Microsoft has confirmed that anyone can access its Xbox Music streaming service for free on the web, even if they’re not using Windows 8.
Starting today, the Xbox Music service will be extended to all those not using the latest Windows 8 OS, when it is accessed from a web browser.
Intending to entice more customers to its music streaming service, the extended availability of the free streaming service may help Xbox Music compete with the likes of Spotify, Pandora and iTunes Radio.
Of course, when using the free service via a browser, the listener will have to endure advertisements, the same as they do when on the free Spotify web player.
Originally, the free tier of Xbox Music was only available to those on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices like the Surface Pro.
“Every Windows 8 and Windows RT tablet and PC lets you stream music from one of the largest digital music catalogs on the planet… free. Listen for over 80 years and never hear the same song twice. Seriously. Try it,” it still reads on the Xbox Music page.
However, we’ve tested out the Xbox Music experience via music.xbox.com and accessed it perfectly fine without a Windows 8 device.
A full Xbox Music Pass subscription costs £8.99 per month, or £89.90 for the year. With the full subscription, users will get access to free music streaming, Smart DJ customised radio stations, offline music listening, the ability to create playlists synched across devices, and access to the Xbox Music Store.
Xbox Music Pass also imports any songs purchased on iTunes to the user’s account, as well as ripped CD tracks.
Smart DJ radio tracks allows unlimited skipping of tracks when you’ve signed up for a subscription.
Basically, it offers the same functionality as the Spotify Premium subscription, but for £1 cheaper per month.
It is also interesting that Microsoft is promoting its music streaming service so close to the launch of the Xbox One on November 22. We expect that the service will be featured as part of the Xbox One dashboard come launch.
Next, read our Spotify vs iTunes Radio comparison.