Zune, a name that once held the hopes of many to outdo Apple in the portable player war, has now been put to rest. Microsoft made many announcements at the E3 games conference in Los Angeles, among them executives said the company will introduce a new music service, Xbox Music. Xbox Music will run on the Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Windows 8 computers and come out in the fall. This will no doubt mean that the Zune name in the Windows 8 Release Preview will be renamed to Xbox Music and similar in the final version..
Microsoft spokeswoman Melissa Stewart confirmed that the Zune brand is going away so Microsoft can use the more well-known name Xbox for its entertainment services, including video. Stewart says those who created playlists under the old Zune name will still have access to those songs on the new Xbox Music service. The Zune music service currently has 30 million songs in their library. By comparison iTunes has 28 million songs.
Microsoft introduced the Zune name in 2006. This was a time when Apple's iPod and iTunes were becoming popular. Zune was both a player and a service that allowed users to load their Zune devices with music.
The Zune ultimately became a failure in the market. It failed to compete with the iPod. ZuneHD in 2009 did somewhat better, while Apple focused on the iPhone and iPad. Microsoft then discontinued the player in 2011 and focused on music and video services with the Zune name. It became part of Xbox and Windows Phone.