Microsoft Prepares "iPod Killer"

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Watch out Apple, here comes Microsoft. CNN is reporting that Microsoft is preparing an "iPod Killer" to be released later this year. These units will be larger and heavier than the iPod, but will have a larger, color screen and play videos and display photos, in addition to playing back MP3 and WMA files. From CNN:

The first handheld gadgets to play music and movies on Microsoft Corp.is "iPod killer" software will be available in Europe in the second half of 2004, the worldis largest software company said on Thursday.

The gadgets will run on Microsoftis yet-to-be-unveiled Portable Media Center software in a direct assault on iPod, Apple Computer Inc.is hot-selling digital music player.

[...]

The devices play MP3 files as well as audio and video content recorded in Microsoftis digital format. The devices run on the Windows CE operating system.

The Creative player weighs in at 330 grams (11.5 ounces) -- roughly three times as thick as an iPod and roughly twice as long to accommodate its television-quality colour screen. It has a USB port and comes with audio and video outputs cable to play media on a television or stereo hi-fi.

CNN also quoted Mark Mulligan of Jupiter Research, who dismissed these devices, saying "By definition, they just donit have widespread appeal." Thereis more information in the full article at CNN.

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