Microsoft's PC game download site GamesForWindows.com will soon be no more. Microsoft announced this week that the web site will be moving to a page on the company's Xbox.com web site sometime in July. The new web page will still offer up PC game downloads from hardcore action game to casual games along with sales deals and more. Microsoft did not give a specific date for when the transition to Xbox.com will take place.
This move represents just the latest change in strategy by Microsoft for its PC game division. It's Games For Windows branding launched around the time it launched its Windows Vista operating system. It also released its Games for Windows Live online service which at first attempted to bring an Xbox Live like user interface to PC gamers as well as cross-platform multiplayer with Xbox 360 games. However it also attempted to charge money for such features via a "Gold" Games For Windows account. PC gamers didn't care for the Gold account nor the console UI, so in 2008 Microsoft changed strategies and got rid of the Gold account and released a new version of the Games For Windows Live client that was more user friendly for keyboards and mice.
In 2010 Microsoft announced that the Games For Windows Live client was no longer needed to purchase and download games as it changed the GamesForWindows.com site to a web-based store. Microsoft also announced a recommitment to publishing PC games. It started earlier this year with the release of the PC version of Fable 3. It will officially launch the free-to-play RTS game Age of Empires Online in mid-August.