Microsoft Reveals Details About Their New Portable Music Player
Details emerged about Microsoft’s new portable digital music player yesterday when entertainment industry bigshots were briefed on the device. It’s no secret that Microsoft has been developing its own music and video player to go head to head with Apple’s iPod. A big feature disclosed was that the player would have built-in Wi-Fi, like the MusicGremlin, an advanced touch screen, and 16:9 movie format screen ratio.
The built-in Wi-Fi would allow users to download music without being connected to a PC, a feature that could loosen Apple’s stranglehold on the market. Apple’s soup-to-nuts approach is very dependent on the iTunes music store which at this time can only be accessed by a computer.
Microsoft’s device is reportably very similar to an existing player that utilizes the company’s software, and would ship in time for the 2006 holiday shopping season. The company is currently negotiationing with movie studios, major record labels and television networks to sell content online through a new service similar to Apple’s iTunes Music Store.
This is a strong move for Microsoft who is jumping into the very, very crowded portable market. It’s obvious that Microsoft hasn’t been too impressed with the hardware strategy of Sony, Creative, Samsung and others who have failed to make a dent in Apple’s commanding market share. Lessons learned from XBox manufacturering are certainly a factor in the future, but for this first endeavor it appears that the company will just be rebranding another company’s technology.
Another fascinating aspect of this product launch is how other manufacturers who have implemented Windows Media Player software into their devices will deal with Microsoft as a hardware competitor.