updated 02:35 pm EST, Fri November 3, 2006
MSN Music shifts focus
Microsoft today announced that it no longer intends to run its MSN Music service as a self-contained music store. Beginning November 14th, Microsoft will direct customers who attempt to purchase songs from its website site to either Real's Rhapsody Web-based store or the Zune Marketplace. Microsoft will remake its MSN Music site to focus on live concerts, artist interviews, and free access to the existing MSN Radio service, according to Electronista. Microsoft first opened its MSN Music in September 2004 as a response to the iTunes Store and touted the wider range of compatible music players. The recent announcement of the Zune and its proprietary online store is regarded by many as evidence of frustration on Microsoft's part with its earlier, open-ended model and its lack of success relative to the closed system of the iPod and iTunes.