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Microsoft renames Xbox Music Groove Music, drops Xbox branding from video store

Mark Hachman | July 7, 2015
Xbox Music doesn't require an Xbox. Obvious, right? The renaming may help, but the service still lacks subscribers.

One has to assume that at this point, Microsoft wants to provide a viable alternative to Spotify and the other services, if only to compel them to continue developing apps for the platform. Ordering Microsoft's Cortana assistant to stream a particular song is probably easier to do when Microsoft owns the service, too.

If Microsoft has purchased Groove Music, it hasn't purchased a streaming music business. Zikera's app merely mines your music files and "resurfaces forgotten gems" that you haven't heard in years. It also comes up with playlists depending on who you're with and what their tastes might be. That could offer a bit of differentiation as music services elbow each other to provide the most personalized song recommendations.

Microsoft certainly made waves when it offered 100 classic albums for free download last December. But did it lasso a user base who will pay $10 per month for the privilege of subscribing to its music services? That's doubtful, and rebranding Xbox Music to Groove probably won't change that. 


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