Microsoft To Launch a Subscription

Microsoft To Launch a Subscription Service Similar to RealOne?: Following in RealNetworks’ steps, Microsoft is setting itself up as a one-man band for subscriptions and services based on its Windows Media technology as part of a highly anticipated upgrade due next month.

The Windows Media Player 9, which goes into public beta, or test, on Sept. 4, adds a new “Services” tab that initially allows consumers to sign up for a trial subscription to Pressplay, an online music service backed by Sony and Vivendi Universal. The move is part of Microsoft’s increased emphasis on Web services and also an attempt to compete against similar offerings from rivals AOL Time Warner and RealNetworks, which are partners in a competing music service known as MusicNet.

According to the story, Microsoft may have more than just Pressplay in mind: after all, it has properties such as MSN,, and Slate. Watch out for this fight: it will be the triumvirate of RealNetworks, Microsoft and of course, AOL Time Warner.