Microsoft is looking to diversify itself widely, firstly Windows 8 OS, then Surface Tablet and planing Surface Phone and now they announced Xbox Music, a digital music service to vie with Apple Inc’s iTunes and Amazon.com Inc’s Cloud Player for now it is available for the Xbox 360 only but from 26th October with the release of Windows 8 this service will go worldwide.
The digital music market is a very profitable market and is mostly dominated by Apple iTunes, with the launch of the new Windows 8 few days away this new service will be a big plus point for the Windows 8 based devices.
Microsoft previously launched a similar service named Zune to compete with iTunes but it didn’t work out as Microsoft had expected. They had to revise their strategy and come up with a new concept i.e. a mixture of two concepts cloud-storage features similar to iTunes and Amazon Cloud Player and an artist-based radio function like music streaming services Pandora and Spotify.
With the new service, users can listen to streaming songs for free, from a catalog of over 30 million titles, on PCs and tablets running on Windows 8.Microsoft will offer a free ad-supported music streaming service, and a premium $9.99 subscription service for unlimited, ad-free streaming.
The service includes an on-line store that allows users to buy single songs or entire album on their computers or Smartphone’s from download-to-own music store with over 30 million songs in its global Catalog, more than iTunes’ library of over 26 million songs. It also carries over 70,000 music videos, available only on the Xbox console.
It also allows users to create the so-called “Internet radio” based on their favourite artists. Also with Xbox Music being a cloud-based service, users can access their carefully-created playlists and play their favorite music on any device.
Xbox Music will be available in 22 countries. Microsoft hopes to take the service to Apple iOS and Google Inc Android devices next year. Whether it will affect the dominance of Apple iTunes or not that we will see in long run but for the time being it will surely boost the sales of the Xbox and the Windows 8 which is going to compete with Apple’s IOS 6 featuring iTunes in the Smartphone market.