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Microsoft to launch Xbox Music in the wake of Windows 8

As the countdown for the launch of Windows 8 reaches its last few weeks, The Verge (opens in new tab) has reported that Microsoft will be launching its Xbox Music service on 26 October, one day after Windows 8 is expected to be launched globally and on the day the OS will be available worldwide.

Sources told the publication that subscriptions, such as Microsoft's current Zune Music Pass, will be joined by a free, ad-supported streaming music service à la Spotify. The service will reportedly be available on Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Xbox 360. There's no word yet on whether it will be supported on Windows RT or on previous versions of Windows.

(opens in new tab)As expected, Xbox Music, which is set to compete with Sony’s Music Unlimited service, will feature seamless integration with Skydrive, allowing customers to save their music tracks and playlists in the Cloud and access them from different platforms. Microsoft is said to be considering offering the service on other competing mobile platforms, though nothing firm has been decided yet.

An Xbox dashboard update is expected to be rolled out prior to the launch of the service and it is likely to bring updated versions of the Music and Video apps as well.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.