Microsoft’s Zune music service was never all that popular, though the service itself didn’t draw quite as much ire and comedy as the ill-fated Zune portable music players. It probably saw some satisfied use on the Xbox 360 in particular, but its time has now passed. Microsoft began quietly killing off Zune this weekend; the Zune website now redirects to Microsoft’s new music offering, Xbox Music.
Zune portable music players were discontinued in October of last year, and Microsoft already announced a few months ago that the music service would follow suit. The company was working on lining up major record labels for the new Xbox Music service all the way back in April, and formally announced Zune’s replacement at the E3 2012 video game conference in Los Angeles this summer.
If you’re shedding tears for Zune, don’t. First of all, because Zune was never all that great, and second because Xbox Music is much better. We reviewed Xbox Music earlier this week and were especially impressed with the music video DJ feature. Otherwise, it’s almost identical to Spotify with the added option to purchase content.
Xbox Music is not a revolution, but it’s the first really great streaming music service offered by one of the old tech titans, so that counts for something.