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Microsoft MSN music store modeled after iTunes

updated 09:00 am EDT, Thu September 16, 2004

Microsoft\'s \"iTunes store\"

David Pogue has a look at in the latest edition of The New York Times, noting that Microsoft looked to Apple's implementation for guidance: "The Microsoft music store (in beta at couldn't look more like Apple's iTunes music store ( if you ran it through a copying machine. 'Apple set the bar very high,' a Microsoft manger admitted. 'We're trying to match that. We told our developers, 'Look at how Apple does it.'" [free registration required]

"Microsoft is running a simple multimillion-dollar experiment to force an answer to this question: If all other variables are equal (price, selection, features), which music system do people like better: Apple's or Microsoft's? At the moment, it's not a completely valid test, because MSN Music is not, in fact, ready to compete head-on with Apple's store," lacking a long list of Apple's convenience features--many of which Microsoft says that it will eventually add. The article notes that Microsoft's music store has a few unique features, such as live playback of radio station music (whereas Apple offers only a listing of songs) and unique/exclusive albums, but offers differing personal music rights for certain songs, causing much confusion.

by MacNN Staff





  1. ronjamin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Like that wasn't an invitation to sue Microsoft, admiting they copied iTMS, lol.

    Why don't they just join the crowd and become a iTMS partner.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    what, ms would actually come up with something innovative? original? what in their history would make anyone ever think that? if someone doesn't lead the way they pretty much sit there twiddling their thumbs waiting for the next big thing to rip off.

  1. GK

    Joined: Dec 1969



    that is sooooo original of M$ to copy innovation once again.

  1. kw14

    Joined: Dec 1969


    microsoft playbook

    Yup. Microsoft playbook page 1: Copy Apple!

  1. Tengu

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So MSN Music does radio..
    So what is that "Radio" button in iTunes for?

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It will never be the same

    Unless they build the music store into the player, the experience will always be very clunky. iTunes is so great because they built the browser into iTunes specifically to work with their site.

  1. HeatherEcsedi

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Microsoft does what it has always done : copy Apple. What should you expect from MS after all ?

  1. vickys-box

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not the same

    I've said this before. The MSN Music store is nothing like the iTunes Music Store. What scares me is that people believe it is the same. This either means there's a bunch of people who don't know how to use iTMS, or don't realise how great it does things. The MSN Music store is clunky, visually stale and behaviourally incompetent. (Mind you, there are plenty of other things that MS have done that could be evaluated with the same conclusions.)

  1. suhail

    Joined: Dec 1969


    IE and Netscape

    IE and Netscape Navigator = MS Music and iTunes

    De Ja Vue

  1. Toyin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Didn't MS initially claim that their music store and it's design was not influenced by the iTunes Music store?

    "Apple set the bar very high," a Microsoft manger admitted. "We're trying to match that. We told our developers, 'Look at how Apple does it.'"


    Also, Pogue erred. There are several albums on iTunes that you have to buy in their entirety.

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