Microsoft rebrands Xbox Music as 'Groove'

Microsoft is rebranding its Xbox Music service to 'Groove," and its Xbox Video service to 'Movies & TV' as part of its upcoming WIndows 10 launch.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is rebranding its current "Xbox Music" service to "Groove," and will start rolling it out with Windows 10 PCs as of July 29.

After @TimN_FL discovered a new page that referred to Xbox Music Pass as "Groove Music Pass" earlier today, July 6, a number of us Microsoft watchers were wondering what was in the works.

After all, there's already a Windows Phone/Windows 8 music app in the Store called "Groove: Smart Music Player." That app, developed by Canadian startup Zikera, is also available for iOS. The Groove player app from Zikera that exists today is powered by Last.FM.

But it seems the new Microsoft Groove and Groove Music Pass have nothing to do with Zikera. When I asked if Microsoft had bought Zikera, a Microsoft spokesperson said "we have nothing more to share at this time."

There's nothing on Zikera's site that indicates they have been bought by Microsoft.

Those currently subscribing to Xbox Music Pass don't need to do anything; they'll automatically get Groove Music Pass. Those who aren't but who are interested: The renamed Microsoft Groove service costs $9.99 a month, or $99 per year.

Xbox Video, as Windows Insiders already know, also is being renamed to Movies & TV.

Windows Insiders will be able to test Groove once Microsoft releases the next Windows 10 preview build for PCs, according to a July 6 Microsoft blog post.

Microsoft history buffs will recall Microsoft bought a company known as Groove Networks back in 2005 (and got Groove founder Ray Ozzie to join Microsoft as Chief Software Architect in the process). That Groove evolved into what today is SharePoint Workspace and/or OneDrive for Business.

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