Microsoft Corp. Corporate Vice President of MSN Yusuf Mehdi told attendees of Goldman Sachs’ fifth annual Internet Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada that the company’s partners will produce portable music players for as little as US$50, according to a report in the
Denver Post. The new devices will complement a Microsoft-made music download service expected to go online later this year, and some will rival the iPod’s “look and feel,” according to Mehdi.
Microsoft has been openly critical of Apple’s foray into digital music as Apple has gained momentum with sales of music through the iTunes Music Store and its iPod music player. Last October, shortly before Apple’s introduction of the Windows-compatible version of iTunes, Microsoft General Manager, Windows Digital Media Dave Fester
said that iTunes is too limited for Windows users thanks to its reliance on FairPlay, a Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme that competes with Microsoft’s own Windows Media Audio DRM solution. WMA is employed by some other commercial online music services and supported by dozens of Windows-compatible portable digital audio players. FairPlay works only with Apple’s iPod, which does not support WMA.
Update: (06/01/04 3:45PM) Re-named article and adjusted first paragraph to address inaccuracies in the Denver Post’s initial coverage.
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