Report: Microsoft Plans iPod Rival by Christmas
Unlike the iPod, Microsoft's player will incorporate a wireless radio that will allow users to download songs and videos directly without connecting to a computer, according to the reports.
To complement the new device, the company also is developing some new media software that could potentially integrate an online music store similar to how Apple's iTunes works, according to Reuters. To promote the device, Microsoft plans to spend "significant marketing dollars," Reuters reported.
A Microsoft representative declined to comment. Representatives for Apple did not return calls seeking comment.Rumors of Microsoft unveiling such a device have been floating for weeks. Industry analysts could not confirm the published accounts but said they are plausible. The move would mark a major change in strategy for Microsoft and could mean a significant threat to Apple's dominance in the digital music market. Microsoft has previously attempted to compete with Apple by licensing its Windows Media software to various partners. Dell (DELL), for instance, offers music players that play Windows Media encoded songs which customers can download from stores such as that run by Napster (NAPS). But that strategy has been a failure to date for both the Microsoft's service and hardware partners. Apple's iPod players hold more than 70% of the digital music player market in the U.S. and lead in worldwide market share. Mike McGuire , an analyst with Gartner, said Microsoft certainly has the ability to create a version of the iPod, but success in that market would not be a slam dunk. "Putting the hardware and the software together in a meaningful way will be expensive and difficult," he said. However, he also noted that Apple dislodged Sony's (SNE) Walkman from its position as the de facto standard for digital music, and it would not be impossible for Microsoft to do the same to Apple.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV