Folks, it may all finally come together. The products, and the story that surrounds them: Microsoft’s entertainment offerings may soon be under a single aegis, and not scattered across different brands and platforms.
As the company pulls together its Xbox, Windows Phone, and Windows lines to a single user interface (Metro), and with cross-platform functionality now being the norm and not the exception, the move makes sense. However, it now seems very likely that we won’t have all the pieces in place until Windows 8 debuts, in my estimation, which should be around October.
Now, what am I talking about? Yes, it involves that streaming music service that we heard about, and yes, it involves Zune. The ever excellent Mary Jo Foley managed to dig up some new information that ties the entire picture together. I quote (condensed):
It seems the music component will be next up, with Microsoft ready to show off its new music service, codenamed Woodstock, according to Tom Warren at the Verge, as soon as early June at E3. [...] The Zune Music and add-on Woodstock streaming service are all expected at some point in the not-too-distant future to finally be renamed as Xbox-something.
So that’s where we stand, essentially. Microsoft is working on an updated music service (Zune is outdated in the days of Spotify) that it will fuse with Zune’s current content deals, wrap the entire thing in an Xbox robe, and have it work on every device that sells with the company’s firmware on it. Boom.
But like I said, despite the fact that Mary Jo is nearly never wrong, we might have a piece of this twisted. So keep your glasses on and eyes peeled. That aside, we should see Xbox Live Music coming out on Windows Phone, Windows 8, and the Xbox, likely in some sort of unison, later this year.