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Apple to launch music device

The company is sending invitations to an Oct. 23 unveiling of what it calls "a breakthrough digital device" that isn't a Mac.

Apple Computer may be looking to trump Microsoft's Windows XP launch by unveiling a new product of its own.

As Microsoft prepares for the Oct. 25 liftoff ceremonies for its new operating system, Apple will be gathering journalists and industry analysts for "the unveiling of a breakthrough digital device," according to invitations received Wednesday.

Apple will unveil the new device--"hint: it's not a Mac," according to the invitation received by CNET Oct. 23 during an event at Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.

Apple could not immediately be reached for comment about the event or the product, but sources familiar with the company's plans said to expect a digital music device.

The device would fit in with the company's message regarding the Mac OS X operating system, to be used as a hub for what Apple CEO Steve Jobs calls the "digital lifestyle."

Compaq Computer and Dell Computer also offer digital music entertainment devices that work with either a television or a PC.