Here Come the Portable Media Centers

At the CeBit 2004 trade show in Germany this week, Microsoft announced a set of strategies centered around the Windows-based Portable Media Center products--handheld devices that will provide video, music, and photo slide-show content. A variety of Microsoft's hardware partners will make Portable Media Center products, which will be integrated seamlessly with online music services such as EMI Music Publishing's upcoming European service and Napster, Microsoft says. Some sources have called Portable Media Center products "iPod killers," but that statement is a huge simplification, akin to calling the automobile a "motorcycle killer." Portable Media Center products do so much more than Apple Computer's iPods and other portable audio players that they're really a brand-new category.

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