Windows Player Integrates Wal-Mart Digi Service's music download store is receiving a shot in the arm from yesterday's launch'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'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

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, consumers can use the Windows Media Player to shop for music through a range of other third parties, including Napster, MusicMatch and MusicNow.