updated 01:00 pm EDT, Mon July 13, 2009
MS music streaming service
Microsoft is preparing a new music streaming service, "similar in principle to Spotify," according to the company's executive MSN producer, Peter Bale. The Europe-only beta of Spotify revolves around a client application, which lets users stream virtually any track or album from the company's remote library. In the UK the service is £10 per month, or free with a minute of advertising interspersed every 30 minutes.
Microsoft may adopt similar policies for its service, although Bale notes that the company is still evaluating business models. One option may involve streaming through the Xbox 360, which is already capable of streaming movies and TV shows, including those carried by Netflix. Despite the lack of a business model, or even an official download partner, Microsoft is expected to have the music service ready by the end of July. One feature will allow users to keep tracks, mirroring the Zune Marketplace.