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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

July 5, 2006 at 2:31 PM

Microsoft’s not-so-secret iPod rival

Another week has gone by and that means it’s time for another installment in the Microsoft-is-developing-an-iPod-rival news cycle.

Bloomberg gives more details today, citing anonymous sources in Hollywood and the music industry. Microsoft’s new player will be out by Christmas, the report says, and will have wireless Internet capability. A Microsoft spokeswoman today would only characterize the story as speculation.

The wireless Internet connection probably won’t mean you can surf the Web from the player, but it most likely would let you buy and download music directly to the device without having to use a computer. You might be able to see what songs are on other people’s players. Perhaps you could even share songs or snippets of songs wirelessly, as long as the terms meet what will undoubtedly be very strict digitial rights restrictions on the device.

The article points out that the new device is being overseen by Robbie Bach and J Allard — two key players in the development of the Xbox video game console. They have loads of experience with Microsoft going beyond its software roots to develop its own hardware.

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