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Microsoft: We'll eventually 'be the leader' in digital media players

Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday that it expects to sell 1 million of its new Zune music players by the end of next June, roughly the same amount of iPods Apple Computer has been selling each week.

"We think that's actually pretty awesome," said Bryan Lee, corporate vice president for Microsoft's entertainment group, as quoted by the Associated Press.

Lee added that he expects Microsoft will eventually "be the leader" in the digital media player segment, especially once the Redmond, Wash.-based company rolls out more models of Zune and starts selling them internationally.

Thus far, Zune is available only in the United States and Microsoft has not disclosed any plans to begin selling the players overseas.

According to the AP, unit sales for Zune's first two weeks on the market were roughly the same, ranking No. 2 with about 9 percent (retail) share when assessed by NPD Group.

However, the report notes that "promotions for rival devices — including much cheaper players — during the 'Black Friday' week of Thanksgiving had Zune slipping to No. 5."

The player is fairing little better over at Amazon.com, where it has slipped to the 55th-best selling item in the web retailer's electronics category.