Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which has long been attempting to break into the digital music service segment and compete with Apple's iTunes, has now launched XBox Music.
The world's largest software firm plans to use its popular gaming console to provide digital music entertainment in the form of live streaming content from various service providers such as Netflix.
Microsoft previous attempts in this segment such as the Zune music player and service were colossal failures as it was unable to dislodge the popularity of other entrenched players, particularly Apple.
XBox was envisaged by Microsoft as a one-stop shop device to provide entertainment. Recent evidence has shown that Xbox owners use the gaming console more as an entertainment device rather than just to play games.
XBox Music will offer prospective subscribers access to a global catalogue of about 30 million songs and will allow them to listen free to any of the songs on computers and tablets that are running the latest version of Windows software.
Initially the music service would be available on XBox and its Surface tablets, and then it would be extended to computers and laptops running on Windows software and then finally to smartphones powered by its operating software.
On Oct. 26 the company is set to launch its latest operating system both for computers as well as for phones. The company plans to package the software for the music service along with Windows 8.
Apple has been a pioneer in the way that it used music services to sell more iPods and now other companies are following suit.
Shares of MSFT are up slightly in the pre-open session.