Wal-Mart Stores Inc. launched an online music store that works with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Media Player, the world's largest retailer said on Thursday.
Wal-Mart, which began offering music downloads in March, said that its new store will offer downloads at 88 cents per song. The store is one of several to offer music on Microsoft's "Digital Media Mall" within its software program for playing audio and visual content, informs Reuters.
Microsoft held media briefings for its new MSN Music service yesterday at a tony hotel in downtown Seattle, recently refurbished and high-tech enough to have TV monitors in the elevators. As I was heading back to the ground floor, after an hour learning about the new Microsoft service, none other than an iTunes/iPod ad starting playing on the monitor. Clearly just a testament to the pervasiveness of Apple's marketing, but a strange coincidence nonetheless.
One of the people quoted in our story this morning on the service was Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg, who noted that Microsoft hasn't done as much as it could have to distinguish the service from others. He expands on that position in this post on his weblog.
And Wall Street Journal personal tech columnist Walter Mossberg reviews MSN Music in this column. His conclusion: "Overall, MSN Music is no match for iTunes -- yet. But if you don't have an iPod and want or need to buy music in Microsoft's format, it may be a good choice over time.", reports Seattle Post.
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