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Image courtesy Engadget
Microsoft's Argo and the master plan behind the portable media player -- and possible gaming unit

Engadget has posted a picture of what looks to be Microsoft's much talked about iPod competitor. The site claims that they were sent the image from an insider working on the project -- if true, they'll likely be looking for a new job if J. Allard gets wind of this. According to a recent article from The Seattle Times, the internal codename for the new portable media player (PMP) is Argo; Microsoft's homage to Greek mythology.

While most people have been talking up the audio and video capabilities of the player, Brier Dudley of The Seattle Times points out that Argo could possibly double as a portable gaming unit similar in spirit to the PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS. The scarcity of front-side buttons plays against this idea, but anything is possible. Dudley also points out that Argo could serve as a showcase for Microsoft's XNA toolkit. From The Seattle Times:

Argo could help the December quarter and give executives something to discuss with analysts other than product delays, Bill Gates' departure and the high cost of doing battle with Google. I had thought Microsoft would put its holiday marketing effort behind Urge, a music service it developed with MTV and bundled into Windows Vista's new media-player software. It's helping device makers produce players that show off Urge and the software. Now, those efforts are in parallel with Argo.

Microsoft's Argo looks to be reasonably stylish, which is a key factor in taking on the Apple iPod. Although this is just a mockup and design details are likely not yet finalized, it looks to be a step in the right direction.

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RE: integrated with what software?
By Josh7289 on 7/10/2006 7:52:25 PM , Rating: 2
"And again, if looks alone determined a player's success, the iPod would surely not have been as successful. It also had an excellent (or at least easy) music transfer method, an appealling way to buy low-bitrate music off the internet, and a gigantic marketing campaign that no other company has yet to match. Remember, all those black coloured people jumping around with their white ipods on solid-colour backgrounds? How many iRiver ads do you recall seeing?"

Now, these things are all factors in the iPod's success, for sure, but you can't say that Microsoft will do the same, so as it stands right now, the Argo cannot kill the iPod.

RE: integrated with what software?
By MrPieGuy on 7/10/2006 9:42:01 PM , Rating: 2
So because you can't know what MS is doing you can't say they will kill the iPod? But by that logic you can't say they cannot kill the iPod... so in effect all you're saying is we need to wait and see what else MS does for the player?

With WMP11, likely a good marketing campaign (due to deep pockets) a sleek design everyone but you seems to like, there's nothing to say it cannot compete.

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