The Verge reports that Microsoft Zune and Windows Live apps will not be included in the upcoming preview of Windows 8—at least not the way we're used to seeing them. Though the brands and apps will be gone, their functionality will be included in other parts of the OS.
The face of all of Microsoft's multimedia apps will lose the labels and take Microsoft branding across platforms, if they take any branding at all.
Windows Live applications have been rolled into preinstalled apps that work as the core "Windows Communications" applications for Windows 8, and this lack of Windows Live branding is only the tip of the iceberg. "Microsoft Account" will replace Windows Live ID in Windows 8, and the software giant has also removed traces of Zune from its Windows Store, Music, and Video applications, although Zune Pass functionality remains.
Windows 8 is very-much a multi-platform OS so it makes a lot of sense that the applications would take more universal branding. The death of Zune has been predicted for some time. The transition to Windows 8 seems like as good a time as any to put the final nail in the coffin. The Zune Player as a hardware device was killed last year. And we'd heard rumours that the Zune Pass would be replaced with an Xbox Live Music Service. While The Verge says the Zune Pass will live on for now, there may be some Spotify-like replacement on the horizon. The Zune Player apps will be replaced by the "Music" and "Video" pre-installed apps with no branding attached. [The Verge]