Windows Phone app store to be removed from Zune software

Microsoft is making a couple of changes for Windows Phone users who want to download apps from the Windows Store Marketplace. In a post on the official Windows Phone blog, Microsoft announced that it will remove the option to purchase Windows Phone apps with the Zune software. The post added that the Zune HD app store will remain open.

Microsoft said that most Windows Phone users purchase apps either from the Windows Phone Marketplace, which is embedded in all Windows Phone devices, or via the Marketplace web site. The post states, "As a general rule, we like to focus our engineering efforts where they matter most, and your taps and clicks tell us that’s our phone and web stores."

The Zune software will still be used by Windows Phone owners for other features, including buying and playing music and updating the Windows Phone software itself.

The other major change is that Microsoft will soon require that any Windows Phone user who buys, downloads or updates an app, or submits an app review, must update to Windows Phone 7.5 in the next few weeks to accomplish these tasks. The post states:

Why are we doing this? Marketplace is growing fast. It now has over 80,000 apps overall and is available in 54 (soon to be 63) countries around the world. Requiring Windows Phone 7.5 is part of an overall effort aimed at improving Marketplace performance and security, and paving the way for even faster growth and more new features.

Image via Microsoft

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It is rumored that "Windows Store" will be the only store for windows phone, windows tablet and all windows operating system.

Windows store will be difference between Microsoft store

I never really used the marketplace hub from inside the Zune software. I've always I've used the phone app or the website for that. Still, I hope this isn't a sign of the death of the Zune software. I really like it as a media player and (for the most part) as a sync tool for Windows Phone devices.

Zune was a huge failure, MS will do best to remove all traces of the Zune branding from everywhere asap.

I buy a Windows Phone and download Zune software? What?

This was talked about over a year ago by Microsoft, and is not surprising.

Zune Software itself was designed to aggregate content and sell music/videos and provide the backbone for subscriptions to Zune Pass. It originally had no App technology, and the App features were 'tacked' on because there was no other Market delivery available at the time the ZuneHD was released.

(Just like the XBox had no App distribution model originally, and tacked on features until they finally created a revamped SDK that included App creation outside of Indie title distribution which was a 'tack' on feature.)

With Windows 8, Microsoft is moving everything to their centralized Marketplace, for XBox, Windows, WP7, etc...

Side Note, legally they were forbidden from doing this just a few years ago because of the Anti-trust rulings that finally ran out.

It crippled Microsoft's ability to create a centralized Market for Windows, and even forced them to stop their music 'marketplace' integration that once was a 'feature' of Windows Media Player, and also was what shut down MSN Music, hurting consumers that kept their music online. (Which everyone is talking about as a 'feature' today with Cloud music, yet MSN music customers were doing this 10 years ago.)

Meanwhile, Apple was allowed to integrate 'more' and now they are almost a monopoly in the media content world.

Which is ironic that by calling Microsoft a Monopoly the US and EU regulations on Microsoft essentially created the Apple monopoly by not letting Microsoft compete.

(Just look up the rulings on and then the EU's restrictions that created the N and K versions of Windows. Then realize that in contrast iTunes was shoved out with every Mac, and was not just a 'media player', but access to an online Market, that Microsoft was forbidden from allowing.)

So the Zune Software was restricted and HAD to be a separate thing from Windows in even underlying technical code, which was insane.

Thankfully that crap is over, and Microsoft can resume where they were in 1999 with an online music store and App market and have it integrated into the OS as a Marketplace, just like Apple has been doing for years now. (Although it took Apple a while to realize an App store was a good idea for OS X Apps,)

As for an App Marketplace, MSN Online (circa 1995 competing with AOL and Compuserve) had the infrastructure to provide an online Software store for Windows, but was halted because of the Anti-Trust case. (If anyone else was in the original MSN beta back then, they will remember this.)

I'm surprised they did this so soon. But I never really used it in the actual Zune software. And when I did, it always annoyed me that the scroll position never saved when going from app details back to full list. It always went back to top.

Already gone for me too.

Enron said,
Well I knew they were phasing out the Zune software in Windows Phone 8, but this is a bit sudden!

It is a little sooner than people expected, but with the web site providing the complete functionality without the software, and since most users buy Apps from the Phone itself, the support/need of this in Zune is simply not needed.

The App portion of the Zune software was kind of 'thrown' together for ZuneHD and doesn't have the features or flexibility that even the Phone itself or the Web Marketplace provides.

It has already disappeared for me (Australia).

Same here. Started it up only to be told to restart due to "changes". (USA)

I don't think this is a wise decision, but further proves they're slowly killing off Zune.

xiphi said,

Same here. Started it up only to be told to restart due to "changes". (USA)

I don't think this is a wise decision, but further proves they're slowly killing off Zune.

"Proves" Really?

Zune is at the heart of WP7 Audio/Video and was first seen in the XBox audio/video services. It is the basis of the technologies that Netflix and thousands of other online audio/video distribution providers use.

Zune is PlaysforSure 2.0, but Microsoft could NOT get Creative and others to make devices based on the new audio/video technologies, as Apple was suing them at the time. Also because it broke with compatibility with PlaysforSure 1.0, it wasn't an easy migration. (1.0 had security issues and wasn't comprehensive enough to support more advanced 'subscription' technologies that PlaysForSure 2.0 introduced, along with new ways of dealing with the codecs and revisions to the support of VC1 (WMV).

So that is when Microsoft decided to create their own handheld media device based on the technologies to get it out there and in use. They didn't intend on being a hardware provider for 'Zune', and they couldn't let the technology disappear as it added new functionality that the world now enjoys as a part of their everyday life. (Even conversion of content from Providers like Hulu to play on an iPad goes through Microsoft media technologies (Zune) and is used by literally everyone, not just PC users.)

While the Zune handheld players did not achieve world dominance, the technology the group and product was created from and its evolution is still the NUMBER ONE way content is distributed over the internet.

Zune was more than just a handheld player...


thenetavenger said,
"Proves" Really?

Zune is at the heart of WP7 Audio/Video and was first seen in the XBox audio/video services. It is the basis of the technologies that Netflix and thousands of other online audio/video distribution providers use.

Yes. They are going to "kill" it by renaming all their music and video services Xbox instead of Zune.

BumbleBritches57 said,

Microsoft's still Microsoft, is assbackwards new to you or something?

Nope. Sure isn't. Considering I've owned a Zune since 2008 I know all about their assbackwardness. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there.

xiphi said,
That's rather assbackwards.

Of course they are. I dont know why these [MS] c**ksuckers don't add features like app and mms backup instead of messing with a perfectly good piece of SW.