Microsoft will offer a sneak peek at its Zune replacement during E3
2012, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new
music service, codenamed Woodstock, will continue Microsoft’s shift away
from the Zune brand towards the well known Xbox one. Insiders have
revealed to us that Woodstock will be a cross-platform play, available
to Windows 8, Android, iOS, and Xbox users — playable from a browser.
Previously described as “Spotify-like”, the
service won’t require any browser plugins and is said to integrate
deeply with Facebook, allowing friends to build group playlists and
share tracks. An additional “scan and match” function, similar to iTunes
Match, is also being tested as part of Woodstock to allow users to
identify their existing music collection in the service. Although
Microsoft will preview the service at E3 — barring any last-minute
changes in its plans, of course — it is not expected to launch until
later this year alongside Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices.