Following Apple’s lead, Microsoft has announced that the Zune Marketplace will offer DRM-free downloads from EMI’s catalogue. Microsoft also claims to be discussing similar arrangements with other music labels.
“The EMI announcement on Monday was not exclusive to Apple,” said Katy Asher, a Microsoft spokeswoman on the Zune team, in an e-mail to the IDG News Service today. She said Microsoft has been talking with EMI and other record labels “for some time now” about offering unprotected music on its Zune players in an effort to meet the needs of its customers.
Microsoft has kept mum on the specifics. We don’t yet how the price or quality of Microsoft’s music will stack up against Apple’s offering, nor do we know when the DRM-free music will be made available on the Zune Marketplace. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER