Sorry, you cannot watch your favorite TV show on Windows Phone 8 during your commute

Summary:It was so obvious that I assumed there was no question about support, but it turns out you cannot watch video content you rent or purchase from Xbox Video on Windows Phone 8 devices. Did Microsoft release an unfinished product to the public?

Yesterday Mary Jo pointed out some issues with Windows Phone 8 and luckily none of the devices I have been using for a few weeks has suffered any of these. However, I just ran into something this weekend that was confirmed by the folks at WPCentral and that is Windows Phone 8 doesn't support Xbox Video and that's not even a bug. I am not sure if it was just expected by everyone writing about Windows Phone 8 or what, but this issue is just now getting publicly discussed.

I was quite excited about the new Xbox Music service and think it offers the best of all worlds (streaming, offline, radio, storage locker) so I was actually shocked to find that you cannot view Xbox Video content on these new smartphones. I don't watch a ton of movies on my smartphones, but I do rent them on Google Play, Samsung Media Hub, or HTC Watch on my large screen Android devices to view on flights and even during my two hour commute. This weekend I was downloading the latest episode of The Walking Dead to enjoy on my iPad and realized that was all I was using my iPad for so my plan was to buy the next season on my Surface RT. I thought I could then extend that experience to the Lumia 920 or HTC 8X. This assumption is wrong and for some odd reason Microsoft does not support video content on WP8.

I understand there are not a ton of people that will watch a movie or TV show on their phone, but this support WAS present in earlier versions of Windows Phone so there is no reason it should not be expected to be present today. As you can see in the WPCentral article the purchase experience and terms of purchase even show you can watch it later on your Windows Phone. I don't think by later they mean in Windows Phone 9, do they?

It's is funny to now realize that Android is the becoming one of the best smartphone platforms for media content with multiple means to stream or download music (Google Music, Amazon MP3, Samsung Media Hub) and enjoy video content (Google Play, Samsung Media Hub, HTC Watch) on larger high resolution displays. I never watch video on my iPhone because the display is just too small so Android smartphones like the HTC Droid DNA and Samsung Galaxy Note II are my preferred phone video consumption devices. This lack of video support in Windows Phone 8 does cause me to pause and reconsider the platform as a viable alternative for daily usage. Does it bother you that Microsoft doesn't support video rental/purchase content on Windows Phone 8?

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Topics: Mobility, Smartphones, Windows

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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