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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: PSP anyone?
By zombiexl on 7/10/2006 8:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
BY the looks of it the PSP screen is smaller and many people are sick of sony's proprietary media formats.

If this thing plays (or can be made to play) DivX files then it may be worth a look. Although my bet is that MS is going to make it MP3/WMA and WMV only.

RE: PSP anyone?
By Josh7289 on 7/10/2006 9:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with the rest of what you said, zombiexl, but just as a side note, I think the PSP's screen may be bigger than this players. Really, the PSP is a pretty large machine for a handheld, and its screen resolution of 480 x 272 is proof of that, but as you said, Sony's crap handling of all things multimedia has left the system basically useless for anything besides playing lackluster games.

RE: PSP anyone?
By ElFenix on 7/10/2006 10:42:33 PM , Rating: 3
if the PSP is smaller than this thing, then this thing is barely portable and is already a market failure. even a 3" screen is probably too big, considering the rest of the device.

and of course the new ipod will have the wheel be a graphic on a screen, so their 3" screen will be far more pocketable.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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