SJ Mercury: Microsoft enters online music world

“Microsoft Corp. is set to launch software to deliver
pirate-proof music over the Internet, raising the stakes in its
battle with IBM and other companies for supremacy in online

“MS Audio 4.0 is Microsoft’s alternative to the popular MP3
format, which has taken the online music world by storm but greatly
alarmed the recording industry because MP3 offers no copy

Songs stored in the Microsoft format take up about half the
space that they would if stored as MP3 files, analysts said. The
song files also are digitally ‘locked’ so only a designated digital
‘key’ can open and play them. Experts familiar with the Microsoft
product said that, once a song file has been unlocked, it can be
copied and distributed as freely as with MP3.”


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