Microsoft and OD2 Launch European Music Service
Reuters reports that Microsoft announced a partnership with OD2 to launch a European online music service.
This new service is reported to be Europe's "first major a la carte online download service."
Starting Thursday, songs are available to UK users of Windows Media Player 9 at a cost of 0.99 euros or 75 pence from a library of 200,000 songs. (Other countries will follow in September.) No monthly subscription fee is required unlike previous European offerings. According to CNet, the new service will be integrated into Windows Media Player's premium services section.
This may represent the product of previous hints from Bill Gates that Microsoft was "exploring ways to develop a music download service similar to Apple Computer's iTunes that would tie into the software giant's multimedia applications".
Apple users are presently unable to use Apple's iTunes Music service outside of the United States. While talks of brining the service to Europe are reportedly underway, one rumor has placed the European launch of Apple's music service into next year.