Barron’s discusses whether Microsoft may build its own device a la the Xbox 360:
Last week, the company announced that it had joined with Viacom’s MTV Networks to launch a digital music service that will be built into Windows Media Player, to compete with Apple’s iTunes. The network will be called Urge.
Then came news, by way of a Microsoft memo described in the Wall Street Journal Thursday, that Microsoft was consolidating its consumer businesses (music, movies, videogames and TV) under Robbie Bach, a leader in developing Microsoft’s successful Xbox video console, to date the company’s main foray into hardware.
[SG Cowen’s] Brosseau thinks Microsoft strongly wants to enter the online music business and to explore the software/hardware/service nexus. The analyst also points out that, with the recent release of the Xbox 360, Microsoft has a hardware-design group with time and energy to spare until the next videogame hardware cycle.