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Microsoft Plans Music Subscription Service

Microsoft is planning to introduce a subscription-based digital music service, to compete both with rival Apple's dominant song store and other subscription models from Yahoo and RealNetworks, CNET News.com reported, citing sources familiar with the plans. "We think that the subscription model is very interesting," MSN lead product manager Christine Andrews told News.com. "It is something that we will continue to look into." Microsoft is reportedly asking record labels for the rights to offer prospective subscribers to its service a Microsoft-formatted version of any song they purchase from the iTunes Store, so they can be played on devices other than an iPod. The company is also planning introductory pricing for the subscription service in line with Yahoo's offering; at $6.99 per month, the current pricing of Yahoo's service undercuts competing services from Napster and ReaNetworks, which charge $15 a month.

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