Microsoft media player more than iPod copycat?
Since last month, word has been circulating that Microsoft is cooking up
a rival to Apple's iPod and iTunes combo. Reuters reported last week
that the Microsoft
media player device would launch by Christmas, that it would feature
Wi-Fi connectivity, and that Xbox team VP J Allard was involved in its
development. A new report by Seattle Times columnist Brier Dudley has
shed a little more light on the subject
. Dudley says Microsoft is
readying a "complete line of Xbox-branded digital-media products,"
including the media player device, an online media service, and a
software media player. The device—reportedly code-named
"Argo"—is being developed within Microsoft's Xbox group, and J
Allard is spearheading the project.
Dudley also suggests the so-called Argo could have game-playing
capabilities. "Argo is likely to showcase ... XNA, a new toolkit that
helps game developers create titles for multiple platforms," Dudley
says, adding that Argo will compete with Sony and Nintendo's hand-held
game consoles. That said, Gizmodo has
word from insiders that the Argo—or "Zune," which it says is
the final name—has no game menu in its user interface. Gizmodo
says gaming functionality could make its way into the second iteration
of the device, though.
In addition to these reports, Engadget has managed
to appropriate a picture of a supposed Argo prototype. The picture
comes straight from a mole working on the project, Engadget says.