July 25 — REDMOND, Wash.--Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said his company is exploring ways to develop a music download service similar to Apple Computer's iTunes that would tie into the software giant's multimedia applications.
A Windows Media Player-based digital music store, whether provided by Microsoft itself or by partners, would be a steep hurdle for Apple as it pursues plans to push its own popular iTunes music service into the PC market.
Responding to questions at an analyst meeting here Thursday, Gates indicated that any music store project would be more a matter of providing computer users with added convenience--and presumably, keeping people using Microsoft software--rather than a direct moneymaker.
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