In spite of the big budget marketing campaign and months of pre-release hype, Microsoft’s Zune was released on Tuesday with disappointing results. Digital Music News reported that it was available in 30,000 retail outlets, “more than any other Microsoft product." Even Bill Gates himself gave it a push by extolling its virtues.
Apparently, however, it was not well received by everyone – there were complaints about it’s size – larger and heavier than the iPod and its sharing capabilities possibly hurt by the refusal of some big names, such as the Rolling Stones, to license their music for Zune-to-Zune sharing.
So, what is the message here? Perhaps that success can’t always be bought. Regardless of how much money Microsoft has spent on the Zune, it’s popularity and success ultimately lies with the consumer.