Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Media Media (Apple) Music Technology

Microsoft to Launch Zune in EU 220

Posted by Zonk
from the worked-well-here-why-not-there dept.
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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft to Launch Zune in EU

Comments Filter:
  • Soon... (Score:5, Funny)

    by RichPowers (998637) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @02:56PM (#17703698)
    Europeans will be excitedly squirting all over the place!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by FyRE666 (263011)
      ...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! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717)
    I would like to take this opportunity to

    wel-
    come
    Europe
    to the
    social
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21, 2007 @02:56PM (#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".
    • by i_should_be_working (720372) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:23PM (#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 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rucs_hack (784150) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:40PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ThePhilips (752041)

        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 jus

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by fbjon (692006)
          Most important, people here are not that "computerized" when compared to Asia or North America
          Really, now? Which part of Europe?
          • by Dutch_Cap (532453)
            I don't know, but I'm pretty sure it's not the part of Europe I live in. Europe is a pretty big and diverse place, though. I'd say western Europe and Scandinavia are plenty computerized. But I think what GP said may apply to Southern and Eastern Europe.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Weedlekin (836313)
              "But I think what GP said may apply to Southern and Eastern Europe."

              I live in a part of Europe that's as far south as you can get while still being in Europe (Spain), and computers are everywhere, as are personal music players (mostly iPods) -- just about everyone seems to have some sort of broadband Internet link too. However, it is likely that the Zune will have a fairly difficult time here despite this due to the iconic status that the iPod has attained, especially among females, few of whom would even c
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by R3d M3rcury (871886)
      How about Unicode information? One of the things I like about the iPod is it's support for just about any language I throw at it.

      My roomate is Vietnamese and she asked me to rip some cassettes so that she could listen to them on her new iPod nano. So I had a grand old time entering the song names and artists in Vietnamese, complete with all the accents and such. When we moved it to her iPod, I was curious as to whether it would have a problem with this or not.

      Nope. No problem. All the accents and every
  • Fo Shizzle (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21, 2007 @02:57PM (#17703710)
    Yeah right, after Apple launch iPhone by June, these will sell like umbrellas in a submarine
  • by Divebus (860563) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @02:57PM (#17703712)
    As much as the Europeans warmly embrace Windows Media Player (or Windows Anything), so too shall their success be.
    • by cnettel (836611)
      AFAIK, the number of "N" versions actually sold is pretty abysmal.
      • by Divebus (860563)
        Will Microsoft be ordered to un-bundle Windows Media Player from the Zune as well? Just a thought...
  • by Martin Kallisti (652377) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @02:59PM (#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.
    • 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: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        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!"
      • Just make it a 26.37gb player. Then it can claim to have 100% market share in its category.
      • by maeka (518272)
        Judging from Rockbox install queries, 30GB is far and away the most popular iPod size for generation 5/5.5.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Technician (215283)
        I also suspect that the "latest data" is a complete lie.

        Maybe it's the after Christmas closeout sale stuff that didn't sell. Most other players were sold out. I went to 3 stores looking for a 30 Gig Zen. The droid at Best Buy thought I said Zune and didn't know about the Zen.
  • 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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by garcia (6573)
      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 oth
    • It's 100% of the SONY songs, which works out to about 50% of all songs.
  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:02PM (#17703760) Homepage
    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.
    • by sinan (10073) <sinan@bozuk.org> on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:22PM (#17703948) Homepage
      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
    • by PapayaSF (721268) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:29PM (#17704000) Journal

      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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MrNonchalant (767683)
        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Platina86 (970247)
          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: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Barnoid (263111)
            But then again, almost everybody who would ever want an mp3 player has one by now. Putting it that way, it's probably more difficult to enter an already saturated market.

            The whole thing reminds me of the XBox: MS didn't sell many units at first, and we were laughing at them. But now, the XBox360 is already outselling the Wee and the Playstation3 [iht.com] (although not the PS2).
      • 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 ge

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by slamb (119285) *

          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

          • The thing is your 1GHz mac is using a CPU instead of a dedicated ciruit, and is playing at very high resolutions, along with OS overhead. A player can use a minimal OS, a dedicated chip, and low resolution.
            • by slamb (119285) *

              The thing is your 1GHz mac is using a CPU instead of a dedicated ciruit, and is playing at very high resolutions, along with OS overhead. A player can use a minimal OS, a dedicated chip, and low resolution.

              Wrong on all points. The players would decode with the CPU as well, unless you're expecting separate hardware for each of these half-dozen codecs you're demanding. Low resolutions don't help enough - I've seen skipping playing a 480i (SDTV) clip, and whether I'm viewing that in a tiny window or scaling

        • by countach (534280)
          Every iPod sold, even the little shuffle, has a tendency to lock users into iTunes. Thus buy a shuffle today, next year it may be a full size model iPod, rather than a zune.
      • 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 u
  • by kanweg (771128) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:05PM (#17703780)
    Is that because they have a big stockpile of unsold zunes?

    Bert
  • Fishy Numbers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Triv (181010) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:07PM (#17703814) Journal

    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 (Score:4, Informative)

      by sangreal66 (740295) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:20PM (#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.
      • by Triv (181010)

        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

    • by WaZiX (766733) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:25PM (#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!
      • by fbjon (692006)
        Yeah, and if you add 'has a name that starts with Z' to that, they might even break the 30% mark!
  • by WaZiX (766733) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:21PM (#17703930)
    With all my excitement over Zune, I actually didn't realize it wasn't even on sale...
  • I've got a Zune (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Henry V .009 (518000) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:21PM (#17703934) Journal
    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.
    • by mochan_s (536939)

      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, Del

    • MOD PARENT UP (Score:3, Informative)

      by dpbsmith (263124)
      How refreshing to read something about the Zune by a real consumer who actually has one and is saying things that have the ring of truth to them.

      (It doesn't bother you that everything you've bought will go poof if you don't keep paying $15 every month?)
    • The killer feature, to me, is the unlimited download subscription service. I've been having a lot of fun with that.

      That's about the only positive thing anyone ever says about any M$ player. The problem is that most of them don't want it enough to pay for it and hate the software so much that they don't use it even when they have been forced to pay for it by their school. I'm glad you are happy with it, but you would have been happier with just about any other player when you realize how bad the battery

  • Low bar (Score:4, Funny)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:28PM (#17703992)
    Happy with the sales ...

    I guess their expections were rather on the low side.
  • So wait... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kohaku Nanaya (945240) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:32PM (#17704014) Homepage
    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.
  • by Peter Bonte (919202) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:39PM (#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
  • Brown? (Score:3, Funny)

    by loconet (415875) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:46PM (#17704116) Homepage
    Microsoft is going to be sending little brown things to the EU? Is this as a response of the EU sanctions?
  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:50PM (#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.
  • by pesc (147035) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @04:08PM (#17704292)
    Microsoft planned extensive research with focus groups in Europe to see how it could be modified for a European consumer.

    Beige?
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @04:25PM (#17704424)
    Yawns
  • "... 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.
    • The 10.2 percent marketshare refers to the 30GB storage catefory.
      Out of all the 30GB hard-disks bought last year, 10.2 percent bought for the purpose was Zune to be used as an external hard disk,
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Technician (215283)
      I have a hard time believing this - with even 10% market share, I think I'd have seen one "in the wild" by now.

      With all the ribbing, who would admit to having one? If I got one for Christmas, I would stick it in my pocket and keep it there. I might pick up a nice pair of white headphones to go with it.
  • 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 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rjdegraaf (712353) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @05:05PM (#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]

    • I thought MS had released patches for Vista to talk to Zune? However, dropping Plays4Sure will seriously annoy previously happy MS fanboys. The wifi could have made Zune great, but now it's just a focus of derision.
  • 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 ???
  • Microsoft has missed a golden opportunity to release their own Windows Mobile media device, it has everything they needed but instead they create a custom device which does less.

    The Zune would have had a wealth of software including GPS.
  • does the FM radio in the Zune support (radio data system) RDS properly which is pretty much the defacto standard, giving you station name, type, details, time code etc?

    Even better, could Microsoft please put in a (digital audio broadcasting) DAB radio module and allow you to record digital radio (like the Pure PocketDAB2000, of which I have one, whose only downside is that it takes SD cards for mass storage with a maximum size of 2GB). Noone's sued Pure, unlike the makers of XM radios in the USA, so it's
  • The 10.2% number came from a marketing research firm named NPD. This firm doesn't have access to the sales records from all sources. This includes Apple online and retail stores, Amazon.com, and Wal-Mart (Sam's Club).

    So that number is HUGELY vague because those are really big retailers for the iPod and other MP3 players.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

Working...