Does anybody remember the Zune or the Zune HD? Microsoft’s answer to the iPod wasn’t exactly the epitome of success due to a number of factors, but the hardware did have its fans. Those fans will have until tomorrow to say goodbye to a number of services that defined the brand.
Microsoft sent out a mass email today that outlined the changes coming to the Zune platform. The people who will be affected most are those who still clutch to their Zune with dear life. The basic functionality of the Zune to accomodate the Zune Music Pass will not be altered nor will the songs that you purchased from the Zune store be removed. Everything else, however, is being cut.
The following features being axed tomorrow include:
In all honesty, the Zune PC users are the ones who are getting the short end of the stick here. It shows that Microsoft is moving away from the Zune branding to more recognized Xbox brand. The email promises that more Xbox Music details are on the way. Pro-tip for Microsoft: Next week’s Windows Phone 8 event would be the perfect place to reveal more Xbox Music details.
The death of Zune isn’t surprising to anyone, but it still stings a little. The Zune HD was a great piece of hardware that was bogged down by bad software. It also had some forward thinking ideas, like sharing music with other Zune owners. Now it’s up to Windows Phone 8 to take those ideas and transform into the next era of Microsoft’s mobile strategy.