Microsoft today released an update for its Groove Music app on Windows 10. Groove Music, of course, is the music player and subscription service that comes pre-installed on every Windows 10 device, though few realize that.
The Groove service is the successor to Microsoft’s Zune subscription service.
In some ways, Zune was ahead of its time; not only did it feature an extremely impressive UX, which laid the foundation for Microsoft’s Modern/Metro design language, but it also offered a subscription service. A music subscription was largely unheard of in that era, so that came as a surprise to many.
Unfortunately, Zune failed to defend against the Apple menace, which was perhaps a failure on Microsoft’s part. Groove Music is still unrecognized for the most part – people do not even realize its existence, despite it being preinstalled on every Windows 10 PC.
Today’s update not only bumps the app version to 10.17012.1030 but also re-introduces a feature from the era of Zune.
The Groove Music app can now play previews of millions of songs for free. If the user has a Groove subscription, they can enjoy the music in its entirety.
It’s not a new idea, and it’s certainly not as good as Spotify’s ad-supported free tier, but it’s quite nice to have for those who prefer Groove’s experience and Microsoft’s ecosystem.
It’s also a chance to look at the Groove library and preview the quality of its streaming before investing any money into the service.
The new version now lets users share their personalized and recommended playlists via Facebook, Twitter, simply as a link, or even more services via the Universal Share Picker.
Furthermore, the app now uses the brand-new standardized icon for sharing, rather than the strange circle-thing that Microsoft made-up for Windows 10.
If someone clicks the shared link, it opens the Groove app on PC or phone with the playlist. If the Groove app is not present, it opens the website.
The new version is rolling out to all Windows 10 users via the Windows Store. If you haven’t received it, just be patient.
If you want to try Groove Music, it’s already installed on your Windows 10 PC. Just search for it via the Start screen.