Have Microsoft and Apple finally buried the hatchet over the iPod? Although it’s hard to believe, Apple and Microsoft making the Xbox and iPod compatible is more likely than peace in the Middle East or pigs flying.
But could it be true?
There’s no denying that the enormous success of the iPod has irked the brass at Redmond. Apple and Microsoft are currently suing each other over technology patents used in the iPod and Bill Gates reportedly frowns upon Microsoft employees using their iPods at work. So you can imagine the level of astonishment felt by many in the tech industry when CNET published an article about the compatibility of the new Xbox 360 with Apple’s extremely successful iPod.
“If you play Project Gotham Racing 3 on an Xbox 360 after the console hits stores later this month, Microsoft invites you to use tunes straight off your iPod as an alternative to the game’s soundtrack.
Officially, the company says the new console can stream music from just about any MP3 player. But during a preview of the next-generation console in San Francisco last month, Microsoft execs talked up the interoperability between iPods and the Xbox 360.
“When you plug your iPod in,” Xbox digital-entertainment executive producer Jeff Henshaw told CNET News.com, “the Xbox 360 automatically detects that it’s there. You can browse by artist or album or genre or by custom playlist.”
“We do not have an official relationship with Apple for the iPod connectivity,” said Scott Henson, product unit manager in Microsoft’s advanced technology group. He maintains that “Xbox 360 leverages standard protocols such as USB mass storage to enable iPod support.”
Henshaw said Microsoft tried to “engage” Apple in a partnership that would have officially made the iPod interoperable with Xbox, but Apple rejected the overture.
So the Xbox 360 and iPod many not work perfectly together, but at least it’s a start.