After showing off Halo 4 and other highly-anticipated titles, Microsoft’s big E3 press conference fizzled out to a Microsoft product demonstration session instead of a gaming presentation. Things such as SmartGlass and Internet Explorer were neat, but not what the crowd was there for.
One of the products Microsoft announced at E3 was Xbox Music, the company’s rebranded music marketplace. The Xbox brand will be replacing the Zune brand for Microsoft’s media products. Just over one month ago, Microsoft halted support for its Zune products, and retired features such as messaging, channel playlists, apps for Zune HD, and streaming music videos as a part of Zune Music Pass.
Today, The Verge is reporting that the new Xbox Music service will be launching October 26. Citing “multiple sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans,” it states that the service will launch alongside Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system. It also reports that, similar to Spotify, Xbox Music will offer subscription plans and free, ad-supported streaming music.
Xbox Music software will run across all of Microsoft’s products, including the Xbox 360, Windows Phones, Windows 8 PCs, and Windows 8 Tablets. The Verge reports that Microsoft’s SkyDrive service will be integrated into Xbox Music, allowing users to keep their music and playlists stored in the cloud, and then make them available across multiple devices. The report also states that Android and iOS apps will not be “initially” released along with the service.