Bill Gates on Microsoft's iPod Competitors

SeattlePI.com reports on Bill Gates' question and answer session with high school students in the Seattle area on Friday.

One student asked Bill Gates if Microsoft was going develop an MP3 player to compete against the iPod.

Gates admitted that Apple had done a "fantastic job" with the iPod, and that Microsoft had been working with their partners on how they can can make less expensive devices with better connectivity and photo/video support. Gates also said:

"I don't think what's out in the market today is the final answer. But again, it just shows the magic of software. Apple did a very good job on iTunes, did the user-interface design right. That means we'll have to match all that good work and do something even better."

Gates promised that we can expect "some pretty hot products coming out over the next couple of years." The article points out that Apple's end-to-end user experience control is an advantage over Microsoft which relies on 3rd party PC manufacturers and MP3 manufacturers.

Steve Jobs had previously commented on the lack of a iPod killer products and felt that "Microsoft is going to have to get into the hardware business of making MP3 players."

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