Personally I find it difficult to believe that the Zune was only released last November, but I guess that’s the side-effect of big rumour run-up periods. Anyway, Microsoft set themselves the goal of selling one million of the little buggers in six months, and according to Entertainment and Devices Decision President Robbie Back they’ve actually done it already.
It’s not all champagne and fellatio, however; Bach is very aware that they’ve not made outstanding inroads into the hard-drive based market:
“In the category we’re in, the hard-disk-based category, we’ve got about 10 percent market share. It’s a good start. It’s not an overwhelming start. I’m not going to pretend it’s some gigantic move”
He also addresses one of the major criticism points, the wireless transfer, which people have lambasted both for the three plays/three days file expiry and for the basic lack of people to swap music with:
“People are sharing. When your installed base is a million, the benefits of sharing, frankly, aren’t as wide as we hope to see in the future. One of the challenges for us is continuing to build on the install base”
I have a soft-spot for the Zune; not for any particular loyalty to Microsoft of even to the player itself, but in recognition of the fact that if portable music is going to continue advancing then we need strong competitors to Apple’s omni-present iPod. Right now the Zune itself might not be strong, but you’d be a fool to underestimate Microsoft and the investment they’re willing to pump into the market.