With Windows 8 you have access to Xbox Music streaming free with ads for six months and than after that it seems Microsoft will start imposing some limits along the way.
What about Windows Phone? While Xbox Music is in fact supported on the platform, they have chosen instead to give away an entire year of service to Pandora with a purchase of a new phone.
You might wonder why Pandora, not Xbox Music. Honestly, this is one of the big apps we have yet to ever see grace itself on Windows Phone and it is exciting to finally have it.
What did it take to get Pandora to agree to port the app? We will never really know the terms for sure, but something tells me that Microsoft had to sweeten the deal to convince Pandora to jump to Windows Phone 8.
Giving away free service would be a way to attract new Pandora clients over Xbox Music clients, and might have been what sealed the deal here.
It is also possible that Microsoft simply wanted to offer a different deal than what they were doing with Windows 8.
What exactly is Pandora? For those who aren’t in the United States, you may have no clue what this program is. At the moment, Pandora only supports the US market and has limited features available in Australia and New Zealand as well.
Basically Pandora is kinda like Spotify or Xbox Music except it takes music you already know and love and helps you discover new artists and songs that are similar to your current favorites. In the US it is free with ad-support and other limitations like only six song skips per hour.
There is a paid version that unlocks more functionality, and that’s what Microsoft is giving away.
What does this mean for international Windows Phone 8 buyers?
Unfortunately, the Pandora deal doesn’t apply to anyone who isn’t in the United States. At the moment we have no clue what Microsoft will be doing in these markets– if anything.
Nothing solid has been announced as an alternative, at least not that I’m aware of.
Maybe Microsoft will offer some kind of promotion related to its own Xbox Music service internationally? Perhaps something to do with Spotify (I doubt it)?
Honestly, I hope I’m wrong here, but something tells me there will be no alternative offered and international users simply won’t get this perk.
US readers, what do you think of getting free Pandora premium service? Those of you who aren’t from the US, do you think Microsoft should or will offer something else instead?