updated 09:45 am EST, Fri November 3, 2006
MSN Music Shuttered
Microsoft no longer intends to run its MSN Music service as a self-contained music store, the company announced today. Beginning November 14th, customers who attempt to buy songs from the Microsoft site will instead be directed either to Real's Rhapsody web-based store or the Zune Marketplace. The site itself will be remade to focus on live concerts, artist interviews, and free access to the existing MSN Radio service. Microsoft first opened MSN Music in September 2004 as a response to the iTunes Store and trumpeted the wider range of compatible music players. The recent announcement of the Zune and its proprietary online store has been regarded by many as evidence of frustration on Microsoft's part with its earlier, open-ended model and its lack of success relative to the closed system of the iPod and iTunes.