AOL recently announced that it would discontinue Winamp on December 20, 2013, but it turns out that the media player could get a chance to live on.In a pretty unexpected twist of the story, Microsoft is reportedly interested in acquiring AOL’s media player and the Shoutcast service, even though no confirmation from Redmond has until now been released.
TechCrunch is reporting via unnamed sources that Microsoft and AOL are already talking of a potential deal that could be announced by December 20, the date when Winamp is set to go dark.
While it’s hard to tell what Microsoft would actually do with Winamp, this could really be the only way to see the media player living on beyond the AOL era, as millions of users across the world are still running it on either Windows or Android right now.
We’ve asked for a confirmation from Microsoft on this, so we’re going to update the article when and if we get an answer.
The same source is adding that AOL is gearing up to announce the retirement of the Shoutcast media streaming service next week, so a potential Microsoft deal could include not only Winamp, but also the adjacent products.
Of course, it’s hard to imagine that Microsoft would actually do something really good with Winamp, especially because the company already invests a fortune to make Xbox Music successful. Xbox Music is already available on several platforms, including Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows Phone, iOS, and Xbox, while Winamp is only offered to Windows and Android users.
At the same time, Microsoft already has some bad memories with music services, as the company developed and then killed Zune in an unfortunate story that’s probably still causing nightmares to Steve Ballmer.
On the other hand, seeing Winamp survive would indeed be great news for users across the world, as the media player is reportedly being used by millions of consumers on desktop computers.