It looks like two Microsoft products are about to get killed off (or really, renamed) with the release of Windows 8. When the next major Windows OS launches, that'll be the end of the Zune and Windows Live brands. Yep, Microsoft is finally getting rid of the brand that was supposed to rival the Apple's iPod/iTunes ecosystem, but failed miserably. It’s not just the physical player they’re killing off - they did that last year while holding onto Zune as the name of the desktop software and music service. Now, Zune will be no more.
In addition, in an effort to further simplify things, the Windows Live brand is also going away. Here's a look at what to expect, and what will replace the two brands:
- Microsoft Account (Windows Live ID)
- Mail (Windows Live Mail)
- Calendar (Windows Live Calendar)
- People (Windows Live Contacts)
- Photos (Windows Live Photo Gallery)
- Music (Zune Music Player)
- Video (Zune Video Player)
We also wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft replaced Zune with a streaming music service similar to Spotify. The sad part is that Zune could have been what Spotify Premium currently offers had Microsoft been more forward thinking with the concept. We've actually said many times in the past that the Zune Pass was the best deal in music. Currently there are other well-established music services with dedicated users like Spotify, Rdio, MOG, and Rhapsody. If this is Microsoft’s attempt to dominate a new market, we sure hope they've got a better plan than they did with the original Zune launch.
Read More | The Verge
Facebook sent an invitation recently to news agencies for another announcement coming this Monday. While there is no direct mention as to what that announcement is, TechCrunch believes that this may be a major play on a new email service, aimed at competing with Google's Gmail service. Based on the invitation image, it seems likely that the announcement has to do with messaging, since that's what the graphic shows. Then, references to a secret project called Project Titan came up again recently. Finally, just this week, we reported on how Google and Facebook have started an all-out war concerning the exporting of contacts and friends information. It's all still rumors for now, but it will be very interesting to see if a Facebook based email service would take a big chunk out of services like Gmail. Since Facebook has done everything it can to become your primary contacts platform, it would sure make a lot of sense.
Read More | TechCrunch
Microsoft has decided to more than double its Hotmail service capacity and will now store up to 5 GB of e-mail messages and images. They are undoubtedly hoping that this move will take them from the number 2 spot and unseat their rival Yahoo. The company also says that its performance will speed up, it will combine duplicate contacts in its address book, there will be a new “report phishing button,” and an option to log in straight to your inbox from the home page.
“We know this is going to be a big hit with a lot of you out there in blog land,” said Ellie Powers-Boyle, a program manager for Windows Live Hotmail.
It certainly is a big hit with those of us who like our Hotmail and have stuck with it despite the mini-storage for all these years.
Read More | Post-Bulletin