Over the weekend, Microsoft shipped a small update to the Xbox Music application installed on every PC running Windows 8.
According to Xbox Wire, Xbox Music on Windows 1.4 includes just a few enhancements to make the lives of Xbox Music users a little easier. For starters, those who aren’t signed into a Windows 8 device with their Microsoft Account will now be able to stream “15 free songs” before being prompted to log-in. Microsoft also says that users who are taking advantage of the free streaming offer have “unlimited skips”, though as we understood it, they already did even if they were limited to just 10 hours of streaming a month.
Microsoft also seems to want to make things a little more obvious for people who are new to the Window 8 style apps in general. With this update Xbox Music now has a small Search icon on the top, right hand corner, making it easier for users to find the Search function that’s not eluded to in the user interface of the current application. Clicking the button will immediately trigger the same search functionality that’s part of the Charms Bar in Windows 8 already.
This is the first official iteration of Xbox Music to change the name of SmartDJ to just “Radio”. While we’re sure Microsoft made the move after examining the offerings of the competition and thinking “we need to compete with these guys”, the name change seems to be a move in the wrong direction. After all, Xbox Music surfaces SmartDJ on the Zune Software client, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8 and the Xbox 360 all of which aren’t likely to get updates soon, likely keeping that branding for some time.
Xbox Music on Windows 8 is available right now from the Windows Store. Those who have the application already installed will be prompted to update the app sometime soon.