Rumor: New Microsoft Music Service Launching?

Lately, the majority of rumours that we have reported on have revolved around Apple and what their plans are for the next iPad or the iPad 3. As a change of pace, it would seem that Microsoft is making the news today, not because of a new hardware or software launch, but rather due to a possible new service that they would like to introduce.

As the rumor goes, Microsoft would like to introduce another digital music streaming service. This new service is still up in the air as the Redmond company is currently working on finalizing contractual agreements with the major record labels, but assuming that negotiations are ironed out, we could see Microsoft launch a new music service for the Xbox 360 and a new Windows Phone handset.

The details about Microsoft’s new venture aren’t very clear at this time, nor is it known which Windows Phone device would be targeted for the new service though it is likely either a Nokia or HTC handset. Further to this, it is expected that this new service could come on line by the end of this year. Not only would this service offer streaming music, but it would also make available the option to buy and download music.

Of course, the question that some people will have is what will Microsoft do with the Zune Music Pass and this is a fair question. This service which retails for $9.99 per month gives users access to a music library that numbers in the millions and it works on the Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7 handsets and personal computers. Would Microsoft maintain two different services? This is unlikely due to the duplication of roles, so Microsoft’s new service could be an upgrade to the existing service or it could be an entirely new service into which the older service is rolled into.