November 2006Microsoft first tried to partner with MP3 player manufacturers, like Samsung and Creative, selling music for the devices via its now-defunct online music store PlaysForSure. It abandoned that approach and released the Zune, a 30 GB portable media player meant to compete with Apple's iPod. Consumers could download music from the online Zune Marketplace, but sales were slow in the first year. The following November, a revamped Zune is released in three different memory capacities: 4 GB, 8GB, and 80 GB. To appease loyal consumers, new software is given free to owners of first-generation players. Sales still lag behind the extremely popular iPod, and the Zune now accounts for less than 5% of the digital music player market.
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