August 31, 2006 5:40 PM PDT
Microsoft releases latest version of WMP 11
The second beta for WMP 11 also includes additional stores: eMusic, VidZone and Music Giants. The total number of stores offered by WMP 11 is 14, Microsoft said in a statement.
The upgrade of the jukebox is important to Microsoft's plan for unseating Apple Computer as top dog in digital music. WMP 11 has received favorable reviews and critics have said that it's a sign Microsoft could be finally moving out of Apple's shadow. Since then, Microsoft has announced plans to launch Zune, it's own digital-music device.
The software maker also said the media software, which is available for download at Microsoft.com, demonstrates improved integration with Urge, MTV's music service, which was launched as a beta version last May.
The media-sharing abilities of WMP 11 are a step toward ushering in the so-called "digital home."
Analysts have predicted that for U.S. families to bring digital gear into their living rooms, all the media devices in the home would need to be to able to play the same content.
Right now, most music or video players don't interact with each other.
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