Surprise Microsoft event could be Xbox Music unveiling

Microsoft today announced a surprise event to be held in Los Angeles on June 18th, but it's not clear what the event is about or why they have announced it just two days before the Windows Phone "Apollo" announcement is due. 

Many are speculating that the announcement is an unveiling of Windows RT tablets, or perhaps the Office 2013 announcement, but our sources are telling us that it's too soon for that right now. The timing of the announcement seemingly means that it will be related to Windows Phone, and the only thing that hasn't been shown off (other than Apollo) there is Xbox Music/Video. 

Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet thinks the same thing, but points out that the event invitations were sent from Waggner -- Microsoft's press agency for Windows and Windows Phone -- rather than Edelman, their agency for Xbox announcements. Despite this, it would still make sense for Microsoft to announce the music platform two days before the big Apollo unveiling, setting the stage for what could become one of the biggest new streaming services in the arena.

One other thing we've heard; this announcement could actually be Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 reaching RTM, but the company hasn't historically thrown big, specially organized press events for the occasion, nor does it traditionally make announcements in Los Angeles. 

We'll know more in just three days; next week is going to be a big one!

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Too early for Windows 8 RTM. They said about two months when RP was released two weeks ago. Can't imagine it was fast tracked like that.

If it'san Xbox Music thing it better come with a "now available to everyone in a family membership!" or I'm going to be cranky.

I still don't understand why they're slapping the Xbox name in front when it's not just for the Xbox.

Then again Microsoft loves slathering other products with the name of other successful products. Just look at how many things have a Windows prefix to it.

Panda X said,
I still don't understand why they're slapping the Xbox name in front when it's not just for the Xbox.

Then again Microsoft loves slathering other products with the name of other successful products. Just look at how many things have a Windows prefix to it.

Seems logical when you think of xbox as being their entertainment focus, so all services related to entertainment and media will be branded as xbox - x - this will help them get past the perception that holds families back from xbox while the Wii is seen as the #1 choice. Make xbox mean more to everyone, more as in pure entertainment rather than just hard core games and the audience just gets bigger while not alienating the established audience.

Listened to Windows Weekly with Laporte, Thurrott & Foley earlier today and they mentioned that it was likely Xbox Video (replacing Zune Video Marketplace).

Enron said,
If they had a video subscription service, that would be great.

I have been wanting a zune video pass for a while now.... there were some rumors of them doing a partnership with hulu but that has been updated to be wrong. Being in LA you would think it would have something to do with video or music but guess we will find out Monday.

Max Norris said,
Still hoping it's the free pony.

Haha, I didn't laugh the first 4 times you said that but 5th one was very creative and funny

FoxieFoxie said,
Haha, I didn't laugh the first 4 times you said that but 5th one was very creative and funny

This is the first time I commented on the pony thing, didn't even post at all in the first article. Maybe the first four times you didn't laugh because it was all in your head?

It has to be something worthwhile and perhaps hands on for them to invite the press at short notice so should be somewhat interesting.

Not sure Xbox Music is that big a deal. Shown at E3 too.

oceanmotion said,
It has to be something worthwhile and perhaps hands on for them to invite the press at short notice so should be somewhat interesting.

Not sure Xbox Music is that big a deal. Shown at E3 too.

Not really shown though, they didn't go into much detail about it or Xbox Video at the E3 event. Either way it'll be interesting, wonder if they'll live stream it, whatever it's about.

oceanmotion said,
It has to be something worthwhile and perhaps hands on for them to invite the press at short notice so should be somewhat interesting.

Not sure Xbox Music is that big a deal. Shown at E3 too.


Xbox music not a big deal? As far as I know it's massive because Microsoft hasn't done anything to zune for years so will be interesting to see the final product to go up against the likes of spotify and itunes.

oceanmotion said,
It has to be something worthwhile and perhaps hands on for them to invite the press at short notice so should be somewhat interesting.

Not sure Xbox Music is that big a deal. Shown at E3 too.

Although my logical self thinks it's highly unlikely, I'd let out a little squeal if they surprise announced the "Xbox 720"

They did flat out deny they'd be announcing anything related to new Xbox hardware at E3... they never said anything about after E3

GP007 said,

Its been done before, multiple times, thats why its not a big deal. Its just another music streaming service this time with the Xbox name. Still the same music, same model. Xbox music in itself is nothing to get excited about.

oceanmotion said,
It has to be something worthwhile and perhaps hands on for them to invite the press at short notice so should be somewhat interesting.

Not sure Xbox Music is that big a deal. Shown at E3 too.

I think they'll demo Xbox Music only if it's running on a WinRT tablet or a Windows Phone 8 device.

Gaffney said,

Xbox music not a big deal? As far as I know it's massive because Microsoft hasn't done anything to zune for years so will be interesting to see the final product to go up against the likes of spotify and itunes.

MS has decided not to have a product comparable to itunes.

MorganX said,

MS has decided not to have a product comparable to itunes.


WTF? The Zune software is already infinitely superior to itunes.

efjay said,

Its been done before, multiple times, thats why its not a big deal. Its just another music streaming service this time with the Xbox name. Still the same music, same model. Xbox music in itself is nothing to get excited about.

I'm expecting a slew of new features, focusing on the social side of the service and hooking into facebook/live/xbox services. Maybe even a service to rival the iTunes model of allowing you to use music you already own and sync it up. Who knows?

duddit2 said,

I'm expecting a slew of new features, focusing on the social side of the service and hooking into facebook/live/xbox services. Maybe even a service to rival the iTunes model of allowing you to use music you already own and sync it up. Who knows?

That type of music cloud sync is going to be supported in SkyDrive with the next round of updates, they pretty much confirmed it a few times already. Add to the fact that SkyDrive will be even more integrated into WP8 and Win8 as we've seen then you should be able to upload your music and just stream it to all your devices without issue.

ahhell said,

WTF? The Zune software is already infinitely superior to itunes.

Only it isn't. Copy a playlist to an SD or USB. Compare adding album art? Navigate the store for apps or music, and how fast can you go back to managing your media? How quickly and easily can you manage your sync items?

Zune is superior to Windows Media Player as a Media Hub/Sync Center, still way behind iTunes IMO.