Microsoft is ready to launch its own music service later this month. The music service, dubbed Xbox Music, will be going live on October 26, according to Eurogamer. The service is set to follow the style of Spotify with free users being able to listen to music through ad-supported channels, and paid users not seeing any ads.

The service seems to be designed with Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in mind, as users will be able to store music from the service onto Microsoft’s cloud service – SkyDrive. The service will make its way to Xbox 360s in an upcoming dashboard update. The service will also get its own apps for iOS and Android soon after the release.

The Xbox 360 seems to be on its way out

Will get the Xbox Music service this month

Recently, Microsoft started a rewards system for gamers with high Gamerscores on Xbox Live. The new rewards program is meant to reward gamers for their loyalty to Microsoft’s gaming console – the Xbox 360. The rewards come in three tiers and seem to be very miniscule. The first tier, called Contender, is for those with a Gamerscore between 3,000 and 9,999. This tier gets a 'special gift' during the gamer’s birthday month. The website notes that the 'special gift' will be valued at $0.25 (around Rs 13). The next tier, called Champion, is for those with a Gamerscore between 10,000 and 24,999. Gamers in this tier receive the 'special gift', along with a 1 percent rebate on purchases made on Xbox Live Arcade for every month. The third and final tier, called Legend, is for those with a Gamerscore of 25,000 and above. Gamers in this tier also get the 'special gift', along with a 2 percent rebate on purchases made on Xbox Live Arcade.

In a recent interview with The Verge, Brian Hall, General Manager of Windows Live, Microsoft mentioned the existence of a new Xbox. Hall referred to “the new Xbox” as one of the many projects that could be integrated with Windows 8. He said, “We’ve had Hotmail and operated Hotmail for about 16 years. We obviously have Exchange, and Outlook, that people use at work. We just decided it was time to do something new and bring the best from each of those and put them together and release it right in time for the new wave of products that we could have coming out with Windows 8, with the new version of Office, with the new Windows Phone and the new Xbox”.

While this was the first time anyone from Microsoft had openly acknowledged the existence of the next generation console, Microsoft later backtracked in a comment to, “The comments to The Verge were not understood in their intended context. When Brian mentioned a ‘new wave of products,’ he was referring to the full lineup of products coming later this year from Microsoft, including Windows 8, Office, Windows Phone and of course our fall Xbox update which will bring a host of new consumer experiences like Xbox Music, Videos, Games on Windows 8 and Xbox SmartGlass”.

According to an earlier report, a supposed Xbox 720 “Durango” developer kit was posted on a developer forum and was introduced to the public for a price of $10,000. The developer kit resembles the traditional PC tower running a debug launcher, which caused many people to be cautious and sceptical about whether the prototype is authentic. EuroGamer’s Digital Foundry reached the source of the leak. After following up on the story with multiple developers, who are working on next-gen projects, they came to the conclusion that the hardware was real.

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