Microsoft is continuing their phased closure of the Zune Marketplace, which has been replaced with Xbox Music and Video. The latest change involves users not being able to purchase music or video through the service starting as early as August 22nd. For that reason, Microsoft is encouraging you to spend any Microsoft Point balances before that date.
The move appears to be a combination of Microsoft wanting to move away from Zune, a necessary decision if they want to support only Xbox Music and Video, and the retirement of the MS Points system, which is being replaced by cash across their entire ecosystem.
Email that Microsoft is sending to Zune Pass holders
The good news is those with an original Zune Pass, which allowed 10-free downloads per month, will still be able to continue to exercise that offer (since no Points or Money are exchanged, that makes sense). In a similar fashion, streaming of free content, including music, won’t be affected either.
Microsoft has published an easy to digest Q&A on the changes and if you have a Zune Pass, it behooves you to take the five minutes to read it through.