Microsoft plans to extend its dominance into Apple's nascent digital music distribution and playback market, claims this morning's Seattle Post.

The report repeats plans announced by Microsoft last year to launch its own music download service, but adds news of the Redmond giant's plans to announce a slew of portable digital music devices poised to compete with iPod's leading market share.

Called Portable Media Centers, Microsoft's hardware will store and playback: "video, music and photos," the report claims. They will be produced by third-party hardware vendors, including Samsung and Creative Technology, it claims.

Analyst Rob Enderle says the new products could chip away at iPod's market share: "Manufacturers appear to have "learned a lot from the initial Apple designs and from some of the Apple pretenders that have come out and not done very well. I think you're going to be impressed with the industrial designs of these players," he told the Seattle Post.