Microsoft Xbox Music will let the Windows 8 and Windows RT based devices to stream music for free.

Microsoft has formally announced its new Xbox Music service for Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 platform. The subscribers to the Xbox Music service can create unlimited playlists from the catalog of 30 million songs and stream their music for free. For ad-free unlimited access, Microsoft will offer Xbox Music Pass that will let the users access and stream their music anywhere and anytime for $10 (Rs 52 approximately) per month. The Xbox Music, however, is not backward compatible with Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7.x based smartphones.

The new Xbox Music service will offer a Music Store for users to purchase their favourite music – single track or entire album – and download it. Dedicated cloud storage space will also be made available to the Xbox Music subscribers by next year. Microsoft has not specified how much storage will be assigned to the users.

The Windows 8 and Windows RT based desktops, laptops and tablet users will get to stream the on-demand music for free and the users will be able to create unlimited playlists. The Xbox Music service also brings new Smart DJ service that creates a radio channel based on the user’s favourites and current music collection. The Smart DJ creates new playlist of the songs recommended for the users. Microsoft will be adding more social features by next year and also expand the availability of the Xbox Music service to more platforms by next year.

The free streaming of the music on Windows 8 and Windows RT based PCs as well as tablets will be made available in 15 countries on October 26. Also Microsoft plans to make the Xbox Music Pass for Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 in 22 countries worldwide where the Xbox Music Store will be accessible. Microsoft will continue to make Xbox Music available to more regions in coming year.

Microsoft Zune Pass was made available for India eventually in 2010 and hence we can trust that the Xbox Music service will also be made available for Indian users. Whenever the Xbox Music service is made available in India, it will compete with several such streaming and music store services already existing in the country.