Xbox Music launching 26 October, possibly powered by Microsoft-owned Rdio?

October 26 is going to be a busy day for Microsoft, if the latest rumours are to be believed. Aside from launching Windows 8, its new desktop operating system, and the Microsoft Surface, its new tablet, and Forza Horizon, the latest episode in its huge racing franchise, Microsoft will also announce the relaunch of its Zune music service as Xbox Music.

Tech site, The Verge, is reporting: "Multiple sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have confirmed the new service will launch at the same time as Windows 8."

It isn't a huge leap of faith to expect the shiny new feature to launch at the same time as the desktop, but we've seen how things like this can be delayed in the past, so it's good to see sources suggest everything is on track.

What is new though is that there is likely to be a streaming service offered at the same time, which will work in a similar way to Nokia Music, Spotify and Rdio.

That handily ties in with sources talking to The Next Web, who claim that, as it happens, Microsoft is in talks to acquire music-streaming service Rdio.

Started in 2010 and recently launched in the UK, the on-demand music service works in a similar way to Spotify and offers some 18 million songs to those happy to pay up to £10 a month for access wherever they are.   

The service differs from Spotify in having a much stronger "social" focus and the ability to be accessed via a browser rather than insisting you install a dedicated app.

Such a move would allow it to be offered quickly to a number of Microsoft-friendly devices such as the desktop, tablet, phone or the Xbox 360 without the lengthy process of adapting software to work.  

While Rdio chief executive Drew Larner has refused to comment on the rumour, insisting there “is nothing to talk about”,  Microsoft gave TNW the usual response.

“We’re not commenting on speculation around Xbox Music. What we can say is we’re excited for Xbox Music as our definitive music service," it said.

"It’ll bring great new ways to enjoy, share and discover new music on all your Windows 8 devices, Xbox 360 console and Windows Phone 8. We’ll let you know when we have more information to share.”