European Zune delay 'lost in translation'

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European Zune delay 'lost in translation'

A launch that hasn't been planned can't get delayed.

Microsoft is denying a report in the German business magazine Wirtschafts Woche that quoted chief executive Steve Ballmer as saying that the European launch of the Zune media player has been delayed.

The publication this week published an interview with the Microsoft chief. A summary (in German) on the website states that "contrary to expectations, there will be no European launch this Fall." 

Zune is currently available in the US only. Microsoft hasn't provided any guidance about its plans to launch the device outside the US.

Ballmer "was emphasizing that we do intend to launch into Europe, but there is no time and no date," a Microsoft spokesperson told The company blamed the wrong perception on a faulty translation between Ballmer's English comments and the German story.

According to the German text of the full interview, Ballmer never mentioned a fall launch.

When asked when the Zune would launch in Europe, Ballmer responded:

"Our primary goal was to get into market, offer some innovation and do some learning. The US is always an easy place to practice, because it is our home market. Over time, we will have various versions of Zune. And, it is obvious that we need to have new services, not just an internet music store."

"So far, we have lost money in this business because of our investments. That is why we decided not to enter new markets so far. It will only pay off after we have reached some of the goals outlined. When this will be the case, I cannot tell you today."
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