Microsoft’s no stranger to music sales, and just as the audio hardware it’s offered has evolved from stand-alone Zune players to full-fledged Windows Phone smartphones, the way it provides access to music is continuing to adapt and offer new services. The next may be a slightly larger undertaking than Microsoft’s been used to, with rumors suggesting that a streaming service being developed under the codename Woodstock may defy platform boundaries and offer its music to users on both Android and iOS, in addition to Windows Phone.
From the sound of things, Microsoft would be able to reach so broad an audience by focusing on delivering Woodstock via your phone’s browser; the rumors aren’t exactly clear, but we haven’t heard anything specifically about the possibility for native apps. That’s an interesting strategy, if accurate, but we’ve got a feeling that some users will still be clamoring for the speed and polish of a stand-alone Woodstock app.
Functionally, Woodstock is supposed to be quite similar to Spotify, with a bit of iTunes Match thrown in. Again, it’s unclear exactly how that bit might work, especially considering that this is a streaming service, not a song locker, and it may simply be to identify music you own for your personal edification.
Microsoft may be planning to start showing-off Woodstock at this year’s E3, which begins on June 5.