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Microsoft launches Xbox Music streaming service for all devices

Microsoft has entered the increasingly crowded music streaming business with the launch of Xbox Music on all devices and platforms.

Xbox Music originally launched just under a year ago as a service which allows Windows 8 or Windows RT smartphone, tablet and PC users, as well as Xbox 360 owners, to stream music for free.

Users get unlimited streaming for six months after which a 10 hour cap is placed on the service, with a £8.99 a month subscription fee charged to remove it.

Now, the subscription service is being enabled for iOS and Android devices, on top of those running Windows 8 and RT. The web based service for laptops and PCs is also now open to everyone for free with a 10 hour cap. Subscribers get unlimited web streaming.

At £8.99 a month, Xbox Music is £1 cheaper than Spotify Premium, and Google's freshly launched Music All Access, both of which charge £9.99 per month, although if you sign up to Google's service before 15 September, it will be £7.99.

Spotify does offer a £4.99 unlimited subscription but it only allows streaming on desktops and laptops with the mobile app still blocked.

"Xbox Music now, more than ever, powers music experiences between Windows 8, Xbox, Windows Phone, and now iOS, Android and the Web," said Jerry Johnson, general manager of Xbox Music.

"We're also excited to connect artists with their fans on the most anticipated consumer product of the year when Xbox One launches 22 November."

Microsoft added that additional updates for iOS and Android platforms will become available in the coming months, including an offline mode that allows users to save music to a device for playback without an Internet or data connection.