Microsoft announced at their E3 press conference the end of the Zune. We've known this was coming for a while now, with Microsoft's Windows 8 rebranding process and then confirmed when we learned that they were working on some sort of streaming service. At the conference, however, we found out that the Xbox branding would continue into the music world with Xbox Music.
Formally codenamed "Woodstock", Yusuf Mehdi from Microsoft announced that Xbox Music will be available on Xbox, Windows 8 and Windows Phones. No specific release date was given, however we did see a very nice presentation and demonstration video that was played for us at the event.
Obviously, Metro showed up in the interface, helping bring the line between music listening and social closer together. We will see a "social feed" of sort that will allow you to post the music you're listening to and share playlists with your friends, kind of like what we see with Spotify.
Xbox Music will maintain the Zune Smart DJ ability, which is a huge plus for the company, as they are the only ones that do it the right way. While the company said that the support for Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows 8 would be available, we have a feeling that Xbox Music is made for you to enjoy your music from literally any device. It is still rumored that we will see iOS, Android and web browser support by the end of this.
Until then, we have to still dream about new third-party developments but we do know that 30 million songs will be available along with artist-based channels when the service finally goes live. Someone in Microsoft said to Billboard that we may see it as soon as late summer of this year.