Microsoft 'Argo' iPod Challenger Revealed

Microsoft has allegedly been developing a digital media player to contend with Apple Computer’s uber-popular iPod device for some time, and a recent report in The Seattle Times seems to solidify previous reports.

The Times says the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is indeed developing an iPod challenger under the name "Argo"—in reference to Greek mythology’s Jason and his gigantic warship—and it will not only release a media player, but it will also sell a full product line of Xbox-branded digital media offerings, including the player, its corresponding software and an online content download service.

An early image of the Argo player has also surfaced on the Engadget.com, though the site was careful to note that the image is only “one possible form” the device could take.

Last week, various media sources reported that Microsoft has been making rounds to a handful of music labels to foster support for the product’s release, and it has sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into Argo’s production and marketing. It was also reported that Microsoft hopes to have the device on the market by the upcoming holiday season, and analysts agree a pre-holiday launch will be crucial to its success.

According to the Times, Xbox cofounder J. Allard and his team are working on Argo’s development, and it will feature Wi-Fi capabilities to allow users to download content wirelessly. The Wi-Fi device will not only compete with Apple’s iPod, but it will also take on wireless video game devices from Sony and Nintendo that feature media players, Web terminals and communications mechanisms, according to the Times.

Microsoft did not provide the Times with an official comment.

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