Report: Microsoft planning iPod rival | iLounge News


Report: Microsoft planning iPod rival

Microsoft may take on the iPod with a new portable device that combines music, video and gaming, according to BusinessWeek. While the device is still in the planning stages, the software giant has reportedly formed a team to consider the project’s chances.

“After getting trounced for four years in the digital music business by Apple, Microsoft finally seems poised to do something about it,” reports the publication. “BusinessWeek has learned that the software giant is working on plans to develop its own digital media device to rival the iPod, rather than just providing technology to partners. Microsoft hasn’t decided if it will go ahead. But sources inside the company and at its partners say Microsoft has put together a team that’s considering the business end of such an initiative.”

Xbox boss Peter Moore says a Microsoft device would have to do more than music and videos—it needs to leverage the company’s Xbox brand and offer video gaming capabilities. “It can’t just be our version of the iPod,” says Moore. “I think the brand is an opportunity.”

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I’m a Microsoft kind of guy, but I am nothing without my iPod.  The thing that has worked for apple is that the iPod is a beautiful piece of tech that works and does exactly what it is meant to do.  I worry that Microsoft will stuff a bunch of useless stuff into an ‘X-pod’ and call it good.  Just look at the pocket pc.

What I’d like to hear is what others think should go into a portable?  True video.  Better battery?  Internet?  Or will too much just be too much?

Posted by duckingshire on January 26, 2006 at 12:05 PM (CST)


Exactly agree with you as far as Microsoft trying to put too much into their upcoming competitor mp3 player for iPod.
They need to think that less is sometimes better.  All I’m asking is to have an mp3 player that does bookmark with any type of files (Like what Creative Players have) and crossfade.  That’s all and of course plays music.  I don’t want to have any games or play videos.  That is just too much for any normal user who just want to listen to music.

Posted by mdmania on January 26, 2006 at 12:17 PM (CST)


I love my iPod but I hope MS will be able to come out with a very competitive product. Any competition is good competition, and right now the iPod has no competition.

Posted by Victor on January 26, 2006 at 12:18 PM (CST)


if it has gaming, then it will ruin battery life, and ruin storage capacity.

The PSP would have sold better if it had an integrated HardDrive and longer battery life.

If they want to fight iPod, I wouldn’t make it a portable gaming system.

Posted by Zaki Q on January 26, 2006 at 12:18 PM (CST)


I agree w/Zaki…....trying to do music, videos AND gaming would be like combining Creative’s Zen Vision: M and Sony’s PSP…’d fall flat on it’s face right out of the gate.

I’d like to see MS develop a strict iPod competitor (no games….just video or no video) first and see how it stacks up.

Posted by Huskerz85 on January 26, 2006 at 12:44 PM (CST)


Again?  Haven’t we heard this song before?

- Mike Nilsen

Posted by Mike Nilsen on January 26, 2006 at 1:11 PM (CST)


I could see me buying something like an xbox handheld but not as an iPod replacement.

Posted by Daypah on January 26, 2006 at 1:22 PM (CST)


I vowed never to buy anything by Microsoft ever again. Sounds like they are planning to copy “Steam” on the game downloding front. :$

Posted by Peachey on January 26, 2006 at 1:46 PM (CST)


I vowed never to buy anything from Microsoft again.

Sounds like they are gonna copy “Steam” on the game downloading front.

Posted by Peachey on January 26, 2006 at 1:49 PM (CST)


The need to make it possible to connect 2 ipods together and transfer music and videos. But I know music artists would be very upset. Who would buy cd’s?

Posted by Marco on January 26, 2006 at 1:56 PM (CST)


As I whined in the threads of the previous MSFT-must-do-MP3 story, I still don’t see Redmond getting this right, particularly if they don’t take it seriously and especially if they don’t develop an app as good if not better than iTunes. WMP (as programmed to date) does not cut it for me. And personally, the formation of feasibility committees don’t seem like a very good start to ANY project (yes, I know that’s how corporations typically work); it would’ve been more reassuring to read that some passioned product engineers within MSFT have been ranting about how THEY have a better mousetra…er, iPod ‘killer’.

However, it WOULD be intriguing if their proposed player were a serious gaming device (with HD); that sort of convergent usage would be of interest to me.  However good my PSP is a vid game player, having to depend on 1GB Pro Duo sticks for media content is just too inconvenient, and I won’t buy UMDs when DVDs are available and often cheaper. But having to re-rip everything to MP3…no joy.

Now that I’ve FINALLY lived with the 360 for the last couple of days, I DO see that MSFT CAN do hardware REAL NICE when they put their minds to it (this console so far has been one sweet device; IMO it definitely makes all previous consoles seem very old, outdated and obsolete). Just as long as it doesn’t overheat…(fingers crossed).

Posted by flatline response on January 26, 2006 at 2:12 PM (CST)


Apple needs to be attacked by its main two bottle necks:

- make a software that works with all MP3 players out there across all platforms
- Software with better sharing options, import from foreign devices
- X player gotta have build-in Wifi capabilities

Forget about a gadget that can do too many things and not one thing 100% because of the compromises to add other features. Nobody wants that.

Posted by Karl Rowe on January 26, 2006 at 2:32 PM (CST)


yeah, whatever. Something which Apples does really well is just announce products and have them available the very next day. MS had talked about the first gen. X-Box for years before it actually went on sale, and whilst it’s a good machine, people were basically over it a year before it even went on sale.

MS should have done this a few years ago, when iPods were in their infancy, and whatever they made should have been CHEAP. At this point the iPod has such massive market saturation I think it’d be difficult for any major player to seriously make an “iPod killer” now, unless they could seriously undercut on price and still have an iconic product which looks classy.

Posted by Lawrence Mikkelsen on January 26, 2006 at 3:19 PM (CST)


Any serious, viable competitor will only make the iPod better.  We’ll know that competition is serious when Apple incorporates gapless playback into the iPod.

Posted by redsoxnation on January 26, 2006 at 3:35 PM (CST)


Yawn…Microsoft is going to do this.  Microsoft is going to do that.  I’ve heard it all before.  Let me know when they have an actual, shipping product.

Posted by Cameron T. on January 26, 2006 at 3:35 PM (CST)


knowing microsoft and how they are at firsts, i would say they want too much. you put all that in a mp3 player and u might as well call it a smaller PC.

BTW can anyone see BSD’s?

(BSD AKA Blue Screens Of Deaths)

Posted by Dhruv on January 26, 2006 at 3:43 PM (CST)


Imagine being a fly on the wall at a MS developer’s meeting. “OK guys, here’s the brief: Develop an Xbox-branded iPod killer…” I’d quit my job right there.

iPod, iPod, wherefore art thou iPod?

Posted by Krapster on January 26, 2006 at 4:01 PM (CST)


BSD…no KIDDING!!  Your XPod has encountered an error.  But, if you reboot your XPod, it might fix the problem.

Tech support: “Did you try rebooting?  Okay, well try it again and call us back.  M’kay?”

Posted by dantan98 on January 26, 2006 at 4:06 PM (CST)


M$ is notorious for trowing everything but the kitchen sink into their products.  Hey, it works for Office, but that’s about it.

They need an exercise in simplicity.  I think Jobs nailed it when he put the Front Row remote up against the MCE remote.  6 buttons to what…40 or so?

If M$ does it, they’ll p!ss off a lot of manufacturers and distributors.  But I guess if anyone can afford it, it’s M$.

Posted by Gordy. on January 26, 2006 at 4:13 PM (CST)


What are the odds of this device being compatible with my 20,000 AAC files?  My guess is <1%.

Posted by Galley on January 26, 2006 at 5:38 PM (CST)

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