In a surprise announcement, LINE messenger has picked up MixRadio from Microsoft. LINE is one of the biggest messaging services around, although it is mostly prevalent in non-Western countries at the moment.
Microsoft announced the news on the Lumia Conversations blog. The deal is expected to be completed by "early 2015" with the MixRadio team staying in Bristol, UK.
Perhaps that is the big news here that LINE plans to continue offering MixRadio, building off of the music streaming service and recommendation engine. Jyrki Rosenberg, Head of MixRadio, comments:
Although it was well known that Microsoft had decided to spin-off MixRadio after the acquisition of the Nokia mobile division, there had been no rumors of potential suitors. LINE is certainly not one of the companies anyone would have predicted to pick up a music streaming service, but LINE is one of the more innovative companies today.
Finally, for Lumia owners, things are still looking good for MixRadio, as the blog notes "In terms of the MixRadio app and service itself, MixRadio fans can expect the same level of commitment to bring a personalised music experience to Lumia smartphones…". Such affirmation of Microsoft's commitment was iterated earlier when the spin-off plans were announced.
Hopefully, we will hear more of LINE's plans in early 2015.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.