Zune Pass/Zune Music Features Changes on August 31st Announced; US$300,000 is the Prize Money Offered for Imagine Cup 2013; Eight Atari Classics on IE9/IE 10

Microsoft in a letter sent to Zune Pass users announced that some features are now being disabled, in preparation for the move over Zune Pass/Zune Music to Xbox Music, later this year.The changes rolling out on August 31st, bringing in some significant changes with following features going off as per Microsoft's e-mail:Zune Social is all […]

Microsoft in a letter sent to Zune Pass users announced that some features are now being disabled, in preparation for the move over Zune Pass/Zune Music to Xbox Music, later this year.

The changes rolling out on August 31st, bringing in some significant changes with following features going off as per Microsoft's e-mail:

  • Zune Social is all getting killed. Sending and receiving messages, inviting friends, sharing the songs, playlists, and albums you are listening to, and viewing past play history
  • Mixview playback and channel playlists
  • Apps for Zune HD
  • Purchasing music videos or streaming them as a part of Zune Music Pass from the Zune PC software
  • Re-downloading, re-activating, or re-licensing previously purchased music videos if / when you upgrade your PC

While features such as locked in your $10 or $15 a month subscriptions (the latter for old school users), will remain unchanged.

Here is Microsoft's letter:

Zune Pass and Zune Music Changes amid Xbox Music Launch

Also, Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013, is now open for registration to students ages 16 and older.

The redesigned 2013 Imagine Cup now introducing three new core competitions -- "World Citizenship, Games and Innovation -- and the prize money to US$300,000."

More than 1.65 million students across the globe have participated in Imagine Cup during the past decade, the 2013 competition builds on the core elements:

  • "World Citizenship. Honors the software application developed on Microsoft platforms with the greatest potential to make a positive impact on humanity. For example, a project might address education-, social- or healthcare-related problems.
  • Games. Honors the most engaging and entertaining games targeting teens and youth, built on Microsoft platforms (Windows 8, Windows Phone, Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit, and Xbox Indie Games).
  • Innovation. Honors apps that give consumers inspiration and innovation at their fingertips, whether it be a new spin on social networks, online shopping or search, built with Microsoft tools and technology," Microsoft posted.

In addition to the competitions, students can register to compete in online Challenges focused on specific technologies and platforms, including Windows 8, Windows Azure and Windows Phone.

Stating today, eight Atari classics are now available on Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10, with more scheduled for release in the next few months. Today, release include: Centipede; Asteroids; Combat; Lunar Lander; Missile Command; Pong; Super Breakout; Yars Revenge.'

"Millennials can discover the joys of old-school gaming firsthand, while using the touch-first browsing capabilities that are part of Internet Explorer 10. Whether using a Windows 8 touch device or mouse and keyboard, Atari Arcade could redefine the casual gaming experience."

And with the available SDK, "developers can use the Atari Arcade platform to create modern-day classics all their own," Microsoft stated.

Eight Atari Classic on IE9 and IE10

Update 08/31: Following two videos added:

"It was summer of 1972 when Atari released its first arcade game - Pong. It was revolutionary entertainment, launching Atari to quickly become the definitive gaming platform of its era, selling 30 million Atari 2600 consoles. Most modern, successful video game franchises are still inspired by Atari's original creative concepts."