Microsoft is preparing to launch its Xbox Music service on October 26th. Multiple sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have confirmed the new service will launch at the same time as Windows 8. We're told that subscriptions, like the current Zune Music Pass offering, will be available alongside a free streaming service supported by ads — similar to Spotify. The service will be available on Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Xbox 360.

A key part of the service is Microsoft's SkyDrive integration that will allow users to store music and playlists in a cloud collection — available across multiple devices. Although Microsoft has plans to offer Xbox Music across multiple platforms, including iOS and Android, apps will not be immediately available we're told. Microsoft is also planning to launch an Xbox dashboard update to support Xbox Music on its console. The software maker will also update its Music and Video apps for Windows 8 to fully support Xbox Music, around the time of the Windows 8 launch on October 26th.