HP drops iTunes, switches to RealNetworks

After nearly two years of distributing iTunes with its new PCs, Hewlett-Packard will reportedly drop the Apple application in favor of RealNetworks’ Rhapsody music service. HP’s decision to drop iTunes is no surprise after the company said last summer that it would stop selling HP-branded iPods.

“The deal marks a new direction for HP, which had seen its entertainment products overshadowed by the power of Apple’s own brand,” reports CNET News.com. “Rhapsody will now be the default music-playing software on HP’s new PCs and laptops, and beginning in spring 2006, HP customers will get a free 30-day trial subscription to RealNetworks’ music subscription service.”

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