Bill gates has told the Wall Street Journal in New York that a deal with Sony would further strengthen both companies fight against Apple in the home entertainment arena.

Gates, who is obviously scared of the impact that the iPod has made in the industry (6 million units and counting) he is hoping that together Sony and Microsoft could utilise its digital-music "infrastructure," including online-music services and protection against improper music copying.

Gates also commented on Apple's iTunes online music store downloads inability to play on any other device apart from an iPod. Siting that it was unfair to the consumers.

The interview came on the back of his keynote speech at this years Consumer electronics show in Las Vegas where he outlined Microsoft's plans for the next year.

While the announcement concentrated on the US market rather than a global one, the message was still clear. That Microsoft see the a strong future in entertainment and more importantly getting that entertainment to us.

Key announcements included: Microsoft launching a MSN video downloads service in the US to offer a wide variety of news, sports, entertainment and children's content for viewing on either a PC or Windows mobile portable device. A deal with TiVo subscribers, again in the US, allowing them to download content directly from their TiVo set-top boxes to a PC or portable device and a deal with MTV to offer media content again away from the television.