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Microsoft Dives Into the Music-Streaming Pool

Microsoft Dives Into the Music-Streaming Pool

Lots of companies chasing an unproven business model

October 7th, 2012 by James R. Hood of ConsumerAffairs in News

Pandora, Apple, Spotify, MOG ... and now Microsoft. The streaming-music pool is filling up fast. Google Play probably figures in here somewhere too.

Microsoft, which seems to have decided that it should launch every bright  idea it can think of on Oct. 26, says it will launch Xbox Music then. Reports say that, as with its Zune Music Pass, Xbox Music will be available as a free streaming service with ads or as a subscription service without ads.

The subscription price is expected to about $14.50 per month, roughly comparable to everybody else. 

This is not exactly a new idea, of course, but that's never stopped Microsoft before. And besides, Microsoft needs a music service it can offer on its new Windows Phone, not to mention its new tablet, Windows 8 and Xbox 360.

A key part of the service is Microsoft's SkyDrive integration that will allow users to store music and playlists in a cloud collection - available across multiple devices. You know, like iTunes.

It's all still supposedly secret, but we did run across this little video from Microsoft that's intended to get you in the mood. 

Of course, no one's really making any serious money on these services yet -- but it's only the standalone players like Pandora and Spotify who have to worry about paying the rent. Apple, Microsoft and Google are mostly concerned with filling out their product portfolios, so times may be getting tough for those who were there first. But that wouldn't be new either, would it?