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Microsoft to create a 'Spotify-style music service'

Microsoft is in talks with music labels about creating a new music service very similar to Spotify.

Spotify be warned: Microsoft has been meeting with the major labels to discuss a new music service for its Xbox console and Windows Phone software, CNET reports.

The service would replace Microsoft's Zune Music Pass, its current music offering, and be more similar to Spotify. The plan is also to use the Xbox Live branding across the Xbox, Windows Phone software on upcoming handsets, and Windows on desktop PCs. That's expected to happen this summer, but the actual music service won't launch until Christmas time, according to CNET.

Talks are still at the preliminary stage, so details are pretty scant, and it's not clear exactly how it would differ from Zune Music Pass, but it's said to be both a streaming and download service, and to launch sometime this year.

Microsoft could also team up with HTC and Nokia to make enabled handsets, the sources said. I do like a good collaboration, and seeing as HTC has been having a tough time of it recently, it would make sense for the three to pool their resources against the might of Apple.

Microsoft has a bit of a chequered history when it comes to music software, to put it lightly. Its Zune MP3 players never went on sale over here, and I'm yet to meet anyone who uses the Zune Music Pass on their Xbox.

Nevertheless, the labels will doubtless have dollar signs in their eyes, seeing as Xbox Live has 40 million subscribers, so expect them to make it happen. Spotify seems to be single-handedly keeping the music industry afloat too, so anything similar is sure to have the labels' support. Hopefully anyway.

Last year Spotify teamed up with Facebook so you can let your pals know you're listening to Rolf Harris. Google also launched its streaming service, though we're still waiting for it to reach the UK.

Would you like to see a Spotify-style Microsoft music service? Let us know below in the comments, or on our Facebook page.