Oui, it’s true. The Zune HD we’re all pumped for will not be hitting Europe this year, if indeed it does at all. Microsoft France’s entertainment division director has said during and interview that “for now, we have no intention of marketing (it here)” or, to be precise, “pour le moment, nous n’avons aucune intention de le commercialiser.” Okay, that’s one way to get your product out there…
To be fair, the European music landscape is much different and has significant non-overlapping parts. The Zune team produces a lot of content around each artist, like bios and custom pages on the Social site, so it actually would be a lot more work to bring to Europe than simply shipping a few boxes.
I guess they had to choose between launching a player with little local support and launching it later with something better to prop it up. And since Zune’s brand relies heavily on its backend stuff, they had to go with the latter. Still disappointing, I imagine, to a lot of fans over there.