With Microsoft looking to get its Xbox Music service into the ears of tens of millions of people quickly, here are some encouraging stats. One: the company says it has sold 40m licences for its Windows 8 operating system for PCs and tablets in its first month – Xbox Music’s free tier is now on all those computers. Two: Microsoft shifted a whopping 750k Xbox 360 consoles in the US alone last weekend, thanks to ‘Black Friday’ sales. This, despite the device having been available for seven years already. Microsoft is pitching device scale as the biggest advantage for Xbox Music, so music rightsholders will welcome the sales figures. But wait: for an alternative perspective on Microsoft’s prospects, read the SemiAccurate blog’s brutal ‘Microsoft has failed’ takedown of the company’s overall corporate strategy: “Largely irrelevant to computing of late… set in their ways… mobile aspirations have failed so spectacularly that it is almost impossible to account for” and so on. Although the piece is strangely silent on Xbox.

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