Update on the $50 Microsoft iPod: Denver Post bungles story

Yusuf MehdiWe're correcting our post from earlier today about a $50 ipod clone from Microsoft. Basically, it looks like the Denver Post got it really, really wrong when they published this yesterday:

Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, will begin selling portable music players for as much as 80 percent less than Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod.

The Microsoft-branded devices will "look and feel" as good as the iPod for as little as $50, said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of MSN at Microsoft Corp., at the Goldman Sachs fifth annual Internet Conference in Las Vegas. The iPod sells for $249 to $499.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., will release a number of music players when it launches its online music service later this year, giving customers more choices than Apple, Mehdi said.

If you go and look at the original transcript of Mehdi's remarks, here's what he actually says:

I've spent time with a bunch of hardware manufacturers who will launch hardware products when we ship our service that will look and feel as good as the iPod product. And they will undoubtedly be a little bit less expensive and so head-to-head against Apple we'll have a device that will be available to the consumer. We won't produce it but it will be available to the consumer. We gave a lot of input. And then we'll have a bunch of other devices, some that we've already talked about, one the Portable Media Center, which is a device that's a little bit bigger and a little more expensive that has video and audio, much higher end looking device. It's for people who really want to sort of look at music videos and not just music, which is very powerful, we'll have that offering. And then a bunch of devices in between, little ones that cost 50 bucks and you can go running with.

He doesn't say that they'll be Microsoft-branded players or that they'll be making the players themsevles, and he doesn't say that they'll have a $50 iPod clone, just that there will be "little ones that cost 50 bucks and you can go running with."

[Thanks to everyone who wrote in with this. We're just as frustrated about this story as you are.]