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Why Microsoft plays games with iPod

After years of observing Microsoft's legal cases, we've learned one thing: Behind every move the company makes, there's always a larger agenda. So when the company began creating some interoperability between its Xbox 360 and Apple's iPod, theories both conspiratorial and practical immediately followed.


For years, Redmondologists have assumed that Microsoft viewed the Xbox as a potential hub for its digital home initiatives. The theory was that, as desktop computing became less important to younger consumers, Microsoft could extend its Windows influence to the game console as a digital uberdevice that could encompass communication, browsing and other basic PC functions in addition to online entertainment.

Apple, of course, would like to do nothing better than beat Microsoft at its own game by leveraging the iPod-Macintosh axis as a foundation for all digital entertainment. So why is Microsoft making it possible for the iPod to work with its products? If it is staying true to history, the software giant is trying to tap into the iPod's wild popularity while keeping control of its use as much--and as early--as it can.

Blog community response:

"Everyone knows how Microsoft and Apple are always at loggerheads. Maybe, just maybe, this could be Microsoft's ploy to bite into Apple's share of the MP3 player pie."

"Next generation consoles are going to be about entertainment. This 'unofficial' relationship between the two companies is some what pathetic. I give credit to Microsoft for approaching Apple and at least making an effort. Microsoft at least sees the potential in this technology, while Apple just wants to horde all the earnings and revenue."

"What it comes down to is this. Apple has a licensing program in place, and they have an obligation to protect their partners' intellectual property, and Microsoft is doing an end run around the iPods design."