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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Napster Blames Microsoft

NAPSTER'S chief executive has blamed technical glitches from Microsoft and music player makers for hampering his company's ability to compete with Apple's iTunes music service."There is no question that their execution has been less than brilliant over the last 12 months," Napster chairman and chief executive Chris Gorog said at a New York conference.
"Our business does rely on Microsoft's digital rights management software and our business model also relies on Microsoft's ecosystem of device manufacturers," he said.
Microsoft had to grapple with the complexities of dealing with a number of different services and device makers, Mr Gorog said.
"It's a lot more complex to get organised properly than it is to build one device and one service as Apple has done," he said. "It's always been painful at the introduction of new technologies. But it always takes shape like it's done in the past."

Mr Gorog, whose company has one of the best known names in the business but has failed to put a dent in Apple's market share, argued that eventually the "Microsoft ecosystem" and its Windows Media format would prevail, with new devices on the way from firms like Samsung and Sony.

"Ultimately, the consumer electronics giants ... are all going to come to this Windows Media party," he said. "This is really going to be the ubiquitous format."

Apple's seamless combination of music player and download service has not yet faced a significant challenge from devices made by groups such as Samsung, Sony or Creative, or from services such as Napster or RealNetworks' Rhapsody, which offer monthly subscription plans using a Microsoft format.

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