Microsoft tweaks streaming music plan for Windows 10

Microsoft office

Microsoft office

Microsoft has rebranded its subscription-based music services as part of a ramped-up effort to compete with the likes of Apple, Google Spotify and others.

The US tech giant said its Groove Music — the rechristened name for XBox Music — will be built into the Windows 10 operating system that is designed to power computers and a variety of mobile devices.

“Our fans asked for faster ways to access the music they love — quickly, efficiently, and on their favorite devices,” Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc said in a blog post Monday.

“And for that, we’re proud to introduce the evolution of our current Xbox Music experience, now titled Groove, with new features we think you’re going to love.

“Groove describes what people feel and do with music, and is more intuitive for our Windows 10 customers on what they’ll find with the app.”

Microsoft has struggled to gain traction in music dating back to its device designed to compete with the original Apple iPod — a portable music player called Zune discontinued in 2011 after some five years.

LeBlanc said the new Groove service will have access to 40 million songs and offer “an improved experience for listening to and managing your music.”

Groove will offer ad-free music for downloads and playlists at $10 a month or $99 per year, similar to plans from Apple and Google.

Microsoft is preparing to roll out Windows 10 starting on July 29, first with a small group of “insiders” testing the new operating software, then gradually expanding the base.

The company, which dominates in personal computers but has been lagging in mobile devices, is hoping the new system will help it better compete with Google’s Android-powered devices and Apple’s iOS hardware.

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1 Comment
  • Bryan

    Another lame effort to be relevant by putting lipstick on the pig and putting it back on sale…
    Brandon Leblanc is a marketing mouth that hasn’t a clue..
    There is no way to really enjoy your existing music collection with the current Xbox Music app or the newly labeled one unless you’re content on digging through artist/album and songs.. You can NOT select an entire genre and play it shuffled.. There are NO ratings for songs or any way to tag favorites, or any tags at all for that matter.. You can’t for example say: play all Hip Hop songs rated 4 or higher… You have to build a static playlist manually… and without the ratings you’ve previously assigned to the songs.. No thanks.
    Microsoft’s lame efforts to be relevant in the living room (other than gaming) are apparently going to continue to be lame going forward.. Xbox One’s chatty, friends, achievements, social interface is pathetic for content consumption.. the Xbox One is NOT the “only living room STB one needs” as bloated by Microsoft Marketing.. It’s lousy unless you’re a gamer.
    What’s “more quickly, and efficiently” about this new interface that facilitates listening to an existing library of music? Sure you can upload all of it to OneDrive but just how accessible is that when you have to choose it by artist or album at a time? Hey! Let’s listen to our collection of Blues…. Can’t do it on Xbox Music or Groove.. you simply can not do it unless you sort by genre then click the 1st song, scroll down to the last song and shift-click to highlight them all..
    And for having 40 million songs, their radio service is absolutely lame compared to Pandora, considering all the information I’ve seen Pandora has significantly smaller library yet they do a much better job of finding similar music.. Unlike Pandora, You can’t tweak the stations or remove songs or artists from the stations.. You can’t add artists or songs to a station to make it inclusive of similar music even within the same genre. You can’t indicate that you either like or dislike a song.
    There is a reason none of the recent music subscription service comparison articles don’t even mention Xbox music.. It’s because it’s so far behind in features and functionality that no one cares about it. If you’re a Microsoft fan you are not “confused” by the naming of the product.. You know what it is. Those who are not Microsoft fans aren’t interested in it simply because they’re already entrenched in their iProducts that work flawlessly and interoperate with all their other stuff seamlessly. Why switch to such an inferior dysfunctional and feature incomplete service from Microsoft? Renaming it is typical of Microsoft’s thinking.. It’s still not going to work.
    I give Microsoft 2 years to exit the consumer media content space entirely.. They’re simply lousy at it and they’re reputation precedes them with every effort to become relevant, …and ironically every effort they make further cements them in the arena of incompetency.