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According to Tom Warren of The Verge, Microsoft’s Xbox Music streaming service will see a web-based interface launching next week. This would provide a substantial boost for the service as it is currently only available on Microsoft based platforms. Bringing Xbox Music to the web would allow access for Linux and Mac OS X users.

The Verge announced that unspecified sources had revealed the plans, and that Xbox Music will be accessible next week at music.xbox.com allowing users to stream content in addition to managing their playlists. We expect to see a preview of the web interface this week at BUILD 2013, before it launches.

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The official Rhapsody (www.rhapsody.com) app has been updated for Windows Phone 8. The music service enables consumers to access millions of music tracks within its expansive catalogue, but it's restricted to the US which leaves everyone else outside the exclusive club.

While majority of Windows Phone owners have access to both Xbox Music and Nokia Music (depending on location and device), it's always good to have more choice available. Back to Rhapsody. We're looking at a rather large update, so what's new in version 3?

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Those of you who have just purchased a new Windows Phone 8 device might have noted that there are some gaps with regards to apps. Previously available apps are not showing in the marketplace and are in need of an update. One such app is the high profile Spotify offering.

The app was a long time coming on Windows Phone 7 and many subscribers rely on it greatly to get their mobile music fix. Even with the advent of Xbox Music and competing services like Rdio, Spotify still offers up a compelling selection, especially for those with specialist music tastes.

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The new version of Office was unveiled to the world on July16th, and has proven to be quite the upgrade when comparing it to the current version. With its slick “modern UI,” aka “Metro styling,” the price for Office has changed as well.

There are two ways you can purchase Office - buy the software at full price or with an annual subscription. With so many services being subscription based, Spotify, Rdio, Netflix, Adobe Creative Cloud and Zune pass to name but a few examples, why wouldn’t Microsoft adapt as well? These are modern times and consumers have learned that it is cheaper to pay annually for what they want.

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Microsoft has plans to introduce a $99 Xbox 360 console package that will be accompanied by a two-year monthly subscription as early as next week. According to sources, the software company will offer the 4GB console package, which includes a Kinect sensor, at Microsoft Stores in the states. The bundle will be subsidised with a monthly fee of just $15.

As well as the console and Kinect, customers who make the purchase will have a Gold subscription activated on their Live ID Microsoft Account throughout the contract duration, and will be covered by a two-year warranty. There is likely to be an early termination fee for those who have the desire to break out of the contract prematurely, but how does the cost work out? Total amount comes to $459 ($99 upfront fee with a two-year $15/mo subscription) for the soon-to-launch package offer. But should you purchase the bundle with a Live subscription outright (without the offer), you'll be looking at around $400. 

Microsoft is targeting those who are keeping an eye out for a cheap entertainment centre. With Windows 8 on the horizon, not to mention a new music service, the software giant will look at more ways to attract potential customers to their new ecosystem. As a slight humorous side-note: the $15 monthly fee equates to $360.

Source: The Verge

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WhatsApp made its first big debut a few weeks ago and while the app is still missing a bunch of features, over all it works quite well on Windows Phone (nicer looking than the BlackBerry app at least).

Well, the other shoe has dropped as it looks like WhatsApp will charge for their services. Cost? A paltry $1.99 per year with the first year free. Now, before we all get in a hub-bub, this just makes the Windows Phone app on par with the other platforms (we know the BlackBerry version charges the exact same). And lets face it, if you're using the app regularly $2 a year won't kill you.

Still, consider yourself warned. You have 12 months to get save up for the big day. Thanks, Aljoša, for the tip

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Kenikh, over at the XDA Developers forum, has posted an offer that is very interesting indeed. The first 500 BizSpark members to request a free AppHub subscription shall receive just that. To get in with a chance on gaining a free subscription, follow the simple steps below.

  1. Signup to BizSpark (if not done so already)
  2. Follow the steps on this page (must have a BizSpark account)
  3. Await further instruction/confirmation

There has been some posts in that same thread from other members who have experienced issues with their code not working and the fact that there is a country limitation (although no official word has been provided on the exact whitelist). Let us know how you get on in the comments should you be interested in the offer.

Source: XDA Developers

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