Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced that it will bring the curtains down on its popular Zune marketplace. This was the next logical step from the Redmond based company after their earlier announcement of eliminating Microsoft Points with real-money exchange. This comes into effect on August 22.
What this means is that, as of August 22, Microsoft Points will be officially retired and with it the facility to rent or buy TV, movie, or music content on Zune Marketplace will also be a thing of the past. But did they really have to retire the Zune marketplace, couldn’t they have thought of an alternative to Microsoft Points, especially now that Zune’s popularity was at an all time high? I mean they are Microsoft, and they could have found an alternate payment method if they wanted to.
Here is the catch – they didn’t want to.
This move is part of the company’s strategy to align various of its business vertical’s to the Xbox One‘s business, when it hits the markets in November 2013. The music and videos can be rented or bought through the Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps. TV shows and movies can be bought using the Xbox Video app for the Xbox 360 and Windows 8 PC and tablets, and of course for the Xbox One in the future. The Xbox Music app will give you access to all the music on Windows 8 PCs, tablets and also on the Windows Phone marketplace.
Here is Microsoft’s strategy and reason behind shunning the popular Zune service.
- When the Xbox One launches later this year, the owners will have access to the Xbox Video, which can also be accessed via Windows Phone 8 and browsers on the Windows 8 PCs.
- This means Xbox Video will become the official source for digital entertainment on the much hyped console.
- This streamlines Microsoft’s business strategy to transform the Xbox One into a complete entertainment package and not just the next generation video game console.
The company has taken measures to ensure that regular users of the Zune marketplace who use it to redeem their 10 monthly song credits can continue to do so using the Zune Music Pass. This move ensures that the Zune’s current user base isn’t left bitter and angry with all the changes being shelved up their throats by the world’s most famous technology dictator (read browser monopolization from the 90s).
To ensure that the Xbox One enters the market with a bang, Microsoft have also revised their earlier target of launching the console in 21 markets and have trimmed it down to 13 markets for the initial launch. Which means they are not going overboard with their targets and are taking a sensible and measured approach to their most important product of the decade.
Our priority is ensuring our customers get the best Xbox One experience the first day it is available. To do that, and in order to meet demand, we have adjusted the number of markets that will receive Xbox One in November to 13 markets, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand, in November. – The official statement.
Time will tell whether these strategic moves pay off rich dividends or whether turn out to be among the strategic blunders of the decade by the computer industry’s favorite cry baby.