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Microsoft to murder partners not iPod

The killing Zune

Another day, another iPod killer... It seems that many Windows diehards just can't stand anything created by Apple Computer, and they'd rather use some clunky low-rent MP3 player than get anywhere near a nano.

But this latest announcement of a new MP3 player (called Zune) is from none other than Microsoft. Surely if any corporation can strangle Apple's 75% market share it's the retiring Bill Gates. It's going to be iTunes vs iZunes.

With the Xbox Bill and co went after the mighty PlayStation from Sony. PlayStation still rules by some margin, but MS beat it to market with its Xbox 360 out months and possibly a year before PlayStation 3.

Apple hasn't released a new iPod for what seems like years, and rumours persist that a more eyesight-friendly video iPod is being held up by worried movie studios.

If MS can beat Apple to the best video-friendly MP3 player by months, it has a chance of building some market share - especially from the Apple haters.

But I suspect that Apple is waiting in the wings with not only a rejuvenated iPod line but a proper iTunes-like deal for movie distribution. Bill Gates has dabbled in the movie business (with a small investment in Dreamworks), but Steve Jobs is the largest single shareholder in Disney.

The iPod is ready for an Xbox-like attack, and Bill has missed his chance.

And that means the only killing going on in this market place will be among the non-iPod community, with MS destroying its Windows Media partners rather than denting Apple's dominance.

It's dog eat dog.

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