The Washington Postis Rob Pegoraro says that Microsoftis new MSN Music store is the most capable iTunes competitor, but that it falls "just short" of Appleis offering. Mr. Pegoraro says that some key features are missing, that neither store offered a clear sound quality difference, but that Microsoft has taken the opportunity to learn from its competitors. From the article:
Microsoftis MSN Music store shouldnit surprise anybody. The company with its own operating system, online service, digital-music format and media software was always the likeliest suspect to launch an online music store.
But Microsoft didnit rush to open its store last year, when most of its competitors debuted. Instead, it waited until last month -- a delay that allowed it to learn from other storesi mistakes. MSN Music is by far the most capable rival to Appleis iTunes Music Store, even if it doesnit yet surpass it.
You can find the full review at the Washington Postis Web site.
Spin: A subtle aspect of this review is that the reviewer makes it clear that iTunes is the top dog in this market not just in market share, but in terms of such issues as ease of use, experience, and quality. Most folks wonit consciously notice, or care, about that, but Mr. Pegorarois readers will definitely be left with the impression that iTunes is the best place to buy online music.