Bill Gates eulogizing the Zune at a Redmond campus burial ceremony in 2011.
There are a lot of benefits to living in the same town as Microsoft. For one, it employs a ton of people. And local papers do things like devote entire blogs to the company, so that we can hear the entertaining excuses of its execs when its latest ill-advised ventures go south.
On the Seattle P-I's "Microsoft Blog", Microsoft's Robbie Bach, president of the company's Entertainment and Devices Division, says that Zune sales are down 54% because "[w]e are in a position where the category is also shrinking. So I think
those are things that affected everybody's sales, including Apple."
Except iPod sales were up 3%, even if the revenues were down 16%. iPod sales brought in over $3.3 billion; Zune sales were under $100 million.
Apple couldn't do this because it would freak out its investors, but wouldn't it be fun if it announced that it was getting in the Snuggie business (4 million sales so far!) just to see if Microsoft would take the bait?
Update: Even product placement in direct-to-video Disney movies isn't working. Cinderella left her Zune at the ball. But what's a Zune?
Update 2: Check out Nina Shapiro's 2006 piece on Zune at its inception