Microsoft killing off Zune, Windows Live brands, Live ID to be renamed to Microsoft Account

Tom Warren of The Verge is out with some presumably exclusive information confirming the long-rumored death of the Zune brand, which is going to be replaced with Xbox Live. Not only that, but he says that the Windows Live brand is also going to be phased out, with Windows Live ID being renamed to Microsoft account.

While obviously a rumor, there’s not much evidence to refute these claims – quite the opposite. Since the commercial failure of the Zune MP3 players, it has been speculated over and over that the Zune brand might be killed off, with recent leaks concerning an Xbox Live branded streaming music service serving as the final nail in the coffin. If you’re a Zune Pass subscriber, however, don’t worry as your service isn’t going away, but will probably be continued under a different name.

As for Windows Live, the signs have been much more subtle, but still visible. LiveSide noticed back in December that the new Hotmail and SkyDrive logos on Microsoft’s press page had the Windows Live branding removed – instead of Windows Live Hotmail, the new logo simply said Microsoft Hotmail. As we’ve gotten used to overly long and complex branding from Microsoft (hey, Windows Phone isn’t that concise either), it’s nice to see that the guys in Redmond are finally getting some sense for the average consumer, for whom such confusing names simply didn’t work. As part of this complete eradication of anything called Windows Live, the Windows Live ID is also going to be renamed to exactly what it is – a Microsoft Account.

There’s even more changes, as the included Metro apps in Windows 8 are also getting new names devoid of any Windows Live or Zune branding. Since all of this information is claimed to be related to the upcoming Windows 8 Consumer Preview, we should find out for sure on February 29.

Meanwhile, read the full details on The Verge.

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