Nokia MixRadio, formerly known as Nokia Music, is probably one of the best services that offers free music-streaming for Nokia users. Apparently, Microsoft doesn't agree and is planning to spin off MixRadio into a third-party service, delivered by a seperate company.
In an internal memo obtained by The Verge, Jo Harlow, head of the phone business under Microsoft devices said that their focus is on Windows Phone. Nokia Asha, Series 40, and Nokia X development will be put on hold and will shift to "maintenance mode." Eventually, services to support these devices including Nokia MixRadio will be shut down over the next 18 months. "This means there will be no new features or updates to services on any mobile phones platform as a result of these plans," said Harlow.
Rest assured, people who own a Windows Phone powered Nokia device will receive support in the future. However, it is also the end for Symbian users. The company wants to convert its Symbian based users over to Windows Phone. Harlow said, "Whereas successful hardware was the goal at Nokia; delighting our customers with Microsoft platforms, services, and applications through our hardware is our goal at Microsoft."
Microsoft is planning to offer Nokia MixRadio as a third party service, contingent on discussions initiated from third parties who are interested in buying it. Is it surprising? I don't think so since Microsoft has been focusing more on its own music service, Xbox Music. The company wants to feature their own software and services on their devices which means we will, most likely, see new and improved Windows Phone devices in the future.
A MixRadio spokesperson had this to say to WinBeta: "Microsoft’s first party hardware will light up digital work and life experiences in a powerful way and draw customers into the Windows ecosystem. It plans to focus its efforts on developing and maintaining the best operating system in which consumers can enjoy music and entertainment with their choice of any third-party applications. MixRadio plans to become a third-party service, delivered by a separate company, and continue to be preloaded on Microsoft devices. MixRadio will continue to offer the world’s most personal listening experience."
Editor's note: MixRadio is not shutting down -- instead, it will be spun off into its own separate company. We've updated the story to clarify this.