When Microsoft first announced that it was launching an ‘Xbox Music’ service later this year, it felt somewhat confusing. Was the company trying to built up a rival to Apple’s iTunes or was it going to be a different service, it was wondered. But now that we are on the very brink of the actual launch of the service, Microsoft promises that it packs much, much more.
The Xbox Music service packs many of the regular features offered on iTunes. For instance, you are able to access and stream content from a number of online services such as Pandora and Spotify. Moreover, you can opt for either the paid-subscription version or the ad-supported version of these services.
At the time of the launch, the service is limited only to the Xbox 360 system. However, Microsoft intends to go beyond that and make the service available across multiple platforms. For instance, the company has plans of offering it for Android and iOS devices as well as for its crop of upcoming Windows 8 machines.
According to the vice president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment division, Yusuf Mehdi, “There are a lot of individual services that do a good job, but today there isn’t a service which can pull together the benefits of download-to-own, music subscription, or free streaming services.”
What is rather impressive is that right from its onset, Microsoft seems to be heavy on the content. The company claims that Xbox Music currently includes 30 million songs which are more than those included in Apple’s iTunes. Microsoft is apparently banking heavily on Windows 8 and its success to push the service to its user base.
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