Microsoft said it may pursue an alliance with Sony in an attempt to compete with Apple’s iPod and iTunes. “In an interview earlier this week, Bill Gates suggested that both Microsoft and Sony could benefit from a broad partnership in digital entertainment,” reports the WSJ (paid sub. req.). “Specifically, Gates said that both companies ‘have a lot of incentive to work together’ in digital-music ‘infrastructure,’ including online-music services and protection against improper music copying… Gates’s comments about Sony are intriguing because Sony is a highly coveted, albeit troubled, potential partner in digital music. Sony controls a record label, and has long been a leading maker of consumer audio devices, including its famous Walkman portable music players. But the Japanese giant has lagged far behind Apple and others in the new digital-music realm.”