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Microsoft’s online services will now be called Xbox network instead of Xbox Live

The change is to help differentiate Xbox Live Gold from Xbox’s online services.

xbox live logo
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has been using the term “Xbox Live” to refer to its online services for almost two decades, but that is now changing. The new name? Xbox network.

The name change is hopefully to clarify somethings about Xbox’s services. Essentially, Xbox Live covered everything from Microsoft’s underlying online services to Xbox Live Gold, the subscription service gamers pay for to play games online.

In a statement to The Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson notes, “’Xbox network’ refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated in the Microsoft Services Agreement. The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships.”

The Verge first pointed out these changes back in August 2020 when it noticed changes to Microsoft’s Services Agreement. Since then, people in the Xbox beta program have noticed prompts referring to the “Xbox network” instead of Xbox Live.

Another, more exciting change coming to Xbox’s online plans includes allowing people to play free-to-play games online without the need for an Xbox Live subscription. There’s no word yet on when that change will go live, however.

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