The new Microsoft music service was made available for Xbox owners on Tuesday, replacing Zune, which struggled to compete with the well-loved music application from Apple.
Xbox Music general manager Jerry Johnson said that the release is a huge step forward towards their aim of making their console an all-around entertainment device and not only for gaming alone. According to Jones, studies found out that more than 50 percent of Xbox users tend to use the console for entertainment service such as their video-streaming service Netflix.
Johnson said: “We also realize, as an entertainment company, that music is an important ingredient on its own and as a part of different user experiences.”
Aside from Xbox users, the new music service will be made available for Windows-based computers and tablets, including the soon-to-be released Surface tablet, from October 26 and will also be expanded to phones at a later date.
Free subscription will feature ad-supported music streaming, while premium subscribers will have an ad-free streaming and unlimited access to Microsoft’s global catalogue that has more than 30 millions songs that is four-million larger than Apple’s music library. Aside from the larger numbers of songs available, Xbox users also have exclusive access to more than 70,000 music videos.
Microsoft president for Interactive Entertainment Don Mattrick said: “The launch of Xbox Music is a milestone in simplifying digital music on every type of device and on a global scale. We’re breaking down the walls that fracture your music experiences today to ensure that music is better and integrated across the screens that you care about most – your tablet, PC, phone and TV.”
Wall Street analyst Douglas McIntyre believes that Xbox music will fare better than Zune and also has the potential of surpassing the popularity of iTunes.
McIntyre said: “Because of Microsoft’s size and what appears to be a new-found ingenuity, perhaps born of a need to reinvent the company or watch it drop to the second tier of tech firms, it has made a series of huge gambles. Xbox Music is one of those. And Xbox Music may be a winner, just because the Microsoft distribution network is so very big.”
Aside from their newly-launched music service, Microsoft will also launch their new operating system Windows 8 on October 26 along with the highly-anticipated Surface Tablet.