Microsoft is supposedly so happy with the early sales of its Zune music player in America that it could launch the MP3 player and accompanying music service in Europe before the end of the year, its marketing director told Reuters over the weekend.

Jason Reindorp told Reuters that Microsoft was realistic about the challenge it faced in trying to crack into the digital music player market, dominated by Apple's iPod.

"You couldn't get a more entrenched competitor", he said at the annual music industry Midem Net conference in France. "But we feel really good about the first steps that we've taken."

Reindorp said Microsoft was not yet ready to officially announce when it would launch the service in Europe but it could possibly be out before the end of the year, but hinted that a Christmas launch was likely.

However, the success of the new player maybe affected by the news Pocket-lint reported on last week that some Zune users have been reporting that the music sharing feature via Wi-Fi doesn't work with quite a number of purchased songs.