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Appeared on: Thursday, March 02, 2006
Napster Says It's Microsoft's Fault

Microsoft and its hardware partners are to blame for Napster's incapacity to compete against the dominant online music service iTunes, according to Napster Chairman and Chief Executive, Chris Gorog.

When speaking at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York on Tuesday, Gorog called Microsoft's execution "less than brilliant" and said that technical malfuctions with the company's digital rights management technology were hurting Napster's business.

Napster relies on Microsoft's digital music ecosystem and its PlaysForSure technology, which has continued to sputter in the face of strong competition from Apple with the iPod and iTunes.

Gorog did admit, however, that Microsoft has to grapple with a multitude of services and device makers which makes the task more complicated.

Recent surveys show Apple's music software has more than 80 percent of the market, and that leading position is continually rising.

Even after publicly criticizing Microsoft, Gorog then went on to say he expected the "Microsoft ecosystem" to eventually come out on top, noting that all the big manufacturers would "come to the Windows Media party."

"People are not looking at the big picture," Gorog says, noting only five percent of music sales were now digital. The Napster CEO said he expects the industry to be a lot different within 12 to 24 months.

Gorog also took the time to deny rumors of a sale, saying that while the company had received offers to unload assets, it was not interested.


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