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Microsoft to release iPod killers


Microsoft's Head of Digital Media, Erik Huggers, announced yesterday his company's intention to directly compete with the iPod. "Come this fall there is going to be a number of devices that get close to competing with Apple's iPod...there is going to be a whole lineup of products that can compete with Apple in industrial design, usability, functionality and features."

Of course, this won't be easy for Microsoft. Apple has one distinct advantage in this particular race: They produce both the hardware and the software. More after the jump.

[Via Spymac]

While the iPod and iTunes Music Store work together seamlessly, Microsoft has had a difficult time showing customers which Windows-friendly media devices work with which applications. A campaign called "PlaysForSure," which puts logos on compatible devices (and reminds me of Garanimals), was recently put in place to combat the confusion. However, the success of the campaign has been limited. Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Research in New York, writes, "We tend to call it 'PlaysForAlmostSure.' Meanwhile Apple's iPod and iTunes are dancing together like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers."

Whenever I read an article about the next iPod killer looming on the horizon, my initial reaction always is, "Bring it on!" Not because I think that the iPod will always come out on top, but because it means better products all around. When two business giants are directly competing for the same dollar bills in your wallet, that means we all get newer, better and cheaper products. I, for one, am looking forward to this year's holiday shopping season.

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