Microsoft is planning to "quietly launch" the MSN online music store this week.
The arrival of the music store will happen in conjunction with Microsoft's launch of the new version of Windows Media 10 player, reports Silicon Valley.com.
Microsoft expects to introduce 130 million people to its music download store as computer users are prompted to update their media player software.
Microsoft claims the store will be compatible with 60 digital music players – but not the iPod.
While it is likely that the update to the player will be international, it is not yet clear whether the MSN music store will extend its reach to countries other than the USA.