As Macworld predicted yesterday, Microsoft last night released a beta version of Windows Media Player 10.

This iteration of the company's multimedia software adds features to help online stores using Microsoft's attempt at creating an industry standard to sell their products.

It does this by integrating the ability to offer music and video from different companies from directly within the Media Player, a move Reuters calls "Microsoft's answer to Apple's iTunes".

The software also offer support for subscription-style music services. This means subscribers to such services can stream and listen to songs from services they subscribe to through the player.

It is also designed to work with new portable media devices using Microsoft's Portable Media Center software.

Microsoft promises the final product will have a simple and clean interface when it ships later this year.