$1.1 billion spent by web giant - but why? Here's all you need to know
Xbox Music - Microsoft's free streaming music service for Windows 8
Microsoft has lifted the lid on its all-in-one entertainment service that will bring free streaming to Xbox 360 consoles, Windows 8 PCs, tablets and Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 8 handsets.
Xbox Music is the new music streaming service from Microsoft. Available from 16 October 2012.
The all-in-one music service combines the best aspects of free-streaming radio, music subscription services and music purchasing options, all in one elegant package.
When can I get it?
Xbox Music begins its worldwide rollout on 16 October as part of a gradual update to the Xbox 360 dashboard, then to the masses with Windows 8 on 26 October.
Xbox Music will come pre-installed as the default music player for the new Windows 8 operating system.
What does it offer?
Microsoft's new service offers a global library of 30 million songs - and by adding an Xbox Music Pass into the mix you'll be able to benefit from ad-free, unlimited playback, as long as users have an Internet connection. We've picked out just some of the highlights you can enjoy:
Free streaming: Xbox Music provides on-demand access to tens of millions of songs for free on all Windows 8 tablets and PCs.
Discovering and enjoying free music is as easy as typing an artist or song name and hitting "play" -- songs are instantly available to stream and for you to create an unlimited amount of playlists.
Xbox Music Pass: Get an Xbox Music Pass for ad-free, unlimited playback of any track in the Xbox Music catalogue across your tablet, PC, phone and Xbox 360 for £8.99 per month. If you're into video too, Xbox Music Pass also unlocks unlimited access to tens of thousands of music videos on your Xbox 360.
Xbox Music will be the default music player on
all Windows 8 devices.
Xbox Music Store: Streaming is all well and good, but if you want to own the music you love then you need to get yourself over to the Xbox Music Store.
Think of the Xbox Music Store as a MP3 marketplace that allows you to purchase a single track or entire album on your Windows 8 device.
Smart DJ: If you've ever used Windows Phone 7 you'll already be familiar with Xbox Music's Smart DJ feature.
Smart DJ is a quick and dynamic way to personalise your collection, discover new favourites and create ultimate playlists by launching instant mixes based on your favourite artists.
Cloud Storage: One of Xbox Music's most exciting propositions is the addition of Cloud Storage. Cloud Storage won't be available immediately from launch, but in-time you will be able to add all of your own music (your entire music collection) to your Xbox Music cloud catalogue.
Social Music: Xbox Music will add unique social features in the coming year that let you share your music experiences with friends and family.
Microsoft also has plans to offer Xbox Music across other platforms (iOS and Android) in the coming year.