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Innovation

Microsoft: Zune HD will be 'U.S. only'

Microsoft currently does not intend to launch the Zune HD anywhere but the United States, according to Ars Technica.A Microsoft spokesperson told the site that, "For the time being, the Zune HD device will remain U.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor on

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Microsoft currently does not intend to launch the Zune HD anywhere but the United States, according to Ars Technica.

A Microsoft spokesperson told the site that, "For the time being, the Zune HD device will remain U.S.-only."

Canadians and Mexicans, you're out of luck.

The unidentified spokesperson had this to say:

"Right now we are focused on deploying an exciting service in the form of Zune Video to 18 markets. We are looking at potential future hardware experiences for these markets, but do not have anything to announce right now."

Rumors from April 2009 suggested that this year's Zune platform update would include the international market.

Microsoft has kept the Zune U.S.-only since its debut in November 2006, with a recent Canadian excursion in June 2008.

Why would Microsoft do this? It's possible that the company wants to test the Zune HD -- completely re-engineered and making all previous Zune models obsolete -- in the U.S. market first.

As Apple happily pointed out at its recent announcement of the latest iPod lineup overhaul, Microsoft commands just 1.1 percent of the portable media player market.

The question is: how many models and markets are necessary for Zune success?

How many for failure?

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