For a while we’ve all known that Zune as a brand is on its way out. Top officials stopped using the name in the presentations and interviews trying not to remind people of it. Yesterday on the Windows Team Blog Microsoft put another nail in Zune’s coffin—Windows Phone Marketplace won’t be available via Zune. The software is still the tool to update Windows Phone devices on Windows but that’ll change too.
Anyway, Zune’s rite of passage will mark the introduction of a new subscription based entertainment service. The new service codenamed Woodstock will be a part of the Xbox brand. According to exclusive information obtained by Tom Warren here’s what we know about Woodstock:
- Woodstock is a Spotify-like service
- Browser-based player that requires no plugins (IE10 Metro in Windows 8 won’t support plugins so it makes sense)
- Deep Facebook integration—group playlists etc., the timeline integration
- Cross-platform service available on Android, iOS and Windows
The last point will be the key in Microsoft’s possible success. With Zune and Xbox, Microsoft has been working with labels and production houses, it’s not a new domain for Microsoft. As a cross-platform service, Microsoft will have a better sell to both end-consumers and labels/producers.
Microsoft is expected to announce this service at the upcoming E3 conference.