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Microsoft iPod rival due by Christmas

updated 07:40 pm EDT, Wed July 5, 2006

MS to launch iPod rival

With a huge marketing push, Microsoft plans to release its own media player in time for the holiday season this year, as its partners have failed to make a dent in Apple's dominance of the online music world. In an effort to establish its own brand and technology in the rapidly growing world of online music -- one that Apple has effectively locked down using its own closed iPod/iTunes ecosystem -- Microsoft has been showing off its own media player and software to record companies over the last few weeks. According to Reuters, the device will let users download music and videos over the air. The feature, which would give it an edge over the iPod, would enable users to more easily purchase music without being tethered to a PC. Bloomberg reports that the rumored media player has a higher screen resolution for better image quality, and will be able to connect to a PC or other device via WiFi.

In addition, the Redmond-based company has also been showing a new media software application to develop a system akin to Apple's own software-hardware ecosystem. The report says that record companies are expected to begin receiving prototypes in the coming weeks and that Microsoft will be throwing significant marketing dollars behind the launch.

J. Allard, the executive responsible for launching Microsoft's Xbox, is working with Robbie Bach, appointed president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices, to help make the unnamed digital media player/software project a success, according to Bloomberg.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. jasong

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Over the air?

    Over the air meaning over cheap, ubiquitous WiFi, or over ridiculously expensive cellular networks? Or does the song just magically appear?

    I can't say I have ever been walking around listening to my iPod and been struck by the Urge to buy a song THAT MOMENT, nor can I imagine a portable interface that would make it a pleasant adventure, but I'd love to see someone try it.

  1. devilla101

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Relax jasong

    And take some valium or something.

    Before easily criticising MS (like other apple kiddies), I for one hope MS would come out with something better than the current ipods. Its starting to show its age. Also I do hope this upcoming device would also be used in conjunction with the Xbox 360.

  1. brainiac_7

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    i'm already envious

    I'm sure MS ePod, version 3.0, will be something to crow about. Watch for the price of downloads to skyrocket 6 mo.s after launch, if they manage to cop Apple's mojo.

    Seriously, I'm all for a refresh of iTunes.

  1. koolkid1976

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re:Relax jasong

    He doesn't seem to be criticising MS, just the concept.

  1. jasong

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Not criticising either

    I'm speaking as a consumer, and stating my personal desires in a device. I do hope MS comes out with something amazing, and that someone, possibly Apple, bests them, rinse and repeat. An iPod that can download songs from the ITMS would not encourage me to buy a new device for the stated reason that I have never in my life been out listing to my portable music device and wished I could buy a song/album on the spot. Sight unseen, if that's what MS is bringing to the table, the device will likely fail.

    Anyway, I have the next three days off of work, I am relaxed.

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Dream on

    Microsoft should simply shut down and avoid further humuliation and embarassement. It's already on the verge of blowing itself up with each and every moronic decision made by the idiots running that dump. Mictoshit is always late to every game (me too me too) delivering trash that nobody wants.

  1. bspaulding

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    ready and waiting to fall

    im going to drop in my sour apple:

    the iPod interface is the best. to best the iPod as it stands now will take some serious innovation and ingenuity.

    heres the sour apple: MS /= innovation

  1. Gorloth

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Micro$oft

    Something Amazing.... pray tell Emperor I like your new clothes

  1. LordJohnWhorfin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Competition is good

    So far, competition has strengthened Apple's leadership. This time, the assault is much more serious than it's ever been, and it's on all fronts. They will have to adapt, and that may involve alliances with other companies; it's going to be very interesting to see how Steve plays it out, but don't count him out quite yet.

  1. kw99

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    How does MS

    reconcile competing with it's "partners." Every digital music/media player company except Apple (and maybe Sony) relies on MS to provide the interface software. Every online music store except Apple's iTunes (and a few other minor players) relies on MS to provide the interface software. And now, MS wants to do the "vertical" thing too and provide an end-to-end user experience all by itself. MS is only competing with the companies it already partners with; most potential customers have already chosen Apple and making them dump their iPods and iTunes library switch to Microsoft is not going to be easy.

    What's next, Microsoft announces that it will build it's own line of desktop and laptop PCs, to better integrate with Windows Vista?

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