Microsoft denied several rumors alleging that it has partnered with a couple of Japanese companies to develop an iPod rival:
"The announcement that came out of Japan this week was simply about the Japanese launch of Windows Media Player 11," said a Microsoft representative who asked not to be named. "Due to translation issues the announcement was misconstrued to sound like Microsoft was developing a rival to the iPod; that's just not the case."
According to Microsoft, the press release (which is in Japanese) actually states that Microsoft announced availability for its new WMP 11 in the Japanese market. The companies listed in the release are companies that Microsoft has partnered with in Japan to ensure a good user experience. These companies have all agreed to support Windows Digital Rights Management 10 for portable devices.