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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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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. :-)

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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