Microsoft planning cross-platform music service for E3 2012 to replace Zune

You didn’t think Microsoft was giving up on music after it killed the Zune, did you? Of course not. Microsoft doesn’t give up on anything. Apparently the folks up in Redmond are planning to unveil its latest crack at the music industry at E3 2012, which takes place in June.

Microsoft is preparing a cross-platform music service currently codenamed Woodstock. My guess is it will have something similar to the Zune Pass in which users can subscribe for a monthly fee to download music to their heart’s content. It will be available on all the major desktop and mobile platforms: Windows 8, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Xbox will be thrown into that mix too for obvious reasons. Instead of apps (at least for Windows and Mac,) Microsoft may take the Rdio approach and encourage streaming to be done via a web browser.

In keeping with Microsoft’s theme for its products lately, Woodstock will have very deep integration. Users would be able to build playlists with groups of friends, share music on the Timeline and do tons of other neat social things with their possibly humiliating music collection. For those of you who have already built up a music library, Microsoft is planning to include functionality similar to iTunes Match for finding and matching your current music.

The current plan is for Microsoft to take the wraps off of this music service at E3, but hold off on the launch until Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 this fall. The company’s E3 presentation this year is said to focus less on gaming and more on broader entertainment announcements.

[via The Verge]

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