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With Xbox Music Coming, Microsoft Cuts Zune Features

With its coming Xbox Music and Xbox Video services looming, Microsoft this week alerted Zune users via email about a couple of music-related features that will be dropped as that latter brand is put out to pasture. Among the walking dead are Mixview and channel playlists, Zune HD apps, and music videos.

But the biggest change, perhaps involves some core Zune functionality: Microsoft is killing “sending and receiving messages, inviting friends, sharing the songs, playlists, and albums you are listening to, and viewing past play history.” These features were part of what was called Zune Social.

These changes are effective tomorrow, Friday, August 31.

Zune Music Pass, which will be rebranded as Xbox Music Pass, will continue. And Microsoft is adding a feature called Xbox Music cloud collection, which provides SkyDrive-based music access for all of its Xbox Music clients, including the Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and Windows 8/RT-based PCs running the Xbox Music app. Neither of these developments has been announced publicly yet.

Additionally, Microsoft will be replacing its Zune Video services with Xbox Video, though the software giant has curiously not announced that yet either.

Here’s the email that Microsoft sent out to Zune customers this week.


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