The more things change, the more they stay the same, as the old saying goes. The cliché looks to be in full effect in Windows 8. No, Microsoft hasn't suddenly and miraculously decided to drop the contentious-to-some Metro UI for its upcoming operating system, but it will be killing two other branding efforts. Windows Live and Zune are all rumored to be going the way of the Dodo, dropped in favor of Apple-esque simplified program names.
, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Calendar, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Contacts will be replaced by the creatively named Mail, Calendar, Photo and People apps, respectively. Dumbed down for the masses? Sure, but we always thought the "Windows Live" branding seemed a bit superfluous anyways. Windows Live IDs will be shoved off the proverbial cliff as well and replaced with "Microsoft Accounts," a term that grandmothers and other casual users are sure to confuse with standard Windows user accounts.
Zune Music Player and Zune Video Player will be replaced by -- you guessed it -- straightforward Music and Video apps. Zune Pass will stick around, at least for now; reports say Microsoft wants to kill off Zune and Windows Live completely by the end of the year.
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is barreling towards its
February 29th launch at the Mobile World Congress
, so you'll be able to see the changes for yourself very, very soon.