“Microsoft Corp launched its MSN music download service in eight new European countries on Thursday in an attempt to fend off a recent expansion push by archrival Apple Computer’s iTunes,” Bernhard Warner reports for Reuters. “With the new territories, Microsoft has extended its music download business to 19 market versions in 17 countries, including 13 Western European countries.”
Warner reports, “Apple’s iTunes, the market-leading music download service, last week launched in nine new European countries, bringing the worldwide total to a dozen in Europe plus the United States. ‘If you take all the new countries, we expect to overtake iTunes very soon because we will have a larger user base to tap,’ said Arndt Salzburg, who oversees Microsoft MSN’s entertainment efforts in Europe, Middle East and South America.”
“Microsoft, which launched a download service over two years before Apple in Europe, has had difficulty keeping up with the popularity of Apple’s iTunes, industry observers say… On average, download prices on Microsoft’s MSN is more expensive than iTunes, with tracks ranging from 99 euro cents to 1.29 euros, compared to a flat 99 euro cent download fee charged by iTunes,” Warner reports.
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