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Microsoft phasing out Zune Marketplace rentals and purchases, but Zune Pass lives on

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zune playing tool
zune playing tool

Xbox Music and Xbox Video are the future of Microsoft's digital media ecosystem. But putting a greater focus on the Xbox brand means saying goodbye to some past ventures. Today, the company announced plans to phase out support for purchases and rentals on Zune Marketplace "as early as" August 22nd — coinciding with the death of Microsoft Points. Thankfully for people still hanging onto a Zune HD or one of Microsoft's other legacy PMPs, the Zune Music Pass will live on. Customers will still be able to stream music from the Marketplace and continue downloading 10 tracks per month, a unique model that become perhaps the strongest selling point for Zune hardware. Keeping the Zune Marketplace alive in some capacity is necessary to continue supporting those devices; Zune's are unable to sync with Xbox Music.

As for video, Microsoft steers users towards Xbox Video on Windows 8 and Xbox 360, again promising to add support for Xbox One and Windows Phone 8 later this year. Interestingly, Microsoft also confirms a browser-friendly version of Xbox Video is on the way, joining the web version of Xbox Music it launched in July. The Games for Windows Live PC marketplace is also set to close on August 22nd.

Thanks, TheLightDivided!