Zune Desktop software demoted– will no longer be able to access Marketplace

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On the Windows Team Blog Microsoft has revealed the start of the end for the Zune desktop software.

Mazhar Mohammed, Director of Program Management at Microsoft, revealed today that very soon the Zune desktop software will no longer be able to purchase Windows Phone applications.

The reason for the change is that apparently most software are bought from the phone directly, or from the web marketplace, with Microsoft aiming to optimise these experiences instead of supporting Zune.

The Zune Music Marketplace will remain, and the software will still service the Zune HD.  In addition the software will still be needed to backup music and photos and install updates.

Talking about updates, Mazhar also revealed that phones running Windows Phone 7.0  rather than 7.5 will also no longer be able to purchase applications from Marketplace.

Citing the need for “improving Marketplace performance and security” it is likely that Microsoft wishes to flip the switch on anti-piracy measures enabled by Windows Phone Mango.

This in fact likely presents a bigger problem than removing Zune Desktop, as the people who have not updated to Mango are likely doing so because they do not have easy access to a desktop. Fortunately the number of users not on Mango is now pretty small –our web stats show only 1.23% still on Windows Phone 7.0.

Will any of our readers be missing the Zune desktop app? Let us know below.

Thanks Michael Gillett for the tip and image.


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Site Admin and Windows Phone enthusiast, he has been using Windows Mobile devices since before they were called PocketPC™s. He is currently sporting a Nokia Lumia 930.

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