Goodnight, sweet Zune: Microsoft kills off doomed music service
It’s time to say goodbye to Microsoft’s perpetually underperforming music streaming service Zune.
The company posted a short retirement notice on their support website, which bids a rather cold farewell to the music service.
As of November 15, Zune, originally launched to rival Apple’s comparatively god-like iPod and iTunes, was officially no more.
Zune devices will still work as music players and downloaded MP3 content will not be deleted but the marketplace for buying MP3s has been closed.
Those who signed up to the Zune Music Pass, and there must be someone, will have their subscriptions transferred to a Groove Music Pass.
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The post also states that “Content that was purchased with DRM may not play if the license can’t be renewed”.
You can read the FAQ included with the post for further information about how Zune subscriptions will be transferred.
The news of Zune’s demise is hardly surprising considering Microsoft stopped making Zune devices in 2011.
Released in 2006, the first Zune was a version of the Toshiba Gigabeat S and was launched in the hopes that Microsoft could take a chunk out of Apple’s iPod market share.
The release followed MSN Music, Microsoft’s attempt to compete with iTunes, which was rebranded as Zune to coincide with the ill-fated launch of the new devices.
The name of the service changed again in 2012 to Xbox Music.
Rising from the ashes of Xbox Music and Zune, Groove music is Microsoft’s current music streaming app, and forms part of the overall Groove streaming service.
Let’s hope Groove can improve on its predecessors attempts at delivering a popular and quality music service.