MS' big guns aim at Apple's online music store
Microsoft Corp, hoping to take a bite out of Apple Computer Inc's highly popular online music service, is gearing up to launch its own Web site for selling songs over the Internet.
With Thursday's planned debut, the software maker will become the latest competitor in a market experts say is still in its infancy -- but one that is expected to grow considerably more popular in the coming years.
Microsoft has a formidable foe in market leader Apple, which boasts both the popular iTunes music store and the iPod music player.
The landscape also is dotted with plenty of smaller services, including RealNetworks' Rhapsody, Roxio Inc's Napster and offerings from companies like Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Sony Corp.
But none of those has managed to capture hearts and minds like Apple. "There's one company that matters here, and that's Apple," said Josh Bernoff, principal analyst with Forrester Research.