Wal-Mart.com's music download store is receiving a shot in the arm from <A HREF="http://www.billboard.com/bb/biz/newsroom/digital/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000623069">yesterday's launch</A>

Wal-Mart.com's music download store is receiving a shot in the arm from yesterday's launch of the new Windows Media Player 10 software from Microsoft.

The Wal-Mart download store is accessible directly via the jukebox, meaning that consumers no longer have to go to the Wal-Mart Web site to buy tracks from the merchant.

The embedding of Wal-Mart.com's music store in the Windows Media Player gives the merchant its first integrated music jukebox solution. The integrated jukebox/store combination is similar to the concept of what Apple Computer offers with its iTunes music management software and the embedded iTunes Music Store.

In the case of Wal-Mart, consumers still have the option of buying tracks through Wal-Mart.com.

Microsoft is pursuing a similar strategy with its proprietary MSN Music store. MSN consumers can buy tracks either through a Web page, or through the Windows Media Player.

MSN Music is the default store for the Windows Media Player. However, consumers can download plug-in software that allows them to shop via Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart is promoting the tie-in with the Windows Media Player through its site and planning in-store promotion later this year.

In addition to accessing Wal-Mart.com, consumers can use the Windows Media Player to shop for music through a range of other third parties, including Napster, MusicMatch and MusicNow.

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