Well, Here It Is (and the Fight Is On)

The MSN Music Store: MSN Entertainment – Music: Home

We’ve licensed a vast selection of music – over 1 million tracks – from major music labels, independents, and even undiscovered artists. Our easy interface helps you find music you like, or you can just sit back and listen to the radio. We want you to spend less time searching for music and more time enjoying it, whether it’s on your PC, on a CD player, or on a portable device.

[…] Pick the device to match your lifestyle

No matter how you want to enjoy your music, there’s a device that works with MSN Music to meet your needs. You can transfer your MSN Music downloads to more than 70 portable devices that support the popular Windows Media format, such as the flash-based Creative Technologies Muvo TX, hard-drive-based Rio Carbon or Dell Digital Jukebox, and new high-end Portable Media Centers from Creative Labs and Samsung.

[…] System Requirements

These are the minimum requirements to play radio or purchase music from MSN.

HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

  • Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000, or Windows XP

  • Internet Explorer 5.01 (or later), which supports 128-bit encryption

  • Windows Media Player 7.1 (or later), we recommend the latest version

  • A 233 megahertz (MHz) processor (such as an Intel Pentium II or Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) processor) or faster

  • 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM or more

  • Speakers and sound capability

  • Payment with a valid credit card with a U.S. billing address

  • To enjoy high-quality audio as a Radio Plus subscriber, you will need Windows Media Player 9 Series (or later)

CNet News’ writeup: Microsoft opens MSN Music store

Microsoft’s entry into digital music sales is part of a curious path taken by the software giant. Industry analysts and executives consider Microsoft’s full-blown effort to build its own music service as both a defense against Apple iTunes’ dominance in the market and an offensive push to transform Windows into a digital media hub.

Ideally for Microsoft, Windows would be used by people to store an array of digital files such as songs, photos, videos and feed them into televisions, stereos and personal media devices.

Apple’s iTunes success poses a threat to Windows, as its popularity could help it become a preferred platform for digital media. Many analysts compare today’s music battle with Microsoft’s war against the Netscape Web browser, which was seen as a challenge to Windows. Microsoft feared that software engineers would gravitate to developing applications on Netscape, thus circumventing Windows. The same possibility with iTunes is throwing a shadow over Microsoft’s media hub plans for Windows.