updated 09:15 am EST, Mon February 13, 2006
iPod competitors coming
Microsoft and its hardware partners will continue to challenge the dominance of the iPod by bringing new digital media devices the consumer market. Reuters reports that Chairman Bill Gates pledged to work with its hardware partners to develop new digital media products. "I don't think what's out on the market today is the final answer," Gates told a group of minority students. "Between us and our partners, you can expect some pretty hot products coming out over the next few years." Reuters reports that Gates "praised Apple's iTunes music store and said the software giant was talking with hardware partners to create media devices that can be less expensive and easier to connect and can handle pictures and video better." Gates also noted that the market share for Microsoft-comaptible digital music players is around 20 percent, a figure lower than he would like. The comments appear to discount rumors that Microsoft is considering releasing its own branded player.