Technology

Microsoft axes Groove Music service

Groove logo Image copyright Microsoft

Microsoft is to close its last remaining music streaming and download service, Groove Music.

From 31 December, customers will no longer be able to buy music downloads, and streaming subscriptions will end.

People will be prompted to move their music collection to Spotify, while eligible Groove Music Pass subscribers will be offered a 60-day free trial of Spotify's premium tier.

Microsoft thanked customers for their "support on this journey".

The company has struggled to create a music service to match the popularity of rivals such as Spotify, Google Play Music and Apple's iTunes.

Groove Music was its latest attempt, which replaced the Xbox Music service when it was launched in July 2015.

It also replaced Microsoft's older Zune music service, left over from its attempt to rival the iPod music player.

It leaves Microsoft without its own-brand music solution.

'Wasted effort'

"Killing Groove is the worst thing that could happen as a consumer who tried to be all-in with Microsoft. That dream is over," said Zac Bowden from news site Windows Central, on Twitter.

"Without consumer services, how does Microsoft expect people to 'love Windows' like they originally wanted?"

However, others said Groove Music had always struggled to match services offered by competitors.

"Not sure why anyone ever used Groove Music. Spotify has always been far superior. Microsoft wasted money and effort for years here," said Tom Warren from tech news site the Verge, on Twitter.

Announcing the closure of Groove Music, Microsoft said customers wanted "access to the best streaming service, the largest catalogue of music, and a variety of subscriptions".

Spotify was added to the Xbox One platform in August, paving the way for Microsoft's home-grown service to be closed.

The company said the Groove app on Windows 10 would continue to work as a media player app for songs that had already been downloaded.

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