Microsoft to enter online music competition this week with Apple iTunes knock-off, no iPod support

“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.”

Full article here.

42 Comments

  1. Normally, there would be a need to worry if Microsoft had any foresight and began this years ago. But, now that the iPod and iTunes have a firm place in the Wintel box world, Microsoft’s attempt will be compared to it. Ease of use and the over-all quality of sound and experience will win.

    In Europe, it will be even more difficult as the EU will insist that the MediaPlayer be a deletable option.

    And, don’t forget that the HP will be using iTunes and iPods as their default.

    If the look of the MicroSoft MediaPlayer is that close to Apple’s iTunes, I hope Apple quickly files a very public lawsuit making this the “line in the sand” where Apple says enough is enough to copying intellectual/artistic property, and perhaps establishing a basis for any Longhorn-based suits. It’s time to make a stand. Besides, the free publicity would be good for Apple.

  2. First of all – there is no way that MicroSh*t can get this technically correct or even useful. Within a day of opening, the music site will probably be spreading some terrible new virus.

    Secondly – will all the “iPod doesn’t work with every online music store” whiners please now take a pill. (This means YOU Real!) MS – the largest software company in the universe – has chosen not to support the iPod….

    Its a contest to see which system will be most popular and which system will work. (I’d say “work better” except that the challenge for the idiots at MS is to have their system work at all.)

    iPod is winning…. and is bringing switchers to Mac by the thousands. iPod will win. Windows is a liability.

    I can hardly wait to start reading the reviews and disasters that are bound to come from the MS Music Store.

  3. Apple produces the world’s best juke box and most stable OS..

    Based upon the poor performance of MS’s current OS, its incapacity to deliver Longhorn, why does MS now releash a half-hearted, poorly designed, blighted pice of metal and plastic? MS, seeing that something had to done, determined to do something, and did it. Interesting that MS, which cannot produce a workable OS, thinks that they can now deliver a new hardware line.

    I seriously doubt that Windows iPod users will be switching.

  4. Let us each vow to buy at least two songs from the iTunes Music Store this week and next to help keep Microsquishes market share as low a possible during its first week of business!

  5. “If the look of the MicroSoft MediaPlayer is that close to Apple’s iTunes, I hope Apple quickly files a very public lawsuit making this the “line in the sand” where Apple says enough is enough to copying intellectual/artistic property, and perhaps establishing a basis for any Longhorn-based suits. It’s time to make a stand. Besides, the free publicity would be good for Apple.”

    It’s a good thing that Apple got the PATENT on the iTunes interface. No denying that ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    dab2: Count me in. The day that MS debuts their music store, I will definitely buy at least two or three songs.

  6. This thing will ask to be downloaded onto every Windows XP computer that is connected to the Internet… It’s reach will be far more widespread than any HP deal Apple can make, so I am not so quick to dismiss the success of this store… it’s quality, on the other hand…

  7. Once again, Microsoft demonstrates their complete inability to innovate, choosing instead to once again ape Apple.

    Reminds me of the guy that used to copy off my tests in school-

  8. mp3 virus – unlikely, if they only provide commercial offerings from labels.

    I agree it will suck. Especially compared to iTMS.

    However, some proportion of the 130 million great unwashed – who don’t use the iPod and have never seen the iTMS – will start to use it. (Of course, some people watch “Days of our lives” or “Sex in the City” etc. What can I say ?)

  9. bjh, What is wrong with “Sex in the City”?

    Yes the Microsoft site will suck and hopefully more and more people will clearly be able to see the difference between MS and Apple. Combined with a growning “anything but MS” backlash and Apple may greatly increase their installed base.

  10. I realize the actual probability of an mp3 virus is unlikely. But, since we’re talking about a MS product, I envision plenty of new security holes being enabled by installing their updated media player.

  11. Fact is, people don’t need an mp3 player to buy music from a site. m$ might sell a lot of music to people who don’t have one. Some people might just buy out of curiosity simply to try out a new feature. Remember, we’re talking about lemmings.

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