Zune branding to be replaced with Xbox branded services

We already had semi-official word that this was about to happen, but Microsoft today confirmed that the Zune branding is to be officially killed off by Microsoft this year in favor of an "Xbox" entertainment branding instead.

The Microsoft Blog confirmed this today, with Yusuf Mehdi, Chief Marketing Officer posting on the Official Microsoft Blog that "[Microsoft's] success with Xbox has been lead by a box in the living room" and "moving forward, Xbox will go beyond the box to reach all new families of devices."

Yusuf went on to say that;

This year, Xbox becomes the premium entertainment service for Microsoft. Whether on your PC, tablet, TV or phone, Xbox will be a gateway to the best in music and video, your favorite games and instant access to your friends. With the launch of Windows 8, we’ll bring Xbox entertainment to everyone. With Xbox on Windows 8 devices, we rapidly accelerate the reach of Xbox entertainment from more than 60 million people to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

It's great to see Microsoft unifying their brands under one banner, rather than having fragmented brands like Zune and Windows Live encompassing a wide range of services. Microsoft says that they'll be showing off the first of the rebranding at E3 next week; with a few surprises up their sleeves (which we suspect will probably be Windows 8 tablets).

Source: Official Microsoft Blog

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40 Comments

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Hope they transition Zune Pass into Xbox Media Pass or something like that rather than just ditch it. That service is awesome. It was even better when you got 10 DRM Free downloads / month, but even without that its a great deal.

I disagree, it's not good.

Music and its associated store has nothing to do with the XBOX. Although the XBOX is being positioned as the entertainment brand, it remains and will remain associated to gaming.
The XBOX itself is not a good hardware device for music consumption because of the input methods that make it akward to use for this activity. Windows Phones are fine as are the Zune players.
I have a really hard time seeing the non-XBOX audience feel any connection to a music store that would be branded so close to the XBOX. BIG MISTAKE.

TheCyberKnight said,
I disagree, it's not good.

Music and its associated store has nothing to do with the XBOX. Although the XBOX is being positioned as the entertainment brand, it remains and will remain associated to gaming.
The XBOX itself is not a good hardware device for music consumption because of the input methods that make it akward to use for this activity. Windows Phones are fine as are the Zune players.
I have a really hard time seeing the non-XBOX audience feel any connection to a music store that would be branded so close to the XBOX. BIG MISTAKE.

It worked for me. We have 2 in our house (living room, my office, where I'm at all day, every day), about to add a third to the master bedroom. Their primary use is Netflix, Zune Music, Music Streaming from the Home Server, Hulu, then Games. It is really an entertainment console in our house.

Good to hear, XBOX a is more popular brand, I'm wondering what's going to happen with the Zune Software for Windows, I love that player

I believe the Zune is the best media player on the market. Does anyone know about legacy support in the new media software and in Windows 8?

As long as nothing changes but the name. They don't need to change anything else. Zune was the best PMP and software that no one ever heard of. Branding it with XBox should help but they'll have to push it harder than ever.

same here, keep the design. What will happen for people who own win 7 (like me ) and aren't able to upgrade to windows 8, how would we update the windows phone 7? Maybe a xbox software instead of Zune Software.

xchaser said,
same here, keep the design. What will happen for people who own win 7 (like me ) and aren't able to upgrade to windows 8, how would we update the windows phone 7? Maybe a xbox software instead of Zune Software.
The desing will stay the same for Windows 7 users but the program it's self probably won't receve any new fetures. There's been no talk of it in Windows 8, it sounds like they may have moved anything worthwhile of the Zune software to WMP...

i don't mind if they change the name just keep the design the same the main reason i love zune is because it looks so good

Rabbit94 said,
i don't mind if they change the name just keep the design the same the main reason i love zune is because it looks so good

I feel the same way. I've used it for the last two years as my main media player, merely because of the elegant design. It just looks great. If they keep the software similar (assuming there's going to be a desktop app), I can just take some shell resources from the current Zune SW and put them in the new software.

I hope they bring the Zune music player to XBox now... Easily the prettiest music player when playing songs... Hopefully with network support so the music collection can be streamed from a connected PC.

Makes sense for the business just a shame that the original Zune look couldn't be more integrated in to the Metro feel. I like Metro and think it works well but i always thought the Zune theming was brilliant.

I actually like Zune branding and logo even though word 'Zune' doesn't associate with media, but neither xbox or ipod.

х.iso said,
I actually like Zune branding and logo even though word 'Zune' doesn't associate with media, but neither xbox or ipod.
It's supposed to sound like "tune", so it kinda associates with media.

Lets hope GFWL is included in this rebranding. They mentioned not too long ago that it would be hanging around but maybe that was just because they couldn't talk about it.

I like the simplicity MS are aiming for, now just make it a good user experience. Still interested in seeing how entertainment apps like Netflix on Windows will be like compared to Netflix on an Xbox, free or not ?

Edited by oceanmotion, May 30 2012, 7:08am :

oceanmotion said,
Lets hope GFWL is included in this rebranding. They mentioned not too long ago that it would be hanging around but maybe that was just because they couldn't talk about it.

I like the simplicity MS are aiming for, now just make it a good user experience. Still interested in seeing how entertainment apps like Netflix on Windows will be like compared to Netflix on an Xbox, free or not ?

I think GFWL is all but dead... This is what will have now, or the closest thing to anyway... http://apps.microsoft.com/webp...8bc-b670-847c610baf41/m/ROW

oceanmotion said,
Lets hope GFWL is included in this rebranding. They mentioned not too long ago that it would be hanging around but maybe that was just because they couldn't talk about it.

I like the simplicity MS are aiming for, now just make it a good user experience. Still interested in seeing how entertainment apps like Netflix on Windows will be like compared to Netflix on an Xbox, free or not ?

I think from Windows 8 on it will be called "XBOX Live for Windows" instead of GfWL, making the Xbox brand even greater.

Everyone is rebranding (stores too) Google has done massive simplifying and re branding.


It's a good move to consolidate services into a single account/billing/brand

nice.. start cleaning up the branding on these products.. put everything behind the biggest brands.. xbox, skype, windows.. kill off the lesser brands like zune, windows live, ..

I still think the toughest is with bing .. because it does not really have massive branding but does not really fit under any of their other brands..

Lachlan said,
nice.. start cleaning up the branding on these products.. put everything behind the biggest brands.. xbox, skype, windows.. kill off the lesser brands like zune, windows live, ..

I still think the toughest is with bing .. because it does not really have massive branding but does not really fit under any of their other brands..

I think Bing can stay on its own though.

Tech Star said,
Maybe I'm just old school and will always think of it purely as a game console.

xbox is for games? I always thought it was a media centre

dvb2000 said,

xbox is for games? I always thought it was a media centre


Xbox is a console for me, too.
Surely it's a great media center as well, but my first thoughts are with the gaming, too.

GS:mac

dvb2000 said,

xbox is for games? I always thought it was a media centre

Now it is, but when you say or think "Xbox" you think games.

Glassed Silver said,

Xbox is a console for me, too.
Surely it's a great media center as well, but my first thoughts are with the gaming, too.

GS:mac


Same here, but since it was the device that got Microsoft into the living room, this does kind of make sense. I think going forward, though it will always do games, it's going to be an all around entertainment hub...

M_Lyons10 said,

Same here, but since it was the device that got Microsoft into the living room, this does kind of make sense. I think going forward, though it will always do games, it's going to be an all around entertainment hub...

Well I think that's a given.

GS:mac

Tech Star said,
I just can't see Xbox as "music" for me. Maybe I'm just old school and will always think of it purely as a game console.

Agreed. When they just got a brand that could be pronounced in almost any language and sounded cool, they just needed to kill it off.
Sigh. I'll still call the Zune software as Zune no matter what you tell me...

Glassed Silver said,

Xbox is a console for me, too.
Surely it's a great media center as well, but my first thoughts are with the gaming, too.

GS:mac

You have to think though that iTunes is more than just music. XBox can be more than (and is more than) just games.

Tech Star said,
I just can't see Xbox as "music" for me. Maybe I'm just old school and will always think of it purely as a game console.

If the PS3 has taught us anything, it doesn't matter if the core purpose of the unit is gaming. It's an all-purpose media center. I said it before and I will say it again: name the new music+video service X-Player!

laserfloyd said,

You have to think though that iTunes is more than just music. XBox can be more than (and is more than) just games.


I know what it is, been using the media capabilities throughoutly, still...
I talked about my associations, not about what it is (well) capable of.

GS:mac

I wish original zune was launched with XBox branding (and better design)....it could have been both MP3 player and portable gaming device...

Gaurav Agrawal said,
I wish original zune was launched with XBox branding (and better design)....it could have been both MP3 player and portable gaming device...

Now you get all that AND a phone!

M_Lyons10 said,

Now you get all that AND a phone!

which sucks, for the people that don't want a phone... like parents wanting to get their kids a portable gaming system