The Seattle Times columnist confuses me a bit when he says, "including a device that plays media, a software media player and an online media service." Obviously, the online media service is URGE, Microsoft's joint music venture with MTV. However, what is the difference between a "device that plays media" and "a software media player"?
So, how many devices are we talking about here? A music player separate from a Xbox handheld separate from a PDA?
The music player seems to be foremost on the mind of MS, with most analysts predicting ti'll be ready by this holiday season. I'd bet that it will have very similar iPod Video features, with of course, the inclusion of Wi-Fi.
What I think most people are missing, though, is that the device may indeed play games, but not the type of games we expect. How easy would it be to sync the music player with your Xbox 360 arcarde games? Then, next year, MS will roll out a game-dedicated handheld to take on the PSP and DS.