If Microsoft has its way, you won't be able to pick up a digital thermometer next year that's not powered by its widget-tastic SideShow middleware. Therefore, even though Dell dropped out of the portable audio game this past summer, rumors that the company is working with Redmond on a SideShow-enabled MP3 player do in fact seem fairly plausible. According to Cnet's Jasmine France, the buzz around Microsoft headquarters during the final week of December was focused on just such a device, which is said to sport media capabilities along with wireless connectivity. If these rumblings do end up panning out, Dell would have a somewhat unique product on its hands -- one which would differentiate itself from the iPods, Zunes, and Sansas of the world by offering access to the nearly limitless types of data and infoswag that the SideShow platform is capable of displaying. Again, deets here are about as slim as can be, so just keep this one on your radar for the time being.

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Dell prepping a SideShow-enabled MP3 player?