Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Zune Grabs 2nd Place After 1st Week

CNNMoney.com is reporting that the Zune music player from Microsoft edged out SanDisk for the #2 spot in the portable music player department. This, after only 4 days of sales (it came out mid-week).

Shawny Chen, a research analyst for Current Analysis, says that in order to become a serious contender against Apple, Microsoft will have to make further adjustments to the Zune, especially considering the number of unfavorable reviews the device has received so far.

"Microsoft will have to come out with an improved Zune that touches on the very features that people are disappointed with this model, such as the limited WiFi capability," said Chen.

Kathleen Maher, a senior analyst at Jon Peddie Research, notes that even if the Zune is off to a slow start in the MP3 player market, Microsoft has had a lot of success launching a new product, tweaking it and ultimately satisfying consumers.

"It doesn't bug them to dump a bunch of money into an experiment and rejigger it along the way," said Maher, pointing at the success of the Xbox. "It's worked reasonably well."

Fortunately for Microsoft, the Zune was built on the same concepts as the Xbox 360, so firmware updates will be able to resolve a lot of issues. One issue Microsoft definitely needs to solve is updating the Zune Marketplace to be based on the final WMP11 bits, instead of being based on a pre-RTM build like it supposedly is now. They should also give you an option for making it visible in WMP11 when plugged into machines where Zune Marketplace is not installed.

[via Search & HPC Blog]

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Comments

  • I don't know Robert...

    CNet has traditionally been slightly less than objective when it comes to Microsoft..

    According to Amazon.com though, in the first week it was number 4th place in net sales, which is decent. But after the first week it went down to 13th place, with a couple of other media players ahead of it in the Amazon.com sales rankings.

    I personally had been planning on getting a Zune (refuse to get an iPod as a matter of principle), but I think I'm getting myself a Sansa instead: I'd say it has the best mix of quality, price, and features in the current line-up. And it's not an iPod.

    November 29, 2006 3:38 PM
  • AT39 said:

    I own both a Zune and  use WMP 11 on my machine, and I can say that the biggest complaint amongst users of the Zune is the PC-side software. What Microsoft should have done is had the full featured WMP11 - perhaps with a different skin to match the Zune - and forgone the crappy watered down WMP 11 that is the Zune Software.

    November 29, 2006 4:30 PM
  • JoeM said:

    I have to agree with both of you,  It was a good start but there is alot that needs to be done.  I am a bug MSFT supporter, and I would not even buy this  yet.

    November 29, 2006 5:04 PM
  • ComputerGuru: It was CNN not C|Net.

    November 29, 2006 6:49 PM
  • Barry Reid said:

    In spite of the declining sound quality of successive ipod generations, Apple's music player market position is secure for a while yet I'm afraid guys. The high sales for the first week are more to do with built up demand than anything else, there are some nutcases that must have microsoft, just like those who must have Apple, or Sony or Whatever.

    The Market has been defined by ipod/itunes because both work well and are easily understood and used and it seems, from reviews, that Zune fails to offer a comparable user experience. It takes more than just good product (and the jury's definitely out on that one) to dislodge the sort of mind share and after market support that ipod has. For example, the following shows the level of penetration into the public consciousness ipod has achieved.

    From mid-2007 Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United will begin offering their passengers iPod seat connections which power and charge their portable players during flight and allow the video content on their iPods to be viewed on the their seat back displays.

    November 30, 2006 1:48 AM
  • Ian Ringrose said:

    Music rental is where I think Zone will win.

    I wish to pay a fix price per month, then.

    a) Get access to all music, including CD that are only published on the UK

    b)  Have music recommended depending on what I tell the player I like

    c)  Be able to “vote” on what I like, and play at least a few hours of

       recommended music while off-line.

    d)  Have a UI that is safe to use in my car while driving, e.g. integrates with

        the controls on the steering while, and displays track names etc on the

        large display that is build into my car radio.

    It would be great if the “votes” I have given each track can be transferred to another music service if I every get a new device, e.g. no long term lock in.

    Apple is very much into buying downloaded track; however I am not willing to buy tracks that are locked to ANY device as I do not just any company to give me access to the tracks I have brought in 30 years time.   However I am willing to trust a rental service, as if it fails me I stop paying the rent, therefore the provider has a big incentive to keep my happy.

    As the device knows what music I have played, the service should be able to pass the rent on to all the copyright holders based on how often each of their tracks are played.

    November 30, 2006 5:04 AM
  • Graham Fluet said:

    Barry Reid said:

    "The Market has been defined by ipod/itunes because both work well and are easily understood and used and it seems, from reviews, that Zune fails to offer a comparable user experience. It takes more than just good product (and the jury's definitely out on that one) to dislodge the sort of mind share and after market support that ipod has. For example, the following shows the level of penetration into the public consciousness ipod has achieved."

    Amen

    January 10, 2007 4:47 PM