We knew back in February that Microsoft was going to be putting the final nails into the Zune coffin, we just didn't want it to actually happen. A few months later, we saw the initial rumors of new plans with Xbox Music replacing the Zune branding, which culminated with an E3 announcement that Zune was going to be gone for good really, really soon. As I rounded out my work day today, I got the depressing email from the Zune Music Team stating that my beloved Zune will be gone by September.
In the email, we were told that come August 31st, changes were going to be made to the Zune Music service in preparation for the launch of Xbox Music later this fall, along with the Xbox 360 dashboard refresh and the launch of Windows 8. After that dreaded date, no longer will you be able to message or invite your friends, share songs and playlist, get new apps for the Zune HD, use Mixview and more.
What all is going to be removed while we wait for the new Xbox Music? We have the full details after the break.
Here is the email in its entirety from the Zune Music Team.
As we prepare for the exciting launch of Xbox Music later this fall, we want to make you aware of some pending changes to the Zune Music service that will be made on August 31st.
Specifically, the following features will no longer be available:
- Sending and receiving messages, inviting friends, sharing the songs, playlists, and albums you are listening to, and viewing past play history
- Mixview playback and channel playlists
- Apps for Zune HD
- Purchasing music videos or streaming them as a part of Zune Music Pass from the Zune PC software
- Re-downloading, re-activating, or re-licensing previously purchased music videos if / when you upgrade your PC
These changes will NOT affect music streaming or downloading as part of Zune Music Pass, impact songs that you have purchased from Zune Marketplace, or change your ability to stream music videos on Xbox 360.
We thank you for being an important part of the Zune Music community.
Soon we'll have more to share about Xbox Music, our brand new service that lets you access the music you care about on Xbox, phones, and tablets, plus a whole lot more.
The Zune Music Team
I know, we're sad here, too. For now, however, on lives the software for your PC and the ability to still stream and download to your heart's content. I am thinking that October 26th, we will see that all fade away, though. While it is extremely depressing to see such an amazing service fade into the background of its gaming counterpart's name, it is very assuring to hear rumors that a lot of the development team will be staying on and that Xbox Music will boast some of the same great features that we saw in Zune.
Are you upset that Zune's existence in our digital world is no more? What will you do now? Let us know in the comments section.