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Microsoft designers have come up with a design for an MP3 player they think will rival Apple’s super soaraway iPod.

Business Week said that the software maker was working on plans to develop its own device rather than whip up its partners to produce it. No-one has seen Microsoft’s design either.

A Microsoft spokesman initially dismissed the Business Week yarn as speculation, but then admitted that it was considering making its own WinPod, along with many other projects.

The WinPod plan was now possible thanks to the restructuring of Microsoft which was started last year. At the time, the shy and retiring, softly spoken Steve Ballmer whispered that the reorganisation would enable faster decision making over products and “speed of execution”.

At the time we just thought he was talking about getting rid of staff, but it turns out he was thinking of music players.

If Microsoft does boldly go into the eyePod market it will have a hell of a job. Already a lot of hardware companies have died trying to get an MP3 player to market and repeat Apple’s success.

In November, Microsoft formed a working group to design a standard port for connecting music players to audio systems, similar to the iPod’s docking port. Creative debuted their own proprietary dock in December with the release of the Creative Vision:M.

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