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Microsoft, Sanity Delay Australian Online Music Store

An Australian digital music store JV between Microsoft and record store Sanity scheduled to go live in April has been delayed until at least mid-June — possibly to make a bigger splash for the launch of Zune, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The service was announced in January as part of the Windows Vista launch event but no reasons were given for the delay. The SMH suggests the delay could be so the launch of the store will coincide with the launch of Microsoft’s MP3 player Zune in Australia: “A Microsoft-backed online store, coupled with the Zune, would help break Apple’s iPod-iTunes market stranglehold.” The service will use Microsoft DRM, and will be a subscription service where the songs are usable while the subscription lasts, with a pay-per-download model possible. The Zune Marketplace relies on an Xbox-like cash-for-points system so will be interesting to see how this fits in.