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Microsoft Killing Off Zune, Windows Live Brands? 262

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed dept.
suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from The Verge: "Microsoft appears to be killing off two of its key user-facing brands with the upcoming Consumer Preview release of Windows 8. Windows Live applications have been rolled into preinstalled apps that work as the core 'Windows Communications' applications for Windows 8, and this lack of Windows Live branding is only the tip of the iceberg. 'Microsoft Account' will replace Windows Live ID in Windows 8, and the software giant has also removed traces of Zune from its Windows Store, Music, and Video applications, although Zune Pass functionality remains."
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Microsoft Killing Off Zune, Windows Live Brands?

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  • So now we have that annoying Bing Bar in desktop mode and the annoying family safety program that slows your computer down even if you do not use it

    • Re:Great (Score:5, Insightful)

      by masternerdguy (2468142) on Friday February 24, 2012 @02:38PM (#39151195)
      You know real nerds can just disable unwanted services.
      • Yes. It's called installing Chrome or Firefox.

        • by afidel (530433)
          Chrome and Firefox both integrate with the family safety API on Windows just fine....
          • So take a trip to services and regedit.
            • by afidel (530433)
              My point was installing Chrome or Firefox does nothing to help with the "problem" of having the family protection service running.
              • Re:Great (Score:5, Interesting)

                by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday February 24, 2012 @09:24PM (#39155385) Journal

                Actually one of the few smart things they are doing with Win 8 is they are FINALLY gonna have services that start when they are called and stop when they are no longer needed, most likely because the sweaty monkey still thinks he can sell a WinPhone and WinTab so if you don't set any family settings the service won't actually be running so no worries there.

                What IS a huge worry is how a company with THAT many engineers can't see the giant screaming FAIL in 50 foot letters! I mean first they tried to jam the Windows desktop metaphor onto phones, complete with teeny tiny start button even though its a completely different form factor and when that fails miserably what do they do? they go "Herp derp i know, we'll stick the Windows tablet UI on the desktop!" which shows that anyone with common sense has done left that company for Google> I mean HOW many desktops and laptops were sold with touch enabled screens this year? MAYBE .03% of the entire market? hell take out Kiosks and POS machines and that number is probably something like 0.001% of the world PC market. So what fucking moron thinks jamming a touch focused UI on something WITHOUT A TOUCHSCREEN is a brilliant idea? Anyone? Beuller?

                The ONLY thing I can think of that makes sense is the engineers have frankly gotten sick of Ballmer's Apple fetish and bullshit and are letting him have everything he wants in the hopes he'll flame so badly that even being Bill's little buddy won't save his sweaty ass. I can imagine them going "Sure Mr Ballmer (snicker) having a cell phone UI on the desktop IS a brilliant idea (chokes back a laugh) and yes sir i bet this will finally make us a "cool and hip" company like Apple (rushes to hang up phone before they bust out laughing)". But hey, don't take my word for what a big heaping of fail Win 8 is, try it yourself for free! The Consumer preview is being released to the world at the end of the month, this is the "90% complete" version so what you see is what is gonna be crapped all over desktops and laptops this Oct...well until the OEMs have a screaming shitfit as their sales plummet and they demand downgrade rights to Win 7 like they did with Vista and XP.

                To me though the sad part isn't win 8 being a giant failwhale because Win 7 is supported until 2020 and hopefully Ballmer will be shitcanned by then, no what is sad to me is first with Vista and now 100 times more powerful with the combo of Win 8, the death of XP, and everyone practically living on the net Linux has been given all these great gifts. its like the competition is giving them a 250 meter head start on the 300 meter dash and what does the devs do? Do they announce a distro with ten years of support and a rock solid foundation, built upon a "It works and will consistently continue to work" philosopy? Nope first they gut the entire soundsystem for an unstable mess and then if that didn't set them back far enough they trash the two biggest DEs for a buggy blingfest that set everything back a good 5+ years with regards to stability! Its like someone went back in time with the design of the iPad and tried to hand it to the Linux devs only to have them go " Naaaaah, we're betting it all on the Foleo baby!". So instead of just taking that huge lead and waltzing across the finish line so they can finally give us a true "third way" over apple and MSFT they promptly shoot themselves in the foot and then plop down in the middle of a field to write a script in long PHP codes that makes the CLI answer them with "You are so cool master"...sigh.

                As much as I can't believe i'm agreeing with that linTroll Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols [zdnet.com] all these new UIs just suck, like REALLY hard. Its like all the devs of the world just lost their damned minds when iPhone came out and then lined up to horribly fuck up their offerings in the hopes they could somehow "capture the magic" of the iShiny. It reminds me of the old Python upper class twits bit, these devs probably couldn't even shoot themselves correctly.

            • Re:Great (Score:4, Informative)

              by crutchy (1949900) on Friday February 24, 2012 @06:39PM (#39154325)
              pffft... you idiot. "real" nerds avoid anything microsoft like the plague and use linux, and have little idea what all the hype is about.
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          On Linux.

      • by Ouchie (1386333)
        You still have the ability to configure the windows install. In Windows 7 it is in the add/remove programs you have a link that says turn windows features on or off. I'm in the middle of something right now and don't want to reboot to 8, otherwise I'd see if they moved it. I would figure that Billy Gates would know this, maybe you could ask Stevie Balmer.
  • Back to the classics (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I miss the minimalistic approach of Windows 7 where it came with barely anything, Windows 8 is starting to turn back into Vista but with a horrible UI.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 24, 2012 @02:41PM (#39151243)

    we shouldn't expect mobile products from MS with names like "Zune Messiah" or "Children of Zune" either.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      There was a Zune mess alright, but no Zune Messiah.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by gl4ss (559668)

        zune as a shipping sw brand is well alive as is large parts of the design and code.

        if you get your hands on a windows phone(7) and want to load some apps or music you'll notice it very fast, at the point when you'll be downloading zune sw just to get some photos off the damn thing.

        it's funny because ms makes pr effort of when they were designing windows mobile 7 they decided to start from scratch(they didn't! they just took the zune and ran with it, that pretty much explains why wp7 feels like a rather simp

    • by Chemisor (97276)

      No, but I hear they're working on a new eReader, codenamed "Chapterhouse Zune"

    • Microsoft's new mobile player has a portal to an alternate plane of existence and is called Zuul. Mind the ectoplasm.
    • Which is kind of funny, since "Messiah" is Hebrew (transliteration) and Zune in Hebrew sounds a lot like "FUCK" (crude term meaning fornicate)

    • by Kenshin (43036)

      Wonderful. Now you've given me a horrible mental image of Steve Ballmer as the Baron Harkonnen.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 24, 2012 @02:43PM (#39151265)
    How can anyone invest themselves in any Microsoft product when they change branding/strategy/support so much? Even if a product manages to stay around over 3-5 years, they give it an overhaul and change the way it works so people have to get used to it all over again. .Net, Live!, PlaysForSure, Zune, Silverlight, among many others, and they also drop support for older file formats and push half-assed standards over established certified ones.
    • by swb (14022)

      I use and support MS server products as a consultant, and I actually make this point a lot to colleagues that want to use what I'll call "fringe" features of their products.

      While they may seem like a magic bullet for some problems, I always worry because many of these features are poorly documented, leading to confusion about how they work or whatever resource limits or capabilities they really have, and more importantly, what happens when the feature goes away and you need to migrate to some newer release

    • Windows+ R Delta Echo Victor Mike Golf Mike Tango dot Mike Sierra Charlie has worked for as long as I can remember while Ctrl+Alt+F2 no longer brings me a TTY in Ubuntu. KDE could not die quicker.

    • I know you were trying to make a point, but you failed.

      What consumer has to learn how to use .Net, Silverlight? These are development platforms used to create apps, no consumer needed to know anything about these technologies other then installing or updating them (running Windows update). And if you were a developer you realize these platforms have evolved over the last 5 years building off the previous generation. Even WinRT which "replaces" .Net is mostly indistinguishable from .Net code that its an e

  • Kind of saw it coming though. Windows 8 is kind of make or break for Microsoft right now in the phone/tablet market right now. No reason to have any other products to distract consumers with. I wonder if Windows 8 will have an emulation layer for x86 on the ARM.
    • by DeathFromSomewhere (940915) on Friday February 24, 2012 @02:51PM (#39151377)

      I wonder if Windows 8 will have an emulation layer for x86 on the ARM.

      Nope. [msdn.com]

    • As a mobile platform win 8 isn't bad.
    • I agree. Microsoft has been very divided in it's products for a very long time (to the point where you even wonder if products were made by the same company), and it looks like Win8 is where they're looking to consolidate into a single, cohesive brand. The problem with that strategy is if it doesn't work, you've got nothing to fall back on.
      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        to the point where you even wonder if products were made by the same company

        They weren't. For one thing, many or most of their products are actually acquisitions from other companies: Powerpoint, Excel, etc. were all from acquisitions. Secondly, internally, MS operates as a bunch of smaller competing companies, with various department heads constantly backstabbing each other rather than working together. It's amazing they get anything done in that environment.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          Secondly, internally, MS operates as a bunch of smaller competing companies, with various department heads constantly backstabbing each other rather than working together. It's amazing they get anything done in that environment.

          I've worked for companies far smaller than Microsoft that have the exact same corporate culture.

          Many years ago, one of the companies I worked for had grown through acquisitions. With each new one, the VP of R&D for the newest became VP of R&D for the entire company ... and t

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Wow, that's weird and rather hard to comprehend honestly. I've worked at two large tech companies, Intel and Freescale, and neither of them operated like this at all.

            Intel had its problems (I was there during the whole P4/RAMBUS debacle, when AMD was beating us in performance and cost, and don't forget the whole Itanic thing), but I don't remember any kind of outright in-fighting like that. The decisions about what strategy would be pursued, which products would be developed and which would be shelved, al

            • by gstoddart (321705)

              Wow, that's weird and rather hard to comprehend honestly. I've worked at two large tech companies

              In my experience, software companies especially suffer from this problem. They all grow by buying smaller companies with niche products, and then try to add the features from one into another. However, since the purchase is done at a management level, they often don't understand the technology barriers (product A is UNIX, product B is Windows -- you can't just smush them together in a week and get "New and Im

    • Windows ARM is their strategy to mimic Apple and their level of unapologetic control. Win 8 ARM is where their DRM dreams for general computing will be fleshed out and brought to life. I imagine at some point before Win 8 or very soon after, Apple will introduce an OSX/iOS merged product, and the wheel will turn again.
  • Killed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 24, 2012 @02:46PM (#39151313)

    There's a difference between killing and rebranding. Aside from the Zune hardware I don't see a single thing I would consider "killed" by Microsoft. And I'd even accept that idea that the Zune isn't being killed but instead reintroduced in a slightly more integrated format.

  • So, is Games for Windows Live being renamed as well?

    What is it now? Games for Windows? Games for Xbox Live? Hell, they already call their phone app My Xbox Live...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      For the good of all mankind, they should really just replace 'Games for Windows Live' with a link to Steam...
      • by Zinho (17895)

        Amen, brother!

        When I found out I'd have to log into both Steam and GFWL in order to play DiRT3 it made me glad I hadn't paid money for it; I'd have been demanding a refund otherwise. If Steam were to buy GFWL and get rid of that stupidity I'd be in heaven.

        • You dont have to log into GFWL online. It works just fine with a local account. Not defending it, it still sucks ass, but at the local level its just a glorified user account manager for savegames.
          • by Zinho (17895)

            Thanks, I'll look into that. Honestly it annoyed me enough that I didn't bother trying to figure out the nuances.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        I bought skyrim "Platform: Games for Windows®".

        you know what the installer did first? install steam...

  • Zoon? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Friday February 24, 2012 @02:47PM (#39151333)

    Microsoft Killing Off Zune

    The what?

  • by Kenja (541830) on Friday February 24, 2012 @02:49PM (#39151353)
    and think of how boned the Zune lifetime pass owners are.
  • An Ode to Zune (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Golgafrinchan (777313) on Friday February 24, 2012 @02:53PM (#39151409)
    It makes me sad every time Microsoft does something to distance itself from the Zune brand.

    I own 2 Zunes. I've been using them to listen to music at work nearly every day for the past 3 years. I've found them to be very high-quality pieces of hardware. I'm not a huge fan of the Zune software, but I don't think it's any worse than iTunes. Yet most of the time when I tell co-workers that I listen to music on a Zune, I have to endure ridicule for not using an Apple product. I have even heard from ex-MS colleagues that by-and-large, MS employees don't think very highly of the Zune.

    What gives? Did I totally miss the boat on this and the Zune actually sucks? Am I just destined to be forever uncool by being associated with a failed MS product? I just never understood the hate, and somehow it seems to be worse now than ever. And now MS is apparently trying to distance itself from Zune as much as possible.

    Keep your chin up, Zune. You still have a few fans out there.

    • by alienzed (732782)
      Wasn't the Zune brown?! What can brown do for anybody? It's the color of... mud.
      • by chispito (1870390)
        The brown Zune 30 was a really good looking in person. People snickered and sneered, but when you actually saw it, it was pretty nice looking.
      • What can brown do for anybody?

        Plenty; for one thing it can get you into the Advertising Walk of Fame:

        United Parcel Service Inc.'s slogan "What Can Brown Do For You" has delivered a major award.

        Source [bizjournals.com]

      • oooooo my BROWN-eyed girl. Do you remember when we used to sing, sha-nan-nan-nan-la de da. ooo la de da.
    • Re:An Ode to Zune (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Friday February 24, 2012 @03:07PM (#39151567) Homepage
      You're not the only one. I like my Zune and use the Zune Pass. I like the Zune's interface a lot better than that of the iPod Touch and wish they would have tried harder to compete instead of abandoning it. Maybe Microsoft will make me happy and release a phone-free Windows Phone.
    • A name like Zune would kill any product.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      What gives? Did I totally miss the boat on this and the Zune actually sucks? Am I just destined to be forever uncool by being associated with a failed MS product?

      Only if you were stupid enough to get it tattoed [wired.com] on your arm. ;-)

      Other than that, you should be able to buy the music player of your choice and pretend it never happened. Nobody need ever know.

      FWIW, I'm not sure I ever remember anybody saying good things about Zune ... except, of course, for the guy with the tattoo before he decided the product wa

    • by Phat_Tony (661117)
      That makes 3 of you. [penny-arcade.com]
  • Good Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by milbournosphere (1273186) on Friday February 24, 2012 @02:55PM (#39151439)
    The Zune's biggest problem was horrible branding. I've used one a couple of times and it was a solid device. But the marketing agent who decided making a 'squirt' service available on a device available in poo-brown was a good idea doomed the device and was hopefully fired. Frankly, I'm surprised the name lasted even longer than the device. Killing a bad brand name like that is a wise decision.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by interval1066 (668936)
      That was the difference. Branding. Apple had a thousand brilliant marketing campaigns that sold millions of iPods. The Zune came in shit bown. Never hire the marketing geniuses behind the Zune. Soon it won't matter any more. Anyone who is still buying a device separate from their phone to listen to music needs to have their head examined.
      • Re:Good Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

        by coinreturn (617535) on Friday February 24, 2012 @03:43PM (#39152169)

        Anyone who is still buying a device separate from their phone to listen to music needs to have their head examined.

        No. Some of us don't see the need for a smart phone. I get a new shiny basic phone free from Verizon every two years.

        • Yes. I consign you to multiple gadget hell for ever and ever.
          • by gstoddart (321705)

            Yes. I consign you to multiple gadget hell for ever and ever.

            You know, some of us don't find that to be a problem.

            The single gadget, in my experience, often ends up with "almost good enough at 4 different things, but not actually that good at any of them".

            It really comes down to how you use them, and what you expect to get out of them. My cameras, for instance, will always be only ever that, because I can't stand the pictures that I've seen from smart phones (and because my main camera is a fairly high end

    • I agree with you. In my pre-Android days I actually looked at a Zune, and found myself impressed. In the end I opted for an iPod because Linux support is fairly solid, and there was no indication that the community wanted to support the Zune.
    • The initial branding and marketing were horrible. Watching the Zune commercials you had no idea what it was or what it was for. But that wasn't the only problem. The Zune was better than the iPod for a short time. But then Apple released the iPod Touch and moved the goal posts. With iOS, the iPod Touch was a portable computing device that you could listen to/buy media, surf the web, write email, and later run tons of apps. Zune never developed that ecosystem and was always behind.
  • "Just as fun as it sounds!!"
  • If anything needed to be deprecated or "killed off"......

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