last month that Microsoft was working on an iPod killer;
now some new
details are starting to leak out on the player itself and the music service
attached to it. According to the latest buzz from industry insiders,
Microsoft's portable media player (PMP) will have wireless functionality and
will be released in time for the Christmas holiday.
According to the sources, prototypes of the new PMP will be
delivered within weeks and Microsoft will use its massive cash base in order to
heavily promote its iPod killer at launch. Given the wireless nature of the PMP,
this opens up new possibilities of music syncing and music sharing between
players (and the legal hassles that will ensue). Microsoft will no doubt take
the opportunity to pare up the device with the recently announced Live Anywhere service which will be built into Windows
points to a few more perks to be included with Microsoft's new PMP:
To attract current
iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've
already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for
purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft
will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll
be worth it to acquire converts to their new player.
Microsoft’s deep pockets will definitely come in handy with
this iTunes library hand-off and the possibility of bringing over the much sought
after Pod users must have the top brass at Microsoft rubbing their hands
Microsoft's Windows Media Player 11
(WMP11) will serve as a home base for the new PMP. The new media application
sports a revised user interface along with a more streamlined album management
system. WMP11 also adds support for instant search, audio fingerprinting and
the new Windows Media Audio Professional format.
Microsoft has its work cut out for them as it tries to
compete in a market that is 70% controlled by Apple. Sony tried with its
own-branded players and music service, but its efforts have been in vain.