“Expect Microsoft to announce its long-anticipated foray into the online music business this week, raising the competitive stakes for the current market leader, Apple. Microsoft plans to quietly launch the MSN online music store with the new version of its Windows Media 10 player,” Dawn C. Chmielewski and Dean Takahashi report for The Mercury News. “Early-release versions of the player look like knock-offs of Apple’s iTunes Music Store, complete with brushed nickel finish. But hey, why mess with success? A button in the upper right corner of the player will take consumers to the download store.”
“Microsoft has told entertainment executives that it expects to introduce as many as 130 million people to its music download store as computer users are prompted to update their media player software. And that’s not counting the 300 million people who drop by the MSN site,” Chmielewski and Takahashi report. “The software giant also touts the music store’s compatibility with nearly 60 digital music players. Not included in the list is Apple’s popular iPod.”
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