Microsoft to go up against the iPod?

Business Week is reporting that Microsoft is thinking of developing its own portable digital media player to compete against the Apple iPod. Rather than providing the technology to partners, this effort would be a Microsoft-branded player or series of devices.

Peter Moore, who leads the Xbox business for Microsoft, would not confirm such a device but did indicate that it would leverage Microsoft’s strength in video gaming. It is likely then that the device would incorporate meany elements of Portable Media Center devices and could be branded as an XBox device.

Among the risks that Microsoft has to consider before deciding to proceed could be the alienation of current partners who could then opt to use non-Microsoft solutions. But the stakes (the consumers’ living rooms) are high enough that Microsoft could go for it.

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