Microsoft confirms Xbox Music for SA
The streaming music service, which will also allow purchases and downloads, will be launched in SA within the next two months. By Duncan McLeod.
Microsoft’s full Xbox Music service will be launched in SA within the next eight weeks, according to the company’s SA MD, Mteto Nyati.
The software giant had been expected to launch Xbox Music — which offers consumers both streaming music and music downloads — in SA on Friday to coincide with the launch of Windows 8.
Nyati tells TechCentral that this was not possible as Microsoft is still finalising licensing agreements with local record companies and artists. However, he says the full Xbox Music service will be launched in SA before the end of the calendar year, allowing consumers to stream, and purchase and download music.
Despite its name, Xbox Music won’t only work on the Xbox 360 videogame console but also on Windows PCs and tablets, and on Windows Phone 8 devices.
Reports say the service will also be available via iOS and Android applications, though it’s not clear when these apps will be available in the Apple and Google app marketplaces.
Internationally, Microsoft offers both a subscription version of Xbox Music as well as a free, advertising-supported version. The subscription option costs US$9,99/month or $99,99/year in the US and offers access to more than 30m songs.
Nyati won’t say whether television show and movie rentals are likely to be launched in SA, too. However, he says: “My job is to put pressure on the company to make all of these things available in SA. Right now, we’re excited about Xbox Music.”
Meanwhile, Nyati has scuppered market speculation that Microsoft SA is about to put out a tender seeking local distributors for the company’s new Windows RT and Windows 8 Surface tablets. He says the company will only sell the Surface tablets through Microsoft’s own stores.
“When we have a store rolled out in SA, we will have those things,” Nyati says, adding that it’s not yet confirmed whether SA will get a Microsoft Store. For now, most of Microsoft’s retail outlets are located in the US and Canada. – (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media