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Xbox Music is here: Microsoft Unveils New Streaming Music Service
Zune was Microsoft’s answer to the iPod, but like all other comers Apple didn’t have problem making them irrelevant. Despite the lack of success with Zune however, Microsoft kept faith in its ability offer a competitive streaming alternative and out of that Xbox Music was born.
The new streaming service is more than its name suggests, because users on devices outside of the Xbox will have access to the service. Microsoft has announced that the new service will be bundled with Windows 8 and users will get a chance to try the new service come October 26.
Xbox music will come in two flavors, free and paid. The free version will be ad-supported, of course, while premium users will be able to have access for just $9.99 a month.
Competition for iTunes?
Perhaps the most exciting component to the new Xbox Music service will be the iTunes-like option that lets users buy songs for as low as $0.99. And like iTunes, users will be able to stream music from their collection in the cloud.
Whether or not the new service will offer any real competition to iTunes remains to be seen; Apple users after all are that by an entirely different line of reasoning. What the service will do is help keep users to Microsoft loyal and away from competing services such as those offered by Amazon and Spotify.
All in all the beefing up Windows 8 is a good thing and should help convert people that were on the fence. The new Xbox music service will add a richness to media consumption and should make Microsoft cool again—not Apple ‘cool’ of course, but enough to make users and ultimately shareholders happy.