Microsoft’s Groove is the anonymous man of the streaming music world, despite hiding in relatively plain sight. After all, if you count the 400 million Windows 10 installs, 40 million Xbox One users and 10 million Windows Mobile customers there are an awful lot of devices out there with the application pre-installed.
Yet Groove Music has next to no users. Really. Look at any recent comparison of music streaming services and Groove doesn’t even get a mention. Customer recognition is, to all intents and purposes, zero.
Microsoft has done such an awful job of promoting and selling its service to customers you’d almost think it didn’t want anyone to take it up.
So rumours of the incoming Harman Kardon Cortana hardware device supporting Spotify, as well as other music services, is all the evidence necessary to suggest Microsoft will exit the music streaming market soon. The service formerly known as Zune Music, then Xbox Music and now Groove may soon be known as dead.
It isn’t a particularly terrible or far reaching piece of news. For all that the service is quite good in what it does, Microsoft has continually failed to develop the social elements which, in tandem with a huge install base, could have driven some success out of the service. With no unique hook there’s been no reason for users to take up the service.
The only people who might be disappointed would be Windows Mobile users, for whom the close integration between Cortana and Groove allowed some pretty cool voice control features which might be missed, particularly in the car.