Microsoft Drops XBOX Music, Just ?Grooves?

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In preparation for the release of Windows 10 this month, Microsoft has decided to rebrand its music application, and literally getting more into the groove of the market?s preference ? dropping ?XBOX Music? and changing it to ?Groove?.

The move could very well be prompted by the growing popularity of music streaming apps such as Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, and the recently-launched Apple Music, and Microsoft feel that it?s time to up the ante and compete with other services once Windows 10 is revealed.

?Groove describes what people feel and do with music, and is more intuitive for our Windows 10 customers on what they?ll find with the app,? said Microsoft?s Brandon Leblanc in a blog post detailing that the application will largely be the same and will be regularly updated in the months to come.

Groove will include features such as compact mode, a dark color theme, better back button navigation, and ability to purchase songs from the Windows store.

Leblanc said Groove provides an ?improved experience for listening to and managing your music in Windows 10? and has ?easy-to-use menus and navigation controls that work well with both mouse/keyboard, and familiar touch gestures on touch-screen devices.?

Accessing content across devices will be easy, Le Blanc said, as all MP3?s, including those purchased from iTunes, can be uploaded and accessed for free with the Groove app for Windows devices, Xbox, Web, android phones, and iPhones.

A $9.99 monthly or $99 yearly subscription can also be availed which nets users an ad-free listening experience, ?complete access to stream and download music from the Windows Store?, and creation of custom radio stations, Le Blanc said.

Xbox Video has also been renamed to ?Movies & TV?. This app has direct integration with the Windows Store for rental or purchase of TV shows and they can be all viewed or on one device, ?and pick up where you left off on another device.?

Microsoft said: ?Windows Insiders who are part of the Fast ring and upgrade to the next PC build will see these updates,? suggesting a new build will be available before the official release of Windows 10.

Similarly Named App

A similarly named app called ?Groove: Smart Music Player is available for iOS as well as Windows Phone/Windows 8 music app in the store is developed by Zikera, although Microsoft is still to acknowledge the similarities of their own application.

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