As a Zune owner, I got an email late last week telling me that the Zune store was going to be down for 48 hours, starting today. Not a problem for me, given that I don’t use it, but a bit of a pain for American Zuners, I would have thought. It would be like the iTunes Store going down for two days.
Remarkably, it seems that Xbox Live is going to be down for 48 hours, too. That’s a long long time to take down your two biggest entertainment products, so Microsoft must have something pretty special planned. I’m sure it’s not entirely co-incidental that it’s just before the Christmas shopping season, too.
The match-up has led a few voices on the internet to suggest that this could be a merging of the two products. Both are doing reasonably well in their markets, if not number one, and they have plenty of crossover in terms of Microsoft points being used for micropayments, gamer cards/zune cards, and being social networks.
We’ll see if this bears out, and it could be something entirely innocuous, like a serious database error in both databases that requires 48 hours to fix. We’ll keep you informed if we hear anything more.