Microsoft appears to be moving away from its Xbox Music and Xbox Video branding. Two new Music and Video apps for Windows 10 have debuted today, and they both drop the Xbox brand in favor of simplified names. Microsoft’s Xbox Music naming has undoubtedly been confusing, with some consumers questioning whether the music service only works on the company’s gaming console. This new naming in Windows 10 means users won’t have to search around for an Xbox-branded app that’s on their PCs; it’s just Music and Video like it is on most modern operating systems.
Some minor UI tweaks and changes for now
While the new Music and Video Preview apps are mostly the same as the ones found in Windows 8.1, Microsoft is taking the opportunity to tweak their UI slightly. There are now slightly altered hamburger menus that are collapsed by default in a windowed view, and easier access to settings and account options. Apart from that, they’re almost identical. The Xbox naming drop is the big change here, and it follows a similar simplification where Microsoft now refers to universal apps as just "Windows apps" that run across PCs, tablets, phones, and the Xbox One.
There are some drawbacks to using these preview apps in Windows 10, with the Music app lacking playback controls on hover in the taskbar, and some issues playing Music Pass content and galleries occasionally disappearing. Movies and TV shows downloaded in other versions of the app can’t be played with the Video preview app, only streamed, and playback of purchased content will take a few seconds to start. Microsoft also warns that adding or removing folders from a video library can hang the app, expired rentals still show a play button, and playback of some movies and TV may fail occasionally.
Lots of features planned for future updates
While the apps enter preview today, Microsoft is planning a number of new features for them soon. The Music app will get a compact mode, dark color theme, better back button navigation, and the ability to buy music from the Windows Store. Right-click context menus, settings improvements, and improved support for accessibility will also be included in future updates. On the Video side, you’ll soon be able to access the Windows Store for movies and TV shows, as well as download movies and TV for offline playback. Microsoft is also planning to improve search results, movie reviews and cast info, and settings and device management.