We could never quite tell what was in it for HP in their Apple partnership that allowed them to sell HP brand iPods
in exchange for pre-loading iTunes on their shipping PCs. Obviously the branded iPod thing didn't work out too well,
since they discontinued
this year, but now that their agreement is coming to an end with Apple, it looks like they're ditching iTunes
and getting Real. They've just announced that this spring they'll start shipping RealNetworks' Rhapsody as the default
music player on all new PCs, along with a 30-day trial subscription to the music service. Rhapsody has one of the
better subscription services, so it's not a total loss, but it's pretty clear these partnerships usually aren't
actually about "consumer convenience," so let's not kid ourselves here.