Microsoft Issues Public WMP10 Beta [UPDATED]: "Microsoft issued a public beta release of Windows Media Player (WMP) 10 (code-named Crescent), a major upgrade of its digital-media front end. Now enhanced with a sleeker, easier-to-use UI, WMP 10 appears to address most of the complaints I've had about this product while adding exciting new features related to subscription music services, online stores, and portable devices.
'The Crescent wave is about a broader strategy of 'media everywhere'', David Caulton, lead product manager for Windows Media, told me in a recent briefing. 'When you acquire content, you should be able to push it from the PC to wherever you want, including portable devices. But there were Digital Rights Management [DRM] limitations around subscription content, and you can currently access subscribed content only when you're connected to the Internet with a PC. We're pushing the subscription model to devices, so now you can fill a Portable Media Center (or other portable device) for [a small fee each] month instead of buying the content.' Caulton pointed out that, by comparison, filling a 20GB Apple iPod with songs from the Apple iTunes Music Store would cost thousands of dollars."
(See article for more details on new features)