While even bigwigs can fudge release numbers from time to time, the word "imminently" just carries a certain aura. Speaking with The Telegraph, executive producer of MSN Peter Bale confessed that Microsoft was "looking at launching a music streaming service imminently." As in, maybe before the dawn of August. Bale added that it would be "a similar principle to Spotify," but the outfit is still examining exactly how the business model would work. It's expected that the service would let users stream tunes for free so long as they listen to ads every half hour or so, but for those with too little time and too many jams, there could be a paid option that strips the plugs. What's unclear now, however, is exactly how this initiative will tie-in with the company's Xbox 360 and Zune. There's no doubt that Microsoft is aiming to make the former an all-encompassing multimedia box, but we're sure it'd rather not convolute things with Zune Pass all the same.

[Via Joystiq]

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Microsoft to launch music streaming service "imminently," could tie-in with Xbox / Zune