The streaming music game is tough. So tough that Microsoft is retiring the free (ad supported) version of its Xbox Music streaming service.
The feature will stop streaming ad-supported music on December 1, 2014 for Windows 8.0 and 8.1 devices. Microsoft explains why it’s pulling the plug on the service in a FAQ:
We are focusing Xbox Music to deliver the ultimate music purchase and subscription service experience for our customers. With Xbox Music Pass, you have access to millions of songs on your PC, tablet, Xbox, phone, and the web. Download music for offline listening and create playlists that automatically sync across all your devices.
In other words, if you want to listen to music via Xbox Music, you need to pony up some cash.