microsoft delays video personals launch

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Bad news for the personal video market. It appears microsoft has shelved the launch of its Media2Go devices (hard disk based personal video players) that was scheduled for later this year.

It has now rechristend the devices Portable Media Centers and is talking about a debut date in the second half of 2004 with manufacturers Samsung, Creative, iRiver and Sanyo and others lining up the hardware.

Personal video players, which are handheld devices that pair a hard disk with a 3-4inch video screen and enable users to carry round their favourite movies and then view them on the screen, are predicted to be the next big thing in consumer electronics.

However, issues with battery life, microsoft initially promised six hours, much more than existing personal video players, may have put back the launch.

Still it is great news for Archos whose AV300 series products has been on sale for several months now and Sony which has a video player lined up for early next year. Apple is also rumoured to have a video version of its iPod readied for a launch in January.

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