Microsoft's music store coming this week?

Microsoft's iTunes rival is on the way. Stay tuned.

The San Jose Mercury News says MSN's music store may appear this week (registration required). This is the online store that Microsoft is launching to compete with iTunes. It will probably be part of the company's newest Media Player software--but if so, that might also trigger some competitive concerns. As long as they continue providing links to Napster and others in the software, it will probably pass legal muster, though.

The company scheduled, and then canceled, a big digital media event for reporters next week. Gates was even rumored to be attending. Supposedly too many people had conflicting Labor Day travel plans (myself included). The news was supposed to go out as planned, however. My money is on seeing the store next week instead of this week.

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