Microsoft preps complete line of Xbox-branded digital-media products

“Microsoft is indeed developing a digital-media player to compete with Apple’s iPod, and there’s much more to the story,” Brier Dudley reports for The Seattle Times.

“A few details trickled out last week from music companies that Microsoft is lining up to support the device. Microsoft isn’t commenting, but I was able to piece together a broader picture with some research, reporting and information from a source close to the project. What’s being developed is actually a complete line of Xbox-branded digital-media products, including a device that plays media, a software media player and an online media service,” Dudley reports.

“The project, or at least part of it, is referred to internally at Microsoft by the code name Argo — a reference to the huge warship used by the hero Jason in Greek mythology,” Dudley reports. Microsoft “is firmly behind Argo. It has committed hundreds of millions to produce and market the devices… the device is expected to go on sale by Christmas. It has Wi-Fi capability so it can connect wirelessly to home and public networks and other players.”

Dudley reports, “It’s a grand plan, but as with a few other big projects in Redmond, it may be a struggle to get it all done by the end of 2006. The project isn’t completed yet, the holidays are approaching fast and the team is under intense pressure to get everything absolutely right.”

Full article here.
Microsoft’s team is “under intense pressure to get everything absolutely right” and we all know how often Microsoft gets “everything absolutely right,” now, don’t we? So, when pigs fly or Vista ships, whichever comes first. We’re not so sure that “Argo” is being used as a reference to Jason’s ship; to us, it sounds more like this Argo than anything else.

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Related articles:
Photo of Microsoft’s ‘iPod killer?’ – July 11, 2006
10 reasons why Microsoft’s ‘iPod killer’ will fail – July 11, 2006
Enderle on what it would take for Microsoft to kill Apple’s iPod – July 10, 2006
Microsoft: ‘iPod killer’ reports based on ‘speculation and rumors’ – July 07, 2006
Can Microsoft hit a fast moving target? Apple likely to debut wireless iPod this year – July 07, 2006
Analysts: Microsoft faces uphill fight to supplant Apple’s iPod+iTunes market dominance – July 07, 2006
Microsoft plans to convert iPod users by replacing iTMS songs with free WMA format songs – July 06, 2006
Microsoft to release wireless ‘iPod killer’ by Christmas to challenge Apple – July 05, 2006
Analyst Wu: Microsoft unlikely to dethrone Apple iPod+iTunes – June 21, 2006
Microsoft preps iPod+iTunes killer – June 19, 2006
Report: Microsoft readying Apple iPod+iTunes rival – June 16, 2006
Microsoft: No iPod killer planned – June 05, 2006
Microsoft, Toshiba, DoCoMo, Victor to develop Japan iPod+iTunes killer – June 02, 2006

Patent application shows iPod capable of live wireless video conferencing – June 13, 2006
Apple patent application filed for wireless iPod+iTunes distribution – May 04, 2006
Generator Research: Apple to Ship $4.2bn in Wireless iPods (WiPods) by 2010 – March 14, 2006
Ready for your wireless Apple iPod? – February 09, 2006
Wireless iPod? CSR and PortalPlayer to bring wireless connectivity to personal media players – February 08, 2006
Wireless Apple iPods coming in 2006? – December 09, 2005

More blood on Apple iTunes Music Store’s play button: MyCokeMusic is dead – June 20, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: iRiver gives up on digital media player market – May 23, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Sony’s Walkman Bean is cooked – February 13, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Dell dumps ‘DJ’ hard-drive MP3 player line – February 04, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: iRiver pulling out of Europe? – February 01, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Thomson gives up on MP3 player, CE markets – December 12, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: BenQ withdraws from MP3 player markets – November 28, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Olympus halts production of portable digital music players – November 09, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Rio is dead – August 26, 2005
Apple’s iPod has blood on its Click Wheel: Virgin Electronics is dead – March 08, 2005
Apple’s iTunes Music Store has blood on its play button: is dead – March 28, 2004


  1. Shareholders in Microsoft are going to get fed up with the failures, lateness of everything and now chasing a category that is already lost.

    They should rise up and deamnd that this bunch of incompetent assholes focus on markets that are not already lost.

  2. Funny, there was an Apple automobile manufacturer in 1917 that didn’t last a year….

    Kinda reminds me of Rev. Rob of Apple Auto Deals in Charlotte…..their motto is: “Apple Auto Sales – we’ll heal your credit!”

    Does my post have any major contributions to MDN or the world? No, but neither does M$ vaporware… So let’s call it even.

  3. Microsoft must get at least a few things right. They are the biggest, most successful software company in the world and among the most successful companies ever. That must count for something, don’t you think? I mean you don’t get to be that successful by doing things mostly wrong….wouldn’t you say.

    I doubt S.J. underestimates them as much as the MDN crowd does.

  4. toonie: Microsoft made most of their money by benefitting from what amounts to a tax on over 90% of all PCs sold. Even if the OEMs wanted to sell the machines without an OS, or with Linux for example, they had to pay MS a per machine OEM license for all their machines sold, or risk MS’s ire and get hit with higher costs on Windows installs. More like being coerced into paying MS for something whether you want it or not. Let’s not get into how MS screwed IBM and Apple in the past on OS issues after supposedly working in some form of cooperation. Just don’t get me started, the story is a pretty ugly one.

  5. “the holidays are approaching fast and the team is under intense pressure to get everything absolutely right.””

    Translation: Microsoft managers are jsut trying to get it done, slashing every possible feature they can before the have to commit to production.

    You’ll be able to get a Microsoft branded music player that INCLUDES an ON button by next summer. For holiday buying season they will just be blank, featureless grey boxes.

  6. seriously, whats up with all the microsoft stories?

    but in regards to the product, how many people are really going to be wooed by this new product? the xbox-brand is only popular with a certain target market, and i’d say it is a minority group out of the entire market possibly. so naturally the question is how many xbox-related media players can they push on people that really dont see the xbox as a favorable thing?

  7. Microsoft doesn’t give a ratts *ss about the operating system VIsta for consumers, it’s all about pushing thier own hardware device (the X-Box) as a consumer PC in to the homes.

    This is why they take such a big hit on it, selling it cheap. Same thing with Sony.

    What people are predicting is that the personal home computer as we know it will be gone, there will be little use for it. Replaced either with X-Boxes or Playstations with keyboards, mice and hooked up to the television.

    So Microsoft is going to leverage their X-Box to get the kiddies to buy a M$ player, of course it will be DRMEd to their eyeballs and nobody will want it.

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