Microsoft brings locked music downloads to US

MSN apes iTMS

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Back in August, Microsoft announced a DRM music store in Europe, in partnership with OD2. Today Redmond confirmed that it would introduce a similar model in the United States through its MSN service next year.

Following the introduction of Apple's iTunes music store in April, a number of competitors have followed with me-too offerings, also selling locked music for as much as 99 cents per song. Dell and MusicMatch, Real's Rhapsody service, US retail giant Wal-Mart and even CNET have all entered the fray or announced they intend to. Although we think the last one could be an accident.

Is Microsoft's announcement an accident, too? After the Wall Street Journal caught wind of the US launch through a job vacancy on the Microsoft site, Redmond confirmed its intentions through MSN Group Product Manager Lisa Gurry.

The last time Lisa was in the news was in May, when she retracted a retraction of a hoax press release that stated that Microsoft was designing a Wi-Fi toilet.

"We jumped the gun basically yesterday in confirming that it was a hoax, and in fact it was not. Definitely, we're going to be taking a good look at our communication processes internally," she told USA Today which reported it on a web page named iloo-hoax-retract_x.htm. And there can't be too many of those.

CNET's report on the Microsoft confirmation is here. Do you notice anything missing? ®

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Music biz should shift to flat-fee, P2P model - exec

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