Microsoft is rebranding its Xbox Music streaming service as “Groove” because the original name was too confusing. The service will form a key part of Windows 10, as the operating system launch will kill off the Windows Media Center home entertainment software.
Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore explained on Twitter that the old name of the service was putting people off using it.
@bdsams We didn't drop the apps, we just changed the name. Lots of people were saying "I don't have an Xbox, why would I use Xbox Msic?"
— joebelfiore (@joebelfiore) July 6, 2015
This isn't the first time the service has changed its name. The service started out life as Zune Music, branded as part of the range of MP3 players designed to compete with the iPod. While the hardware was unsuccessful, the music service didn't change its name until October 2012, nearly one year after the hardware line stopped development. In the rebrand, Microsoft tied the service in with the Xbox, building on the strength of the console's success.
In its current form, the service allows users to upload their music to OneDrive and access their music for free from any Windows device, Xbox, iPhone or Android phone. The company also offers unlimited music subscription passes for $9.99 per month or $99 per year.
The move coincides with a name change for the Xbox Video service, which lets customers buy and rent movies and TV shows. From here on out, the service will be known as “Movies & TV.”
The two services will be baked into Windows 10, which will release on July 29. The services will help to replace Windows Media Center, which will be officially discontinued with the launch of Windows 10. Starting out life as part of a special edition of Windows XP, the program was designed to access media from a remote control in a home theater setup.
Windows Media Center has not received an update since 2009, but Windows 8 users who needed the functionality could download the most recent version. “Groove” and “Movies & TV” will offer similar home entertainment features in a more up-to-date package.