Microsoft Zune Passes 1 Million Mark

Microsoft Corp. has beaten its goal of shipping over a million Zune digital music players by June, according to a newspaper report.

Robbie Bach [cq], the president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division said it has already passed the million mark, during an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle published Monday. The Zune has a 10 percent market share in the hard-disk-based music player category, he added.

"It's a good start. It's not an overwhelming start. I'm not going to pretend it's some gigantic move," he was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

The million unit figure bests Apple. It took the iPod 14 months to reach 600,000 shipments, but it was much earlier in the game than the Zune, when the market for digital music players wasn't so hot. Apple has likely sold around 25 million iPods over the same time it has taken the Zune to reach its goal, according to financial analysts.

Microsoft has a lot more work to do with the Zune. Despite a better-than-expected start, it's far behind the iPod both in terms of number of users and popularity.

Apple sold 10.55 million iPods during the three months ending March 31, and announced it had sold its 100 millionth on April 9th of this year. The company has also generated enthusiasm for the device through over 4,000 accessories made for the iPod, including stereo hook ups in more than 70 percent of 2007-model U.S. cars and a deal with Nike Inc. to use iPods with certain running shoes that collect workout information.

The company also has its new iPhone coming out soon, a product Bach indicated Microsoft will not compete against directly with a Zune phone, according to the Chronicle report. Microsoft will continue to work with handset makers to provide software used in different styles of mobile phones, because mobiles are deeply personal devices, he said.

"In the phone space, we're very comfortable with the model we've chosen...We work with handset manufacturers and operators to produce that web of offerings, while still producing the same consistent software so people can get done what they need to get done regardless of which phone they choose," he reportedly said.

The San Francisco Chronicle article can be found on the Web at: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/05/28/BUG0LQ1EHF1.DTL

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