We knew Microsoft had a Herculean — nay, Sisyphean — task when it rolled out its Zune MP3 player last year. It didn't help matters when Microsoft "designers" chose putrid brown as a launch color. Despite Microsoft's pledge of continued support of the product, it looks like it — or a major retailer left with unsold stock — is dumping Zunes on the cheap. Woot, the deal-a-day online retail site, is currently selling white Zunes for $150 apiece, a 50% discount over the retail price. While the site doesn't list available stock, hot items are known to sell out quickly. This obviously doesn't describe Zune, though.
According to an NPD Group report last May, the most recent data available, Microsoft had 2.3 percent of the portable music player market. Creative's market share is 4 percent, SanDisk's is 11.7, and Apple's is a whopping 70 percent. Microsoft's fourth-place player may not have been doomed to certain failure at launch, but this selloff is certainly no sign of health.