ZUNE IS DEAD! Microsoft confirms Xbox brand expansion

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The Zune brand is dead. Microsoft has quietly announced its demise, and at the same time, announced that the Xbox brand will be expanding from simply being a gaming console to a “broad entertainment” brand to include movies, TV, music and sports.

“This year, Xbox becomes the premium entertainment service for Microsoft. Whether on your PC, tablet, TV or phone, Xbox will be a gateway to the best in music and video, your favorite games and instant access to your friends,” Yusef Mehdi, Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft’s Interactive Division, wrote in a blog post.

He also confirmed Windows 8 integration.

“With the launch of Windows 8, we’ll bring Xbox entertainment to everyone. With Xbox on Windows 8 devices, we rapidly accelerate the reach of Xbox entertainment from more than 60 million people to hundreds of millions of people worldwide,” wrote Mehdi.

The Zune brand was initially the line of its music players, in order to compete with the iPod. However, that flopped – not because the hardware was bad, but because the iPod was too dominant in the market and its brand became synonymous with ‘music player’. Microsoft shifted the brand’s focus from the hardware to its store – where it had better success, especially when it was integrated with Xbox 360 so users can stream movies and music from their consoles.

Au revoir Zune.

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