Though they had a good run, it appears Microsoft's Zune and Windows Live brands are going the way of the Dodo. The Windows 8 Consumer Preview shows that the Windows Live group of applications have been replaced by a pre-installed "Windows Communications" group. "Windows Live ID," the current all-in-one login for Microsoft services, will be replaced with the generic "Microsoft Account." [Edit: It's actually called "Microsoft Your Account", see below] The "Zune" name is also glaringly absent in the Windows Store and in relation to music and movie apps. Zune Pass, however, still works.
The new multimedia branding in Windows 8 will be called "Xbox Live for Windows" and will include apps for music, movies and games. Rumor is that Zune will officially be gone by the summer, and may even be replaced by a music service that resembles Spotify via Xbox Live. Throw in the demise of the Zune desktop client for Windows Phone, and voila!, bye-bye Zune.
The overall simplification of Microsoft's branding goes like this:
- Windows Live ID --> Microsoft Account
- Windows Live Mail --> Mail
- Windows Live Calendar --> Calendar
- Windows Live Contacts --> People
- Windows Live Photo Gallery --> Photos
- Zune Music Player --> Music
- Zune Video Player --> Videos