MS to 'quietly launch' iTunes rival this week
Janus DRM tech due too
Microsoft will this week release the next major version of its Windows Media system - incorporating its 'Janus' DRM technology - along with its much-anticipated online music store.
So claims a report at SiliconValley.com, which reckons the new player looks not unlike Apple's iTunes.
Napster, for one, is known to be preparing a Janus-based update to its service. Janus will allow subscription services to better support portable players, and is seen as a key factor in making the subscription model more attractive to consumers.
Given the timing of Virgin Digital's expected US and UK launch, it's likely it too will be based on Janus. Virgin Digital is powered by digital music distributor MusicNet, which has just updated its web site, logo and such.
Certainly, Rio's upcoming Carbon portable player is Janus-compatible, and it's expected to go on sale at the end of this month - circumstantial confirmation perhaps that Windows Media 10 is due to ship this week.
Windows Media 10 was released as in beta form in June. ®
Rio pitches Carbon player at iPod Mini
Here's locking down you, kid - MS hawks vision of DRM future
Macrovision: iPod support for lock-in CDs in Q4
Macrovision preps '99% effective' CD lock-in tech
Real anti-Apple poll swamped by pro-Apple posters
Virgin Radio touts Napster chart deal
Virgin demands Apple license iTunes DRM
Virgin Digital sets US, UK debut dates
MusicNet to deliver music downloads to UK
Virgin to open music download service