Microsoft picks Toshiba to manufacture new music player

Software maker Microsoft Inc. confirmed on Friday that it has chosen Toshiba to produce the forthcoming Zune music player, a product designed by the company to take on Apple Computer's iPod.

The confirmation followed reports of a regulatory filing Toshiba made to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that mentions the device and its features.

"Toshiba is manufacturing the device and the [FCC] report is legitimate," a spokesperson for Microsoft's public relations firm said. But the company declined to say if other hardware makers would also produce the players.

In addition to the name "Zune," the device is also referred to in Toshiba's filing by the code name "Pyxis".

According to the Zune user's manual included in the filing, the player will include 30 gigabytes of storage, wireless capabilities, and an FM radio tuner.

The wireless capabilities will allow users to search for other Zune devices within range and share music, photos, playlists, and other media content with those devices, according to Microsoft.

But the software giant did not further disclose what it planned to allow users to do with their wireless connection.

After months of speculation, Microsoft confirmed last month that it was developing a device and a music download software to compete with Apple Computer's iPod player and iTunes music subscription service, a combination that is dominating the personal music player market.

Toshiba has long used Microsoft's software in its products, dating back to its first laptop in 1980s. The company has also made portable media players and handheld computers using the slimmed-down Windows CE operating system.

Source: Xinhua

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