Could we be seeing Microsoft’s new music service at E3?
Job postings point towards a dedicated Microsoft team for developing an Xbox music service
The development of an Xbox music service to replace Zune and rival services such as Spotify has been long-rumored, but we’ve never had a definite confirmation from Microsoft. That looks to be changing with the latest round of rumors.
The job postings for a Paris-based team, called the Team Xbox Live Music, and is also referred to as Xbox Live Paris. The listing explain the team will build a massive catalog of music from multiple vendor and will develop an innovative UI for that the team describe as music consumption on the Xbox (interestingly, it doesn’t specify the Xbox 360) along with Windows Phone/mobile and the internet. Basically, it covers all devices.
A job listing in March also recruited for the position, so there’s definitely a push by Microsoft to make this music service a reality. Comparing the service to Spotify, it would have the advantage of being available on web. Services such as Last.fm have in-browser support and, considering Microsoft is using Skydrive across devices and in the browser, it’s not a stretch to think Microsoft will allow music to be uploaded to the cloud and transferred across devices.
Brand New Music Service, or Rebranding?
Kotaku suggested the music service is a rebranded Musicwave, which was acquired by Microsoft in late 2007. Musicwave was a mobile-centric music service where carriers could sell songs to download wirelessly, though the service doesn’t exist. I don’t see Microsoft just rebranding a service because I think the company sees more potential by integrating its devices.
Previous rumors from tech site The Verge said Microsoft is working on a music service called Woodstock which would be cross-platform and will be available on the three major smartphone platforms – Android, iOS and Windows Phone – along with the Xbox.
With E3 just next week, Microsoft also said it will be going for new families of devices. We know Windows 8 is aiming for tablets, so maybe we’ll see those kind of devices at E3. Or maybe we’ll see every device working together.
Microsoft’s E3 conference is on Monday, June 4, so stay tuned! It’s going to be an exciting week.