Five months after its introduction, industry experts give Microsoft Corp.'s Zune media player barely passing grades in terms of its marketplace success while Microsoft insists the device is on course.
"I'd give them a B-minus," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for market research firm NPD Group. Other analysts gave Microsoft roughly the same marks.
"We are very definitely on target," insisted Jason Reindorp, a Microsoft marketing director for Zune. He said there will be some changes in Zune's direction, including, possibly, a Zune phone, but said Microsoft is satisfied with Zune's progress.
However, citing market studies, the analysts note that Zune has yet to make a dent in the large market lead of Apple's iPod. They also pointed to five specific areas in which Zune must improve.