may try to strike a deal with Japan's Sony Corp.
in an effort to compete with Apple Computer Inc.
in the digital music arena, the Wall Street Journal
reported on Thursday, according to Reuters
Chairman Bill Gates
told the newspaper in an interview that the two companies could benefit from a broad partnership in digital entertainment, both having "a lot of incentive to work together" in digital-music "infrastructure," including online-music services and protection against improper music copying.
contends that Apple
online music store sells songs in a format that can be played only on iPods
and not other portable music players based on Microsoft
's software, so consumers need a choice, Gates
told the Journal
Even so, Gates
said he had "nothing specific to say about a particular discussion" with Sony
about pairing up, while Sony
declined to comment on the possibility of a tie-up with Microsoft
in the digital-entertainment business.