Are cheap copies of Neon Lights and the The Fame Monster reliable ways of attracting music lovers to your all-you-can-download subscription service? We don’t know, but with its new Musical Deals app for Windows and Windows Phone Microsoft’s Xbox Music is about to find out

Announced this morning at Blogging Windows and available now in Microsoft’s respective app stores, the Music Deal app allows Windows and Windows Phone users to quickly find out what’s on sale in the Xbox Music Store. For users who don’t check their music apps that often the Music Deals app surfaces notifications and reminders on a regular basis.

How cheap are the albums? We’d say about as cheap as it can get. Slipknot’s The Gray Chapter is just $.99. Complete albums from Maroon 5, Demi Lavoto, Prince and Mariah Cary are $1.99. There’s even some Janet Jackson, Black Eyed Peas and Bruno Mars albums selling for a $1.99 too. I’ve got my eye on The Dutchess Deluxe EP by Fergie — you know, purely for research purposes.

Rather than act as a way to get the word out about its MP3 store, it seems more likely that Microsoft is banking on these sales attracting users to the Xbox Music app itself. Every time you open a deal it directly links back to the Xbox Music app. There’s also an invitation to try Xbox Music Pass absolutely free.

Why all of this isn’t included in the Xbox Music app for Windows isn’t exactly clear, but Microsoft does have a really good reason for not making these deals available through its website or iPhone or Android apps. None of those versions of Xbox Music allow users to purchase music. Xbox Music Pass costs $9.99 a month.

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