It seems Microsoft is finally beginning to phase out the Zune branding, but not services, which would confirm a long-held position of the SuperSite’s Paul Thurrott that Microsoft was getting rid of all things Zune.
Microsoft has been less-than-clear on what their intentions are with the brand, however, they have said that the services are here to stay, which means that we will simply have a new name to go by. Rumors peg the new name to be something along the lines of “Xbox Music” or “Xbox LIVE Music”, but nothing has been confirmed by Microsoft.
These new rumors are based on the screenshots of the Windows Store in the upcoming Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The Zune branding seems to be found nowhere, replaced with more generic terms like “Music” and “Video”. We had also heard rumors about the Zune PC client being scrapped, based on a PocketNow leak of Windows Phone 8 information a few weeks back. Also of note is that the term “Windows Live ID” is rumored to be changed to “Microsoft Account” as reported by Tom Warren of The Verge.
Edit: Raphael Rivera is reporting that Microsoft’s Your Account is simply a rebranded service which aggregates a users Microsoft IDs and accounts.
As a long time Zune user, it’s a shame to see Microsoft going away from the branding. Zune was often a joke in the tech world, being labeled as a failure, due in large part to a non-existent marketing campaign. Microsoft seems to be going all-out in their overhaul of their products and services and the consolidation of their Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox brands is hopefully a move to create a more unified, recognizable ecosystem.