The companies will provide details of the relationship next month, when Bill Gates is to give a major speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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MTV has enlisted Microsoft to help it develop a digital music service, but the companies aren’t giving out details of the relationship until next month.

That’s when Bill Gates is to give a major speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Microsoft chairman is expected to unveil more about the service, called Urge, which is to debut sometime next year.

Both companies Tuesday made what essentially amounted to an announcement about an announcement, attempting to build buzz on a slow, pre-holiday news day.

The few details dribbled out included these: The new service will be integrated into the next version of Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, which has no specific launch date. The service will have online radio and 2 million songs for sale individually or as part of a subscription.

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An MTV executive told The Associated Press the service will not focus on iPod users or try to get people to switch from Apple Computer’s iTunes music program.

Microsoft already has its own music service, offered through its MSN division, and provides technology for other companies to run competing music services.

It works closely with Napster, for example.

Microsoft is also incorporating music-related features from rival RealNetworks into its instant-messaging program as part of an antitrust settlement between the companies. It features several partners already in the current version of its Windows Media Player.

So is the MTV deal just another partner announcement? Some analysts seemed to think so.

“I don’t really see anything new from a strategic standpoint,” said Matt Rosoff, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft.

The service likely fuels Microsoft’s efforts to build its brand and cachet with younger people, a market segment that knows all about the Xbox video-game console but has little interest in the company’s other products.

Microsoft chose to unveil the new Xbox 360 on MTV earlier this year.

Kim Peterson: 206-464-2360 or