Microsoft is joining the fight for the online music marketshare. They will open a new MSN Music site Wednesday.
As technology goes, the new service is far from groundbreaking–visitors can listen to thousands of online radio stations much like those at AOL Time Warner’s Spinner.com and other Webcasters’ sites. The service adds a recommendation engine using technology bought from start-up MongoMusic last year, allowing listeners to select stations that sound like artists they like, or which fit a particular mood.
“I would not call (this service) revolutionary,” Vonder Haar said. “But given the relative elegance of its interface and the scale of MSN’s audience, it will attract an audience.”
Exactly… the content isn’t that great yet, but this is only a start. We all know microsoft has a lot of money, and can grow very fast. Microsoft is planning to expand the service to a subscription based one, with downloads of music available, however those plans will depend on negotiations with the music labels. Another advantage for microsoft is that many music labels already contracted microsoft for their Windows Media audio technology and its associated copy-protection technology. Music labels see this as a good protected system for their online music. So the cooperation with microsoft can be a good one.
I know many people dislike microsoft, but they do have nice programs with great functionality. Look at the MSN messenger, it has already defeated ICQ as instant messenger, because MSN is far more easy to use. In fact even I installed MSN yesterday because many of my friends use it, and I must say it’s a nice program (however with not many features).