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Microsoft re-brands its entertainment apps
As part of the build up to the launch of its latest OS, Microsoft is re-branding its entertainment apps to a more neutral naming scheme.
Gone is the old and confusing Xbox gaming branding for music and videos. I for one approve, I never quite understood why Microsoft was trying to encapsulate its entire media suite under a gaming title.
As part of the change, Xbox Music will be renamed to Groove, because “Groove describes what people feel and do with music,” says Microsoft. Despite the name change, the $9.99 a monthly or $99 yearly subscription for music streaming will remain as it was with Xbox Music, but track purchases will be moving over to Microsoft’s Windows Store. Those with an Xbox Music Pass will automatically be moved over to a Groove Music Pass.
Although the service doesn’t offer free streaming like many of its competitors, Microsoft is planning to update the application with the ability to upload your music collection to OneDrive. Your library will then be available to stream to other Windows devices, Xbox gaming consoles, and even our Android smartphones and tablets in the future.
Xbox Video is also being renamed to a much simpler Movies & TV title. Again functionality remains much the same as before, but Microsoft is adding support for new files formats, such as MKV. Some nifty features include contextual menus for your collections and you can also begin watching content on one devices and then just pick up where you left on another.
Just as with music, film purchases and rentals will be moving over to the Windows Store, so everything will be housed in one convenient location rather than dotted across various applications. Sadly, Movies & TV content doesn’t appear to be heading to Android devices any time soon.
Microsoft is adding the final touches to its store and media applications ahead of the launch of Windows 10 on July 29th, but it remains to be seen if this will help the company compete with some of the established media services already on the market.