Microsoft Music spotted in Windows 8, Zune to die soon?

Microsoft is demoing their latest and greatest build of Windows 8 at at CES today, and we spotted something slightly new when taking a look at a device. There's a new application, that's deeply integrated with the OS called "Microsoft Music" and it looks awfully like something that could replace Zune.

It's hard to say what Microsoft's plan is here, but we've got a picture of a live tile that features new branding of the "Microsoft Music" service, and shows music being played. The application was spotted in various places throughout the OS too (more when our video finishes processing), such as the search box (which was breezed over in the public demo) and the sharing menus of the OS.

There's a few things this software could be. It could simply be Microsoft's Metro styled music player for Windows 8. It could be a replacement for Windows Media Player (considering there's also a seperate "Videos" app now), or, it could be the future of Zune.

We've heard before that Zune is supposed to be going away as a brand, perhaps Windows 8 is the beginning of that? Looking at the expected date of the Windows Phone "Apollo" release, which is speculated to coincide with Windows 8, the timing for a rebrand could be almost perfect.

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wixostrix said,
Zune is a service.

I do not know on you systems but here Zune is also a piece of software running in each of my boxes.......

Fritzly said,

I do not know on you systems but here Zune is also a piece of software running in each of my boxes.......

It's a piece of software now but that probably isn't going to last. Like with Windows Phone, the music experience is part of the OS while Zune provides a content service

or they could be waiting for the zune team to finish their app. btw we need a major update on win 7... last big update was three years ago...

Long live Windows Media Player. If anything has to go I would have Zune go away as it is less full-featured that WMP. But Zune Software is also used to sync Windows Phones remember so nothing"s going away I think. A Metro version is being added and that looks to be a fine decision. I hope MS doesn't do anything stupid like merging Zune Software and WMP as the user base of each is different (simplicity lovers who want a basic feature set vs users with more advanced needs and large libraries of music).

xpclient said,
Long live Windows Media Player. If anything has to go I would have Zune go away as it is less full-featured that WMP. But Zune Software is also used to sync Windows Phones remember so nothing"s going away I think. A Metro version is being added and that looks to be a fine decision. I hope MS doesn't do anything stupid like merging Zune Software and WMP as the user base of each is different (simplicity lovers who want a basic feature set vs users with more advanced needs and large libraries of music).

Thanks a lot! WP7 is the only reason I use the Zune software; in spite of the aging UI WMP rules....

Wow amazing. Zune goes bye bye, what; is next? Imagine Apple merge everything together: Mac Appstore, iTunes Store and the iOS Appstore together, much better and much more integrated. No more opening multiple applications. =D

Let see who will be the winner in the race of unifying the operating system.

Windows 8 is shown and nothing good is here.. It is just a Windows 7 (desktop with a Metro look) with a shiny new cover for Metro apps.

It could also be a place holder for the time being.They should get rid of Windows Media Player and make zune marketplace the default media player on windows tablets/desktops. I don't really care what they call it, just give use the same experience that zune marketplace has been giving us for the last couple of years.

LONG LIVE ZUNE. http://twitpic.com/dl9mo

Getting rid of Zune as a brand would be idiotic. Microsoft just recently decided to finally expand the music marketplace outside the USA after sitting idle with this innovative software for years. Investing in Zune and leveraging its uniqueness, the once unique user experience and the Zune Music Pass, would serve the company and its consumers better.

What else is the pathetic marketing department coming up with? Replace the Zune player in Windows 8 by "Microsoft Application to Play Music on Your PC.exe"?

Microsoft still does not seem to get the concept of "connected ecosystem".

I still think Microsoft screwed up with discontinuing the Zune player. I'd love to be able to have a Zune HD running the Windows Phone OS so I can download apps from the app store, much like iPod Touch users enjoy their device. Microsoft can call it whatever they want, I don't care. But they need to create something to fill that gap. I'm not going to buy a phone just so I can enjoy some apps. The only decent option is what Apple is offering. I'm probably just dreaming.

srprimeaux said,
I still think Microsoft screwed up with discontinuing the Zune player. I'd love to be able to have a Zune HD running the Windows Phone OS so I can download apps from the app store, much like iPod Touch users enjoy their device. Microsoft can call it whatever they want, I don't care. But they need to create something to fill that gap. I'm not going to buy a phone just so I can enjoy some apps. The only decent option is what Apple is offering. I'm probably just dreaming.

I agree, however they screwed themselves from the beginning with Zune and having it as a separate entity. Man I love the design of the Zune HD and interface of the desktop player, but the problem lies with the connection between Windows Media Player. Media Player now feels way outdated compared to the zune player.

People too easily confuse Zune with Zune devices and have no clue of the technology that comes from what Zune consists of from media streaming and newer versions of playsforsure that have been used on Windows and the XBox under other names already, but came from the Zune media group.

It wouldn't be a bad thing for Microsoft to dissolve the Zune name, as people see it as a failure because the devices were only marginally successful, but did help shift the market to expect Gorilla Glass and higher quality video and audio.

Microsoft also had issues calling the technologies and the 'store' itself Microsoft Music & Video due to Anti-trust rulings that are no longer in effect.

So why not rebrand Zune to Microsoft, one of the smart things Microsoft always did was put their name on their products, which was unusual back when they started doing it for a software company especially. Microsoft Word, Microsoft DOS, Microsoft Windows, etc...

Yeah, writer got it all wrong. What was/is supposed to die from Zune is the hardware; softies were very clear that the Zune software WILL continue to live - besides Windows Phone, Xbox rely on Zune software.

I think they might just re-brand Zune and do away with WMP. Microsoft has a habit of renaming stuff every couple of years.

I wouldn't say that it's Zune. I think they've just chosen to chop Windows Media Player in half and have the music and video players in different apps. It makes sense in the new simplified app model that we have now.

obviously if they used Microsoft Music, it would be a music hub for other apps to use and Zune would be one of the services you can use in the music hub.. Just like they will probably have a Games hub and have Xbox Live in the hub as well as Steam and others..

With the Xbox Live app in Windows 8, the Zune app seems almost redundant. While certainly there will be an app to manage Zune devices, I think it'll play a smaller role as to make sure that apps aren't overlying in functionality.

Please, have you played with WDP yet? The metro apps are all just "place holders" for what's really going to be in place later. I'm certain the music app is no different. I mean, seriously, while I can do most of the basic stuff with the Socialite app, it's definitely NOT a real Facebook app. To say the Music app is "deeply integrated" is probably misleading, and it's simply taking advantage of more of the APIs, etc. available in the beta version compared to the much less feature-rich developer version. I wouldn't get spun up over another "proof of concept" app.

Anthonyd said,
Zune won't die. It's a different apps/service.
Also, it won't die because of Windows Phone.

Don't forget Xbox!

Anthonyd said,
Zune won't die. It's a different apps/service.
Also, it won't die because of Windows Phone.

The name Zune could die though... Zune technologies are also at the core of IIS Smooth Streaming, and other pieces of WMP and Silveright that don't carry the name. Even the original XBox Live Music and Video store was based on Zune technologies, even though it had a different name and different servers.

The Zune group is more about technologies with Audio and Video and streaming and DRM like PlaysForSure v2,v3, that are hidden under the Zune brand.

Zune as a 'device' was a tiny piece of what the Zune technology is, and there is not a real good reason to keep the 'name' Zune.

(The reason they didn't always call it Microsoft, is they wanted people to adopt Plays4Sure v2, and get other OEMs to make Media players, which didn't happen because of the iPod dominance and lawsuits. Microsoft also couldn't call it Microsoft Music & Video due to the Anti-Trust and EU rulings, and had to keep portions of it separate and keep the name separate.)

Anthonyd said,
Zune won't die. It's a different apps/service.
Also, it won't die because of Windows Phone.

The service won't go anywhere. The brand might, though.

You know what would be interesting? Allowing Metro style apps to run in desktop mode in a window, that way they don't have to have two of every app.

SoyoS said,
You know what would be interesting? Allowing Metro style apps to run in desktop mode in a window, that way they don't have to have two of every app.

This.

SoyoS said,
You know what would be interesting? Allowing Metro style apps to run in desktop mode in a window, that way they don't have to have two of every app.

Or just make a Metro app & not a desktop app.

SoyoS said,
You know what would be interesting? Allowing Metro style apps to run in desktop mode in a window, that way they don't have to have two of every app.

does Mac osX allow you to run iOS apps in a window? then why should metro?..

Lachlan said,

does Mac osX allow you to run iOS apps in a window? then why should metro?..


Because metro apps are not mobile apps, they are fully featured apps.

Lachlan said,

does Mac osX allow you to run iOS apps in a window? then why should metro?..

Umm... hmm... A few reasons:
1. iOS apps aren't meant to run in Mac OS X, however there is a simulator if you are a developer.
2. Unlike Apple, MS is working towards a Windows that is both Desktop and Tablet oriented.
3. MS is not Apple, so why should they decide not to do something simply because Apple doesn't do it.

SoyoS said,
You know what would be interesting? Allowing Metro style apps to run in desktop mode in a window, that way they don't have to have two of every app.

Um, you do realize how Windows works, right? What you are writing is almost beyond insane or you are coming from a world of Linux.

Windows already uses the same engines for video and audio, and funnels through WMP in Windows 7, which we will assume a variation is also true for Windows 8.

The App UI is irrelevant, as it won't be a separate 'Application' - rather it will be a different interface at most. Even now in Windows 7, Media Center uses Media Player to play content, which sits on top of the audio and videos codec technologies in Windows 7.

There won't TWO applications, there may be two different looking 'styles' of UI, but the core application would be the same.

Are you afraid this is going to consume an extra mb of disk space? Cause even if they were separate applications, this is what you get at MOST.

This isn't Linux or OS X where they have to keep lower level services running just to have access to an application. This is Windows which works so differently, it amazes me when people apply non-Windows thinking to Applications on Windows.

There is a reason Microsoft didn't use MACH, or a Linux type Kernel, there is also a reason they didn't use the UNIX OS model, as Windows NT doesn't have the cumbersome dependency issues and can dynamically load low level services as needed when needed, and do nothing when the upper layer App is not running.

SoyoS said,

Because metro apps are not mobile apps, they are fully featured apps.

Idiot Metro applications are nothing but HTML 5 web apps since they aren't .exe and they are created using the foundations of the web.

Lachlan said,

does Mac osX allow you to run iOS apps in a window? then why should metro?..

Maybe because a very large number of people prefer the (previous) MS way compared to Apple one?

I wonder what happens in the desktop. It will be a little annoying if they left out a desktop media player.

Also it's also a slight bit pestering how there are now separate applications for Music and Video playback.

Presumably they'll just stick with Windows Media player. Nothing wrong with it.

Though I fail entirely to see how this music app somehow spells the death of Zune? All we have here is a basic, Metro styled music app.

~Johnny said,
Presumably they'll just stick with Windows Media player. Nothing wrong with it.

Well there's nothing wrong with it unless you've ever used Zune. You can bet good money the any new apps are going to be Metro Centric. Zune Client is about the most Metro App you can get from Microsoft on Windows 7 these days.

Possession said,
I wonder what happens in the desktop. It will be a little annoying if they left out a desktop media player.

Also it's also a slight bit pestering how there are now separate applications for Music and Video playback.

it works fairly well on the xbox.. to have seperate areas for Music and Video is great considering people use video apps such as youtube and music apps such as Slacker radio that have absolutely no overlap at all..

Possession said,
I wonder what happens in the desktop. It will be a little annoying if they left out a desktop media player.

Also it's also a slight bit pestering how there are now separate applications for Music and Video playback.

I wouldn't be surprised if they merged the Zune and WMP features under one application. I believe that part of the reason Zune came into existence had to do with the new DRM Microsoft used for the Zune store as oppose to "Play for Sure" DRM in Windows Media Player, and also there were anti-trust issues surrounding Microsoft when they released the Zune player. In order to not break their anti-trust regulations and provide a "fair playing field" for other music players they had to make a separate non-bundled app for hardware syncing. Now that all that anti-trust stuff has expired MS can do what they want (more-or-less).

Possession said,
I wonder what happens in the desktop. It will be a little annoying if they left out a desktop media player.

Also it's also a slight bit pestering how there are now separate applications for Music and Video playback.

Left out a desktop Player? Really?

If there is a Metro interface for music and video, that means the core of WMP is still there, or the Metro Apps would not work. (This is why the N versions in Europe were a pain in the ass, as so many pieces of the OS technologies depended on the core WMP pieces to work, even Media Cener using the WMP core.)

To assume that they will remove a desktop player? Why? Maybe they took out color graphics too, cause that is about as realistic jump in reasoning... Wow.

well there is metro twit, zune, BF3CC that are strait up metro =)

~Johnny said,
Presumably they'll just stick with Windows Media player. Nothing wrong with it.

Though I fail entirely to see how this music app somehow spells the death of Zune? All we have here is a basic, Metro styled music app.