Kim Peterson and Brier Dudley of The Seattle Times conducted an interesting Q&A with Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of MSN, about the new MSN music store and the company’s strategy regarding Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Of particular note is Mehdi’s comments on why MSN was not the first online music service, and what influence the success of the iTunes Music Store had on the company’s decision to enter the market. “We definitely would have done this on our own,” says Mehdi. “We were on a path already to provide great music services and so the Apple effort didn’t really change what we would have done.”