Microsoft continues to gather allies in its attempt to dethrone Apple from its lead of the digital music market.

In an attempt to maintain its track record of dominance, Microsoft has allied with Toshiba, Victor Co of Japan, NTT DoCoMo and five others to develop and deliver music and video services and devices in Japan.

The companies, according to Bloomberg, will build a portable device for such content. This will employ Microsoft's software while other partners will manufacture the device or provide services. NTT DoCoMo will develop a compatible handset.

However, given the razor-thin margins across the digital music ecosystem and Apple's commanding lead in device sales, profitabilty may be hard to achieve.