Microsoft Releases Upgraded Music App for Windows 8

April 1, 2013

In an effort to incentivize Windows 8 migration, Microsoft has made adjustments to its Xbox music app, hoping to encourage users to store music in the cloud and access it with Windows 8-enabled devices.

CNET reported the details – users are now able to add songs from their local libraries to a cloud database, thus making them accessible on Windows 8 or RT devices. Windows 8 users will have access to more features, including shuffling and repeating playlists.

The new app is far from flawless. CNET reports that the navigation is "still clumsy" when compared to that of iTunes or Amazon Music Player, and since the app is only available to users of Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8, it still has a limited appeal. PC World referred to the app's device support as "laughable compared to the far reach of services like Slacker Radio and Pandora."

The hope for Microsoft is that greater music capability will help Windows 8 to stay competitive in the global market for operating systems. Right now, it's lagging far behind – according to ZDNet, the OS controlled just 2.67 percent of the market by the end of February. Windows 8 was released in October.