Microsoft has unveiled it plans to retire some Zune Pass features on August 31st in preparation for the launch of Xbox Music later this fall. In an email to Zune Music Pass subscribers, the software maker reveals that Mixview playback and channel playlists will be removed from the Zune software alongside the ability to purchase or stream music videos through the desktop client.
Apps for Zune HD will also be axed from the Zune client, along with the social aspects of Zune like sending and receiving messages, inviting friends, song sharing, and past play history. Travis Pope, a Zune MVP and editor at enConnected, describes the move as one that's "murdering Zune Social." Microsoft has all but killed off Zune, with a future desktop replacement set for Windows Phone 8 and a new Xbox Music service launching shortly. Earlier this year, former Microsoft executive Robbie Bach admitted that Zune hardware was a mistake — accepting that Microsoft ended up chasing Apple.
Microsoft reassures Zune Pass subscribers that the changes, due on August 31st, will not affect music streaming or downloading from the service or change the ability to stream music videos on the Xbox 360. "We’ll have more to share about Xbox Music" soon says the Zune Music team.