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Microsoft enters the Music Arena

Competition is such a blessing in disguise – yet news regarding Microsoft’s entry into the music store world makes you wonder if we should welcome the new MSN Music Store? Either way, in my opinion, I think the store is a step in the right direction that hopefully will reflect on all new MSN related sites. Some of the nice features on the site include:

– User Interface
MSN appears to have stolen a page from the Google school of design. The entire layouf of the Music store has plenty of white space and is ad-free.

– Organization
I had no trouble identifying songs by genre and search results were grouped by Artist, Album, Song or Radio station.

– Integration with Passport
For me personally, the integration with Passport is probably one of the best selling features. By having a Passport enabled account, I can not only sign in to a plethora of MSN sites but also to other sites such as Monster and eBay. Furthermore, since I have previously used my Passport account, I was able to easily maintain the same profile information on the music store.

– Search
It appears that the store is using some of the new MSN Search technology. I did not see an Advanced Search, but my search query, resulted in a list of possible matches grouped by Artist, Album, Song or Radio Station.