Microsoft is set to release a new music streaming service with the launch of Windows 10 called Microsoft Groove 4. Alongside a host of other features which will become available on July 29th, the new streaming service is for all intents and purposes a revamped version of Xbox Music, which will be getting the axe come the end of the month.
Not many things have been announced regarding the new streaming service, apart from the fact that it will come with a host of new features and a completely new designs. Microsoft are holding back on the details, but have shed some light onto pricing: unlimited streaming will cost users $10 per month, similarly to Apple’s recently launched Apple Music service. No information is available on whether a toned-down free version similar to Spotify or Pandora will be available.
The service will not be restricted to Windows 10, as it will work on Android and iOS-powered devices, following Microsoft’s new policy to make its own apps available across multiple operating systems. The change of name has also been explained as an attempt to avoid confusion, as Xbox Music was specific to the Xbox console, whilst this iteration will work across numerous platforms on computers and mobile devices.
Microsoft Groove 4 will also offer the possibility of uploading songs from your device to the internet on a cloud-based service, so that you can listen to them on multiple devices. This feature will make use of the Microsoft OneDrive storage.
Music streaming is attracting more and more big names into the fray, as the popularity of independent music streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora has grown wildly in recent years. Apple has recently launched its Apple Music service, with streaming services being subscription-only at the price of $10 per month, as it tries to wrestle control of the growing industry from services which offer free restricted or ad-based plans.
With less than two week left until the last major release of Microsoft’s iconic Windows operating system, everyone is speculating on whether the final version will provide a performance boost from previous iterations. Requiring the same minimum specifications as Windows 8.1, analysts expect the system not to provide much of an improvement at first. But keep in mind that Microsoft’s new OS will be a continuous work-in-progress, as the company is ditching new OS releases and will only provide updates for Windows which might significantly enhance it in the future.
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