Philips talks to WebMusic stores, blocks Microsoft

Posted by bink on September 26 2003, 11:14 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

AMSTERDAM, Philips Electronics said on Friday it is talking to Internet music retailers to help them sell songs and prevent piracy, as it steps up its efforts to keep a few companies from controlling the digital world.

Europe's leading consumer electronics maker will offer products to play and protect digital music, Larry Blanford, Philips' chief for its North American Consumer Electronics operations told Reuters in an interview.

"We are in discussions with parties that want to develop music download sites," he said. Philips has a broad range of portable and fixed music recorders and players.

Dell, Viacom's (VIAb) MTV and others have recently said they will start music retail services on the Web. Apple, RealNetworks and Microsoft  already sell music on the Web, using different technology to encrypt and protect songs. Clients of Microsoft Music Club can play songs they acquire only if they have a PC or music set equipped with Windows Media Player.

Philips, which globally ranks No. 3 behind Japan's Sony (6758) and Matsushita (6752), has chosen not to support Microsoft's Windows Media Player in its consumer electronics products, a company spokesman said separately. "We need a technology that works, that is available to everyone, managed in a fair way and not constrained to any particular group," Blanford said.