Microsoft to launch music download service

Microsoft next year plans to launch a music download service, going up against Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes and many other services peddling music online.

Microsoft has been considering a music download service and said in July that plans were in the very early stages, if they could be called plans at all. Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates at the time said he did not see a music service as a money-making service.

The Redmond, Washington, software vendor has now decided to go ahead with the service.

"We cannot provide any further comment than to confirm that MSN will deliver a download music service next year," a Microsoft spokeswoman said in a statement sent via e-mail.

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