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Napster Faults Microsoft for Shortcomings
Wednesday, March 1st, 2006 at 8:50 AM - by Staff
Digital music subscription service Napster has failed to take any market share away from Apple and its iTunes Music Store (iTMS), and is looking at Microsoft and MP3 player manufacturers as the source of the problem. According to Reuters, it cites Microsoft's inability to develop a system that can compete with Apple as a significant issue.
Chris Gorog, Napster's Chairman and CEO, commented "There is no question that their execution has been less than brilliant over the last 12 months."
Microsoft and the companies that make MP3 players that use its Digital Rights Management (DRM) software have a harder time coordinating hardware, software, and services than Apple. The iPod maker handles all components, and has been able to produce a product that, at least so far, consumers prefer.
Mr. Gorog, however, thinks Apple's days are numbered, and that the digital music landscape will be very different in the next 12 to 24 months. He feels that Microsoft's Windows Media format will take over, thanks to new digital music players that Sony and Samsung have yet to release.
Companies like Napster and RealNetworks also feel that subscription-based music services are what consumers really want. Apple, and its near 80 percent market share say otherwise. Apple's iTMS lets users purchase, download, and keep the music they want for US$0.99 per song. Napster and RealNetworks charge a monthly fee for the music users listen to.
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