Zune is about to be replaced. Hopefully, the service and not the software. But Microsoft is reported to be shifting its music streaming service to the Xbox brand, and could be available to more platforms including rival Android and iOS phones – via a browser.
Reported by The Verge, the project – codenamed ‘Woodstock’ – is said to have no browser plugins and is also said to be integrated with Facebook; and have a ‘scan and match’ feature that will identify music from one’s library to its service. Their source also have said that it could show a sneak peak during this year’s E3, and could launch alongside Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.
It also appears to be a de-emphaising of the Zune brand – which was inevitable. While it has been a crucial brand for its music and video services, the Xbox and Windows Phone has largely been its platform after the music players – which were well received – essentially flopped since it couldn’t compete with the iPod.
We can see Xbox Music very soon.
It would be interesting to see how Microsoft launches this service – especially its international availability. Australia already has a taste of streaming music services – such as Rdio, Spotify and JB Hi Fi NOW. And it’s really starting to get a bit competitive, so if it does decide to launch – it really should announce some international availability before it could potentially find itself struggling to attract people.