There has been a good bit of speculation recently that Microsoft will be building an "iPod killer" and there are many reasonable and some other outlandish ideas as to what this device will be or do. I have a few thoughts on the rumors and I am a believer, I think that Microsoft is hoping to make a dent in the juggernautish market share that Apple has on portable media players -- I think that this will be great for consumers too.
If Microsoft is building a first party MP3 player, the following list of features / strategies are highly likely in my opinion:
- High quality screen (something along the lines of portable high-def)
- Wireless content acquisition (either wifi, EV-DO, or EDGE)
- Subsidized cost to move in on a saturated market
The following list of rumors could be possible as well but are much less likely:
- Live integration
- Portable gaming
- PDA functionality and sync of more content than just music and video (contacts, word docs, and so forth)
We'll see. According to the rumors, we will know by Christmas what the top secret development team (rumored to be lead by J Allard and Robbie Bach, creators of the Xbox) has up their sleeves. I'm really hoping for slick design, small size, and long battery life but I might just be dreaming here... it could end up being some crazy psp-like device for all I know.