Engadget has this little interesting snippet on Microsoft’s plans to launch a portable music player:
But it gets better. To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you’ve already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They’ll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it’ll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player.
I’ve banged on for a long time about the lock-in between iPod and iTMS, and this seems like a good way to break it – although an expensive one for Microsoft. Even assuming that David Card’s research is correct and most people have 20 or less iTMS songs on their iPod, that could still work out at around $10 per iPod convert. And of course, it raises the question of whether this will act as a disincentive to buy from Microsoft’s own service (or it’s partners). Why buy from them when you can buy from iTunes, and get the same song on both platforms? Or will the scan be a "one-time-only" thing?