Zune Does Microsoft Proud So Far6 Dec, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf
Microsoft expects to sell 1 million units of its portable digital player by the end of the company's fiscal year in June 2007.
That's right on track with expectations for the device, said Jason Reindorp, director of marketing for Microsoft's Zune group.
No one, especially not Microsoft, expected the Zune to come out of the gate and unseat the pervasive iPod, he said.
The device is technologically ready to handle video content, though there are few options available at this point. The Zune comes in 30 and 60GB options, like the iPod, which makes it well suited for video storage. And it has a slightly bigger screen than any of its video-capable competitors, including the iPod, Reindorp pointed out.
Video is definitely on the list for the product, Reindorp said, along with other business decisions such as expansion into the international market.
“We are working on everything you would expect to get with the iPod,” he said. “Our goal is to be at least at parity with that.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft is also looking to change things up with the Zune, with its community-building wireless sharing features and “all you can eat” subscription models for downloading, Reindorp said.
“We're exactly where we'd like to be at this point and we are really encouraged to see how people are response to the unique features,” he said.
Marketing is going to play a huge role in furthering the device in the market, he said, much as massive promotional blitzes helped elevate Apple's iPod.
“Our approach is a warm, very community driven angle,” Reindorp said.
So far Microsoft's retail partners are pleased with the device's performance, he said. And, anecdotally, Reindorp said Microsoft is hearing that the Zune is giving the high-end MP3 player market an overall visibility boost, which pleases retailers.