SEATTLE Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) cut the price
of its Zune digital music player on Wednesday by $50 to $199 in
an attempt to rev up sales of the device competing against
Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPod.
Microsoft announced the price cut for the 30-gigabyte
player on the Zune Insider blog run by one of its employees,
just hours before Apple's news conference, where the company,
as expected, updated its iPod lineup with new models.
Microsoft said it had been planning the price cut "for
months" and expects the lower price to lure new customers.
The world's largest software maker faces a herculean task
in taking on Apple in digital music players, a category defined
by its iPod, which has sold over 100 million units since its
introduction in October 2001.
Microsoft introduced the Zune last year, touting its
capabilities to share music wirelessly. With only the 30-GB
model, Microsoft met its target to sell more than 1 million
units before the end of June.
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft is expected to
introduce different Zune models before the holiday season. A
Microsoft executive said Tuesday the company had nothing to
announce at this time, but said its plan over time is to offer
new Zune models and roll out the devices in new markets.
(Reporting by Daisuke Wakabayashi)