The world's largest software maker Microsoft
Corp. ( MSFT ) is offering
free access to Pandora Media, Inc.'s ( P ) ad-free radio
services on its Windows Phone 8 through the rest of 2013. Pandora
has revealed an app for Windows devices, which can be used for this
Google's ( GOOG ) Android and
Apple's ( AAPL ) iOS users pay
$3.99 per month or $36 per annum for Pandora One, Pandora's ad-free
premium subscription service. Privately-held Spotify also charges a
minimum of $4.99 per month for similar access. Thus, Microsoft's
offering of the ad-free version at no extra cost may generate some
interest among consumers and drive them toward its Windows Phone
Founded in Oakland, Calif, Pandora Radio offers its services in
the United States, Australia and New Zealand. It has two
subscription plans: a free subscription supported by advertisements
and an ad-free service for certain charges.
Pandora launched a mobile version of its software for Apple's
iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch through the iTunes App Store. It is
also available for Windows Phone, Android phones and BlackBerry
platforms among others.
The Pandora app also is using Windows Phone 8′s Live Tiles
interface by allowing users to access features from the app
directly on Window Phone 8′s Live Tiles. This feature will allow
users to pin their favorite tracks, allow them to see what's
currently playing and access recently played stations without fully
opening the app.
This app is also compatible with Windows Phone 8's Kid's Corner.
Parents can change the settings to filter what their children may
be listening to and children can continue to listen to their
Currently, just like other PC makers, Microsoft is also battling
the slump in the PC market caused by the sluggish economy. To make
matters worse, tablets continue to cannibalize its core PC market.
Although Microsoft has launched its own mobile devices (both tablet
and smartphone), it will have to deal with significant competition
in these markets. Given this backdrop, software development around
its Windows Phone is reason for cheer, as it could attract more
As per a report by IDC, Android OS shipments touched 497.1
million units in 2012, up 104.1% year over year. In the process, it
captured 68.8% market share followed by iOS, which managed to hold
on to an 18.8% share. The Windows OS lagged far behind with a mere
Microsoft remains one of the best positioned software vendors,
given its wide range of products, emerging markets strength,
continued technology deployment at data centers and growth in cloud
computing. We believe that Microsoft's current investments are
supported by its strong balance sheet and expect these to drive the
next growth phase, improving prospects of market share gains.
Microsoft reported revenues, excluding deferrals, of $21.46
billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, up 34.0% sequentially
and 2.7% from last year, in line with our estimates. All except the
Entertainment & Devices segment grew both sequentially and from
the year-ago quarter.
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