Yesterday Paul Thurrott welcomed the news that Microsoft had sold it’s millionth Zune, proudly declaring that it’s “not doing all that horribly.”
Thurrott, who does not hesitate to rail against those who point out the Mac’s market share gains, thinks nothing of pimping this piece of Microsoft marketing tripe. Sadly for Thurrott but humorously for us, a funny thing happened on the way to writing the original piece he links to and, well, turns out it’s wrong. Microsoft is gonna probably have sold a million Zunes. Someday.
Even if it had been true, however, Thurrott’s post is an escapade in jackassery.
Of course, Apple sells several million iPods a quarter, so there’s still some ground to make up.
This, incidentally, is also what Thurrott calls the land mass between Hungary and Mongolia. We call it the Russian Steppe. He calls it “some ground”.
No one’s really sure why he does this. He just does.
Now, the Oxford American Dictionaries (better known to Mac users as “Dictionary”) defines “several” as “more than two but not many”. The Macalope will leave it up to his intelligent and fabulously sexy readers to decide if last quarter’s 10.5 million or the previous quarter’s 21 million can accurately be described as “several” million.
But still. Not too shabby.
Well, actually, no, still rather shabby.
Microsoft is a notorious channel stuffer, so that might explain why while the company can claim to have “sold” 1 million Zunes you, like the horny one, might not have seen anyone actually using one outside of a CompUSA sales associate killing time before he’s downsized.
Thurrott makes a point of noting in his retraction that Apple only sold half that number in its first six months. Indeed.
Which is amazing considering the size of the overall market at the time and and that the iPod was effectively being sold only to Mac users as it didn’t ship with software for Windows until July of 2002 (see Wikipedia’s iPod entry).
Look, it is much harder to break into the digital music player market now than it was in 2001. But this is also Microsoft we’re talking about. They can practically force retailers to take as many as they tell them to. Is 10% of the hard-drive based market really anything to crow about? Great, it looks like they’ll make their target, albeit probably by stuffing the channel. But the Zune doesn’t have “some ground” to make up. It still has to prove that it can be anything more than a distant second in a subset of the market.