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Zune and Windows Live brands killed from Windows 8

A new report has emerged that suggests that starting with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft will begin ditching both the Zune and Windows Live branding for applications and services. This will finally mean that the long names associated with Windows Live-based applications are gone, replaced with names that more accurately and more simply illustrate the service.

According to The Verge, which we assume has sources close to the matter, says that one of the big steps that Microsoft will take is the removal of the “Windows Live ID” branding in favour of the far simpler “Microsoft Account.” This will go along with the removal of “Windows Live” from many applications and services, such as how “Windows Live Photo Gallery” becomes simply “Photos” in Windows 8. A short list of these changes can be seen below:

  • Microsoft Account (Windows Live ID)
  • Mail (Windows Live Mail)
  • Calendar (Windows Live Calendar)
  • People (Windows Live Contacts)
  • Photos (Windows Live Photo Gallery)
  • Music (Zune Music Player)
  • Video (Zune Video Player)

Also included here is the removal of Zune, which was previously rumoured when we saw a "Microsoft Music" app in Windows 8 at CES. Microsoft will move their music and video distribution channels to a new entertainment brand expansion of Xbox called “Xbox Live for Windows” which will presumably be integrated into the Music and Video apps.

The Verge also reports that the full transition away from Zune and Windows Live may not be seen fully in the Consumer Preview of Windows 8, with the changes and rebranding continuing into the summer. No doubt the brands will be completely gone from the final Windows 8 builds.

So, are you happy that Microsoft is finally ditching the cumbersome Windows Live and Zune brand (assuming The Verge’s sources are correct) in favour of a much cleaner, clearer and unified branding scheme? Let us know in the comments, or if you'd rather not speculate simply wait until the Consumer Preview to see if Zune and Windows Live have begun to fade away.

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