updated 02:05 pm EDT, Fri May 8, 2009
MS May Have Bought Seeqpod
Seeqpod has been providing clues that suggest it may have been acquired by Microsoft. After entering bankruptcy and suffering repeated site shutdowns, the music-playing search site has come back with a notice that it's undergoing a "metamorphosis" and links to Microsoft's Live Search site instead. Seeqpod chief Kasian Franks has previously acknowledged that his company was in later-stage talks with a major media firm and, when combined with the new front end change, may have acknowledged a completed deal.
Microsoft's reasons for a possible takeover aren't certain. Seeqpod has in the past triggered lawsuits from both EMI and Warner over allegedly assisting in piracy by making it easier for users to find and play illegally posted music online through its engine, which specifically looks for MP3s and other media files. Defenders have maintained that Seeqpod isn't guilty of any copyright infringement as it doesn't host the music itself.
However, Microsoft is increasingly making online music an important component of its strategy and lets Zune owners perform basic searches for music on the Zune Marketplace; its My Phone backup service also lets users store, but currently not stream, local files. Microsoft is increasingly expected to launch the touchscreen Zune HD with a heavier Internet focus and has already said it hopes to build Zune features into Windows Mobile, which may result in an iPhone rival for Verizon. [via GigaOM]