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Zune Sales Continue to Weaken

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the slip-sliding-away dept.

Microsoft 566

Dak RIT writes "Market share data for the first month of Microsoft's Zune sales is now available, and appears to confirm that after the initial hype, sales have fallen off dramatically. Microsoft came in fourth for sales during the month of November with only 1.9% of the market. Apple remained unchanged at 62.2%, and SanDisk even managed to increase to 18.4% (looks like the Zune might not even be able to compete with the rest of the market, let alone the iPod). The one surprise though is that the brown Zune is apparently not only being bought, but more popular than the white model."

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566 comments

waiting (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287066)

I'm just holding out for the yellow model...

Re:waiting (0, Redundant)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287700)


Orange! It's going to be next year's most fasionable color!

How fitting (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287102)

The brown one looks like a turd. That would make it a marketing attempt.

Re:How fitting (1, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287556)

The brown one looks like a turd.

Hm. I think many fashion people would brown Zune just for sake of its color - brown. Many leather and fur goods are of that color. And nobody did the color before - Apple likes traditional colors, Creative likes colors of Apple, etc.

Now that I think of it, probably it's Mrs Gates has ordered for xmas brown player for her sable [wikipedia.org] fur coat [furcenter.com] . And husband complied.

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287104)

The sales are invisible!

Zune (1, Redundant)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287110)

Despite previous posts, I have actually thought about buying a Zune, the interface does not look too bad, and it seems much more customizable.

So here is a question, what does an IPOD have (other than after market accessories) that the Zune does not?

As a basic, out the gate thing, what does the Zune have that the IPOD does not? (other than squirting).

Re:Zune (5, Funny)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287194)

The Zune gives you the ability to share music with another Zune owner. Of course, you first need to meet one.

Re:Zune (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287228)

What does the iPod have over the Zune?

        Style.

Re:Zune (4, Insightful)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287634)

Well, it used to be the case that Ipod had some *real* technical and usability advantages over their competitors, not just "style" (which is a stupid reason to buy something, IMO). Competition is clearly catching up, and if Apple doesn't makes big innovative updates to the ipod, others will have the chance to do and steal market share from Apple.

Re:Zune (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287248)

"what does an IPOD have (other than after market accessories) that the Zune does not?"

Third party software support.

Support for Mac, Windows 2000 and Vista.

Less restrictive DRM.

Ability to hook it into most cars and display track info on the dashboard.

Better resale.

The Zune might make sense at $130. But of course, then it would compete with the Sansa players which appear to be designed by someone not from the Soviet Politboro (Zune's brown color is widely called "Soviet Brown" in the trade and consumer press).

Re:Zune (1)

Chokolad (35911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287306)

> Less restrictive DRM.

Can you please highlight the differences? In which way iPod's DRM is less restrictive?

Re:Zune (1)

kb (43460) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287484)

Because the iPod itself doesn't have any DRM unless you're talking about songs bought in iTMS. But otherwise getting your MP3s back is a matter of pressing the "show hidden dirs" button in your OS, if you can cope with renamed files in no particularly sensible order. But eg. re-import into iTunes and Winamp (with ml_ipod) is one or two mouse clicks.

Re:Zune (2, Informative)

ameline (771895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287606)

Lets see -- I can think of a few just from the top of my head,

iTMS FairPlay allows you to;

Copy a tune to (and play it back on) any number of iPods.
Copy the tune to (and play it back on) five different computers.
Burn the tune to a standard Audio CD any number of times.
    - The resulting CD has no DRM and may be ripped, encoded and played back like any other CD.

Does the Zune system let you do any of those things?

Re:Zune (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287446)

Ability to hook it into most cars and display track info on the dashboard.
i think you misspelled "more".

Re:Zune (5, Informative)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287296)

Zune has squirting, iPod doesn't. Zune has a subscription service on their music store. iPod has a larger music store that also includes video podcasts, TV shows, and movies. iPod has toys like the calendar, notepad, and some games. Zune has a built-in FM radio receiver. iPod has the click wheel (which probably looks like a small thing to most people, but having used both an iPod and a music player without one with my rather large music library, to me it is absolutely the most important distinction).

But you really shouldn't just compare the iPod to the Zune. Right now if I were looking for a new music player I'd be paying some serious attention to what Creative is selling.

Re:Zune (2, Informative)

doctor_nation (924358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287516)

Definitely. I just recently bought a Creative Zen Vision:M 30MB and it's pretty nice. It plays tons of video formats, no DRM restrictions, FM receiver, voice recorder, etc. I'm not totally happy with the music organization, but it works well enough.

Re:Zune (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287574)

If you have a hundred or a thousand songs on the player, does it take forever to load like the Sansa does? I also like the PlaysforSure feature (Yahoo Unlimited).

Nitpick (2, Interesting)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287642)

The issue with DRM restrictions is on file formats, software that creates files in that format, and music stores. Not the player. If your Creative Zen plays encumbered WMA or AAC files, it is no more or less DRM-encumbered than any other device that plays encumbered WMA or AAC files.

A player that is untouched by DRM is a player that will not play any DRM-encumbered formats. To the best of my knowledge, there is not a single hard drive based player on the market that fits this category.

Re:Zune (2, Informative)

stego (146071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287632)

Zune has a built-in FM radio receiver

I got the Apple FM attachment [apple.com] for my Nano and am very happy with how slickly it integrates.

Re:Zune (2, Insightful)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287300)

what does an IPOD have (other than after market accessories) that the Zune does not?

-The ability to act as an external hard drive in a pinch.
-A software client that runs on Windows and Macintosh.
-Seasons in the market.

Is Microsoft really going to go the distance with this or will the Zune become another MSNtv(WebTv) type of product where all the R&D is done and it just festers?

Re:Zune (4, Informative)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287426)

what does an IPOD have (other than after market accessories) that the Zune does not?

-The ability to act as an external hard drive in a pinch.
-A software client that runs on Windows and Macintosh.
-Seasons in the market.


A couple additions:

* A huge (and still growing) accessory market
* Can interface directly with a large number of cars (not just through an aux-in)
* Better software - not just cross-platform, but more polished and less buggy (even as buggy as iTunes 7 was initially, it was nothing compared to some of the horror stories I've seen about the Zune software)
* More software options - you don't need to use iTunes if you don't want to
* Clickwheel interface
* Better size/form factor

And yes, style. The Zune is big and ugly. The iPod is svelte and classy. Sure, that's subjective and you might not agree. Unfortunately for MS, 62+% of the market does agree and only 1.8% of the market feels otherwise.

Also, let's not forget that Apple has several different iPods on the market, and they don't break down sales by model. I think it's entirely possible that MS could do better if they released a nano and/or shuffle type Zune. They still won't catch the iPod, but they could easily triple their 1.8% market share (not that that means much). Apple has a model for every taste, where MS seems to specialize in big ugly brown boxes.

Re:Zune (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287330)

OMG! You're telling me you bought the Zune without even having used, tried or even seen an iPod??? Under what stone have you been living? So why did you buy it? Just because you like the very latest gadgets? Beause it was from Microsoft? I don't know, but I normally inform myself about a product and possible alternatives _before_ buying it.

Re:Zune (2, Interesting)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287386)

Actually I said I am thinking of buying a Zune, I actually have used an IPOD and have borrowed the 30gig version for its ability to play back a video clip on its screen when showing some product features.

One of the things I like about the Zune is that it seems to have a bigger screen, can get FM broadcasts, and its interface looks nice though I have not really had much opportunity to use one except at the store.

Are you sure it's more customizable? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287366)

Despite previous posts, I have actually thought about buying a Zune, the interface does not look too bad, and it seems much more customizable.

If by "being more customizable" you mean changing the background image in your menu - yes, it's more customizable.

If by "being more customizable" you meant tailoring the interface to suit what things you do most often, like putting the artists folder on the top level menu or something along those lines, then the iPod is more customizable.

If you meant using the iPod to either look at calendars or contacts or play simple games, then the iPod is more customizable.

In short the Zune is more customizable if all you care for is superficial change. Well, not stricty true I suppose since you can bling up the outside of your iPod with a case...

Re:Zune (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287420)

advertising? i can't get 50 feet without seeing an iPod ad and I almost never would have heard of the Zune if it wasn't for Slashdot complaining about it. Apart from that I haven't compared specs, but then again, most end users wouldn't understand the specs anyways.

Re:Zune (0)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287436)

"So here is a question, what does an IPOD have (other than after market accessories) that the Zune does not?"

1) Coolness factor.
2) Better Name
3) Simple Elegance
4) More versions From ultra small Nanos, to full versions.

And I like how you've discounted the after market accessories, as if that is some small minor detail. Trust me, that is a big part of the iPod culture, almost as big as the iPods themselves.

And don't get me going on "squirting", the ultra cool idea, which is sorely crippled by M$ and DRM, and a lousy (uncool, unhip) "name".

Re:Zune (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287496)

If you're going to get something other than an iPod, you should take a look at iriver clix [iriveramerica.com] . It's got good reviews, it's loaded but simple, and looks damn sexy. If it came in a 8 GB or more version, I'd probably own one already.

Re:Zune (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287554)

With every Zune sold, some of it goes toward the RIAA. Apple (nor any other mp3 player else I know of) doesn't share it's hardware sales with the music industry (rightly so).

This may not be a feature, but it is important to some people. Also, there are a good number of other mp3 players out there, notably iRiver. Apple and MS aren't the only ones to consider.

Re:Zune (2, Insightful)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287586)

...what does an iPod have (other than after market accessories) that the Zune does not?

An Apple logo?

Other than that, they are both overpriced MP3 players.

Perhaps there is some difference in sound quality, but cost is the chief deciding factor (and is probably why I own neither, with no plans to own either).

Re:Zune (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287692)

iPod advantages:

Less Proprietary -- while on the surface it seems like iPod/iTunes is just as proprietary as Zune/Zune software, the iPod mounts on any OS as a standard USB Mass Storage device, the database and directory structure is well known and has been for years and there are a number of utilities that let you manage the iPod.

OS Compatibility -- the iPod is compatible with Macs, Windows, and with free third party software Linux

File type compatibility -- the iPod is compatible with AAC, MP3, WAV, AIFF, Apple Lossless, H.264,mpeg, Audible, Protected AAC, Protected MP4. The Zune is currently not compatible with Audible or natively compatible with any video format except for WMV everything else has to be converted to WMV format (done by the Zune software but still slower than just copying the file)

Podcast support -- sure a podcast is just an MP3 file but having podcast support means that between iPod and iTunes you can automatically sync podcasts, track which ones you've listed to either via iTunes or the iPod, and start listening to the podcast on your computer, sync your iPod and finish where you left off.

DRM is not in (3, Insightful)

visionsofmcskill (556169) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287112)

i hope this is a sign that consumers are not willing to play with the type of DRM that is unclear and difficult to deal with. DRM is never going to leave entirely, but most of the implementations nowadays are much more difficult to use and move about than physical media.

The zune is a particularly clear exmaple of this.

However i suspect the ipod has simply hit that monopoly status like Windows in which even if the competitors were good (or better) their chances of making inroads against the market leader are severly limited.

i personaly think the ipod is best of breed, but even still one has to wonder.

Re:DRM is not in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287396)

You actually think that people consider that when buying something? Laf.

Re:DRM is not in (1)

telbij (465356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287684)

You actually think that people consider that [DRM] when buying something? Laf.


No, but overtime it will affect the popularity as people discover what they can and can't do. If Microsoft had convinced the music companies to drop the DRM then Zune would have real potential to grow by word of mouth once people found out how much more it could do than an iPod.

Re:DRM is not in (2, Funny)

GrayCalx (597428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287492)

How dare you assign any company, other than Microsoft, monopoly status on a slashdot thread. Shame on you. Shaaaaame.

Where does monopoly come in? (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287504)

However i suspect the iPod has simply hit that monopoly status like Windows

Really - what is the limitation to switching from an iPod?

Sure some people have songs from iTunes, but for most music people are still buying CD's. The amount of ITMS songs people own is not enough to explain why people continue to buy iPods instead of other players.

With Windows if I want to buy almost any PC but a Mac, by default I get Windows. If I want to use programs needed for work I have to use Windows, if I want to access my freaking intranet website I need Windows (or at least IE)!

THAT is monopoly.

If I wanted to, I could easily buy a different MP3 player and things would work just fine - if it played AAC, all the better (wince that's what I rip CD's to). But I stick with the iPod because it does what it does better than other players I have tried - including the Zune. The iPod has a most not of monopoly, but of ease of use - in order to start making inroads on the iPod it must be easier, or at least AS EASY to use as an iPod - and if you read Zune reviews that software does not make it the case. The Sansa on the other hand is rather simple to use and doesn't try to make the users life more complicated, which is why people are buying them.

Sin DRM Por Favor! (2, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287654)

I agree, I just bought a SAMSUNG YP-Z5 4 GB digital player and I think this is THE ONE I would recommend to everyone. It has the ability to be used with Windoze Media Player but the music is copied in comprehensable folders in the flash memory.

I can also copy the music folders directly using any Linux file manager (or plain old cp). It can handle some kind of DRM thing (which I dont use as I dont like leasing crippled products) and the best thing is that it plays MP3, WMV and OGG. It is the size of an Ipod nano and has a color screen, the battery lasts more han 30 hours (continuous playing, I usually just use the shuffle all function and never stop the thing, just put down the headphones).

Re:DRM is not in (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287682)

i hope this is a sign that consumers are not willing to play with the type of DRM that is unclear and difficult to deal with.

I'm pretty sure that isn't a factor here at all. Most consumers don't care about DRM, and I certainly don't think that companies are going to see this failure (if the Zune does fail in the end) of DRM. You can read whatever you want into this, but the simple truth is that the iPod is cool, and the Zune is not.

Why bother. (3, Insightful)

abscissa (136568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287120)

Why is it that companies feel they need to conquer every aspect of every market? MS should have left portable music alone.

(Cue the naive laissez-faire capitalists who think that this competition will create magic in the music industry)

Re:Why bother. (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287290)

Because the IPod has strengthened Apple's market position a LOT. More people are not buying Macs and Powerbooks because the IPod helped prove that the company made great products and put them back on the map. MS is probably trying to kill the IPod so that they can force Apple back into the little corner it was in before with Zune and Vista.

Re:Why bother. (1)

abscissa (136568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287384)

Well it's having the opposite of the "Apple Halo" effect... people have brown and pink DRM laden bricks of shit that they can squirt all over each other. I'm switching to Windows Vista!

Not true (0, Redundant)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287316)

MS has never expressed an interest in "conquering" the MP3 market.

From the article:
Microsoft expressed little concern about the sales. Jason Reindorp, director of product marketing for Zune, said, ``We are happy with the position Zune currently holds in the market, and are on track to meet our sales projection of 1 million units by end of the fiscal year.''

Heck, you could say the same thing about Apple.

Re:Not true (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287538)

Microsoft expressed little concern about the sales. Jason Reindorp, director of product marketing for Zune, said, ``We are happy with the position Zune currently holds in the market, and are on track to meet our sales projection of 1 million units by end of the fiscal year.''

Well, what else would you expect a marketing flack to say? Something around the lines:

"For having invested a bazillion into the marketing hype and even rid a massive astrot^H^H^H^H^H^Hgrassroots campaign to sensibilize the customers for a good squirt sales really suck! Especially when you consider that we have this fashionable turd brown model."

Somehow I think not!

Market Share (2, Insightful)

Rendo (918276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287132)

Of the iPod seems to be that of the PS2 in the last gen of games. Zune needs to be able to play Halo on it for it to be a huge success.

How is this product inferior to the iPod? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287140)

The newegg.com reviews seem to speak for themselves: while not perfect, this product is superior to the iPod, both aesthetically and functionally.

Re:How is this product inferior to the iPod? (2, Informative)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287314)

The newegg.com reviews seem to speak for themselves: while not perfect, this product is superior to the iPod, both aesthetically and functionally.

But unless it's very superior, Apple has a huge entrenched market share and a "name" in the business. This is kind of the reverse of the Vista vs OS X situation.

-b.

Re:How is this product inferior to the iPod? (1)

doctor_nation (924358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287558)

It sounds like the incredibly restrictive DRM it wraps around everything you put on it is the primary issue. It is for me anyway.

Competition (5, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287146)

I (and others) looking for proper use of wifi, have already bought an Archos (604Wifi). Opera browser, network share browsing, etc. Squirting? Please. It's more expensive, but a far superior product at this point.

Archos (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287346)

Oh yeah, the Archos has PVR functionality, an optional helmet camera (for the serious nerd), and a screen the size of my frikkin' home TV. I'm not sure if the screen size is good or bad ... it's quite nice to watch video on, but makes it a bit large for a portable device. Supposedly it runs Limux as well, but I haven't seen any available apps.

A squirting helmet camera. Wha? (2, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287674)

I'll tell you what. I'm not really going to be interested in any electronic device which advertises "squirting" or "helmet camera" in the list of features. But, hey, I'm a traditionalist. You just go strap on that helmet camera and squirt all you want, just don't do it near me.

Ya! Screw M$ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287150)

This whole story is anti-MS junk! I love it!

NO WAY!!!! (-1, Flamebait)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287154)

I am shocked! The zune was such an ipod killer. I had the features, the form factor, functional wireless, sex appeal, unobtrusive DRM, and flawless interoperability...

oh wait...

Might be something to do with the display set up (2, Interesting)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287158)

The Zune is out on display in best buy stores. It has one stand. The video it is showing is grainy and because of the strip lights its hard to see.

Compare and contrast with the iPod Nano - there is only one nano display, but there are about a million Nano's out for people to play with because they are being used as part of demo sets for speakers, headphones, in car entertainment systems, kids toys. There are just a lot more units for people to get their hands on and try out - at this point. I imagine things will be a little bit different when Best Buy has a whole aisle for nothing but Zune protective cases, like the do for iPods right now.

Re:Might be something to do with the display set u (1)

2short (466733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287464)

"I imagine things will be a little bit different when Best Buy has a whole aisle for nothing but Zune protective cases, like the do for iPods right now."

You say that like it was ever going to happen. The aisle of accessories follows the market share, not the other way around. The wide availability of acessories helps keep the leader in place perhaps; but nobody will make, and best buy wouldn't stock, a ton of accessories for a player that isn't already owned by a ton of customers.

My prediction: the Zune ceases production within the year.

Even worse (3, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287560)

I agree the displays are not good - I spent some time with one at a target.

First of all, the Borwn Zune (there were two, black and white) was either locked up or had a fake screen. I couldn't tell, but the impression a user would have is that it had crashed.

The black one worked, and I was able to try using it (though the speakers connected didn't work or were not on). A real problem the Zune has with a fixed kiosk is that browsing between pictures and video and songs, the whole interface rotates - that is to say, Zune changes the display such that you need to hold the Zune on it's side for some photos and video. When the device is fixed upright you cannot and it makes it really hard to use - plus the controls are also rotated (up becomes left, right becomes down) which you have to figure out. Personally I really did not like this control rotation and found it made it hard to figure out what you were supposed to do in any given mode.

Nah. (4, Funny)

Funkcikle (630170) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287162)

The one surprise though is that the brown Zune is apparently not only being bought, but more popular than the white model.
Not really. Brown is a nice colour. And people who buy the Zune are probably trying to kid themselves into believing they are real and proper individuals, resisting all those clones and sheep who have iPods and iPod knock-offs. So why should they not go one further and get a wild and cool colour which nobody already has?

Proof indeed that people are dim. Bless their little hearts!

Re:Nah. (1)

lysdexia (897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287546)

"Brown is the New Beige."

It just rolls off the tongue, don't it?

"DRM is the New Freedom"

Aaaahhhhh ... like floating on a cloud of mammary glands.

Re:Nah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287628)

Exactly. It really does make sense that those who had to show that they wouldn't buy an iPod (not that they wouldn't buy a music player, but couldn't buy one from Apple), would underline that by demonstrating their complete lack of taste.

White Elephant (2, Funny)

PoloniumSandwich (1035998) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287172)

What else could you give as a gag at all these White Elephant office parties?

Re:White Elephant (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287362)

I worked at an office where the company decided that everyone needed a plant on his desk. One of my co-workers went ballastic since he listed the things that the company should be providing the employees besides a plant. The company backed off on the plant idea. My co-worker received a plant as a White Elephant gift, which he didn't take too kindly and promptly trashed it. I rescued the plant and still have it after three years.

Possible Use (3, Funny)

dsginter (104154) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287174)

I bought a Zune to use as a big screen TV. I had to make my own wall mount, but it was worth it. I measured the screen and it is nearly the same size as 42" monitors going for several thousand dollars.

In all seriousness, I was a bit perked by the Zune until I saw how big it actually was. I'm certainly no Microsoft fan boy, but what the heck were they thinking?

Do they come in any other colors? (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287180)

"Bill gates' wallet" green? BSOD blue? "Beige box" beige? That would be great! Of course, queue the brown ~ crap jokes...

Didn't the same thing happen with the iPod? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287190)

First generation was rather expensive back in 2001. But sales really took off after iTunes and the music store. On the other hand, there wasn't as much hype about it back then either.

Re:Didn't the same thing happen with the iPod? (1)

abscissa (136568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287244)

First generation was rather expensive back in 2001. But sales really took off after iTunes and the music store. On the other hand, there wasn't as much hype about it back then either.

That was 2001. Welcome to half a decade later.

Expensive but nothing like it (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287620)

I bought the 1st gen - yes it was expensive but I had enough of players with USB connections, firewire was way faster - so I bought it as a music player but also a portable hard drive. There was nothing like it on the market, as far as ease of use and features went.

It's funny that five years later, Microsoft introduces a player that can't even be used as a hard drive...

Sales really took off for the iPod when they introduced the Windows compatible model. The funny thing is, today Microsoft started with Windows compatibility - perhaps sales will really take off when they introduce software that lets the Zune work with Macs!

Re:Didn't the same thing happen with the iPod? (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287706)

The Zune costs pretty much the same as a comparable iPod. Cost is not a factor here. What planet are you on?

Data? (4, Insightful)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287192)

I'll be more interested to see how the Zune does after a period of say, six months to a fiscal year. I can't say I'd be surprised one way or the other, but IMHO a month or two of sales data isn't enough for me to see whether a product is effective or not. How does this compare to Ipod's sales its first month?

Re:Data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287550)

Ipod Sales Data for 2002 (it released 2001 4th Q)

Q1 - 125,000
Q2 - 57,000
Q3 - 54,000
Q4 - 140,000

I honestly don't know how that compares to zune sales, since the article only talks about %s and not numbers, but there were supposed to be 1 million sold soon so that's well above how the ipod did on it's release. Sure you can claim it's a different enviroment, one less hostile to Mp3 players, but you can also claim it's more hostile to non-ipod mp3 players and so that kinda balances out.

Anyone else noticed the back and forth /.'s been doing on the zune? It's almost like the submitters don't agree :P. We've got:

Zune Sales Not So Bad After All - Nov. 29th (+)
iPod Has Nothing To Fear From Slow-Starting Zune - Nov. 28th (-)
Opening Zune Sales Flaccid - Nov. 18th (-)
Critical Review of the Zune - Nov. 26th (-)
A Hands-On Zune Review - Oct. 20th (+)

and many more...what I'm wondering is, with the last report on Zune sales here on /. being a positive, how are they continuing to weaken?

Interesting (5, Insightful)

punkr0x (945364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287202)

You have to wonder what these numbers are really showing. It reads like it's compared to all sizes of mp3 players, from little 256mb flash drives to the 80GB iPod video. I would like to see how it compares to comparable players, instead of overall. Still these numbers are surprising, it's a medium sized player at a good price with a lot of marketing behind it.

Whoever is buying the brown Zunes... (1)

trudyscousin (258684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287224)

...well, let's just hope they never drop them into the pool [imdb.com] .

Fools! (1)

sigzero (914876) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287246)

It is all in the Microsoft plan to dominate! They are making you think that it isn't selling. Those evil marketing geniuses!!

Get yours while they still exist (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287250)

20 years and it'll be a collectors item.

 

Re:Get yours while they still exist (2, Funny)

McNihil (612243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287348)

yeah... true... collectors of dust!

Brown is popular because it is the color o a turd. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287264)

The one surprise though is that the brown Zune is apparently not only being bought, but more popular than the white model."

That's because Brown is the color of a turd.

Why is everyone so surprised (3, Interesting)

denttford (579202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287272)

About the brown thing? It's the only unique thing about the player (that is worthwhile). Incidentally, for what its worth, the sales folks at the local Radio Shack (Upper West Side, Manhattan) have told me that the Zune is flying off their shelves. When I told them that I was shocked... they admitted that they were too.

Re:Why is everyone so surprised (1)

quintesse (654840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287374)

Of course they are going to say that, otherwise who is going to buy the ones they have left in stock? ;-)

Re:Why is everyone so surprised (2, Interesting)

snarlydwarf (532865) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287416)

<quote>Incidentally, for what its worth, the sales folks at the local Radio Shack (Upper West Side, Manhattan) have told me that the Zune is flying off their shelves. When I told them that I was shocked... they admitted that they were too.</quote>

Perhaps they should put them in locked then. Shoplifting losses don't count as sales (except to the manufacturer).

Re:Why is everyone so surprised (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287428)

Considering what Radio Shack normally sells, a Zune would be a high-end product.

Long term strategy. (4, Insightful)

Rastignac (1014569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287276)

MS always had a long term strategy. Just wait until it gets better.
See Internet Explorer. Now v7. First versions were bad.
See DirectX. From v0 (WinG) to v10. First versions were bad.
Wait for Zune 2, 3, 4... Today, it sucks, but in a few years, it will be OK.

Slashdot shill spin surprises! (1, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287278)

The title of the article is "Zune doesn't shake iPod's market lead - MICROSOFT MP3 PLAYER HAS DECENT 1ST MONTH". That's a far cry from "Zune Sales Continue to Weaken".

Hell, the article summary isn't even correct. Slashdot spin version: "Apple remained unchanged at 62.2%". Actual article text: "Apple's share of the hard drive market fell to 82.7 percent from 86.8 percent a year ago, its share of the overall market came in at 62.2 percent, essentially even with the 63 percent it posted a year ago."

Instead of trying to spin existing articles, I personally think that it's time for Slashdot editors to just start making shit up. This attempt at spin is pretty sad. Why not just make up an article that says, "Bill Gates went on a shooting spree today, killing 100 orphan children, before turning the weapon on himself".

Re:Slashdot shill spin surprises! (1)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287704)

"NPD's own weekly data had Microsoft falling from the No. 2 vendor of MP3 players in its first week to No. 5 in its second week."



I believe that the spin is more in your comments than in the heading. Reading the article gives the impression that the Zune is doing great until you look a little closer. What I would have liked to see is the actual figures of the 2 weeks.

Who even uses an iPod anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287288)

Or any digital music player... They're so last year.

loss leader... (0)

projektsilence (988729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287324)

maybe? ;)

Slow News Day (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287344)

Did anyone think the Zune would succeed?

Proof positive of Supply-side Economics? (1)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287350)

Doesn't this prove that "if you make it, someone will buy it?"

I always thought that was more than a little suspect, but the fact that *anyone* bought a Zune makes me reconsider.

It's the hackers... (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287356)

All the software and OS hackers are buying the brown Zunes so they can hack Ubuntu Linux onto it. If they succeed they will call them "Ubunes". :)

Re:It's the hackers... (4, Funny)

photomic (666457) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287500)

No. They will be called Zubunti, which is also Swahili for "tribe of horse-faced linux geeks."

Cut The Price (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287364)

Zune is not going to catch the iPod anytime soon, and Microsoft knows this. Indeed, they probably aren't that concerned right now about the sales as much in how the machine fairs in the wild and what bugs may crop up with the first batch. Once they've got the initial hiccups smoothed out and the initial market reception data is in, if they are serious about grabbing real market share, they should drop the price.

A Zune next to an iPod for the same price, equals iPod for teh win! Drop the Zune price say 15-20%, then people start thinking about it a bit more. They can talk about more features and sharing all they want to, but right now that's not going to move people to Zune. If they can make it as easy to use as the iPod, attractive, and less expensive, then they've got a shot.

Heck, if they want to get really crazy, just bundle 20% Zune discount coupons with every new Windows Vista PC sold.

Results Accurately Predicted Here (1)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287406)

These results were accurately predicted [slashdot.org] on this very site, much to the chagrin of Microsoft fanboys.

Re:Results Accurately Predicted Here (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287578)

Except that comment predicts nothing that's relevant the sales figures or sales trend of the Zune. Only thing it says is "people are uneasy about change" which anyone could tell you.

Why Brown? (0, Redundant)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287418)

Hmmm, seems as if the color is a very apt indicator of the quality of the Zune. Seems that M$ jinxed itself by making the thing look like a turd.

shock! Horror! (2, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287474)

Sales of a product go down the month after a hyped up high profile launch?!?!?

Just like happens with 99% of consumer products that have glitzy launches?

Seriously this is a piece of non-news turned into Microsoft bashing.

Zune potential (0, Redundant)

APOLAUF (925223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287488)

It's a pitty about the sales - I've had both iPod and Zune, and I like the Zune far better. The interface is much smoother, and the device as a whole is fun to use. The potential is rather enormous, so don't discount this machine yet. Let alone the fact that a whole line of Zune products will take to the air at some point or another. Let's wait and see. I for one am a satisified Zune user.

In store advertisement (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287490)

The grocery/department store where we shop has a *huge* sort of cardboard cutout ad for the Zune right at the entrance. Maybe at every entrance.

It consists of a (probably teenaged) girl's face. In massive closeup. With a sort of "natural", unretouched look. And just like, her face with a little bit of her hair. Like somebody hit the wrong zoom level somewhere. Five or ten times the size of a human face.

The effect is ... just weird. "Buy Zune; get girls with huge pores who don't use makeup!" I mean, come on, *nobody* looks good with that level of closeup ...

They probably know what they're doing (5, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287512)

I was all anti-Xbox when that thing first came out. In my eyes it was so much worse than the GCN that I couldn't understand purchasing one. PS2 sale numbers owned it hard, and were I a Sony guy I would have been talking the same talk as Apple folks are today. And now the Xbox family is doing just fine, all things considered. Maybe MS will actually turn a profit on those things within the next couple of years. After all, they do know something about running a competitive business, and with consoles they have the experience of trying to break into a market with an already-dominant product out there. Maybe soon enough the Zune will be where the 360 is. And as MS releases new "versions" like the Zune Micro or whatever they feel like calling it, they'll get more competitive. I'm a Creative guy right now anyway. My next player will likely be an Archos. But the Zune/iPod war has only begun if you ask me.

What's wrong with brown? (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287528)

I use Ubuntu's default theme, you insensitive clod!

Coal for Christmas (1)

seven of five (578993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287548)

If Zune sales are falling off now, right before Xmas, few really want it. If sales were down after the Xmas rush it would have less to do with the product's appeal. Or am I stating the obvious?

Brown (4, Interesting)

phorest (877315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287590)

Dear Slashdot Readers and Participants,

While you may think the color brown is unhip, you must understand that from a designer's and marketer's POV brown has been a 'HOT' color for at least the last year.

Now my background in color makes me recognize when color-trends take over. All you need to do is get out of your house/apartment/basements and go to a trendy store like Target, Crate and Barrel... etc. Casually look at accessories for your hip and swingin' pad and you will notice that a very dark blueish-brown color paired with either a cream-color, minty green or a greenish-blue (think a pale cyan here) with nickel plated hardware (brass is out) are all the rage.

Now you may not think brown in any form is hip, but since you are a small speck in the marketplace for items without IDE/SATA/USB/Fibre and/or RJ-45 connectors as standard equipment, you may not realize this trend.

I know it's fun to make fun of MS anything but I just thought I'd mention all this because no Zune article can be posted without poking fun at the "brown one" either purposely or subconsciously.

Yes, in my mind even I associate the color brown with shit, and while the Zune might be a POS on many levels, the brown one does not reinforce that fact. What tells me it's a POS is that MS only casually wants you to know the Zune is an MS product, that with the fact the wireless is crippled AND 'Plays4Sure' is unsupported.

Popularity of brown (2, Funny)

Numbah One (821914) | more than 7 years ago | (#17287608)

alone the iPod). The one surprise though is that the brown Zune is apparently not only being bought, but more popular than the white model."

Perhaps UPS is buying them in bulk.

mod uP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17287690)

Perspefctive, the myself. This isn't to foster a gay and to decline for
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