Microsoft has been mum so far on many of the features that Windows Phone 8 will arrive on shelves with but, as the launch date for the platform approaches, the company is offering more details on it.
On Sunday, Microsoft announced that Windows Phone 8
would arrive on the market with Xbox Music pre-loaded right from the start, so that users could enjoy fast access to the songs and artists they like.
Xbox Music is a new service from the company (in fact, it is the rebranded Zune service) and will be available for desktop users as well.
Owners of Windows Phone 8 devices will receive access to tens of millions of songs as part of a subscription service called Xbox Music Pass.
Following a trial period, users will be granted access to songs for $9.99 per month, or as part of a more advantageous yearly subscription.
There will be cloud storage features included in the service, for users to store tracks and access them on the go, as well as the possibility to interact with friends and family to share music.
On Windows Phone 8, the Xbox Music service will be available for users in 22 markets around the world as devices start rolling out.
Unfortunately, owners of Windows Phone 7.x devices
will not be offered the possibility to enjoy the service on their smartphones.
Instead, users will continue to benefit from access to the Zune Music service, and will also be provided with an updated Music application for their handsets, a recent article on The Verge
For those out of the loop, we should note that Microsoft is planning the release of a Windows Phone 7.8 platform upgrade for the older devices running under it mobile OS, and the updated Music client might be included in it, it seems.
Xbox Music was also said to be en-route to more platforms at a later date, and mobile OSes such as Android and iOS might also be targeted.