Microsoft has moved to deny claims it's working with partners to develop an 'iPod killer' for the Japanese market.

The company said that statements it previously made had been "translated incorrectly". A Bloomberg report last week described the firm as in cahoots with eight other companies, including Toshiba, Victor, NTT, to develop a portable audio/video player to attack the iPod market in Japan.

"The announcement that came out of Japan this week was simply about the Japanese launch of Windows Media Player 11," the company said. "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," a Microsoft representative told PC Mag.

The company said the firms cited in the previous report were only licensees for its new version Windows Media technology.

Microsoft has previously described Windows Media as a software platform others can use to create a large and varied digital media ecosystem, an approach it contrasts with Apple's guarded strategy for licensing its DRM.