Microsoft announced over the weekend that one of the last existing bits of its Zune brand will soon cease to exist. Along with the retiring of Microsoft Points on 22 August, Microsoft will shut the Zune Marketplace found on Xbox Live - ending an era.
The Zune Marketplace once allowed users to access music, podcasts, TV shows, movies, music videos and movie trailers. Then in October 2012, the Marketplace was replaced by services offered on Xbox Music, Xbox Music Pass, Xbox Video, and the Windows Phone Store. As a result, Microsoft wants to make Xbox's new services the focal point of the Xbox One, rather than the dead Zune brand.
The death of the Zune Marketplace isn't too much of a loss. Microsoft's Xbox services will still allow you to rent or buy movies and TV shows through Xbox Video on Xbox 360 and Windows 8 PCs and tablets. Furthermore, starting later this year you will be able to access Xbox Video on Xbox One, Windows Phone 8 and any web browser.
For the few users still subscribed to Zune Pass and using a Zune, Microsoft says there will be no impact on your original Zune Music Pass subscription or your ability to redeem your 10 monthly song credits. Old school Zune users won't find their content gone either, as you'll still be able to access your personal collection of content.
Zune Pass isn't the only service feeling the Microsoft axe on 22 August. Microsoft announced on Friday that the PC marketplace on Xbox.com will close down with the Xbox 360 update which will retire Microsoft Points in favour of local currency purchases.
The Zune Marketplace app will still exist on the Xbox 360 for Zune Pass users, but won't be usable for others once t Microsoft Points is gone (except for Podcasts). New users will have to look to Xbox's new services.