So around a month ago Microsoft announced that Windows Live ID was going to be rebranded as Microsoft Account. The reason was people didn’t understand what Windows Live was. In the beginning Windows Live was the name for Microsofts online services, however at some point they started using the name for everything like Windows Live Gallery and Movie maker, 2 windows programs that actually have nothing to do with Windows Live at all. So the name is being killed off and replaced with Microsoft account, something that makes a lot of sense.
Now a month later Microsoft have made another announcement, on there strategy to make the Xbox 360 the centre of all your media they are launching Xbox music. Also to come later in the year is Xbox videos, both of which are just rebranding of Zune. Windows 8 will also feature Xbox music and video apps along with the games app. So after all that good work at fixing the mess of Windows live they go and start to destroy Xbox.
2 major things jump out at me with this:
First how do you open the app with xbox’s voice controls, currently you prefix everything with Xbox, as Xbox now means the actual box. Saying “Xbox music” currently takes you to the music page, so then to choose the app do you say “Xbox Xbox music”?
Second one of the features of windows phone 7 is that it is the only phone with Xbox. But now if they are completely disassociating Xbox as a stand alone name to mean games shouldn’t that tile be changed?
I can’t help but also think this is a repeat of Zunes bad naming. Here’s a list of things called Zune:
Zune – the name of a series of mp3 players
Zune – software on windows
Zune pass – subscription music service
Zune – software on Xbox to use the Zune pass on Xbox
Zune videos – software on Xbox to buy videos
With the Zune devices dead the brand was getting a bit easier to understand, and to anyone outside the US it was only ever related to the software. I’m sad to see it go as to me the name Zune separated the subscription music service from all devices and made it the name of what it is.
But alas Microsoft want to stop using the name due to the failed devices, but couldn’t they have just called the music service music and left Xbox as just the name of the actual box?