“Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday that it expects to sell 1 million of its new Zune music players through the first half of 2007. That figure would pale in comparison to Apple Computer Inc.’s market-leading iPod, but Microsoft contends it would be a good start. ‘We think that’s actually pretty awesome,’ said Bryan Lee, corporate vice president for Microsoft’s entertainment group,” The Associated Press reports.

“Microsoft executives have played down any suggestions that the Zune is an attempt to quickly steal enormous chunks of market share from Apple, the Silicon Valley-based rival that says it sold 39 million iPods of various sizes in the 12 months ended Sept. 30,” AP reports.

“However, Lee said Wednesday that Microsoft expects to eventually ‘be the leader’ in the category, especially once Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft rolls out more models of Zunes and starts selling them internationally. For now Zune is available only in the United States. No overseas sales plans have been disclosed, AP reports. “If initial sales figures are any indication, the Zune is far from being a blockbuster.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “TripleHead” for the heads up.]
What a joke. It’s not even worth the effort. Why inflict even one of these things, much less a million of them, on the most-challenged of tech consumers? Leave that chore to SanDisk et al. Note to Microsoft: There is a big difference between starting out slow and starting out dead.

How they can still muster the false bravado is anybody’s guess. For comparison, Apple is currently selling 1 million iPods every 4-5 days. Zune was released on Nov. 14, so Microsoft thinks it’s “actually pretty awesome” to sell 1 million Zunes in around 200 days? Who believes that one?

Too bad for Microsoft that 2007’s not a leap year, they could’ve used the extra day’s sales of 5,000 crappy wannabe iPods.

How long until they pull the plug on Zune?

Related article:
Microsoft Zune plummets to 5th place in U.S. digital media player market share with 2.1 percent – December 04, 2006