Friday, February 24, 2012

Microsoft Plans New Music Service for Xbox and Windows Phones

Microsoft is eyeing to provide music service in its Xbox Live platform. A report by CNET showed the technology giant is trying to find ways together with several major record labels to come up with an application that would offer similar service to Spotify, MOG, Pandora, Rdio and some other streaming music subscriptions.

This new plan by Microsoft came after its initial failed bid to win customers who like music through Zune Music Pass.

It is safe to bet Microsoft would provide an Xbox Live name to this planned new service instead of resurrecting the Zune brand. The new application would launch on the Xbox 360, upcoming revisions of the Windows operating system, and Windows smartphones. CNET's sources did not confirm the details how exactly the service will be delivered and how much the music industry would get paid from subscription fees of the service. Microsoft simply provided a rough outline of the service that includes streaming music and downloads.

There was also a speculation that the company will team up with Nokia and HTC on proposed phones that can use the potential service.

It is expected that the record labels would work hard to make this deal happen. After all, Microsoft's gigantic Xbox Live fan base is declared to be near 40 million worldwide. Record companies will definitely make more money by making higher profile in this huge market.

The move is definitely a strategic one for Microsoft to better compete against Google's own with its Google Music and Android operating system. Many other major phone makers have also taken steps to strengthen their music features. A good example is HTC's acquisition of a majority stake in Dr. Dre's Beats to augment the company phones' capabilities. Last August of 2011, Research in Motion also announced its plan to upgrade its Blackberry Instant Message service.

The current Microsoft's Zune Music Pass priced at $9.99 a month no longer allows 10 music downloads a month although subscribers can still opt to pay the more expensive $14.99/month that allows downloads of up to 10 songs. Using the Zune Music Pass on Xbox 360 also requires a Gold Xbox Live subscription.

If Microsoft would hope to compete strongly against Apple's iTunes and Google Music, the new music service should be offered at a much more affordable price like its inclusion in Xbox Live Gold membership instead of customers paying for it separately. This way, Xbox live users will find this technology news more appealing than ever.

The author is an established writer for many years on a wide range of topics in many major article directories. He writes news in Australia from time to time.

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