Xbox Music and Xbox Video are the future of Microsoft’s digital media ecosystem. But putting more emphasis on the Xbox brand means saying goodbye to some past companies. Today, the company announced plans to phase out support for purchases and rentals on Zune Marketplace “as of” August 22, coinciding with the death of Microsoft Points. Luckily for people who are still hanging on to a Zune HD or one of Microsoft’s other legacy PMPs, the Zune Music Pass will live on. Customers will still be able to listen to music from the marketplace and continue to download 10 tracks per month, a unique model that is becoming perhaps the best selling point for Zune hardware. Keeping the Zune Marketplace active to some extent is necessary to continue to support these devices; Zunes can’t sync with Xbox Music.
When it comes to video, Microsoft is leading users to Xbox Video on Windows 8 and Xbox 360, again promising to add support for Xbox One and Windows Phone 8 later this year. Interestingly, Microsoft is also confirming that a browser-friendly version of Xbox Video is on the way, joining the web version of Xbox Music that it launched in July. The Games for Windows Live PC Marketplace is also slated to close on August 22.