MissMicrosoft has played catch-up in more product categories than it cares to admit. Some campaigns -- Xbox and Internet Explorer -- have been successful. But despite some serious marketing dollars, its portable Zune MP3 player, launched in November 2006, was not one of them. Microsoft tried to make Zune's ability to wirelessly exchange songs with other Zune's a selling point. But that kind of connectivity isn't much fun if you can't find anyone else who owns the player.
While rival iPod was an in-house production at Apple, Microsoft tried to get away with simply reworked Toshiba's Gigabeat S MP3 player, which was already on the market. Consumers weren't fooled.