Microsoft closing up shop on Games for Windows Live, Zune Marketplaces

Microsoft is doing some major summer cleaning

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Update: Looks like Games for Windows Live may be circling the drain as well come summer 2014.

Rumors yesterday surfaced about a now-deleted support message from Microsoft saying Games for Windows Live will end July 1, 2014 - which contradicts the earlier news where the company stated Live would continue its services despite the Marketplace closure.

The message appeared on the Age of Empires Online support page, one of the primary games that will be affected as its server will also shut down the same day since the game requires features of Live.

We contacted Microsoft for more information and received the following statement from a company spokesperson:

"Yesterday, an Age of Empires support web page communicated that the free to play Age of Empires Online will be discontinued on July 1, 2014. We believe in Windows/PC gaming and have long-term plans to grow our support. We expect there to be transitions as we build out new investments, but we remain committed to bringing first party gaming services and games to Windows for years to come. We will share more details in the future."

The message doesn't actually mention the end of Games for Windows Live, however it's apparent that big changes are coming to Windows PC gaming.

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We already know that Microsoft Points will be gone Aug. 22, but today we're finding out that a few other services will be joining its journey to oblivion.

Say Auf Wiedersehen to the Games for Windows Live Marketplace folks - you won't be able to purchase games from the market come Aug. 22 - though the client software will still be available.

Microsoft provided a support note stating, "Although the purchase functionality will be discontinued, the Games for Windows Live service will continue to operate as usual."

This move comes right after Valve icon Jason Holtman joined the Redmond team, making it seem like Games for Windows Live might get a reboot, but apparently not.

It now looks like the former Valve member has bigger plans laid out for PC and killing the service is the first step in starting fresh.

Play a tiny violin for Zune too

The Zune Marketplace is also marching to the tune of a funeral dirge and will also be phased out on the day of death, or Aug. 22.

Microsoft is shifting its musical focus onto Xbox only, stating, "Zune Marketplace will no longer support rental and purchase. Xbox Music and Xbox Video are now Microsoft's music and video stores."

Customers with a Zune will still be able to stream unlimited music with an Xbox Music Pass, while videos can still be watched through Xbox Video on the Xbox 360 and will be available on the Xbox One, Windows Phone 8 devices and web browsers later this year.