Xbox Music may soon break out of Microsoft's own platform and onto any desktop web browser.
Microsoft will announce a web-based version of Xbox Music next week, according to sources, The Verge, who quoted unnamed sources.
Some of Microsoft's Xbox Music pages were reportedly updated early, claiming that the service is "now available on the web," but those references no longer appear on the site. Microsoft may announce the new version at its Build 2013 developer conference this week.
Xbox Music is similar to Spotify, Rhapsody, and Rdio, in that it allows users to choose from millions of songs for on-demand streaming, while giving the user the ability to create playlists and collections. It's free to use on Windows 8 and RT devices. A $10-per-month Xbox Music Pass subscription extends access to Windows Phone and Xbox 360, and also enables offline listening.
Other music services
Microsoft is one of several major tech companies that have tied a new music service to their own operating system while being cautious about expanding it to other platforms.
Earlier this month, Apple announced iTunes Radio, a Pandora-like streaming music service for Mac, iOS, Apple TV, and PC. It won't be available through the web or on Android. In May, Google announced Google Play Music All Access, a competitor to Spotify for web browsers and Android devices. Google does plan to launch the service for iOS devices soon.
When Microsoft announced Xbox Music last October, the company said that iOS and Android versions would arrive "within the first year." So far, the service remains exclusive to Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and the Xbox 360.
A web version would open up the service to earlier Windows versions, Macs, and Linux-based machines. While we assume the web version would be free to use, just like Spotify, we'll have to wait for the official announcement to know for sure.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.