Pre-orders and previews underway ahead of launch.
HP, Napster and iTunes
This Mercury News article reports that besides losing money, several executives have left and a round of layoffs began on Wednesday.
According to record label sources, Napster only sells approximately 1/4 of the songs that iTunes does.
Of additional interest is that the surprise Apple-HP deal announced in January was originally Napster's partnership:
But in the days leading up to Napster's re-launch in late October, HP suddenly -- and without explanation -- returned Napster's $250,000 check and canceled the agreement to install a link to Napster's online music service on its computers.
Napster's chief executive Chris Gorog, however, remains upbeat about the company's prospects and points to retail partnerships, pre-paid cards, and their European launch.