HP Drops iTunes, taps RealNetworks for Music

After several years of distributing Apple Computer's iTunes software with its new PCs, Hewlett-Packard is shifting its allegiances to rival RealNetworks' Rhapsody music service, the companies plan to announce Thursday.

The computer maker's decision to drop Apple has been widely expected, after the company said last summer that it would stop distributing an HP-branded version of the iPod.  The deal marks a new direction for HP, which had seen its entertainment products overshadowed by the power of Apple's own brand. Rhapsody will now be the default music-playing software on HP's new PCs and laptops, and beginning in spring 2006, HP customers will get a free 30-day trial subscription to RealNetworks' music subscription service.

News source: C|Net News.com

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