Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is advising Windows customers who use its iTunes music software to delay upgrading to Microsoft's next-generation operating system, as it addresses a number of incompatibilities, one of which may damage a connected iPod.

In a statement posted on the firm's support website, Apple said that users upgrading their current Windows based computers to Microsoft's latest Windows Vista may not be able to play songs purchased previously, and may even destroy their iPods.

Ejecting an iPod from the Windows System Tray using the 'Safely Remove Hardware' feature may corrupt your iPod, Apple said in the statement. Instead it recommends to always safely eject an iPod, choose Eject iPod from the Controls menu within iTunes.

ITunes 7.0.2 may work with Windows Vista on many typical PCs, the company says. However it believes the problems are serious enough to not recommend that PC owners install Vista yet.

The Cupertino Calif.-based electronics manufacturer said that it is working on an update that will make its software compatible with the new operating system, and plans to release it within upcoming weeks.

Shares of Apple closed up 1 cent, or 0.01 percent, to $84.75 on Friday.

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iTunes and Windows Vista