Microsoft Cutting Zune Prices, Attempting to Stay Relevant?

By  |  Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 2:26 pm

new-ms-zune-octCNET’s Ina Fried has the details on an announcement to come from Microsoft on Wednesday which would cut prices of its Zune players by as much as 25 percent. While Ms. Fried seems to infer that has to do with tougher economic conditions — that very well may be — lets face it: Microsoft is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the digital music space.

After much chest-thumping surrounding the release of its flash-based players (the sector of the market where an overwhelming majority of players are sold), there still is no evidence that Redmond is gaining any traction with consumers.

Apple still is king, and Microsoft is just an also ran. It’s even fallen behind other makers such as SanDisk, one of the partners it left out in the cold when it all but abandoned its PlaysForSure technology last year. Here’s the lowdown:

The price cuts only affect the flash line and are as follows:

  • 4GB drops from $129 to $99;
  • 8GB drops from $149 to $139 ($10 cheaper than the Nano);
  • and the 16GB from $199 to $179 ($20 cheaper than the Nano).

A few Microsoft produced accessories would also see some type of price reduction, although details were not released. The cuts would be accompanied by a new ad campaign which launched on Monday. I guess we’ll see if this change moves the needle any.

I’ll go out on a limb and say it won’t.

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