If Microsoft doesn't embrace 'Movies Anywhere' its Movies & TV service is dead

Microsoft is cutting back in areas where it doesn't stand a chance, but doubling down in areas where it thinks its ahead of the curve. Unfortunately, consumers who used its Groove Music service are caught in the former group being forced to join the ranks of Spotify. That move is understandable, but as I wrote later, customers may also be skeptical of buying movies through Microsoft.

I recently opined that Microsoft's push into 4K for the Xbox One X doesn't seem to match its 4K digital content. Some of that has been addressed, thankfully. There is now a "Movies in 4K UHD" subsection that makes finding content much easier. But now there's a new boat that Microsoft is missing, and it's called Movies Anywhere.

Disney's new digital locker

A few weeks back, we reported that Disney was pulling support for Microsoft's Movies & TV. The service was a way to purchase content on various platforms, e.g., Amazon, Apple iTunes, and Microsoft Movies & TV, but have them all under one "locker" called Disney Movies Anywhere. The service is top-rated amongst families who collect digital titles.

In hindsight, the move makes sense. Disney is ending Disney Movies Anywhere and replacing it with…Movies Anywhere. The move sounds confusing, but it is better. The company has teamed up with others including The Walt Disney Studios (including all Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm properties), Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Movies Anywhere is missing one big digital movie distribution service...

Movies Anywhere is missing one big digital movie distribution service...

Additionally, Google, Amazon, Apple, and VUDU as distribution and point-of-purchase entities are also a part of the consortium.

The service is 100 percent free, and by linking your existing Google Play, VUDU or Amazon accounts to it Movies Anywhere "matches" your digital content into it. In fact, Movies Anywhere gives you up to five free movies just for linking to it as an incentive.

Microsoft is not making it easy to get on the UHD movie bandwagon

The locker service lets families have all its digital content under one system – Movies Anywhere – yet lets consumers buy it from multiple content providers and studios. Sure, there is still digital-rights management (DRM) concerns and limits, but the move is considered a giant step in the right direction for consumers who want the convenience of digital without the lock-in from a provider.

Missing from that above list is Microsoft. The company is not part of this initial wave of onboard distributors, nor is there an app for Xbox (users can use the Xbox VUDU or Amazon app, however, which does mirror your Movies Anywhere library).

This omission is a bad move. In fact, it's so egregious to consumers that it makes recommending Microsoft Movies & TV – at least for purchases (not rentals) – near impossible.

People want free flow of content

The selling point for Movies Anywhere is obvious. Consumers want to buy content where it's cheapest, e.g., a sale on VUDU – but wish it "exists" everywhere even if VUDU goes under as a service.

That big question of what happens to your content if Microsoft were to suddenly end Movies & TV is a serious one facing consumers. The recent ending of Groove does not set a good precedent.

I was told by people at Microsoft that the costs of maintaining its digital movie rental service are very different from a à la carte digital music streaming service – so there are no plans to shutter Movies & TV. That may be true, but the erosion of consumer confidence is real. Many users on Twitter have flat out told me they wouldn't buy movies from Microsoft for two reasons:

  1. They don't trust Microsoft and think Movies & TV could be canceled.
  2. There is no support for Movies Anywhere.

Indeed, the question of why you would purchase through Microsoft Movies & TV is marginal. There are some distinctions, e.g., its 4K UHD movies with HDR are in HDR10 – needed for the Xbox One S and One X – whereas VUDU and other services either do not have HDR content, or it is in the competing Dolby Vision, e.g., VUDU and Apple iTunes.

There's now a 4K UHD film section in the Windows Store, which is the right move.

There's now a 4K UHD film section in the Windows Store, which is the right move.

Moreover, as I've noted before VUDU and Apple often offer the same 4K content but at significantly lower prices. I was excited to see Wonder Woman (2017) 4K UHD on sale from Microsoft for $19.99 from its regular $29.99 price tag. Too bad people quickly informed me VUDU and Apple had it for just $9.99.

That's not even close. Add in VUDU and Apple's support for Movies Anywhere, and only HDR remains as a reason to go through Microsoft – a dubious reason for an extra ten dollars.

I'm sure there are some significant licensing costs and legal loopholes for Microsoft to join Movies Anywhere – nothing is free, after all. Nonetheless, Microsoft needs to either be serious about Movies & TV (and make it the first and only choice for those with an Xbox One S and One X) – or they should close it up, and move everyone's digital purchases to a competing platform. The road they're going down now is a dead end for consumers even if they have the best hardware value on the market.

This move is a classic Microsoft fumble. They have all the pieces but seem unwilling to go the extra mile. I believe they can still turn this around, but time is waning much like consumer patience.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Honestly think Movies and TV as a service is dead. Sure MS could throw its weight behind it, but as it has never even been mentioned in its financial statements, which means it doesn't make any serious money, so why would MS? Strike a deal with Apple or Amazon for people to transfer their libraries. This service is going the Groove-way. End of.
  • You think Movies and TV as a service is dead? What do you think is replacing it?
  • Nothing. They will likely just exit like with Groove.
  • The solution is to buy Roku and let it be the media front of Microsoft and continue on as a semi-seperate company selling Roku set top boxes & TV's and such but with the ability to stream from Xbox consoles and Mixer. Roku is also part of Movies Anywhere whereas MS are not. For Xbox the media section is removed and instead a software Roku portal is built in giving access to the same core features of Roku. Failing that they need to do what Daniel is saying and get on-board with Movies Anywhere, even if people don't buy their content from MS because it costs more it is still a value add, even Sony Playstation has a media store front and it is worse than Xbox when it comes to content outside USA, MS actually had the advantage somewhat bizzarely with more TV/movies available globaly. But the Xbox One X was a huge missed oppertunuity when it comes to media, Apple got everyone fired up with the AppleTV4K but all MS had were games and a very mixed quality approach to media.  No Dolby Vision for games or movies, not even an optional purchase. No partnership with TV makers to include Xbox preset or "Dolby Vision Game Mode", many TV's require extensive tweaking to get good image quality from game consoles and it is no longer a plug and play scenario. UHD digital titles outside of USA are often not available to buy. Dolby Atmos and AV reciever compatability issues being reported on av forums with the One X Stock media player cannot play HDR videos or even downloaded Youtube 4K videos Some of these are going to be resolved but the bigs ones should have been Dolby Vision, Xbox Presets in TV's & Movies Anywhere, the best output for games and movies.
  • Does Roku sell content?  I don't think so.  Could be wrong, but Movies Anywhere has 4 "retailers" that I know of... Amazon, Apple, Google, and Vudu.  I wasn't aware of other at this point.  Roku likely just have the Movies Anywher app, that XBOX and Windows is lacking.
  • You are correct sir. Probably not for Xbox, but fortunately for Windows 10 users, even those of us with Windows on our phones, the Vudu website and its video player work well in Edge. I have their "My Movies" tab pinned to the start screen on my phone.
  • With all the media studios trying to start their own services, again, it's best to step back and let others fight over the scraps.
  • I think Microsoft is making money on it and it will stay until it does not.  Unfortunately it will only continue until it dwindles down to nothing due to Microsofts lack of backing anything consumer.  They never got me on Groove simply because they never competed on price (no family plan) and then I would have only considered doing it.  I don't like buying movies since most of them I don't care if I ever watch them a second time.  That is why I get DVDs from Netflix which is much cheaper.  Now with music, I listen to that over and over again, so why rent it with a subscription, just buy the handful of CDs each year and save a lot of money without eating up data plan to stream them.
  • Same here. I buy the tracks I like. Costs me about $30-a year instead of $100. A lot of these services are wasteful of money. Providing value is not the priority, extracting maximum dollars from consumers is. 
  • Dear God, thank your for saying this. I was wondering if they already decided to kill it and this is why we haven't seen it.
  • I have quite an extensive collection in Movies & TV.  I will not be purchasing any further content through the M&TV service until full integration w/ Movies Anywhere has been completed.
  • I personally don't care about Movies Anywhere; but now that they've effectively killed Windows Mobile and I've switched to Android I will hesitate to buy anymore titles until there's a Movies & TV client on both iOS and Android.
  • There won't be a Movies & TV client on iOS and Android, which is why you should care about Movies Anywhere.  It'll do it for you.  But anywhere, watching under a single banner.  
  • Or just buy from a platform agnostic service like Amazon. Apps on all major platforms and the company ain’t going anywhere. It’s where I do all my digital purchasing.
  • As far as I know, there is no Amazon Video app for Windows. I'd call that a major platform, wouldn't you?
  • That's a good idea now, but that doesn't help people with collections on M&TV. Amazon's video app wasn't/isn't even available on a few platforms until recently: Windows, Play Store, Apple TV, Chromecast.
  • You should really try this service, they gave me 5 free movies for connecting my Google Play and iTunes accounts. More importantly, my massive movie collection from Google Play is now available everywhere for me.
  • Never heard about Movies Anywhere before tbh
  • It's very new and U.S. only for now. Only announced a few weeks ago.
  • It is only a few weeks old, and Microsoft's name being missing means customers are being alienated over a service they don't know about from a company that has a long history of supporting Microsoft's competition and decided to create their own wall garden to block out competition?
  • Except that Movies Naywhere is hardly a walled grarden blocking out competition, in fact it seems to be just the opposite.
  • And restricted to specific movie studios: Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment.  Paramount is not part of it, and neither are any independent studios.
  • Anybody who uses Disney Movies Anywhere heard of it, didn't have a choice.
  • its basically ultraviolet 2.0
  • MS not supporting customers - Why does this news not surprise me at all?
  • "I was told the costs of maintaining its digital movie rental service is very different from a à la carte digital music streaming service" This is a huge setback in the entertainment industry that isn't transparent to consumers. But that's a whole 'nother argument. I can understand, shutting down Microsoft's investment into streaming, but I totally disagree with their decision that they could not still sell music digitally to keep their store relevant. In addition, the shutdown is a poor choice where I would have been more confident in their services if they would have partnered with an existing serving to integrate into Groove, even if they announced the transition would take months. I doubt they would ever acquire Spotify, but cutting out that offering feels like it makes competitors more appealing in their ecosystems. I think you're right though Dan, they have gutted a lot of things without positioning consumer ready transitions. To me this is a troublesome sign because I'm not sure I want to stay within their services after using the last couple of years transitioning and taking advantage. Movies Anywhere should not be hard, you show a license purchase for a specified account and negotiate the number of devices that it can be utilized on. For sharing on multi-account equipment like an Xbox, they'll probably need to bake in some costs and they really should buckle down and figure out a family plan to make this easier on themselves.
  • "but I totally disagree with their decision that they could not still sell music digitally to keep their store relevant."
    I agree 100 percent.
  • Also 100% agree.
    Lets just be honest here: MS is pulling out from just about everything consumer. The things they aren't pulling out of, they're ignoring to the point of irrelevance.
    I was a devoted MS guy for years and year, but this last year I have totally switched gears. Too many options out there to consider a company that keeps pulling away from me. Its like chasing down that one woman who kicks me in the balls every time we speak, despite having many other amazing options telling me they want me.
  • With the likely arrival of W10 iTunes app, I think Microsoft will be winding up M&TV.
  • That'd still leave a big hole on the Xbox though.
  • It depends I do wonder if iTunes will appear on the Xbox when it comes to Windows 10. What I don't like is they added groove support to games like horizon 3 not so long ago and then dropped the product peed me right off been using groove pass since the zune days and had to move to Google music because of Spotify limits of 10 thousand songs.
  • I don't know how this will work (not that it can't). I just don't see itunes integrating into Microsoft products in this manner, which is why I think they pushed towards Spotify since it's 3rd party. I think they are okay to have the iTunes uwp app since it will help their cloud and lite versions of Windows 10 but beyond it being an option on PC, I don't see it helping any other strategy.
  • That depends on if Apple is releasing a UWP or Centennial app.  If it were a Centennial app, it really wouldn't be taking this long.  It's possible Apple is porting their iOS app to UWP.
  • Oh, I really hope that's the case.
  • I trust Microsoft to keep M&TV going far more than I trust Apple to make a decent app for anything for Windows, and I have doubts about the former.
  • I would probably consider buying movies from Microsoft if they supported Movies Anywhere. For years I've stubbornly refused to buy from them without UltraViolet support. Even if I'm not really worried about it going completely under, I still want the freedom to watch it on a phone with W10M gone under, or watch it on a Roku, or a Mac, or whatever hypothetical future device we might have. I don't want to pay the same price as a disc to get a lower quality and no guarantee I can actually keep accessing it. MA also has to come to countries other than the U.S. I hope they are working on this.
  • Just speculation of course, but I think that Microsoft has already decided to shutter Movies & TV but that the deal to transition to the "other" service just hasn't been completed yet. Disney, being on their own time-line wasn't about to wait to announce their Movies Anywhere plan. They must already know that M&TV doesn't have a future which is why its been left out. I'd bet Microsoft will have a deal with one of the four launch members announced relatively soon. Amazon seems to be the most logical fit (lately) but Vudu could be a possibility too.
    Luckily for me, I don't have anything purchased from M&TV or any provider for that matter. I have always been too suspicious to bank on any single digital provider (for movies). Now, with Movies anywhere, I may reconsider...just need Microsoft to choose a successor already.
  • I really would rather Microsoft and Amazon came to some sort of arrangement being that they're both based in WA...
  • If that happens, I think it will be Vudu. They've always been Windows/Microsoft-friendly.
  • I wonder if it's MS dragging their heels about being let in, or if Movies Anywhere doesn't want MS in as they see them as a dying service? If MS could snag Movies Anywhere support, I'd certainly consider buying movies through Microsoft, which is something I never would have considered before, assuming that they'd eventually go under. With Movies Anywhere support, my movies are safe elsewhere if the MS ship sinks.
  • This is the only reason that I haven't ben all in on connecting Xbox to my various TV's through the house. If they want the Xbox to be your entertainment hub and not just your gaming device this is a set back. I would love to do away with apple tv, chromcast or the fire tv in the house to go with only Xbox. They are priced at just the right level that this is possible. Until they show me they really support their videos with movies anywhere then forget it. I will stick wit the Apple TV. Although my 2nd and 3rd gen ATVs are beginning to show their age. Id rather give MS my $200 for Xbox then new ATVs. 
  • For Mirosoft to embrace Movies Anywhere, they would have to actually have a clue about marketing products to mass-market consumers.  They have never shown such a clue in the past.  Why should this be different?
  • I almost never buy digital content because of this very issue. Movies Anywhere helps address that concern very well. I too have ceased purchasing from MS until my confidence in them can be restored. Integration with Movies Anywhere is the ONLY thing that can do that. 
  • I use Movies and TV for rentals so I wonder if thats the majority of what they see themselves, if so then with a low upkeep cost that could continue. I agree in not buying from them anymore though, I mainly did during windows phone heyday as it was the best way to watch on the move but a) thats gone b) I realised I don’t watch many movies on the move anyway.  I’ll buy movies I really want now on UHD, the rest I rent. I really hope they come to an arrangement to migrate UV movies to Movies Anywhere though, I’ve got a lot of them through legitimate Blu-Ray purchases and whilst I’ve never really watched one that way if it were in Movies Anywhere and gave an upgrade option to them to 4k (even nominal fee) then that would be cool
  • I'm not 100% sure but doesn't UV integrate with VUDU. link your VUDU and UV accounts then they should show up in VUDU. Then link your movies anywhere to VUDU and then they sync with VUDU. EDIT: I just answered my own question. Yes, link UV to VUDU, then they should get to Movies Anywhere when you link VUDU to MA. Of course they won't end up in MA if they are certain studios. Paramount and Lions Gate are two.
  • Ah cool, thanks for that! Point is moot for me as neither VUDU or Movies Anywhere are available in the UK yet but it gives me hope that when Movies Anywhere is expanded there may be a way to link movies across even if the studios don’t do the right thing (probably not of course..). Cheers, Alex
  • I am not sure if MS is purposely giving up on nearly every aspect of consumer products (except Xbox) or if they are not capable of giving them the attention they require to be profitable and successful.  In the end, they nearly all end up the same...dead. 
  • I believe they are... this is the mantra of Nadella since he came onboard. And don't remove Xbox from this path that Nadella has put Microsoft on either. Just a couple days into X's release discussion was going around on streaming games (bad idea) and expanding MS first party games to other platoforms. This was quickly discounted (pretty much like Microsoft exclusive apps Office, Xbox, etc was talked about going to the other platforms iOS/Android), however it same confusing wording, which has already been picked up on by others is the same wording as there was when the Windows Phone first party apps were starting to get talked about going to competitors. Never say never... especially when Nadella is all about software, not about consumer hardware.  I'm a big Xbox fan but I was also a big Windows Phone fan too and the 'talk' was eerily the same back a couple years ago for WinPhones as it is now with Xbox.
  • Fortunately, I only have a handful of non-Disney movies in my Movies and TV library...but they are there. I'd like for Microsoft to team up with Movies Anywhere. It makes the most sense...which may explain why it hasn't happened yet.
  • Movies Anywhere is more than Disney. It's Warner Bros, Universal, Sony, Disney (Pixar, LucasFilm, Marvel) and Fox.
  • if Movies and tv does not join they will not last. If Movies and tv is gone Microsoft point become less improtant to me, there goes many Bing point followers. Microsoft needs to remember that many compaines have services that do nothing on there own, they only support sales of other departments. Microsoft Movies and tv, Groove should be those kinds of services. I can see how you could replaces Groove with spotifiy, just have it be a Groove account that addeds one drive support but powered by spotify. Microsoft needs a Consumer focused Boad Member. 
  • I'm sorry but I don't buy the "digital movie rental service are very different from a à la carte digital music streaming service" argument. If Microsoft was unable to make Groove profitable with 500+ million Windows users, chances are they won't make Movies & TV profitable. It really looks like they are also going to exit this market. We have to face it. The Microsoft consumer offering is getting weaker than ever, with gigantic holes in their ecosystem offering. And nothing indicates that there's some sort of will to reverse course. Their energy is now in the cloud. And unfortunately, it seems a lot of people at Microsoft underestimate the collateral damages they will suffer from abandoning the consumer products. 
  • There have already been models that allowed companies to lease video content, think blockbuster. There was never a "rent music" model, we went straight from buy to stream this the music model for licensing is fairly immature and controlled. So I can see from a licensing perspective to maintain a huge catalog, you have to get most of your money back from the popular artists and then you get by on the obscure ones people say you should have. Problem here is the popular ones are generating revenue for the other players so there is not much for Microsoft to recoup in streaming. With a movie its pretty understood people rent a movie, watch and movie on, the files are much bigger so it's more effort for someone to pirate gbs worth of movies to watch once. But you can download the same song 100s of times a day effortlessly, hard to rent when it's so available and easily transferred. Streaming music is a loss model without major support and strategic partnerships. Groove pretty much missed all of that while they were working on features. They lacked a retention feature in their content outside of the technology.
  • We'll myself and my friends all use Microsoft Movies and TV. The big thing for us IS price. For example on disc a film on Bluray releases for £15. On the same day at release or sometimes before the disc here in the UK Microsoft has it for £13.  simply put i use the Xbox for everything. I don't have Sky or Virgin. got rid of them 18 months ago. Now we use the Xbox for Netflix, Amazon, Now TV and rent and bought films on Microsoft TV. I simply would never buy through any other digital store because I could not play them on my Xbox.  plain and simple. I have 189 bought movies on Microsoft And TV. And most of those on sale for £5. And every single one of them is 1080p or higher.  They even allow refunds on accidental bought digital content and have by far the best streaming bitrate of all the providers. Yes even Netflix which is a close 2nd.  I've never heard of this consortium. And would never buy from or use it. I'm happy with the great discount I get, and the absolutely quality picture i get through Xbox.  i have 1 box that does everything. And saves me a ton of money nit having to pay for cable each month. 
  • But if Micrsoft shuttered Movies and TV you might end up with nothing without a link to a service like Movies Anywhere. Their recent suprise shutdown of Groove (and Band/Mobile etc.) shows that they don't have a consumer focus these days.
  • The point of Movies Anywhere is you can buy your movies from any digital service Google, iTunes, Amazon, Vudu and and then play it anywhere. You by it on iTunes it will show up on your Amazon account and vice versa. If Movies and TV was part of Movies Anywhere you wouldn't have to buy from the store. You could buy from and of the digital stores and have it on your XBOX. Which you still can do with Amazon and Vudu. You seem to clearly misunderstand what the service is and does. And if Microsoft does shutter the service it wouldn't matter how much you spent in the store as your films would be available everywhere.
  • Blu Ray FTW
  • Movies Anywhere is awesome. Have it installed on my Fire TV Stick, and it's great being able to watch movies from different sources in one app on my TV. It already has such wide support, it's a no brainer for MS if they want to stay (or become) relevant in this industry. I believe MA is only going to become more and more popular, as they're already getting a lot of positive press (which is how I discovered it).
  • We always bought our music via Zune/Xbox Music/Groove.  We never bought videos/movies from Movies & TV.  Microsoft continues to give us reasons NOT to stick with them.
  • Maybe the first post of yours i agree with. They're continuing to kick us in our proverbial sack.
  • I just switched to Google Play for music and movies. So Google Play Family Plan is $15 a month. $5 more a month than a personal and 6 peoplle including you have Unlimited Music, YouTube Red, and everyone gets access to the movies and tv shows you buy. Just with MS would join Movies Anywhere so I can get all 50plus movies somewhere other than just my PC.
  • Completely agree. I have over three hundred movies on Vudu... and Microsoft/Xbox needs both Movies Anywhere and perhaps Ultraviolet too before I purchase movies through them. Outside of games, there's no trust in their entertainment purchases especially since their Groove collapse. Who is making these decisions? There needs to be a TV Anywhere as well, but that's another discussion.
  • All of my digital movie content was either Disney Movies Anywhere or Ultraviolet, both of which synchronize with my Vudu account. I also have a FandangoNow account but it only synchronizes UV. I took the small number of Blu-Rays I owned that didn't come with a redemption code and used Vudu's Disc-to-Digital service to "upgrade" them to UV-enabled digital for $2 each. As stated in the article, now Disney Movies Anywhere has been replaced by Movies Anywhere and now includes most of the Ultraviolet content with the glaring exception of Paramount and a couple of small studios (they need to get those included pronto). And Movies Anywhere also synchronizes with Google and Amazon where it was previously just iTunes and Vudu. So Vudu seems to be the one that does it all, the Vudu website and its video player work well on my Lumia 950XL too.  I absolutely refuse to buy any digital movies from a source which does not support either Movies Anywhere or Ultraviolet. Both would be preferable. Microsoft's best move here would be to get on board with both services, so that like Vudu their native Windows and Xbox apps could have all of the user's digital content available.
  • Microsoft has a movie and TV streaming service?
  • Yes, while it lasts. All of my Disney movies prior to the switchover from Disney Movies Anywhere to Movies Anywhere are still in Microsoft Movies and TV.
  • It's not streaming, if you rent, it streams but them that is only for a limited time, idk what these other ppl are talking about 👀
  • The fact that Amazon didn't support Ultraviolet is precisely the reason I went to VUDU instead. Haven't bought a movie from Amazon Instant Video since, I avoid iTunes for the same reason. If they don't want customers they can keep it up... But oddly that has been Microsoft's strategy in the consumer market lately. It is a real head scratcher. Even their largest consumer product that is doing well Xbox has had major missteps. At least recently they acknowledged that the lack of true exclusives was a problem. Groove, Windows 10 Mobile, Band, even their store front have all been just terribly mismanaged by Microsoft almost to the point that they act like they don't even want consumer money. It is baffling. 
  • It seems that Microsoft's long term business plan is to become obscure and only enterprise-focused, the same path IBM took.
  • The real sad part is I feel most of these products were pretty good or on their way to be really good. I enjoyed Groove, love my Lumia 950 (but am going to have to go Android now), I got a Band 2 and loved it other than the band falling apart... It seems like they squander so many good ideas.
  • "Good" doesn't cut it these days. It isn't 2001, there is a ton of competition now. Your product needs to be great right if you want to have any chance at success.
  • Yea and it needs to be great as from the launchday, it needs to be simple, logical and hip. Nothing Microsoft can achieve under Nutella.
  • The problem is The CEO of Microsoft and his myopic vision. Groove was phenomenal period. Full stop. But Articles Like this one painting a bleak image of the future 🔮 cause consumers to reel back. The Chicken little sky is falling articles serve no purpose. Windows phone is dead yes that's why my son wife and I all have one. Microsoft kills off things because people are inundated with bull 🐂 take Xbox one gestures was great. The ability to watch TV on the home screen was great the idea that it could be the center of the home was great ( it is in my home ) but there are so many haters out there saying this sucks that sucks not one day has gone by that people don't say to me hey that's a beautiful phone or what phone is that instead of having all the Microsoft die hard speaking up and out saying don't take this away. So tired of these Told ya so articles
  • I don't see this as a "Told ya so" article.  It's speaking the truth that Microsoft Movies and Videos is not part of the Movies Anywhere group, and it's unfortunate.  I had already stopped purchasing items from the Movies and Videos storefront before this article.  The shuttering of Groove Pass was the last straw.  I simply don't trust Microsoft to put any more money into their products.
  • I agree.  To me, it often seems that Microsoft collectively has no concept of memory or reputation.  Like they make decisions based on a short-term profit/loss calculation in isolation without regards to how it may effect the broader ecosystem or future customer acceptance.
  • I'd agree with you if it were even partly true.. but the MS fans were the ones championing MS products... Band, Win10M, Groove, etc...
    MS did very little to make or keep those products relevant, and ended up hurting its own supporters.
    This isn't on the consumer or the journalists... this is 100% Microsofts failure to support good products or their fans.
  • "This isn't on the consumer or the journalists... this is 100% Microsofts failure to support good products or their fans."   The sad part of it all is that they actually had good products.  Win10M, Band and especially Groove was on it's way to being really good products.
  • Burned too many times by the Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Team!  No way am I going to get onboard buying media content from the MSFT!  There are too many exit options for them not to take one and leave you hanging.  And the question of "What about media on XBOX?", given how dysfunctional the MSFT acts I wouldn't be surprised if there was no capability to purchase media on it. The XBONE only has non-game capabilities with a "bolted-on" feel too them.  The Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Team has stiffed the consumer at just about every opportunity that they could have.  I'm surprised that they didn't go in on "Movies Anywhere" and then immediately shut down Movies & TV.  That is something that is so crazy but you just know that they would do it.  Why?  Because they are THE Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Team!
  • LOL I love your Microsoft description
  • If they're serious they will also come out with a version of Movies & TV for Android and iOS!
  • And when I eventually move to Android, I will make sure NOT to buy anything from that storefront.
  • That wouldn't protect you from them shutting down the service though.
  • For anyone who's aware of Movies Anywhere, I can see folks shopping at one of their stores first before looking at Microsoft's storefront (again, for purchases, not rentals). *sigh*
  • Microsoft is the smartest dumb company in history. It makes sense when you think about it 🤔🤔 lol.
  • If Microsoft was smart they would've made their own Roku type device. - They're not.
  • I had built up a pretty good collection of movies in Movies and TV.  It was easier to purchase a new release on family night for about $20 and comfortably watch a movie in our home theater than spend the $200 to take the whole family.  The fact that we could pull it up again and watch it anytime on my mobile and surface device is a huge plus.  I also had plans to purchase two more XBox One S consoles to set up around the house but that is no longer happening.  I have halted all purchases from Microsoft after the announcement of Groove.  Microsoft products and services in the consumer space is proven to be bad investments.
  • You could have stopped at "Microsoft is alienating customers."
  • Ouch.  I've already resolved to not buying anymore more movies on XBOX Video.  I did this years ago when I had some content just disappear. I had ALREADY PAID FOR IT, but it would disappear and a notice along the lines of "license being negotiated" or something like that.  I had a few dozen movies on XBOX Video.  Once I discovered VUDU, I converted my physical titles to streamable versions and never looked back.  I buy some stuff on Amazon when I can't get it elsewhere (i.e. Star Wars Clone Wars cartoons, etc).  But VUDU is my go-to now with a few hundred titles in my library.  No compelling reason to buy on Microsoft, HDR, 4K, or not.  I'll just wait for Apple TV4K + VUDU + Amazon.  My experience on PS4/ PRO is terrible, but at least apps exist there with 4K support for me.  /endrambling
  • Yup. Agreed...
  • We all know this platform is dead. Like mentioned before. They are still making a deal out there to transfer your movies to another service so they can shut it down. So many Microsoft things are going to die, mark my words.
  • IS IT on Microsoft that they aren't included??? WAS IT Microsoft that definitely said NO to THEM?? Where is the OTHER side of this discussion? Everyone hates on Microsoft and would rather see them disappear, TELL ME that isn't the case... 🙄😒😠
  • It's Microsoft's decision because it's clear they are planning on shutting the service down and having your purchases transfer to Amazon or Vudu
  • By the way, thanks for this article. I was not aware of Movies Anywhere.  I've not connected three of the four available services. It really is outright damned unfortunate XBOX Video won't be added.  I hope they reconsider.  Much like they provided Spotify as an alternative for retired (and muched loved Groove), this would be a good addition even if they don't plan on retiring XBOX Video (and they probably should, its not a core business).
  • They really need to do it! People will likely spend MORE at the store, knowing they can watch their media anywhere =)
  • MS will kill it just like they killed the AWESOME Groove. Management at MS have no idea.
  • Microsoft alienating consumers....hmmm no shock there. It's what they do.
  • guys, if you want to move the response along, review it honestly on the Microsoft Store. I just did. Headed over, one-star reviewed it, said join movies anywhere or no more buys, and that's that. You spoke, in a forum they (hopefully) pay attention to, now it's their response. Lets hope for MS to stay relevant. (although, I'm not hopeful, MS is making missteps all over the place in the consumer space. Even I'm hoping now they somehow cut their Xbox/Entertainment/Consumer brands from their enterprise so it can properly thrive; what are they up to?)
  • The problem with a bad review is that the app is not bad. Otherwise I wouldn't have purchased movies from it.
  • I agree. I actually wish they'd sign up for MA and bring the app to more platforms.
  • Agree. I just posted a review saying they need MA and UV because I don't buy movies otherwise.
  • And this surprises some? Of course Microsoft are not moving this way because they are moving away whole heartedly from consumers. Anything consumer related they either moved away from and dropped, moving away from, talking about different alternatives, suggesting bringing their software and services to other platforms, etc.
  • Couldn't care less. I only buy BR and DVD : have a 3000 + library and counting 
  • I guess all of your mobile devices have Blue Ray players then? Or do you copy the movies and upload them to the cloud? Purchasing a digital copy has always been the best for me, because my movies are always available. Especially now with Movies Everywhere.
  • Nope, I am old School, I play them in my Movie room ("private movie theater") at home with a hughe TV screen, 7+1 surround system  and/or high-end Hifi audio system (in case of music) and BR / DVD / Cd players. I am not intereted whatsoever to watch movies on a smartphone / laptop / AIO / PC screen. As I travel alot for business I am not interested to watch movies on a laptop / MSSP when abroad. I'd rather visit the places I work abroad, talk to people and or read a (paper) book or sometimes go to a local movie theater. I do not spend time storing my digital content in the cloud i'd rather watch a movie  :-) Trust me if you have +/- 3100 DVD / BR and about 5000 CD's you do not want to spend time on copying everyhing in to the cloud, maintaining back-up copies and / or local NAS solutions.
  • But I do record the titles, synopsys of movies / CD's what I purchase via a bar-code reader in the various Collectorz software db's (through the barcode most fields, short summary, track Id's info etc is automatically populated) with a xlsx downloaded list on my 950XL to avoid a "double purchase". That's as far as my "sophistication" with digital content goes  :-)  And yes I have an e-reader but I hate it.
  • AnyDVD, CloneDVD and ImgBurn are your friends!
  • Every Blu-Ray comes with a Digital Redemption Code that you are an idiot if you don't use.
  • I lost access to my purchased DRM'd Outer Space Astronauts content when Zune went bust. LOVED that short lived show on the then Sci-Fi channel.
  • I wasn't in that situation, so I'm curious--did they refund you? Offer a download of non-DRM? Connect your purchases with any other service? Seems they'd have to legally do one of those.
  • Considering Microsoft's anti consumer stance lately and desire to cancel anything consumer oriented I won't be spending any money with them. I've even scaled back using Microsoft at work.
  • To be fair...I rented a movie from Microsoft and noticed that it looked quite a bit better than Vudu. Though Vudu is still my go to for movie purchases - it's strictly by default. Most movies have that digital version code which is easy to pile up movies. The Microsoft movie section may not have the bells and whistles that others do, but there's no denying that they look better through the service.
  • You're not getting it. Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all competitors, and have competing stores that sell digital movies. Apple and Google joined Movies Everywhere, and Microsoft didn't. Apple and Google customers are getting a huge perk, and Microsoft customers are left out in the cold. Again.
  • Sony is pretty stupid too.  Both XBox and PS had a chance to be THE box for your entertainment, but the hard core gamers threw cold water on MS E3 showing and they balked at much of the promises made for entertainment.  Sony probably followed suit.  MS should have kept the entertainment aspect of the XBox but addressed the gamer side better.  I don't think people hated the Idea of entertainment options, they just didn't like the price and the DRM scheme for physical disks.
  • At least Sony Pictures is in fact participating in Movies Anywhere.
  • I agree that Microsoft should fix those 2 problems. But I personally think that Microsoft also needs to fix some Problems they’re having in the Japanese market by getting the Japanese community on fully board with the Xbox brand, making deals with the AAA Japanese Developers and Niche Japanese Developers, and PROVE THAT THEY ARE STILL SUPPORTING THE JAPANESE DEVELOPERS. I love being able to play tons of great games from all around the world. Especially US and Japanese games like Overwatch, GRAND THEFT AUTO, Call Of Duty, Hearthstone, Halo, Sonic the hedgehog, Danganronpa, Final Fantasy, Pokémon, Crazy Taxi, Street Fighter, Persona, and Disgaea.
  • Sony Pictures is already part of it. Only a matter of time. But given the fact that Microsoft's biggest competition in this area are part of it it's stupid they are not
  • Satay. Satay is alienating consumers. At this point I'm pretty sure he's a plant from a competitor.
  • Satya's only focus, to the exclusion of everything else, is the stock price. Unfortunately, by the time the stock price takes a hit because of all the customers they've alienated, He'll have long since bailed with his golden parachute.
  • So, how is that "being a loyal MS customer" working out for you?  Still "hanging on to the bitter end"?
  • Getting bitterer by the day!
  • VUDU just started supporting titles with HDR10 (starting with the Harry Potter Series) as of today (13th). Still have the higher-end DV which is a Xbox problem but they do support both now. As to the main point, I agreed fully. I didn't generally buy from any digital retailer, only disc + redeem, but if I did it had to be UV but MA is the path forward and once the other studios come on board, the only path. MSFT should shut down "purchases" of movies and do rental only if they aren't actively addressing whatever the issue is to get them to be a supporting retailer.
  • Microsoft has been half hearting the consumer space for a while now.  They do the bare minimum to get in, then complain when they don't get any traction.  Movies & TV is no different.  They had a chance to become the go to service but didn't even try.  They could have joined Ultra Violet, offered Competative Pricing, 4K, HDR, 3D, Family Plans, International Availability, with a service on multi platforms before everyone else and it would have succeeded.  NOW they need to offer those just to keep up!  Google, Apple, Amazon are all busy building thier ecosystems, while MS is tearing thiers down.  I just don't understand what they are thinking.
  • You could have stopped your heading after "Microsoft is alienating consumers...."
  • I hope not, but I honestly think Microsoft will once again not do anything until it's way too late and then, all that will be left to do is to cancel the service.
  • Buying digital is just too complex.  I keep my piles of DVD/Bluray and be done with it. If I ever were to buy digital, I sure hope I'd be downloading a DRM-free file to keep at home...
  • I get the physical copy that includes DVD, blu-ray, and digital. 3 versions for the price of 1. 
  • That is the point of Movies Anywhere. Buy from one service iTunes, Google, Amazon so on and so forth. Watch it anywhere.
  • they have a movies and TV service? 
  • Or Microsoft is waiting to see how this pans out. we had Ultraviolet initially, then Fandango tried to be the hub for all digital movie outlets, and now we have Movies Anywhere. Apple waits and they're praised. Microsoft waits and they're chastised. Yes I do realize iTunes movies are on Movies Anywhere.
  • This is a completely different situation
  • As soon as Movies Anywhere was announced, I've told friends and family that they should only purchase movies from one of the participating retailers. I love the Microsoft Movies & TV app; I do hope they decide to get with the program. They've never been completely with the program: when they participated in Disney Movies Anywhere, they did so only as a distributor, not a retailer. A movie purchased on iTunes would show up in MM&TV, but a movie purchased in the Windows Store would not show up in iTunes. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think they're going to do what I'd like most and offer MA. My main hope is that they partner their exit with a company who has a beautiful multi-platform app and is willing to create a great UWP one.
  • Well said Daniel, this is why focusing on the enterprise sector sets an alarming precedent. The key factor of it all that Microsoft is not getting - when they were focused in the enterprise in the past the digital landscape existed of dial up modems, Netscape had a browser and was actively used, freeserve mailed down gazzillions of CDs, people were using floppy disks to save work etc. Now who the hell uses a floppy disk any more? Let alone a CD it's all digital these days and youtubers are 'celebrities'. The entire mindset and landscape has changed, Microsoft cannot afford to lose the last speck of trust and consumer confidence. Everything is insanely rapid and fast moving, gone are the days of daily news cycles and newspaper reading to find the happenings of the world. Developers and Enterprises users are ALSO (heavy, universe to a factor of infinity weight emphasis on also) Consumers. But right now, Microsoft are so focused on short term profits (whilst fueling long term profits of their competition) to see the damage. The only waking moment will happen when Apple and Google start agressively pushing their enterprise solutions because it's the next profitable expansion point. Who wouldn't want to leverage their consumer foothold into another profitable market, after all since users are taking their personal devices to work in droves. It's much more efficient and secure to have direct integration from one company, which is why companies embraced windows phones as it worked seamlessly with their exchange and active directory infrastructure. But if their employees won't be as productive on these devices due to low moral having been forced to use a device on a platform that is deliberately left out of the latest consumer trends. Then these devices will be replaced and that is exactly what happend - there are many high profile examples. Microsoft has all the pieces but as usual they don't want to go that extra mile in the consumer space or for their own platform - *cough* linkedin *cough*.  
  • Daniel, I usually enjoy your writing regading windows, but I think you jumped the gun on this one. I doubt this is something MS would ignore.
  • You haven't been paying attention for very long have you? Dropping the ball, failing to finish or promote anything, and letting the competition steal their ideas and implement them into best-selling consumer products is Microsoft's modus operandi. They have done it more times than I can remember. Why would anyone expect something different this time?
  • Sigh. Yes, I know the history. But articles like this doesn't help. Movies Anywhere is so new, looks like many commenters didn't even know it existed. Anyways, it will happen. They'll probably announce it when the next round of partners are announced.
  • Use the voice:
  • Great idea, thanks! I voted.
  • I feel the same way about purchasing games from MS. I purchased a few for mobile. One was abandoned and removed and I never got to play it. Any pc games they sell I will get on Steam if they are there. Most of the time the price on steam is way cheaper. Microsoft should seriously separate into 2 brands. Microsoft and Xbox. One for enterprise the other for consumers. Windows would be the Os that runs on the xbox brand but it wouldn't be promoted as it would be purely consumer devices/accessories. One version of windows. None of this Pro, home, enterprise, 64-bit, 32bit. Consumers don't care. Give me a device that works and is easy to use.
  • The other reason is that Microsoft has moved out of consumer. Their strategy is now in the enterprise. If Microsoft were serious about movies and TV they would have expected had a streaming device years ago.
  • Microsft doesn't even have a music service or a mobile phone offering, both key parts to a full eco system and full device offering, microsoft just hasn't got that. their rebooting software while removing essential and ket features we all used only to put them back in 12-24 months latyer is not anywhere good enough, and well if you want to sell me movies or musioc you have to sell all the device catagories for me to even begin to be interested and upscale dvd to 4k like say apple does now. STill its microsoft, the company that killed their own mobile phone, a music and movie selling groove that couldn't read 2016s best selling phone the s7 series and well to be quite fronk m icorsft doesn't make software fully featured and in a timely fashion, they haven't done for 4 years at least.
  • the real reson they are aiming at enterprise is cause the consumer no longer whats microsfts products, hell who do you think work in enterprise?
  • Microsoft has a movies and tv service?  Who knew?  I used groove on my windows phone to play local MP3s, I didn’t even realize it was a streaming service.  
  • Microsofts Movies efforts are pathetic. Not only is it quite pricey compared to buying a blu-ray at times, but the last time I checked (which wasn't all that recent, to be fair) I could not even change the language of the content I bought. I want to see some some of the titles in English ... not being able to do that is just ... but in general I have to say that all these digital purchases, being it books, or movies or whatever, don't really appeal to me until the industry got licensing figured out. I recently learned that if I were to move to another country I would have to create a new amazon account and could not take all the ebooks I purchased with me ... also it is rather troublesome to buy books of foreign language as they may not be available ... I can not just "import" them like I could with the physical copy ... which I think is a huge downside.
  • Why buy any digital movies? I buy the 3D disks, get the extras, and upload the digital copies. That way, I have the best of both worlds and can watch movies without the hassle of a bad Internet connection, router going down, whatever.
  • And don't those digital copies get added to Movies Anywhere if they come from one of those supporting movie companies?
  • Not signing. Up for this is a huge mistake. It can single handedly change the media experience. iTunes and Amazon purchases showing up in Microsoft Movies & TV.  Microsoft purchases showing up in iTunes. It sounds like a dream.  This company has lost its marbles.  Definitely not buying an Xbox in the foreseeable future. Hope Sony gets on board with this. They are a bit more consumer oriented than Microsoft - even the Xbox division (Xbox interface looks like an ad-infested tabloid).