While Sony's once all-conquering Walkman brand continues to play third fourth fifth second fiddle to you-know-you, the company isn't taking its flagging market position lying down and has lined up quite the sweetener for this Chrimbo season.
Following some heavy wheeler-dealing, Sony has sealed agreements across Europe with a vast range of online music stores. These include HMV in the UK, FNAC Music for France, Musicload in Germany, Terra Pixbox (great name) for Spain and Planet Music in Holland.
The minutiae differs from deal to deal but each gives owners of the NWZ-A810, NWZ-S610 and NWZ-S510 player lines either free trial periods for these services or free weekly album and track downloads. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp Yuletide log.
"These exclusive partnerships confirm Sony's commitment to supporting an open standard with Windows Media Technology", said Jeffry van Ede, Sony's VP of Audio Marketing for Europe. "We are continuously striving to provide our customers with greater choice and flexibility for managing their digital music content. We are confident that these audio partnerships benefit our customers' desire for an open standard and further enhance the versatility of our Walkman products."
So Merry Christmas Sony Walkman owners. Next year let's hope the multinational rewards users in a more traditional way: by making better players…