Microsoft Preps iPod Challenger, Download Service

Microsoft, the world’s largest producer of software, is preparing a digital music and video player, as well as a download service, to compete with Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Computer’s immensely popular iPod entertainment device and iTunes Music Store, Reuters reports.

The news comes from sources familiar with the initiative who spoke with Reuters on Friday.

The same sources also told Reuters that Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft has already spoken with music industry representatives in regards to the establishment of its own music download service.

Gates Inc. is developing a digital entertainment device that will play music and video to compete with Apple and Creative, the number-two provider of digital music players in the world, the sources told Reuters, though they did not provide an estimated launch date for the device or the music service.

Apple and Microsoft did not immediately provide Reuters with a comment on the subject.

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