With the release of Windows 8 just 11 days away, turns out Microsoft had another trick up its sleeve. The company today announced a new music service called Xbox Music. Despite the name, it’ll be available across various Windows devices.
The service allows users to listen to whatever they want — a la carte — for free with occasional ads. James McQuivey, analyst with Forrester Research, says the move makes sense as music is very important to many consumers, “think of it as Microsoft going fishing for new consumers — music turns out to be a very fundamental part of our digital lives.”
McQuivey sees the free music service as a way for Microsoft to bridge the gap between their success in the PC market and lackthereof in the mobile market, “the way to do that is give us fish in the sea a very juicy lure…to get you enmeshed in their ecosystem.” Therefore, McQuivey says, even if Microsoft is not able to monetize Xbox music, they will likely make money from the sales of games, TV shows, and other content that consumers will buy after they adopt the music platform.