Microsoft's iTunes, Spotify rival Xbox Music out later this year - report

Music streaming for monthly or annual fee.

Microsoft's iTunes and Spotify rival Xbox Music launches later this year, according to a new report.

It features Spotify-style streaming with iTunes-style download and online storage, Bloomberg was told by "several people with knowledge of the situation".

Microsoft is talking with record companies, including Universal, Warner, Sony and EMI, over music rights as we speak, but discussions are not complete. The failed Zune service will migrate its customers over to Xbox Music.

Streaming will be offered for a monthly or annual fee, but you'll also be able to buy digital music through an online store. Xbox Music will apparently offer an online locker accessible from multiple devices, including a mobile running upcoming operating system Windows 8. You'll be able to put your music collection online, including music bought elsewhere, for a monthly or annual fee.

Xbox Music formed a part of Microsoft's E3 2012 press conference, and is yet another example of the evolution of the Xbox brand into an all-encompassing entertainment offering. Microsoft's multi-screen strategy, powered by its new Windows 8 Metro user interface, will provide a consistent experience across multiple devices, including the upcoming Windows Phone 8, Surface and next generation Xbox devices.

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