Microsoft will give a glimpse of its new digital music service at the E3 2012 conference in June, according to a report at the Verge. A replacement for the Zune Pass subscription service, Microsoft's latest music product has the code name "Woodstock" and is said to be a cross-platform service - Windows 8, Android, iOS, Xbox - and playable from a web browser.
Multi-platform music services are not exactly rare these days, but Microsoft can leverage its hardware (Xbox) and software (Windows Phone, Explorer web browser) to create a more seamless experience. Sony employs the same strategy with Music Unlimited, a music subscription service that's closely tied to its hardware (Blu-ray players, DVD players, PlayStation 3) and can be used on a variety of mobile devices as well.
Woodstock looks good on paper, but will consumers care? Microsoft's music products have failed to resonate with music lovers. Its MSN Music download store debuted in 2004 and was shuttered in 2006. MSN Music, which sold downloads protected by Windows Media DRM, was followed by the Zune media player, download store and Zune Pass subscription service.
Last year Microsoft killed its Zune http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/digital-and-mobile/microsoft-to-phase-out-zune-player-1005073302.story portable media player and shifted its mobile music strategy to its Windows Phone mobile operating system.
The Zune Really Died A Year Ago
The company's current music service still carries the Zune brand. Zune Pass, the subscription service to be replaced by Woodstock, is still in operation.