Zune. Still dead.

skypeZune users received an email from the “Zune Music Team” today informing them of a number of changes coming to the Zune Music services as Microsoft prepares to transition from Zune to Xbox Music.

Here’s the email:

As we prepare for the exciting launch of Xbox Music later this fall, we want to make you aware of some pending changes to the Zune Music service that will be made on August 31st.
Specifically, the following features will no longer be available:

  • Sending and receiving messages, inviting friends, sharing the songs, playlists, and albums you are listening to, and viewing past play history
  • Mixview playback and channel playlists
  • Apps for Zune HD
  • Purchasing music videos or streaming them as a part of Zune Music Pass from the Zune PC software
  • Re-downloading, re-activating, or re-licensing previously purchased music videos if / when you upgrade your PC

These changes will NOT affect music streaming or downloading as part of Zune Music Pass, impact songs that you have purchased from Zune Marketplace, or change your ability to stream music videos on Xbox 360.

We thank you for being an important part of the Zune Music community.
Soon we’ll have more to share about Xbox Music, our brand new service that lets you access the music you care about on Xbox, phones, and tablets, plus a whole lot more.


The Zune Music Team

Interestingly, music video streaming from the Zune PC software, but not to your Xbox, is being shut down.  You’ll still be able to stream or download music to your PC.  Zune Social as we know it looks to be kaput after the 31st, and we still don’t have any definitive details on Xbox Music.  We certainly hoped that Microsoft would have been selling a new music service all summer, but they seem to be more intent on killing off the old service (slowly and painfully) than in promoting a new one.

Still, September is looking like a busy month as Microsoft begins to fill out Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox services in preparation for what is either going to be a big holiday season or an even bigger bust.  Either way, it’s going to be a heck of a ride!