As previously announced, Microsoft is formally retiring Zune services today. The company officially launched its first products under the brand way back in 2006, and it has been a difficult journey for the service, signified by Microsoft's numerous shifts in strategy since then. The company rebranded Zune as Xbox Music in 2012, then rebranded it again to Groove Music earlier this year. Zune services had been slated for termination on 15 November 2015, and as of today, the digital media brand has now been retired.
Regarding its music service, Microsoft states:
As of November 15, 2015, Zune services will be retired. You will no longer be able to stream or download content to your device from the Zune music service. However, Zune devices will still function as music players and any MP3 content that you own on the Zune device will remain there. You’ll also be able to transfer music to and from your Zune player.
Note Content that was purchased with DRM may not play if the license can’t be renewed.
Existing Zune Music Pass subscriptions will be converted to Groove Music Pass subscriptions.
The company has also pointed out that if you've received a 25-digit Groove Music Pass code that doesn't work, you'll have to wait until the day of the month your subscription began before you try to renew it. If you're unaware of the date your subscription renews, you can check via your Microsoft account or by contacting Xbox Support. Microsoft has also listed answers to several other FAQs that users might be having such as the subscribers who will be eligible for a refund and more.
The entire rebranding and redesigning phase of the Zune services arguably marked the shift from a PC-centric model to one that serves mobile and other devices, including Windows Phone, iOS and Android. It's unclear how many users are still using their Zune devices and services to play music, but judging from the passionate comments from numerous people across various forums who still use Zune and consider it under-appreciated and misunderstood by those who have never used it, many will lament Microsoft's decision.