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Why Would Microsoft Buy Rdio?

The Redmond outfit is the latest in a string of hardware giants looking to digital music as a way to get into the business of harmonious services, not just devices.

Microsoft is hotly rumored to be acquiring music streaming service Rdio. If true, the news would make Microsoft the latest in a string of hardware giants including Apple, Samsung, and HTC to pour an increasing amount of attention and money into creating or acquiring services to help them move away from their reputations as solely "device" companies.

And they're all looking to music services to get them there. Digital music, after all, is a still-growing business. According to recent stats from Nielsen, digital album sales are up 15% from last year.

Rdio cofounder Janus Friis, who started the company with his old Skype cofounder Niklas Zennström, is also working on an online video service and Netflix competitor, Vdio, which, potentially, would play nicely with Rdio on the Xbox.

[Image: Flickr user cogdogblog]