Microsoft have hung up their headphones and admitted defeat on their failing Groove subscription service, but what we didn’t expect was a reduction in Cortana’s ‘services’.
As discovered by Windows Central, Cortana is now no longer to ID songs that she hears.
Did anyone even make use of Cortana’s musical knowledge or was this more of a Windows 10 phone thing? No doubt that will be retired shortly too!
It’s also worth noting that if you were a subscriber to Groove, your OneDrive limit will have been reduced back down to a 5 GB limit.
If you happen to have a copy of Windows 10 then you might have noticed a link to “Groove Music”. Clicking on this link though surprisingly takes you to the existing Xbox Music app. After lots of questions Microsoft has now confirmed that the Xbox Music brand we have all come to love or hate is being ditched and replaced with the new name “Groove”. However as you can clearly see from the welcome screen it states Groove Music, but Microsoft have stated this is an error and will be changed in the next update.
So what can Windows 10 users expect to see in the new Groove app:
- The Look and Feel: Groove provides an improved experience for listening to and managing your music in Windows 10. Getting into music is faster than ever with easy-to-use menus and navigation controls that work well with both mouse/keyboard, and with familiar touch gestures on touch-screen devices. Pinch to zoom in or out of different views, drag your favorite tracks in to playlists, hover over the Taskbar icon for playback controls, or right click for contextual menus to pin an album to your Start menu. And you can also infuse your personality in to Groove – choose a light or dark theme for the app depending on your mood, or pick an accent color in Windows Settings and the Groove app makes it shine.
- Accessing Your Music on your favorite devices: We’re also making it easy to access your content across your favorite devices – with built-in OneDrive integration making your favorite songs only a few clicks away. Upload all your MP3’s to OneDrive, even songs purchased from iTunes, and access them all for free with the Groove app on your Windows devices, Xbox, the web — and even on your Android phones and iPhones (coming soon).
- Music and the Windows Store: You can also sign up for a Groove Music Pass subscription – a premium ad-free listening experience with no interruptions. $9.99/month or $99/year gets you complete access to stream and download music from the Windows Store — one of the largest music catalogs on the planet with over 40 million tracks. Subscribers can also create custom radio stations based on their favorite songs, albums and artists. Subscribers that already have an Xbox Music pass will automatically change to a Groove Music Pass when the service goes officially live.
It doesn’t end there though and Microsoft also announced that the Xbox Video app will also be rebranded with the new and exciting name “Movies & TV”. (tumbleweed rolls past)
Here is what Microsoft had to say about the new Movies and TV app:
- Enjoying Videos in Windows 10: You will find the Movies & TV app in Windows 10 better than ever for playing all your personal videos, as well as all the movies and TV shows you love. Import your personal video collection, and play back your content in a fast and elegantly designed app that is optimized for both mouse/keyboard as well as touch. Drag and drop videos between your collections, use right clicks and hot keys for contextual menus, or go full-screen with easy to use playback controls. We’ve also added additional file format support like .MKV too.
- The Windows Store: Movies & TV has direct integration with the Windows Store, where you can buy or rent from all the latest movies and TV shows in HD, as well as thousands of other favorites. Weekly new releases, access to TV shows a day after air, deals and discounts, and personalized recommendations just for you. And on Windows 10 devices, Xbox and the web, the Movies & TV app lets you start watching purchased or rented content on one device, and pick up where you left off on another device.
So with the name changes is Microsoft U-turning on their decision and refocusing the Xbox name back to its gaming origins? Both Groove and Movies & TV apps will officially go live for Windows 10’s on its launch, July 29. The apps will then continue to roll out to other devices in the following months.