iPod, iTunes rivals on Microsoft's roadmap?
Microsoft's DRM-encrypted Windows Media Audio format is already the
standard for legal music outside the iTunes Music Store, but according
to a report
from Reuters, Microsoft is planning to go one step further. "Sources
familiar with the company's plans" claim Microsoft will introduce an
online music service of its own to compete head-on
against Apple's music store. Microsoft won't stop there, either; a music
player to compete against the iPod is also said to be in the pipeline.
Reuters' sources say Microsoft has already engaged in licensing talks
with the music industry, and that an "entertainment device that plays
videos and music" has been demonstrated.
There's no word on a launch schedule or pricing, but the fact that
Reuters is reporting on this lends the rumor a good deal of credence.
Microsoft may have a tough job wrestling market
share away from Apple, though; last year, the iTunes Music Store made up
82% of all legal music downloads in the United States.