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In an ongoing effort to consolidate brands and deliver a simple consumer experience, Microsoft is renaming its Windows Live applications and removing Zune and Windows Live ID from the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. According to The Verge, Windows Live applications have been packaged as preinstalled apps known collectively as “Windows Communications” applications and Windows Live ID will replaced by “Microsoft Account” (a la Apple ID?). All traces of Zune from the Windows Store, Music, and Video applications have been removed, although Zune Pass functionality still remains.

WPCentral sums up the branding changes nicely:

  • Windows Live ID –> Microsoft Account
  • Windows Live Mail –> Mail
  • Windows Live Calendar –> Calendar
  • Windows Live Contacts –> People
  • Windows Live Photo Gallery –> Photos
  • Zune Music Player –> Music
  • Zune Video Player –> Videos

Microsoft made the right decision with these changes. The names of the Windows Live apps were a mouthful to say and simplifying…

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