updated 02:43 pm EDT, Thu October 4, 2012
Service to offer subscriptions, ad-supported streaming
Microsoft's forthcoming music service, revealed earlier this year, will finally launch this month alongside Windows 8. Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans tell The Verge that the software giant will be launching Xbox Music on October 26 across multiple platforms. The service will offer both subscription and streaming options in a manner similar to Spotify and other popular music services.
Xbox Music will allow users to store music and playlists in Microsoft's SkyDrive, making it accessible across multiple devices. The company has plans to offer Xbox Music across iOS and Android platforms, but those apps will not be immediately available according to reports. The company is also said to be planning a dashboard update for its Xbox console, making it compatible with Xbox Music and likely its Smart Glass app.
Late in September, details on Xbox Music's pricing leaked to the Internet. The service will reportedly cost $15 per month or $150 for a year. Customers will have the option of a 14-day free trial subscription as well. In addition to the paid subscription model, Microsoft will also offer an ad-funded streaming option for free.
October 26 is shaping up to be a massive day for Microsoft. Along with Xbox Music, the software giant will be releasing Windows 8 and its Surface tablets. The Xbox Music offering is likely to be billed as an additional aspect of Microsoft's reorientation toward devices and services instead of solely software.