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June 19, 2008

Microsoft grants reprieve to MSN Music customers

Posted by David Hunter at 6:57 PM ET.

In April, Microsoft took a lot of flak for announcing that after August 31  the DRM protected music downloads of the customers of Microsoft’s failed MSN Music service would be locked in amber, because Microsoft was turning off the DRM servers having moved on to greener pastures populated by Zunes. Today, however, comes news that Microsoft has thought better of that unpopular decision:

Microsoft has reversed its decision to pull the plug on MSN Music’s authorization servers, according to an e-mail sent out to customers this afternoon. Customers who bought music from the now-defunct service will now be able to continue listening to their music and transferring it to new machines until at least the end of 2011. At that time, Microsoft says that it will evaluate how often the servers are being used and will determine what (if any) further steps to take to support customers.

Since MSN Music was never a world beater, it’s hard to believe that keeping the servers going is putting a huge hole in Microsoft’s pocket so the reprieve is a good business move from a public relations perspective. Unfortunately, doing the right thing two months after the original PR hit is significantly less desirable than doing it right the first time.

Filed under Argo, DRM, General Business, MSN, MSN Music, Microsoft, Public Relations, Technologies, Zune

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