Windows 8 to do away with Zune and Windows Live

Microsoft is reportedly planning on killing the Windows Live and Zune services when it unveils Windows 8 at Mobile World Congress next week.

Big changes are afoot with Windows 8. Not only does it have a spangly new logo to match its tile-based user interface, it'll also replace some of its, let's say, less successful branding.

We already reported how Microsoft is thought to be preparing a Spotify-style music service to replace Zune, and now word comes that Windows Live will get the heave-ho. The services currently under the Live banner are being rolled into preinstalled apps that form the core Windows Communications applications, The Verge reports. So what else will change?

All mentions of Windows Live will vanish from Windows 8, according to the report, with Microsoft Account replacing Windows Live ID. There's also no trace of Zune left in the Windows Store, Music and Video apps, presumably to make way for its Spotify-esque music service.

Zune has already been dropped from the final Consumer Preview of Windows 8 (which we'll see next week in Barcelona) but the full shift away from Zune will happen in the summer. Coincidentally, when the new music service is rumoured to launch. Hmm.

Previous reports also said that all music, video and games for Windows 8 will fall under the name of Xbox Live for Windows.

So, this is what we're expected to see in Windows 8: Microsoft Account; Mail; Calendar; People; Photos; Music; and Video.

I don't think too many tears will be shed over the death of Windows Live. Charles Cooper over at our sister site CNET News calls it "one of the most confusing brand names ever invented by a tech company (and that's saying a lot)... Perhaps the biggest problem was that Windows Live became a catch-all for myriad applications and services ranging from email to apps."

But it's that Spotify-style music service I'm really interested in. Before then, we'll bring you all the latest from Mobile World Congress as it happens, so keep it locked to mwc.cnet.co.uk.

Are you looking forward to Windows 8? Let me know on Facebook, or in the comments below.

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