Much to the distress of perhaps one of you Microsoft has announced it will delay the European launch of its apathetically received Zune player until next year.
Company CEO Steve Ballmer was the man to deliver the crushing news to you (yes, you – in Hull – you know who you are) in an interview with German site Wirtschafts Woche and cited the fact Microsoft has yet to recoup a profit for its initial investments and beta testing on US citizens.
Funnily enough – while this announcement doesn't exactly shock me or likely disappoint anyone (apart from you in Hull, yes you) it comes on the back of Microsoft's proud recent announcement that it had shipped one million Zunes since the product's Stateside launch last November. A reasonable rate of return.
Of course all this smacks of the fact that - off the record - Microsoft secretly thinks its first generation Zune isn't up to snuff. After all, if it had a player which had set everyone's pulses races (I know it did you in Hull) then you can bet launches would have spread like wildfire.
Instead I anticipate we're in for flash memory based, multi-touch successors sometime in the first half of 2008 – because anything else post iPhone (and inevitable iPhone based new iPods at some stage between now and then) without these features just won't cut the mustard. SanDisk knows it, Ballmer does too - in fact, only you (yes YOU) in Hull doesn't...
Wirtschafts Woche – German Language Warning!