“Apple’s iTunes music store is about to face some serious competition, as online giant Microsoft prepares to roll out its own music store on September 2nd. With the ability to funnel 350 million users a month to the store via its Hotmail, Messenger and MSN sites, Microsoft will likely become the number-two player in the market for legally downloaded music and ultimately could challenge Apple’s reign at the top… according to sources close to Microsoft, the store will open to the public with somewhere between 600,000 and 700,000 tracks for sale at ninety-nine cents apiece. Within a couple of months, it will match Apple’s 1 million offerings. Reports that Microsoft will use its financial clout to become the first site to offer the Beatles catalog (the band reportedly demands tens of millions of dollars for a long-term exclusive arrangement) could not be confirmed,” Bill Werde reports for RollingStone.com.
“One source close to the matter says that Microsoft has made several overtures to Apple to make its store compatible with the industry-leading iPod but has been rebuffed,” Werde reports.
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