Microsoft will offer a sneak peek at its Zune replacement during E3 2012, according to sources familiar with the company's plans. The new music service, codenamed Woodstock, will continue Microsoft's shift away from the Zune brand towards the well known Xbox one. Insiders have revealed to us that Woodstock will be a cross-platform play, available to Windows 8, Android, iOS, and Xbox users — playable from a browser.
Previously described as "Spotify-like", the service won't require any browser plugins and is said to integrate deeply with Facebook, allowing friends to build group playlists and share tracks. An additional "scan and match" function, similar to iTunes Match, is also being tested as part of Woodstock to allow users to identify their existing music collection in the service. Although Microsoft will preview the service at E3 — barring any last-minute changes in its plans, of course — it is not expected to launch until later this year alongside Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices.
We already know that Microsoft's E3 announcements won't involve any future Xbox hardware and we're also hearing that the company will focus on content deals this year, including new TV packages and offerings. Microsoft has already started to shift to Xbox Music and Video services in its upcoming Windows 8 operating system and Woodstock will expand these to rival platforms. There is no word on pricing yet, but existing Zune Pass subscribers should be able to keep their subscription or migrate to the new service later this year.