Microsoft: iTunes Store too limited for Windows users

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On the eve of the iTunes Music Store introduction for Windows-based personal computers, Microsoft's General Manager, Windows Digital Media Division, Dave Fester posted his thoughts on iTunes for Windows. In his comments, Fester concludes that iTunes is too limited for Windows users.

"Unless Apple decides to make radical changes to their service model, a Windows-based version of iTunes will still remain a closed system, where iPod owners cannot access content from other services," said Fester. "Additionally, users of iTunes are limited to music from Apple's Music Store ... this is a drawback for Windows users, who expect choice in music services, choice in devices, and choice in music from a wide-variety of music services to burn to a CD or put on a portable device. Lastly, if you use Apple's music store along with iTunes, you don't have the ability of using the over 40 different Windows Media-compatible portable music devices. When I'm paying for music, I want to know that I have choices today and in the future."

When asked how the iTunes Music Store differs from Windows-based services, Fester talks about Napster and the different types of options it will offer users. Fester concludes that it will be the best experience that ultimately wins over consumers.

"All told, music fans should look for services that offer the best experience and take advantage of the best digital media platform available on Windows. With Windows Media 9 Series, you get faster starts, better quality music, and support for the most devices," Fester said.

For its part, Apple still feels they have the best offerings in the market today and didn't seem too worried about Fester's comments.

"If someone buys music from another source and it can't play on the number one digital music player, that would probably be very disappointing for them," Rob Schoeben, Apple vice president of Application Product Marketing, told MacCentral. "With our solution, we provide seamless integration of all the component parts that you want and it creates a compelling enough experience that you can do what you want to do and that is enjoy music."

"We think the leading portable music player, the leading music store and the best jukebox is a fantastic offering for consumers," said Schoeben.

This story, "Microsoft: iTunes Store too limited for Windows users" was originally published by PCWorld.

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