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back to article BING! Microsoft plants Xbox Music flagpoles in Android and iOS

Xbox Music is one of Microsoft's best kept secrets - ubiquitous on Microsoft's own consoles but poorly promoted, even on Microsoft Windows Phone devices. But on the eve of the iTunes Radio rollout, Redmond has woken up and remembered that it exists. The streaming service formerly known as Zune Pass has finally sprouted native …

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Management

So MS is pretty near first to market in an incredibly popular segment and takes years to notice and start promoting it. In the interim they have, however, put megabucks behind any number of failed disasters of products. Management matters, apparently.

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Re: Management

It's a pretty good product too....

Yep - their advertising is terrible.

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Re: Management

Yeah it's crazy, unlimited streaming AND you can basically get an album a month, for $10/mo. It's the best deal I know of.

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Re: Management

exclusive track débuts

So they already say they are loosing money to piracy, then they limit themselves to one distribution method (even if it is a limited time).

What a way to get sales up!

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Unlimited streaming and downloading so long as you maintain your subscription.

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Re: Management

I don't know if they still have it in the States, but Columbia had the best deals 4CDs for a Cent and you had to buy IIRC 4 more from their Catalog, which almost always netted you a Coupon for One additional CD for FREE!

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BING!

MS must be praying daily for the demise of those who remember "Friends."

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No mention of BB10?

This post contains text.

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Anonymous Coward

Admission of Windows Phone failure

when they have to port their sub-par music offerings to Android.

Deep down, Microsoft must know they have run out of cards to play.

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Re: Admission of Windows Phone failure

By this logic, Google is admitting 80%-share Android is a failure, because it's releasing software for IOS. And I guess Windows x86 must be a failure too, due to MS releasing software like Office for other platforms. Heaven forbid a company be a bit more open.

Never understood why WP's 5% is a "failure" whilst OS X's 6% is seen as a duopoly alongside Windows anyway (especially when that's after many more years of trying, and ridiculous amounts of product placement in almost every US TV show).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Admission of Windows Phone failure

LOL, someone that actually seems to believe that 1 in 20 people own a Windows Phone.

Next time you are on the tube/bus/high street, open your eyes and see it's more like 1 in 2000.... Then ask yourself where all those other SHIPPED Windows phones are.

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Re: Admission of Windows Phone failure

> Never understood why WP's 5% is a "failure"

First of all WP's global market share is around 3.5%. The reason it is a 'failure' is that MS used to have over 40% of the smartphone market. It has declined in spite of new models and new OSes and versions and despite billions in subsidies and losses. It seems to be selling only because of pricing where this needs to be about 15% higher merely to not make a loss.

OS X may only be 6% of the market but it makes Apple more revenue and profit than Microsoft or Dell.

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MS pretty near first to market ?

"So MS is pretty near first to market in an incredibly popular segment and takes years to notice and start promoting it"

Didn't Apple release itunes + iPod, circa 2001 ..

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Re: MS pretty near first to market ?

Yes, but it has yet to introduce iTunes Radio, which will be their equivalent service. DRTFA dear!

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Bit patchy

I tried it for a month but there are quite a few gaps in their library in what you can download for free. Certain smaller labels aren't included and ask for you to pay for the album. Otherwise it was pretty nifty

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FAIL

People (like Elephants) have long memories

They don't forget 'Plays for sure'.

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Re: They don't forget 'Plays for sure'.

Really? What's that then?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People (like Elephants) have long memories

I'm pretty sure they do forget. I'd forgotten it and a quick ask around the office, everyone else he either forgotten or had no idea what it was.

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Nope forgot that...

When having "Zune squirting" erased from my mind.

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Will the Apple Radio also be rolled out to Android?

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See AC 11:53, that would be an admission of failure!

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More to do with the way the companies do business

Google makes money advertising to you. Finding out more about you to more directly target advertising is valuable to them. Android helps, but so do apps on other platforms.

Microsoft make money selling software and/or subscriptions. Making at least limited applications available on other platforms helps push the subscriptions.

Apple make money selling hardware. iTunes etc are minor sidelines designed to make the hardware more attractive to buyers. It's unlikely they'll provide any of these services on other platforms unless it helps them shift more hardware (for example iTunes on Windows let them sell iPod hardware to Windows users).

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"Xbox Music will also gobble web pages, such as festival sites or band home pages, and attempt to turn them into a matching Playlist"
Better not tell Ministry of Sound, they're pretty protective of their "List of things available elsewhere but arranged into a particular order".

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I've added that reply to my list of favourite comments. No, you can't see it.

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MJI
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But Xbox is games.

And that will be on most peoples minds..

1) It is games

2) I need an MS console to play it

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Re: But Xbox is games.

Never seen a students usage of a console have you...

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MJI
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Re: But Xbox is games.

Students - they had either a hifi or a motorcycle AFAIR

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From what I can find it seems that you get 6 months free unlimited streaming then limited to 10 hours a month afterwards which is pretty generous. I'm glad I didn't sign up to google music now.

The catalog is pretty impressive, it contains music which is notably missing from spotify, but if you are going to compete with spotify why not offer a web-only subscription for £5pm aswell?

However it is disappointing to see that it doesn't scrobble to last.fm, nor can I find any browser add-ons to do it. And the app requires android 4.0 so there's no chance of MS getting any subs money off me atm anyway.

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Huge

There are already more Win 8 machines than Macs (presumably all consumer devices as apparently corporates hate it), the MS services are given prominent position the metro interface, and 3rd parties can't be bothered making windows versions of their own apps. Add Xbox to the mix together with the growing expectation/acceptance for entertainment to be streamed and for the services to be integrated with a single login, and MS could be huge in digital content in a few years if they don't throw it away.

Being able to play songs from search results is the least annoying thing I can think of.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Huge

Seems like you have fallen for Microsoft's big lie.

The Windows 8 count is LICENCES, not INSTALLS. I also woun't count Xbox either, that's a dead platform these days. sure they had 70m sales, but they were replacement consoles to 30m users, of which only 50% bothered to sign up for Microsoft's overpriced Empororer's new clothes gold service, and only a percentage of them are prepared to pay the double-dip subscription ontop again.

Not so impressive when you take away the Microsoft brasso and see the turd underneath.

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Facepalm

whose lie?

It's not Microsoft's lie, it's not even their figures. Windows 8 beats Macs.

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/09/01/windows-8-rockets-to-7-41-market-share-as-windows-xp-falls-below-35-mark/

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Re: whose lie?

You've missed the point completely there. The majority of sales are to corporates, who immediately rip off Windows 8 and replace is with Windows 7 (or even XP in some shops), so Microsoft get to double count their number of sales.

Secondly many home users are buying Tablets rather than Windows PCs, if you include those in the sales numbers then Windows has a less than 50% market share.

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Re: whose lie?

You've missed the point completely here. I was going on usage data rather than sales data (I provided a link for you to ignore, which is more than you did with your made-up stats). Secondly windows PCs are tablets these days. The form factor has changed - check the Asus T100 for a very recent example, but this is by no means unique.

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Anonymous Coward

but poorly promoted, even on Microsoft Windows Phone devices

Just had a look at my phone

Under music I have Nokia Music and Xbox music store, and the settings for the latter include "connect with xbox Music" and "Xbox music cloud collection".

The Nokia Music "mix radio" - 20-odd categories of free streaming playlists - got more mention on the advertising for this phone than the xbox tie-in. And no mention of Xbox music streaming as I recall.

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Re: but poorly promoted, even on Microsoft Windows Phone devices

But didn't you see the free starter subscription when you kicked of fthe phone?

The Nokia you have to reach out for it, but XBOX was almost default as I remember.

Anyhow, both good services

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What Xbox Music?

Oh yeah, not available in Malaysia because we are all either dirty pirates, have lousy internet connection speed, or don't deserve it as much as rich neighbor Singapore does in Microsoft's eyes. Sure, brand the whole bunch as spoil just because of a few rotten apples, and it's not our fault that 75% of the country is still stuck on ADSL-1! that is capped at 4Mbps!

Even iTunes now sell music in Malaysia. And Nokia's store sold music in Malaysia before Microsoft bought them over.

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Anonymous Coward

The article really doesn't capture all the important points. Zune Pass was more than a streaming service...it was (is?) a streaming service, a subscription download service (unlimited songs, DRM protected, subscription downloads play as long as the subscription is kept active), and a purchasing service like iTunes (purchased songs are free of DRM protections).

For anything downloaded under subscription or purchased, no connectivity or data bandwidth is used to play music, which is the big advantage over streaming services.

Zune Players hardware, the Zune PC software, and the Zune Player app on Windows Phone 7 did all these things, quite well, with decent sync features. Windows Phone 8 replaced the Zune app with the buggy Xbox Music app, and replaced the Zune PC app and all it's nice sync features with some horrid mess that has all the appeal of a bad student project, and then rebranded it all as Xbox Music.

See http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/suggestions/3342058-continue-to-use-zune-for-media-sync-in-wp for many hundreds of comments expressing dissatisfaction over the changes.

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Why exactly would I want Microsoft XBox Music on my non-Microsoft devices?

I'm in a process of divestiture, in terms of Microsoft's products and services. I have decided that I can live with Windows XP and Windows 7, but there is nothing compelling in Windows 8. There is no other software or service I want from Microsoft. I certainly wouldn't play Microsoft XBox Music through my android device. I went Android, and have avoided Windows Phone, so I don't have to put up with Microsoft's BS. I certainly don't want Microsoft being the gatekeeper of media I want to play.

Microsoft has had a chance to innovate over the last couple of years, and they wasted their opportunity.

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