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Microsoft to Launch Zune in EU

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the worked-well-here-why-not-there dept.

Microsoft 220

An anonymous reader writes "Happy with the sales from the little brown music player here in the states, Microsoft is working to launch the Zune media player in Europe by the end of the year. According to the Washington Post article, they are trying to have a realistic outlook on the entrenched Apple product line. They're not trying to play catch-up at the moment ... they're just trying to get on the map. From the article: '"Our next round of introductions will probably be in time for the holiday of this year." [Jason Reindorp] said Microsoft planned extensive research with focus groups in Europe to see how it could be modified for a European consumer. He said the Zune had a 10.2 percent market share in the U.S. in the 30 gigabyte category, according to the latest data, and that it was still in line to sell over a million units by June 30, the end of its current fiscal year.'"

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FP? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17703696)

Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada!

Soon... (5, Funny)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703698)

Europeans will be excitedly squirting all over the place!

Re:Soon... (1)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703888)

If only Microsoft had put a camera on the Zune... 1. Distribute device that allows squirting 2. Hide camera 3. ... 4. Profit!!!

Re:Soon... (3, Funny)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704382)

...it was still in line to sell over a million units by June 30...

I didn't realise there were that many stupid people out there... then I remember the guy that was voted into the Whitehouse *again*...

Greetings! (2, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703704)

I would like to take this opportunity to

wel-
come
Europe
to the
social

Re:Greetings! (4, Insightful)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703732)

Actually, since squirting certain songs won't be possible, maybe I should

wel-
come
Europe
to the
anti-
social

Focus groups (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17703706)

Microsoft planned extensive research with focus groups in Europe to see how it could be modified for a European consumer.

Preliminary results suggest that European consumers would like it to be "less crappy".

Re:Focus groups (3, Funny)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703954)

Preliminary results suggest that European consumers would like it to be "less crappy".

Those snooty Europeans, think they're better'n us do they?

Re:Focus groups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17704124)

Aren't they?

-better- europeans (4, Funny)

mbaudis (585035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704256)

we certainly think so. but then, we lack the outstanding politicians the current u.s. of a. is graced with ;-)

Re:Focus groups (3, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704070)

I suspect it will be in for a very hard sell.
The main problem is the perception that it wasn't built for the consumer, but for the media producers. This is another one for the bargain bucket if you ask me.

I'm sure the designers were able to convince themselves that users want Zune style restrictions in their media experience, but history shows that people will gravitate towards the simplest device that meets their needs, and the Zune isn't it.

The sad thing is there is probably some kickass hardware in the thing, but it's been tasked, as I said, to suit media producers first, which is the wrong way round.

Re:Focus groups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17704200)

Then they need to do the ipodlinux kinda thing to it.

Re:Focus groups (2, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704456)

The news just came after I have started noticing iPods around me more often than before. I guess with iPod Nano and its price Apple had finally nabbed European market. I welcome M$ to challenge the 150€ price of 4GB iPod Nano.

I have had two non-iPods before and have to confess that iPod is most invisible of all: SanDisk Sansa does often needs to be booted up and boot takes ~10-15 seconds (important to add that sound quality - just like on recent Creatives - sucks big time) and Philips SA117 had just too inconvenient menu which forced you to do N clicks for no apparent reason all the time (and it didn't supported anything beside MP3/WMA - no NG (e.g. AAC or OGG) formats).

iPod? Turn off "Hold" and it is instantly ready - right were you left it week ago - for you commands. Doesn't support OGG - but does AAC. Much better than that "PlaysForSure" crap. OMG! STOP. Didn't M$ dropped support for "PlaysForSure" with Zune? Oh yeah, well, what ever, what ever. I'll stick with iPod - for the time being.

P.S. As Eropean customer, I can say several things. Most important, people here are not that "computerized" when compared to Asia or North America: traditions prevail and computers for what little they can do are too expensive. (Hint: loading/charging with computer only == hard sell.) Also price is very sensitive issue and player above 300€ has few chances to be popular: preserving traditions takes its toll - normally in form of exaggregated taxes (all around Europe). And of course artist lobby groups [wikipedia.org] who have lobbied themselves into state laws long time ago would want to have a share of the feast too - just like they did with most of storage media already. Would M$ be still competitive to Apple which have ironed all the problems in past three years? Wir werden sehen.

Fo Shizzle (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17703710)

Yeah right, after Apple launch iPhone by June, these will sell like umbrellas in a submarine

Europeans Love Windows Media Player (2, Funny)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703712)

As much as the Europeans warmly embrace Windows Media Player (or Windows Anything), so too shall their success be.

I just zuned myself (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17703722)

It's brown, it squirts!! What more could you want??

The "30 GB cathegory"? (5, Interesting)

Martin Kallisti (652377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703726)

It might be prudent to ask how many different players the "30 GB cathegory" consists of. This sounds like the Zune's total market share is very, very small.

Even fish would find that statement too fishy. (5, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703952)

MOD PARENT UP!!

This statement sounds fishy: "He said the Zune had a 10.2 percent market share in the U.S. in the 30 gigabyte category, according to the latest data,..."

I suspect most people don't buy the 30 GigaByte iPod. I suspect that the "latest data" is only for new sales, and doesn't take into account all the iPods already sold in that category.

I also suspect that the "latest data" is a complete lie. Most people who call themselves marketing professionals are professional liars more than anything, in my experience.

I'd like to know how many people with no knowledge of MP3 players bought a Zune to give to someone as a Christmas present. I'd like to know how many Zune owners are dissatisfied with them.

--
U.S. government violence encourages other violence.

Re:Even fish would find that statement too fishy. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17704506)

it should also be worth noting MS predictions for sales mean jack squat. If memory serves, they predicted they would sell a million by Christmas 2006. When that obviously didn't happen, they threw up their arms in joy and said they were pleased and that a million by june was their real target. At this rate, im sure they will be say "just wait to the back to schools season, thats when we strike!"

Re:The "30 GB cathegory"? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704628)

This sounds like the Zune's total market share is very, very small.

http://zuneworld.com/zune-fans/zune-fans/ [zuneworld.com]

KFG

iPod? (0, Troll)

sammykrupa (828537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703748)

"He said the Zune had a 10.2 percent market share in the U.S. in the 30 gigabyte category, "

Probably convenient that there is no 30 gigabyte iPod.

Sam Krupa

Re:iPod? (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703794)

Probably convenient that there is no 30 gigabyte iPod.

Nyuk Nyuk... the opposing team left the field at halftime and they still lost the game. oh puuullleeeezzzzzz..

Re:iPod? (3, Informative)

shawnce (146129) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703804)

Actually one exists, available in black [amazon.com] and white [amazon.com] .

Of course it is a funny statement to see coming from Microsoft.

Re:iPod? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703884)

Not really, its called marketing.
They grab the only figure that gives them a reasonable percentage (everything else will have been drowned out to nothingness)

Re:iPod? (1)

shawnce (146129) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703936)

Just because it is marketing doesn't make the statement any less funny.

Re:iPod? (2, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704552)

Of course it is a funny statement to see coming from Microsoft.

Well, what did you expect? "We think we have some overall marketshare, but we can't say for sure, because the figure is lower than the error in the survey"?

Re:iPod? (1)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703812)

"He said the Zune had a 10.2 percent market share in the U.S. in the 30 gigabyte category, "

Probably convenient that there is no 30 gigabyte iPod.

Sam Krupa
Ever iPod generation since the 3rd generation launched in 2003 has included a 30 gigabyte model.

Re:iPod? (1)

yuriismaster (776296) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703820)

there is no 30 gigabyte iPod.
Uhmm... [amazon.com]

But in all reality, it's the Nanos that dominate the market, not the 30GB videos.

Re:iPod? (3, Funny)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703854)

You're right. My 5G iPod [apple.com] is actually a 27.82GB model according to the Capacity field in iTunes.

Re:iPod? (0)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703864)

Probably convenient that there is no 30 gigabyte iPod.
In fact there are no other 30GB portable music players, the Zune is the only one and it still only has 10.2% market share. That's

Cliffhanger (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703896)

In fact there are no other 30GB portable music players, the Zune is the only one and it still only has 10.2% market share. That's
What's the end of that sentence? Tune in same time same place next week folks!

Re:iPod? (1)

VTrain0 (981525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703882)

"Probably convenient that there is no 30 gigabyte iPod."

Uh, the current iPod comes in 30 and 80 gig varieties.

Re:iPod? (2, Informative)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703904)

Hey... there is a 30gig iPod. So out of 9 different iPod models, the Zune had a 10.2% share of one of those which effectively means 1.13% share against iPods. Mix in every other player in contention and their market share is probably more like 0.04%.

Re:iPod? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704088)

the mere fact that they're having to mention just one catagory of the total player sales in the US to find a decent number is rather telling.

Re:iPod? (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704152)

It reminds me of a radio station in 20th place in the ratings, they'll pull weird stat out like... We're in 1st place for women between the ages of 48 and 52.

It's a way to rally the troops more than anything. The Zune is getting hammered like a rivet in a steel bridge.

Sony still saying "no sharing"? (1)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703750)

With a rollout in EU, and an anticipated 1M units sold by June here, what is the impact with the latest development whereby songs purchased for the Zune are not "squirtable" courtesy SONY's proscription? Is it really true about 50% of SONY songs purchased in the Microsoft way are not shareable with other Zune owners (if you can find them)?

If so, what is the Zune but yet another mp3 player (yamp?)? A music and video player offered by a corporation that betrayed not only those sucked into the siren song of "Plays for Sure", but betrayed the manufacturers of those devices.

I hope the buying public gets a whiff of this laughing gas before they open their digital wallets. The Zune needs to die, not on the vine, but in the ground.

Re:Sony still saying "no sharing"? (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703872)

With a rollout in EU, and an anticipated 1M units sold by June here, what is the impact with the latest development whereby songs purchased for the Zune are not "squirtable" courtesy SONY's proscription? Is it really true about 50% of SONY songs purchased in the Microsoft way are not shareable with other Zune owners (if you can find them)?

I would guess that the sharing feature is not a show stopper for most people. The real question is whether or not the Zune will be priced under the iPod or any of the other "competitors". You have already mentioned the big reason why it's not a show stopper -- no one has a Zune anyway.

Re:Sony still saying "no sharing"? (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704138)

It's 100% of the SONY songs, which works out to about 50% of all songs.

10.2 percent? (4, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703760)

He said the Zune had a 10.2 percent market share in the U.S. in the 30 gigabyte category

How specific do you want to be? How about this:

He said the Zune had a 10.2 percent market share in the U.S. in the 30 gigabyte category, and 100 percent market share in the U.S. in the 30 gigabyte Zune category.

Re:10.2 percent? (5, Funny)

sinan (10073) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703948)

He said the Zune had a 10.2 percent market share in the U.S. in the 30 gigabyte category

"If you can't make the numerator rarger, make the denominator smarrer."

      -- Guy Kawasaki - The Computer Curmudgeon

The market share percentage is misleading (5, Interesting)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704000)

The market share percentage is certainly misleading when you look at the raw numbers: the Zune was introduced in November, and by June (7 months later) they say they will have sold 1 million. On the other hand, Apple sold 21 million iPods in the last quarter alone [wikipedia.org] , and over 8 million in each of the previous 3 quarters.

In other words, by June Apple should be selling about as many iPods every 10 days as there were Zunes sold in 7 months. Put it that way, and it's hard for Microsoft to brag about.

Re:The market share percentage is misleading (2, Informative)

MrNonchalant (767683) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704304)

In October 2001 a music player was introduced. By the end of that year it had sold just 125,000 units. That MP3 player was the iPod. The Zune's launch figures mean very little, what it does in the next few years is everything. It's far too early to call this match.

Re:The market share percentage is misleading (3, Insightful)

Platina86 (970247) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704348)

But in 2001, the marked for mp3 players wasnt that big. Like it is now. So its a little misleading. When you are saying it that way.

Re:The market share percentage is misleading (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704358)

On the other hand, Apple sold 21 million iPods in the last quarter alone, and over 8 million in each of the previous 3 quarters.


Yes, but how many of those are iPod Shuffles? How many are iPod Nanos? While I'm sure that the (full-size) iPod has outsold the Zune by a considerable margin, it's only fair to compare the Zune to its direct competition.

I'm sure the Honda Fit has outsold the Lexus GS600 by a big margin too, but it's not a perticularly important comparison.

Regardless, the fact is that the current generation Zune isn't that great. But, then again, neither is the current iPod.

I'm not referring to features, I'm referring to design. For one, the iPod needs a proprietary cable - forget about syncing/charging with a standard mini-USB cable (some Creative players do this). It has a screen that is too small for watching anything of consequence. The touch wheel is - well - touchy. It scratches easily. It shows fingerprints.

Oh, and then there's iTunes. It takes at least ~5 seconds to start on either a Mac or a PC (Windows Media Player starts in 2 on my box), it uses neither the Mac nor the Windows interface, it can't monitor folders for new music, the store is slow, and the app becomes unusably while transferring tracks to an iPod. Oh, and don't ever try connecting your iPod Shuffle to a second computer - you don't want to press the wrong button and erase all of your tracks.

Look, it's not that the iPod is such a great PMP - it's just that everything else on the market sucks! If I could get a stable music player that:

- Plays music directly off its filesystem (which can be accessed as a USB mass storage device), so I don't need software!
- Has a mini-USB connector for sync and charge
- Plays MPEG-1, MPEG-2, XVID, and H.264 (with a decent range of resolution and bitrate options, bonus points for FLV support)
- Has a decent UI
- Is as small as an iPod Nano

Why can't someone do this? All of the no-name players have the feature list down, but they invariably have crappy UIs and/or crappy form factors.

Re:The market share percentage is misleading (2, Interesting)

slamb (119285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704570)

Your feature list would cripple the product.

- Plays music directly off its filesystem (which can be accessed as a USB mass storage device), so I don't need software!

Not easy to do well. Either it has a horrible UI (like all of the no-name players you mention) which can't handle searching by ID3 tags, or it has to do its own indexing. The latter is not easy - even recognizing when new files show up is not trivial, given that the computer is talking to it through the USB mass storage interface as a block device! It would have to have some weird code to translate the block requests back into filesystem requests and check on each request until the whole file shows up, or just suspend while talking to the computer (no music when it's plugged in) and walk the entire filesystem for changes afterward (probably slow).

- Has a mini-USB connector for sync and charge

I think mini-USB connectors have extreme current limitations. It'd either have low battery life or would take forever to charge. Is carrying around the (included) iPod cable so much of a problem that you're willing to accept that tradeoff?

- Plays MPEG-1, MPEG-2, XVID, and H.264 (with a decent range of resolution and bitrate options, bonus points for FLV support)

My 1GHz G4 PowerBook skips when playing fancier, newer codecs. Do you think they can make an affordable, low-power, miniaturized system that has even a fighting chance?

- Has a decent UI

Development and UI testing take time and money. There doesn't seem to be much money left after the cost of your hardware, and sometimes design choices are incompatible with having a good UI. There are certain patented interface options (scroll wheel, some touch screen stuff now) not available to most vendors, either.

- Is as small as an iPod Nano

Miniaturization is expensive, and flash is still more expensive than spindle. You were just talking about video, so you probably want a lot of space, too.

Why can't someone do this? All of the no-name players have the feature list down, but they invariably have crappy UIs and/or crappy form factors.

You've listed a bunch of features which aren't that important to most consumers yet would cripple the product and send its cost through the roof. If these no-name players do all of these...well, no wonder why they're no-name players. They made poor design decisions.

Re:The market share percentage is misleading (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704512)

A similar argument was made with the first Xbox versus PS2. Microsoft sold their console at a lost (unlike Sony in that generation) and STILL didn't push nearly as many consoles. But Microsoft toughed it out, established themselves as a "major player" in the console wars, and now, one generation later, a whole lot of people (including the Slashdot Collective) are betting they'll beat out Sony this time around.

Same idea here, it looks like. Wedge yourself into the market, deal with the BSOD jokes, but keep up the marketing push and in the long run, nobody's laughing anymore.

Poor math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17703772)

10.2% of the market, but they've sold less then 1 million players? Something don't smell right.

Re:Poor math? (1)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703832)

10.2% of the market, but they've sold less then 1 million players? Something don't smell right.
It means that 10.2% of 30gb players sold during the reporting period were Zunes, not that 10.2% of all 30gb players are Zunes.

Re:Poor math? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703962)

A common way of fluffing up your numbers is to narrow down what you consider competitive. In Microsoft Case they go 10.2% of the 30 Gig MP3 Players. So roughly 1 out of 10 people who decided they wanted a 30 Gig MP3 Player (not more and not less) got a Zune. Which is still bad considered that they should have gotten more from the Microsoffies who hate Apple so much that they will get a Zune, even if they don't listen to music, or need 30 Gig for one. Or the People who buy tech regularly just to check them out. I would have expected that the Zune would get 20% sales in that one area.

Possible reason for the move (4, Funny)

kanweg (771128) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703780)

Is that because they have a big stockpile of unsold zunes?

Bert

Apple (1)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703796)

Obviously, this belongs in the Apple section of Slashdot...

Re:Apple (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703816)

No cross contamination, please.

Re:Apple (-1, Troll)

7of7 (956694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703944)

I've always found it hard to take Slashdot seriously when they don't even have a category for the company that makes the most used software in the world yet they have categories for obscure operating systems and failed computer companies that only make gadgets now.

Re:Apple (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703990)

*The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best - and therefore never scrutinize or question.*

Have you ever used anything but Windows? Didn't think so. Try taking your sig seriously.

Re:Apple (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704008)

Apple doesn't only make gadgets (yet). And they're not a 'failed computer company' because they changed the name so that they're no longer a computer company.

So there. I guess.

Re:Apple (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704134)

The Slashdot categories are quite broken and have been for ages. There is no section for Free Software, for example, so articles about GNOME or KDE end up in the Linux or BSD category, in spite of the fact that they are relatively kernel-agnostic.

Fishy Numbers (3, Interesting)

Triv (181010) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703814)

the Zune had a 10.2 percent market share in the U.S. in the 30 gigabyte category, according to the latest data...

That's fishy to me because it sounds like they mean of concurrent sales (meaning it wouldn't include people who bought 30gb iPods when Apple still made them in that size).

What that means is, of all media players sold this year that store 30GB of data that aren't iPods, the Zune has a 10% market share which, factoring in Apple's huge part of that market, is much, much smaller a percentage than it sounds like.



Triv

Re:Fishy Numbers (3, Informative)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703922)

the Zune had a 10.2 percent market share in the U.S. in the 30 gigabyte category, according to the latest data...

That's fishy to me because it sounds like they mean of concurrent sales (meaning it wouldn't include people who bought 30gb iPods when Apple still made them in that size).

What that means is, of all media players sold this year that store 30GB of data that aren't iPods, the Zune has a 10% market share which, factoring in Apple's huge part of that market, is much, much smaller a percentage than it sounds like.



Triv

The latest iPod comes in 30GB and 80GB. Where are you guys getting this notion that Apple no longer makes 30GB iPods? A quick visit to apple.com will prove that untrue.

Re:Fishy Numbers (1)

Triv (181010) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704016)

The latest iPod comes in 30GB and 80GB. Where are you guys getting this notion that Apple no longer makes 30GB iPods? A quick visit to apple.com will prove that untrue.

You're absolutely right - I had it in my head that the iPods were coming in 60 and 80 gb flavors at the moment.

ah well.



triv

Re:Fishy Numbers (5, Funny)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703970)

What are you talking about? They have HUGE market share on Brown/30 GB/Freescale i. MX31L processor ARM Core/3 Inch QVGA LCD screen(320×240) MP3 players!

Happy with sales?!?!? (1, Funny)

Shabbs (11692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703848)

MS Sales Guy #1: "Hey! We sold one!!!!"
MS Sales Guy #2: "To EUROPE!!!!"
MS Sales Guy #1: "We are SO on fire!"
MS Sales Guy #2: "Hollah!!!"

Out and out bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17703898)

He said the Zune had a 10.2 percent market share in the U.S. in the 30 gigabyte category

Bullshit. Maybe Microsoft means 1.02%. Or 10.2% for 3 days? The Zune just has not had that kind of penetration in any meaningful time period.

Re:Out and out bullshit (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17704764)

It's all legit.

The figure is 10.2 % (V/p)

That's Verizon percents, of course.

It wasn't on Sale Here? (5, Funny)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703930)

With all my excitement over Zune, I actually didn't realize it wasn't even on sale...

I've got a Zune (4, Interesting)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703934)

My impressions:
  • The wireless feature is fairly useless. It would be nice if lots of people owned Zunes, but I don't see that happening.
  • The Zune software is really blah. That's unfortunate. I wish the Zune hardware interfaced with Windows Media Player 11, which I like more than iTunes. (The iTunes software is one reason I didn't get an iPod.)
  • The killer feature, to me, is the unlimited download subscription service. I've been having a lot of fun with that.
  • And finally, it's amazing to me how much money can be spend on a massively bad marketing campaign.

Re:I've got a Zune (1)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704094)

And finally, it's amazing to me how much money can be spend on a massively bad marketing campaign.

I saw the Zune TV ads. It's share, share and happy people. There is a huge board of a happy girl (Joni Mitchell when she was very young looking) at Meijer (grocery store in Midwest). Anyway, you bought one so it worked.

The killer feature, to me, is the unlimited download subscription service. I've been having a lot of fun with that.

Welcome to 2 years ago. Real Rhapsody, Napster already did this. Also, Dell MP3 and other players could be used to put songs from there. But, over $100/year for crappy WMP is kinda rough.

Re:I've got a Zune (0, Troll)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704538)

... and you are able to read & write?

Please tell me you were given it and didn't actually buy it.

[OT] ask slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17703956)

Are there any good players out there that are affordable that I can slap 15 GB of oggs, mp3s and older (ver 8) wma files on to?

kmart (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17703980)

I was in my local kmart a few days before Christmas. They hadn't sold one zune yet (I asked), despite a prominent display exactly across from the electronics department checkout register.

I think MS "sales" are to big retailers and most of them are still sitting on the shelf. It's a dog. Apple will sell 10 times as many iPhones than MS sells zunes once they are released. Heck, even that neo1973 open moko will probably sell better once they are out on the street and people see them. The zune offers nothing really all that great, and MS in general is not held in near the high regard as Apple as a consumer "trusted" company, because their OS and browser has BURNED every customer they ever had.

Not sure how long it will take, but MS is going the way of GM. Once the most prominent car company on the planet, now they face further lost sales, they barely hang in around the junk/not quite junk bond rating, factory after factory is closing, and other companies have been steadily chipping away at their market share for years now. And it's because GM didn't get it on fit, finish, function or style or price because they were so big and entrenched they didn't feel like they had to, so they didn't. Way too much of their own koolaid consumed to go out on the street and LOOK what was happening. It took the massive global embarassment of a freaking cheap documentary movie to get them to wake up to the fact that people want hybrids, better mileage, elctrics, etc. Not a single big stockholder of GM or any of the management could read the fuggin market!They got so brainwashed they couldn't see the forest for the trees. None of them! Zero! Couldn't look past *one* quarter. Couldn't extrapolate beyond lunch!

      MS is the *exactly* the same way and the only thing maintaining them now is vendor lockin and legacy apps. That's it, and they are only one lawsuit away from the big box vendors being forced to unbundle software. It'll happen, too.

  Their off the wall markets with consumer hardware might be sustainable, they could be, and profitable in the long run-if they get spun off from the parent company and change their name as soon as possible and don't use any brainashed MS marketers in thenew company. None of them. They are all tainted with insanity and market megalomania. Crazy people, same as GM the past 20 years, just cuckoo with some goliath complex. They really need to separate the whole thing, starting with the internal mindshare/brainwashing. You will never "get it", what is wrong, as long as you are unable to step back and stop being a fanboy-and this applies to any company of any size really. That rah rah rah stuff may work for your sales weasels, but it doesn't work on the dude with the wallet for too very long.

  I know if I was a stockholder of MS I'd be demanding a hardware split from the insane software side before it is too late and get some fresh non MS management to run it, as loudly as possible. Let the holders decide which way they want to split and in what proportion then with the stock. Some may elect to hold on to the software side completely, others the hardware, I bet most would do some sort of ratio and see how lucky they got..but it needs to happen. I guess the best is let them swap at a ratio for whatever they are holding based on a proportion of something like only 30 to one or something (I don't have outstanding and held shares and all the market crap memorized handy), whatever the math works out to be. Something better than what they are doing now though is required. MS today is GM in 1970 (worse actually)-can't see the tsunami of competition coming over the horizon yet, because they turned their backs and aren't even looking.

Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17703982)

Just can't stand the thought that their DRM isn't in everyones pocket, infecting the worlds media files.

Re:Microsoft (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704368)

Just can't stand the thought that their DRM isn't in everyones pocket, infecting the worlds media files.
I know what you mean. It must drive them nuts that it's Apple's DRM that is in everyone's pocket, infecting the world's media files.

Low bar (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17703992)

Happy with the sales ...

I guess their expections were rather on the low side.

The fine point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17704012)

EU != Europe

So wait... (3, Insightful)

Kohaku Nanaya (945240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704014)

They're going to launch the Zune in EU, but not in Canada? Do they fear our ability to legally download over here? Oh well... even if it isn't that, I never expect Microsoft to do things logically a lot of the time.

"Microsoft to Launch Zune in EU" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17704022)

Oh, thank heavens! Finally! I was about to die of fear that would never happen!

*tosses his iPod into a lake*

I hope I won't sound sarcastic, because I am.

Zune (1)

WiseMuse (1039922) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704036)

What are the odds of Microsoft getting majority market share in the next 5 years? Give odds and justification.

Re:Zune (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704312)

What? The odds are zero, plain and simple.Justification: everyone has been burned by Windows/Office, and consequently nobody trusts them with a just-work product. I don't know about US and rest of Europe, but in Germany the _best_ attitude they get from consumers is respect for the ruthlessness with which they won the OS market.

Re:Zune (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704438)

I think majority market share is pretty unlikely, even as far out as 5 years, unless they decide to subsidize the Zune and sell it much cheaper than iPods. As everyone has seen with Windows, it is very hard to displace an entrenched brand unless the market dominator really screws up. However, if they did offer Zunes at a substantial (30%-50%) price advantage over iPods, AND if they beefed up the applications for the WiFi feature, they could conceivably displace iPods when people make their replacement purchases in the 2-4 year timeframe. Imagine a partnership with Skype, for example, so that the Zune could function as a Skype handset. Imagine partnering with Toyota or other auto manufacturers so your Zune, via WiFi, could wirelessly stream your music through your car stereo. Just as the XBox is a stealthy assault on the desktop PC, the Zune could be a stealthy assault on the PDAs, Smartphones, and portable music players. Of course there are alot of "ifs" in this paragraph.

Ballmer said 20-25% of all hard disks models (3, Informative)

Peter Bonte (919202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704060)

And now its just 10.5 % in the 30 gigabyte category? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5oGaZIKYvo [youtube.com] Ballmer really has no clue at all. :P

Memo Steve to Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17704104)


Bill, We are so excited about the launch of the Zune in Europe. We estimate that we will get close on 90% of the market share in the 30GB MP3 Pleayer range within one month from launch.
The feedback from our focus groups has been fantastic. We will be launching a Pink version instead of the brown one that has been so successful in the US. Pink is a far more "Hip" european colour.
IT is unfortunate that SONY have made us disable the sharing facility but between you and me, I am sure that there are a few hackers out there that will 'fix' it for our valued customers. This fools at Sony and Disney must be mad to think that their petty restrictions will stop sharing? Please! They can't be serious.
Following our fantastic Vista launch Worldwide we are taking lots of market share from the evil Jobs and his geeks at Apple.
Novell are creating lots of lovely FUD and anger in the L***X world. They are in complete chaos (that is close to their normal state)
Finally,
  Our links to SCO have been totally destroyed. I await your instructions for the next step in absorbing Novell (At last. They have been a thorn in our side for far to long) into the Microsoft Family. Then we will be able to go after RedHat without fear.

Your obedient(mindless) servant and chair thrower,
  Steve.

Brown in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17704106)

You gotta be careful with brown stuff in Europe. In the European mind brown = nazi, just like red = communist. Apple took black and white, not much left for Microsoft, Orange is out, blue? well, that's so cliche, green? ... nah... I think they just need not even bother with a copy cat attempt. They should focus on a good search engine, that could dominate the world. Well, they missed that, too... I guess, they just don't have any affinity left for sensing "next killer stuff". Maybe they just have to be in the prison of the office business for the rest of their existence.

Re:Brown in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17704228)

Colours.
  Orange = Dutch Protestant and Protestant churches in Northern Ireland
  Green = Republican Irish ( ok with White and Orange) but White and Green means Catholic in Scotland (Colours of Hibs and Celtic)
  Brown = Facists in Germany, Italy.
  Red is not Communist. Red = Ferrari

  My best guess for a Zune Colour is RED. Remember Michael Schumaker won 7 F1 GP Titles in a RED car. Red is also the colour of Love and Valentines day is coming soon.

  Personally, I would go with British Racing Green. It is not as in your face as Red and has an honorable pedigree.

     

Re:Brown in Europe (1)

abundance (888783) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704320)

uh? I'm european, and never noticed that. As far as I can tell, the usual black is the color associated to fascism and nazism. Anyway, I'm from italy, maybe the germans have a different perception.

Re:Brown in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17704488)

Brown is indeed associated with fascism in large parts of europe and especially germany and austria. The reason is that the NSDAP (Hitler's party, what you mean when you talk of 'Nazis') had brown shirts as their official uniform for party members.

For the same reason, black is associated with fascism in italy, Mussolinis party (don't know the name) had black shirts. There was even a (spanish I think) song not long ago named 'la camisa negra' meaning 'the black shirt', which was somewhat popular with fascists in italy because of that phrase, which sounds almost the same in italian.

On topic: I will definitely not buy a zune, it is castrated in too many aspects, literally looks shitty, is from Microsoft and the logo looks and reads like an anus. Too smelly for my taste.

Re:Brown in Europe (1)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704360)

I'm from sweden and I think I speak for most europeans when I say brown does not make me think nazi. It makes me think shit :)

fair warning? (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704112)

Is this a promise or a threat? I've seen wars started over less.

Brown? (2, Funny)

loconet (415875) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704116)

Microsoft is going to be sending little brown things to the EU? Is this as a response of the EU sanctions?

Re:Brown? (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704670)

Microsoft is going to be sending little brown things to the EU? Is this as a response of the EU sanctions?

Little is hardly a term to describe the Zune by. The shitbricks Microsoft will be shipping are quite bulky!

When You Head up the Zune Product & Ballmer... (3, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704144)

is your Boss, you had BETTER be quick & nimble with the BIG WORDS, & the HOT PLANS, & the NEW MARKET ENTRY at the NEXT HOLIDAY season, & (most important of all)...

You had best get your RESUME OUT THERE NOW, and get that FLACK JACKET & HELMET on because you never known when chairs are going to fly again.

None of this is surprising to anyone I've talked to. No One!

What I am hearing from diehard PC users I run across is subdued speculation, and NOT about Zune. The speculation is all whether VISTA will mean anything to them.

I pity the project managers under Ballmer, because their stomachs must be tied in a knot 24 hours a day. Been there, done that, and you can't survive long that way.

New Zune EU Slogan: (-1, Offtopic)

Visk (952851) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704260)

Welcome to the socialist.

European modifications.. (4, Funny)

pesc (147035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704292)

Microsoft planned extensive research with focus groups in Europe to see how it could be modified for a European consumer.

Beige?

Advice for MS and Apple: (0, Offtopic)

crhylove (205956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704310)

Hi, I would love to buy one of your products. I have a great idea to make them desirable to me and other technology savvy individuals:

Please remove all DRM. Please allow 3rd party apps.

If you do those two things, you can expect much higher sales, and to beat the competition, including each other. If you don't, *I* and most of the people I know, will continue bidding for older ipods on ebay that we can install linux on and have the features we desire, making you guys zero dollars in the process.

Thank you.
rhY

PS Some other company will do this and take all of your sales if you don't. It's called the free market.

Europe collectively..... (3, Informative)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704424)

Yawns

Where can I find real data (1)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704454)

I want to actually see the market share reports, instead of relying on press releases.

I don't believe it (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704472)

"... Zune had a 10.2 percent market share in the U.S. in the 30 gigabyte category ..."

I have a hard time believing this - with even 10% market share, I think I'd have seen one "in the wild" by now.

On the map (1)

vmxeo (173325) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704640)

They're not trying to play catch-up at the moment ... they're just trying to get on the map.

Comparatively speaking, it's a bit like Sealand's efforts to try and "get on the map" as a country when it's sitting right next to the much larger, more recognized, and somewhat more respected Isle-of-Great-Britain-like Apple.

Opinion on the Zune (4, Interesting)

rjdegraaf (712353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704680)

Check out the video on the Zune Player [google.com] (very funny, but true).


It discusses:
- MS Zune's does not work with MS Windows Vista
- MS Zune's incompatibility with (even) MSN Music Format (you have to rebuild your music collection)
- 4 registration's before buying music from the Zune music store (when player installs, MS passport, Music Store Website, Tag registration)
- Zune points for buying music, to mislead consumers on the price of music (1 Zune point > 1 dollar, thus 0.79 ZunePoint looks cheaper)
- Zune player WiFi music share expires songs shared after 3 times listening or 3 days (whichever comes first)

Hilarious!

See also: CNN.com ridicules Zune Player [google.com]

Lost marketshare (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704682)

Other media players don't have the same limitation as Zune. Zune only can connect to Windows XP PCs, so they loose the marketshare of Windows 2000, Mac and Linux

Microsoft's four steps to Zune profitability (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17704726)

1. Introduce Zune in the USA where we have fascist copyright laws and allow DRM to remove Fair Use
2. Watch Zune fail
3. Introduce Zune in Europe in the hopes it will succeed there, where DRM's blocking of Fair Use is illegal in some countries, resulting in Zune's ultimate failure and going the way of Microsoft Bob
4. ??? Profit ???
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