What’s in a name? Microsoft is very fickle when it comes to naming its Xbox services. Over the years, we have seen many name changes and adjustments to its online arm, including Xbox Live, Xbox Live Silver, Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox Live Gold, Live Anywhere, Xbox Live Marketplace, Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, xCloud, Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming, and now we have Xbox network (no capital ‘n’).
Microsoft has again applied a new name to its online services. Users of the Xbox dashboard beta were the first to notice. When uploading clips, the confirmation message reads “Upload to the Xbox network” instead of “Xbox Live.” Microsoft says the rebranding is to distinguish Xbox Live from Xbox Live Gold memberships.
“‘Xbox network’ refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated in the Microsoft Services Agreement,” a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge. “The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships.”
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) March 21, 2021
As is usual, Microsoft’s intention is to make things simpler, but does it? Microsoft told Eurogamer that nothing, including the names of users’ currently subscribed services, was changing.
“Xbox Live isn’t going away,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. “We are making ongoing adjustments to create a simpler, more descriptive messaging system for Xbox in different areas. None of these experiences or features will change as part of these updates.”
Even though the term “Xbox network” is taking the place of “Xbox Live” in the dashboard and the Microsoft Services Agreement, users still subscribe to Xbox Live. Confused? Don’t worry. Just when you get used to it, Microsoft will change things up again.
Image credit: Tom Whitehead