn't want them to have one since you could then simply bypass their "live" service, meaning you could bypass their subscription fee by not using live.

or look at the PSP: such a fantastic machine, a great screen, a good CPU, RAM, and storage options (i bought a 4GB stick for mine), and yet it's crippled until you install a custom firmware that actually allows you to watch movies at the screens' native resolution. the reason, i guess, is that sony wants people to buy movies on UMD (which do play at full res), but hen they offer only a handful of titles and sell than at near-DVD prices... you'd have to be an idiot to buy them.

and now you say MS doesn't allow the zune to do what it is capable of doing? i'm disappointed, really; but i can't say i'm surprised.

i hope one day these companies start listening to their customers rather than some market analyst/accountant/lawyer and give people what they want, maybe they would actually make more money that way because more people would buy their products then...

RE: hmmmm
By spluurfg on 5/28/2007 8:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
That's how it is though... the Supreme Court ruled that manufacturers are allowed to control the way their product is used to protect their model of sales. Take the case where 3rd party companies made replacement blades for single use razors -- they were barred from doing so, because the razor company was losing out on sales. Same goes for the extortionate prices for printer cartridges (now they're even region encoded for god's sake) to compensate for printers being sold at a loss.

RE: hmmmm
By Oregonian2 on 5/29/2007 2:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know what you're talking about. Third party ink for printers are abundant on the web and even in local stores. Even in major supermarket chains (e.g. - Krogers). There may be limits to what they can do to printer manufacturer made cartridges (is HP liable for failure of a cartridge refilled by a third party that leaks and ruins the HP printer?), but third party inks abound and AFAIK are all legal so long as they're not using mfgr owed patents w/o license (which is something true in all businesses).

RE: hmmmm
By Oregonian2 on 5/29/2007 2:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
P.S. - Single use razors don't take replacement blades. It'd be oxymoronic if they did. You just throw them away. :-)

RE: hmmmm
By HrilL on 5/28/2007 2:45:50 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I don't know anyone that has one either and I live in the states. I haven't even seen people at school with them but I have seen all the others. Maybe one day I'll see one haha.

RE: hmmmm
By GaryJohnson on 5/28/2007 2:47:31 PM , Rating: 1
There's ~6.5 billion people in the world. If 1 million Zunes have been sold, then that means only 1 out of every 6,500 people own a zune.

In contrast, 1 out of every 65 people own an iPod.

RE: hmmmm
By wien on 5/28/2007 2:53:29 PM , Rating: 4
In contrast, 1 out of every 65 people own an iPod.
Umm, no. I think a few of those iPods have been sold to people already owning one.

RE: hmmmm
By retrospooty on 5/28/2007 3:39:24 PM , Rating: 3
not to mention many of the ipods have been made to replace defective ones. My son is on his 5th ipod nano (5 died in one year, each replaced by Apple), now the 1 year warranty is up and when it dies, hell have no replacement. Maybe a zune, or creative labs model next time.

RE: hmmmm
By GaryJohnson on 5/28/2007 3:52:22 PM , Rating: 3
That is one of many unknown variables that I did not mention in my original comment for the sake of brevity.

I was simply attempting to illustrate how it is reasonably possible to not know someone who owns a Zune given the statistics involved in the original article.

RE: hmmmm
By FITCamaro on 5/29/2007 7:43:54 AM , Rating: 5
I am proudly one of those 64 in 65 that don't own an iPod. Nor will I ever.

RE: hmmmm
By Munkles on 5/29/2007 3:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
Must be a different market because I know 4 people with them. They all love the thing, perhaps wishing it was thinner/lighter.

I dont personally own one, but Im seriously considering getting one once the limited run Halo editions come out.

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