Microsoft to launch Spotify-killing music-streaming service

Microsoft has painted a bullseye on Spotify's beautiful face, revealing plans to launch a free music-streaming service to compete directly with the Swedish sensation

Nate Lanxon Special to CNET News

Microsoft has painted a bullseye on Spotify's beautiful Swedish face. The company has revealed plans to offer a competing ad-supported music service, through which users can stream music for free, with a paid version to get rid of the audible ads.

Executive producer of MSN Peter Bale told The Telegraph yesterday that it is "looking at launching a music-streaming service imminently. It will be a similar principle to Spotify, but we are still examining how the business model will work."

A Microsoft representative went one step further, telling CNET UK's sister site CNET News that the service would launch "in the coming months", and that it would be "a new music-streaming service in beta via its Music channel in the UK."

It would make sense for Microsoft to tie this into its Zune service, which heads to Europe in the autumn. It would allow Xbox gamers to stream free music through their Xbox while popping heads, though it seems more likely to be a standalone service outside of the Zune world.

Would you prefer a Microsoft service to Spotify? Would you miss those glorious Suitopia ads if you switched? Let us know in the comments.