Zune, Windows Live brands said to be on the chopping block

Microsoft is cleaning house, it sounds like. We found out this morning that the company might cut down on the number of OS editions with Windows 8, offering only standard, business, and enterprise flavors. Now, The Verge reports that Microsoft may also be retiring its Windows Live and Zune brands.

The branding in the upcoming Windows 8 Consumer Preview, The Verge says, will look like so:

  • Microsoft Account (Windows Live ID)
  • Mail (Windows Live Mail)
  • Calendar (Windows Live Calendar)
  • People (Windows Live Contacts)
  • Photos (Windows Live Photo Gallery)
  • Music (Zune Music Player)
  • Video (Zune Video Player)

The Consumer Preview is due out on February 29, so we'll all be able to verify this story soon enough.

If this is true, then kudos. I really dig Microsoft's new direction—that is, toward unification (between Windows and Windows Phone), user-interface consistency, and simpler branding. Here's hoping it all works out as planned (and as rumored).

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