More on Microsoft's new media player
This makes sense. After announcing that Microsoft's new media player and music service will be developed under the leadership of Xbox co-founder J Allard, comes the news that what's being developed is actually a complete line of Xbox-branded digital-media products, including a device that plays media, a software media player and an online media service.
The project, or at least part of it, is referred to internally at Microsoft by the code name Argo — a reference to the huge warship used by the hero Jason in Greek mythology.
This is a smart move, in my opinion. Microsoft needs a powerful brand if is to have any chance of competing successfully with iPod/iTunes, and Xbox is a pretty hot brand among gamers. Assuming that Microsoft is able to cut content deals with the record companies (which shouldn't be a problem), and that they can develop a killer user interface (again, shouldn't be a problem although it has been for everyone but Apple) then they have a chance. It'll be interesting to see whether they match iTunes pricing structure or go for variable pricing.