Microsoft to target iPod with portable system this year?

Nothing is set in stone just yet — more like a 7-year-old has scribbled something in the sand right next to the shoreline — but word on the interweb is that Microsoft is gearing up to release a portable multimedia device before Santa makes his rounds this year that targets the same market as the lucrative iPod from Apple.

This new device, according to Bloomberg, will tackle music and video on the go with the best of them, but to one up the offering from Steve Jobs, Billy Gates is throwing in something a little extra: “A wireless Internet connection, enabling users to download music without being linked to a computer.” Of course, the MusicGremlin already does that, but Joe Public has never heard of that device.

They make no mention of video gaming in this new device however, temporarily slaying the rumours of a “Xboy” or Xbox-powered Game Boy-like device. Wired writer Chris Kohler says, “You’d think that Microsoft, what with their whole department devoted to casual gaming, would at least want some basic portable time-killer type stuff in there.” Maybe not, Chris. Or maybe they’re two separate machines… Stay tuned.


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