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Friday, April 02, 2004, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Notes: BMW, games, Apple retail stores, and Longhorn

BMW and Apple?
An anonymous source recently contacted AppleInsider to vouch support for a recent AutoSpies exclusive on the 2005-2006 BMW 3-series. According to the publication, "One of the rumored features of the Audio system will finally have CD/MP3 capable playback and an interface connection to 'ipod-like' devices... we've even hearing rumblings out of Palo Alto Technology office regarding a potential deal in the works with Apple."

AppleInsider sources believe this rumor to be accurate. Additionally, sources said there is a very good chance that Apple would team up to provide the iPod interface feature.



Meanwhile, the x-type news site is offering a chance to win a 'limited-edition black x-type iPod.'

Tron 2.0 Near Release
According to sources, MacPlay is about to release Tron 2.0. The game is a present-day sequel to the 1982 cult film classic. It's a first-person, story-driven action shooter game.

One Tron beta tester claims that the graphics and game-play are mind blowing. The game is in final candidate stage of development, and should be released soon.

Apple Retail Stores Spread
Apple's retail division is continuing its push with several more stores due to open this year, according to a number of mails from sources and readers. Job openings on Apple's web page indicate that new stores will be opening in Kansas City, Missouri at the Country Club Plaza, in Danbury, Connecticut at the Danbury Fair Mall, in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Rosedale Center, and at the Shadyside shopping district in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Long way for Longhorn
And here is this week's shocker. According to vnunet.com, "Microsoft is delaying the rollout of the beta of its Longhorn operating system until early next year in order to focus on improving security in its Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)."

It gets even better. The site also rehashes the most recent time-frame predictions for shipping dates of the next-generation Microsoft OS (the quality assured version, not the beta).

"At Microsoft's developer conference in October 2003, the implication was that Longhorn would be more likely to ship in 2006, again hinted at by Bill Gates this week at a conference held by analyst Gartner."

However, further statements from Gartner predict that the delay could be even longer, with the new operating system not shipping until 2007.