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Microsoft killed its books service — are Movies & TV next?

Surface Laptop on desk
Surface Laptop on desk (Image credit: Windows Central)

It wasn't so long ago that Microsoft killed off a major content category in the Microsoft Store, music, causing many to question whether buying content from the Microsoft Store was a wise investment if Microsoft could pull that content at any time. Yesterday, Microsoft did it again, this time with its books service, which arguably wasn't as popular as the music category, but the move provides more reasons to be unsure about the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft has proven that it will pull digital content categories from its storefront without a moment's notice, so should you be worried about your Movies & TV content from the Microsoft Store? Let's think about this logically. The reasons behind Microsoft pulling music and books from its online store is simple: not enough people were using those categories to warrant the money Microsoft was spending to keep those services alive. This is slightly different than books, but we'll get into that in a minute.

Why Microsoft pulled music and books from its Store

If Microsoft wants to sell music on the Microsoft Store, it needs to buy the licenses to sell it. In addition, Microsoft had a music-streaming service, which again, required Microsoft to pay streaming license fees to music companies. For that music to be available, Microsoft must pay licenses for that music up front. This means that if not enough people are subscribing to Microsoft's music service, or buying music in the Microsoft Store, Microsoft is spending more than it's making.

So, it's very likely that because most people are subscribed to Spotify or Apple Music, not enough people were subscribed to Groove Music or buying music in the Microsoft Store. The death of Windows 10 Mobile played a huge hand in the development, as well. But that doesn't explain what happened to books.

Not enough people were using Microsoft's book store; Movies & TV is a different story.

Microsoft's book store is going away because not enough were using it, just like its music offerings, but this time we're coming at it from a completely different perspective. Unlike music, Microsoft doesn't have to pay licenses in advanced to sell books. The author or publishers host the book on the Microsoft Store, and if someone buys it, the author or publishers get most of the revenue and Microsoft takes a small cut. There's very little upkeep in hosting books in the Microsoft Store.

So, the reason books are going away is more from a technical standpoint. For those unaware, Microsoft's book store was tied heavily to Microsoft Edge, in fact, the book reader on Windows 10 was the Edge browser. But Microsoft Edge is changing and moving over to Chromium, which means Edge is being rebuilt from the ground up as a new browser. Because of this, Microsoft is required to rebuild all of Edge's unique features to be compatible with the new Chromium version of Edge.

As you can imagine, rebuilding features takes a lot of resources. So with the move to Chromium, Microsoft is looking closely at all the features Edge users use today and weighing the ones that are most popular to bring over the Chromium. The features that are less popular are much less likely to be ported over. With that in mind, it's likely that since so few people were buying books from the Microsoft Store and reading them in Edge, it's not worth rebuilding that support into the new Edge browser. Without an app to read books, there's no point selling them in your store.

Will Movies & TV suffer the same fate?

When it comes to Movies & TV, what's stopping Microsoft from pulling this category as well? We can't know for certain, but I'm betting the reason Movies & TV is still around today is largely because of Xbox. Unlike music and books, which are primarily enjoyed on mobile devices, movies and TV are enjoyed more on TVs and tablets. Of course, there are people who watch movies on their phones, but it's likely more people are willing to watch long-form content on a bigger screen.

With that in mind, I'd bet Xbox is the primary reason Movies & TV is still available in the Microsoft Store. Users on Xbox can buy movies and watch them right on the big screen. They can even watch them on their Windows 10 PCs and tablets. Admittedly, this service would make much more sense if it had iOS and Android apps to go with it. But it doesn't.

I can't imagine many people are buying movie and TV content from the Microsoft Store on their PCs, so the bulk of this category must be hanging on Xbox. Of course, Microsoft could pull this category at any time, but it would leave Xbox without a native platform to buy movies. Unlike music, which is usually made available on streaming services around the same time it's released to buy, movies can take months to show up on streaming services like Netflix. Of course, Amazon is another movie and TV marketplace, but it doesn't come with the Xbox by default, the Microsoft Store does.

Xbox might be movies & TV's key to survival.

So, if you're an Xbox user and you want to watch the latest movies, it's likely those new movies will only be available in the Microsoft Store for months before it shows up on Netflix. This is why I have a collection in the Microsoft Store, because many of the movies I want to watch aren't available on streaming services yet. I bet a lot of other people are the same.

I can't say for sure that Microsoft isn't going to pull the Movies & TV content from the Microsoft Store, but I can at least outline reasons for why they might not. I am not defending Microsoft, the company shouldn't venture into content categories it isn't willing to stick with. Even with Microsoft offering refunds, it's just a waste of users' time and trust.

There's also Movies Anywhere, a service that lets you store all your digital movies in the cloud, and access them across different devices and services. If Movies & TV were to ever go away, some of your content would be safe if you have a Movies Anywhere account. (There are some licensing restrictions on what is available on which service.) Unfortunately, Movies Anywhere is U.S. only, so those outside the U.S. would be out of luck. It also doesn't support TV content, only movies.

Microsoft, if you're listening, a public statement reaffirming your commitment to Movies & TV in the Microsoft Store would go a long way right now. Perhaps explain why these other content categories are going away, and why Movies & TV content is safe to buy. Your silence is deafening. And you're going to lose customers, and customer faith, if you don't say something.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • Definitely! Sooner or later. 🙃
  • No if that was the case it doesn't make sense for them to be a part of Movies Anywhere then.
  • I am becoming more and more reluctant to buy MS supported content,,apps, hardware etc. They don't care a f**k about us.
  • Well, I guess the safe thing about Movies & TV is that their service is tied to Movies Anywhere and Google Play Movies, so even if MS shuts theirs down, we should still have access to the same content on the other sites/apps
  • With Movies Anywhere you would still have access to some content, but not all studios participate. For example, Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM are not part of Movies Anywhere.
  • Not only is there not 100% studio support, it only addresses the "Movies" portion of "Movies and TV". TV series are not compatible with Movies Anywhere.
  • Only in America.
  • Which is why I'll always buy physical movies and music (or DRM-free, not tied to a specific service/store).
  • Streaming technology took off too much that there isn't as big of a call for DRM-free video as there was when music went DRM free. People weren't streaming music, but downloading it to various devices. But now you can stream to most devices, so people aren't complaining as much. I don't see DRM-free video occurring anytime soon and that's disappointing.
  • I definitely use the xbox to rent and watch movies from Microsoft! And it is entirely convenient that I use Bing Rewards points to order xbox/Microsoft store credits to pay for those movies most of the time! However, I have never outright purchased a movie. I much prefer to rent new movies that I didn't get a chance to see in the theater. I have read, however, that you can purchase movies from Google Play on an android phone, and watch them on the xbox using the youtube app, since purchased content shows up there. If rentals from google play also work that way, this would be a decent alternative if MS ever cancels this service.
  • Yeah me too. Renting a movie on the platform is the best thing about it.
  • > Microsoft could pull this category at any time, but it would leave Xbox without a native platform to buy movies.
    Did new crop of Xbox platform dispense with Vudu app? I have it installed on my Xbox 360 and it works rather well. And it is as "native" as Spotify is. > If Movies & TV were to ever go away, some of your content would be safe if you have a Movies Anywhere account.
    This is rather bold statement -- your Movies Anywhere relies on someone to provide proof of ownership for the specific piece of media. If Microsoft did the same thing it did with books -- issue credits, your Movies Anywhere access to this media will go away. They might come up agreement with other Movies Anywhere participants, like Vudu to allow ownership transfers, but I honestly do not see the incentive.
    Which brings another point, I have not seen mentioned in the article: if the original payment method is no longer available, money will be credited to your Microsoft account. As far as I know there is no way to take it out or spend on anything other than Microsoft. Hence, if you are thinking: that's OK, I will get my refund and go buy the same piece of media elsewhere, think again.
  • No one called Spotify 'native', but Microsoft *did* endorse Spotify as the replacement for Groove Music and allow porting of content from one to the other, so there is a bit more backend support from Microsoft there. Though, I don't know if anyone needs to defend calling spotify native. As to your second statement, i'm pretty sure even if you disconnect the retailers, all the movies stay in your Movies Anywhere account. Simply that new ones don't get added. I believe they have a restriction on how often a retail account can be linked to a MA account for this reason. So, it's not really a bold statement and is a scenario many people have described online.
  • > i'm pretty sure even if you disconnect the retailers, all the movies stay in your Movies Anywhere account It is possible that this has changed, but I have tested this scenario when UltraViolet landed on the chopping block. Disconnecting the retailer removed access to the content, purchased through said retailer. UltraViolet provided migration path to Vudu, so no content was lost in the end.
  • UltraViolet is completely unrelated to Movies Anywhere. Anything tested with UV isn't indicative of Movies Anywhere (past, present, or future). UV was a competitor to MA and an inferior one at that. The entire way UV worked was different. You didn't have retailers in the same sense as MA and they weren't shared in the same way.
  • > UltraViolet is completely unrelated to Movies Anywhere.
    You are absolutely right stating that there were no retailers in UV -- UV was one of the *retailers* available on the original Disney Movies Anywhere (maiden name of the Movies Anywhere before marriage to the other studios). When it died, it had transferred ownership of your content to Vudu (another retailer). I would really prefer Microsoft transferring my book ownership to Amazon instead of giving me store credit... HTH.
  • It doesn't help because its incorrect. UltraViolet was *never* in partnership with Disney Movies Anywhere. However, both were partnered with Vudu. Therefore, if you connected both to that retailer, you could get movies from UV into MA. However, at no point was UV ever a retailer for MA or a retailer in general. UV was a backend, just like MA. You couldn't buy anything from UV. It was even worse than MA in that you still needed to choose someone to act as a frontend to watch movies. They didn't offer playback at all. Edit: I'm using MA, even though it used to be DMA. But again, even at that time, UltraViolet never linked to DMA or MA. Look at articles at DMA's launch and all of them label them as rivals.
  • > You couldn't buy anything from UV. This true statement. What you *could* buy was a Blu-Ray with the digital codes good for either iTunes or UV (please, notice equality between the two). On the more general note, I suspect that the difference in experiences, you and I have, are due to the difference in the timeframes. I have been using UltraViolet since 2012 with the actual player app being Flixter, connected it to Disney Movies Anywhere in 2014 and migrated my content to Vudu in 2017. If your experience with the said services is more recent than 2017, your statements on relationship between UV, Vudu and DMA are very well justified.
  • It's not a difference in timeframes. I used UV and Flixster too, until Flixster dropped UV support. I used DMA when it first launched. Flixster never connected to DMA or MA. In fact, Flixster dropped support for UV before DMA converted to MA. UltraViolet has *never* in its entire existence been directly partnered with Disney Movies Anywhere (or Movies Anywhere) for that matter. There were plenty of tutorials online showing people how to migrate their UV library to MA, and it was always through one of the shared supported retailers (Vudu being the most popular and the one I had used since Flixster was *never* an option). I'm pretty sure you're just remembering things incorrectly. All of this is easily researched.
  • Kill this services and give us a decent UWP Media Player for Windows 10.
  • Decent or UWP, pick one.
  • I use the VLC UWP app and it's more than decent.
  • If you don't need support for optical drives maybe, I know a lot of machines don't come with optical drives these days, but I still have a Blue-ray writer in my computer.
  • If you are using an optical drive in 2019, your are doing it wrong.
  • This made me laugh
  • Both can exist together, easy.
  • Even Microsoft can't make it happen. Even they have abandoned UWP.
  • Haha! UWP is dead. We need win32.
  • Win32 needs to die lol. That old ancient bloatware is blocking hardware innovation and adoption of new technologies. UWP is the future!
  • MS is moving from the consumer space except for gaming. I'd be curious to see if there is another line of Surface Products. The risk with any consumer service is that the company wont be around forever. I like the concept of MoviesAnywhere and would assume that because MS is a participant your media would be safe if they killed Movies & TV.
  • In 2017 Microsoft said it was working on an app for both Android and iOS that will enable us to watch our Microsoft Store purchased Movies.... we are in 2019 with no mention of the app, that alone tells me the service will be axed someday sooner. Also Movies Anywhere isn't a service we buy from, it relies on another service to know you own a movie, without Microsoft Movies... content on Movies Anywhere will vanish as well so you can't say that's an option we can rely on and be safe. AND remember, Movies Anywhere is US ONLY. Smart move is just simple, STOP BUYING ANYTHING DIGITAL...even some Hardwares (Surface) FROM MICROSOFT!!!
  • Surface? You wish.
  • Movies Anywhere only relies on the other service once. From what I've found online, movies stay in your Movies Anywhere account even after disconnecting a retailer. It's just *that* retail account is limited to how often it can be linked to a MA account. So, its safe from Movies & TV being ended. And it was mentioned in the article that it's US only.
  • > Movies Anywhere only relies on the other service once.
    I had different experience in the past, did you actually try to disconnect the retailer? How recent is your experience?
  • Are you still referring to your experience with UltraViolet as opposed to Movies Anywhere?
  • Sigh... UltraViolet was one of the *retailers* in original Disney Movies Anywhere. Its demise is the good example of what happened when *retailer*, connected to the Movies Anywhere (nee DMA), goes away. So yes, that's what I am talking about. If you have better example, please, share it. Something along the lines of "I have purchased this movie on Microsoft Movies and TV, disconnected Microsoft Movies and TV from MA and it is still available" would be extremely helpful.
  • Just in case anyone misses it above, no, UV was never a retailer for DMA or MA. They both simply linked with Vudu. Therefore, you could transfer UV movies from there into DMA/MA. But at no point was UV ever in partnership with DMA. A simple Google search will reveal this.
  • Agreed. No way I’d purchase digital content of any kind anymore from MIcrosoft. There’s ATLEAST a 50/50 chance they’re going to kill off Movies & TV and eventually probably the entire store. Probably more like 80/20 odds. I’m betting that as soon as xCloud subscription service goes live Nadella will finally announce the end the MS Store itself.
  • Bleached Jr? Really? Lol!!
  • Nadella should just get it over with. Killing off Movies & TV would send a crystal clear message to everyone that his Microsoft is about two and only two demographics... Fortune 500 enterprises and gaming. The only content creators who need publish their wares to the store should ask themselves, “Will a Fortune 500 company or a gamer purchase this product?” If the answer is “no” then don’t bother distributing your product on the MS Store.
  • Honestly, I think gaming is probably on the chopping block, too. At least as we know it. I wouldn't be too surprised to see a streaming gaming service, a la Stadium, come out of Xbox, and furthermore, I wouldn't be surprised even to see app streaming of much more than just games. Why should I install Office at all when I can stream it?
  • I know, right! I rather move everything over to another OS and ecosystem than to continue to entrench myself into MS and Windows only for them to keep pulling the services they market and I use.
  • > I rather move everything over to another OS Well, I could read Microsoft Store-purchased books on the different OS... for as much good as it did me now :(
  • Wait! google and amazon will take on gaming industry. Microsoft doesn't have consumer connection like google and Amazon.RIP
  • "google and amazon will take on gaming industry."
    Yes, but this being a success is very far from guaranteed. Even despite the consumer connection of Amazon and Google. Why? Because they lack the consumer connection Xbox has.
  • YouTube and Twitch aren't consumer services directly related to gaming? Amazon and YouTube are a perfect opportunity for a gaming service. One click to start playing a game you are watching a streamer play? Huge opportunity.
  • Google is to worry about trump being president And the CEO of Amazon is too busy play around rockets. I'm just saying. And no one is buying e-books anymore anyway.
  • Not happening, what you are saying is like saying Coca-Cola has a good consumer connection they'll dominate 8n gaming...
    Gaming PC/home console is a very specific market which Google and Amazon don't know **** about and have zero studios... And we are not even starting on how much money MS makes out of gaming from tools and related products... Azure, visual studio, direct X and much much more... Not even Sony or Nintendo are as deeply involved in VG outside of their own platforms... Even without Xbox MS will still be a major actor in the gaming 8ndustry it always has been
  • Your Coca Cola analogy is way off base. Google’s offering was so well thought out even Phil Spencer tipped his hat. Especially at the YouTube integration. Amazon on the other hand is a joke. Agree there. They will not be enticing content creators anytime soon. But mark my words Google will be a force to be reckoned with in game streaming. I would not be surprised at all if they out right spank Microsoft in this sector. And then Old Nads is down to Azure (hybrid cloud disaster recovery mostly as most real computing will happen on AWS) and of course the legacy of all legacy software... MS Office.
  • Want a better exemple... Steam which vastly superior when it comes to the targeted demographic, they horribly failed... Google will make money out of it... But the current players will be mostly unaffected by it... I don't see myself and the millions of core gamers replacing their current platform of choice with anything will offer in the foreseeable future
  • > Steam which vastly superior when it comes to the targeted demographic, they horribly failed... Streaming my Steam games on NVIDIA GeForce Now, I would respectfully disagree...
  • And MS spanks Google cloud solution especially when it comes down to game computing infrastructure... Heck even AWS is not competing in that specific sector.... Google is years away to have anything globaly competing with MS in cloud/gaming sector... And their data collection/usage policy is starting to make people weary and governments are starting to act against it... Google will face a business model issue in a few years when it comes down to monetization... But that's another subject... That being said it will take time and effort to even tickle the big gaming players and in that time they might loose focus if other issues come up and that sector doesn't show real benefits for the company....
  • Sorry JMV but this fight is right up Google’s alley. They have the cloud infrastructure. They certainly have the mobile infrastructure. They have the store ecosystem full of browsing customers. They have YouTube full of users who will watch the game trailer and then click on the link to stream the game right from YouTube itself. They have literally Billions to invest. But most importantly they have the future on their side. Old guys like you and me, the so called “core gamer” generation, will be replaced by the streaming generation. It stinks getting old. I know. But the next generation is knocking, and they want to play any time, any where, meaning on their Android phones.
  • Android phones. Chromebooks. And what the heck, their Macs and PCs, too, because Stadia will work *everywhere.* Without a phone, MS simply *cannot* compete.
  • Except xCloud will obviously work on phones, too (and we'll have to see about the other devices you mentioned). It's absolutely in the realm of the possible for Stadia to fail, or for both to succeed next to each other. Just because Google has the phone platform doesn't mean they'll succeed at everything they try from now, even if it involves phones.
  • Where I see xCloud faltering is that consumers are idiots. I can see your average Joe assuming that xCloud needs to in some way be tied to an actual console, so accessible anywhere, but you need to own an Xbox system to sign up/utilise it. That's the only way I see it failing while Stadia succeeds. And if Microsoft actually do set it up that you need an Xbox console (though I highly doubt this) then they themselves are the idiots because it'll be a niche advantage for a console that isn't selling anywhere near the numbers of its two competitors.
  • I don't think MS's advances in Xbox Live on non-MS devices is a fluke. To say MS doesn't have a phone is ignoring that they have a huge presence on Android. You don't need a native device to win (which is literally what Google is banking on in regards to Stadia... its meant to work on other devices, not a native device). The thing Google doesn't have is a library. It's linux. How many AAA games do you know coming out on Linux? Microsoft has an enormous advantage with cloud gaming in that they have a library and they have a distribution channel that dwarfs Google's (which is barely non-zero in this market).
  • If Microsoft kills movies and TV this time I'm going to sue for my money back. Microsoft offers rental and purchase and I have purchased the movies. I would accept a transfer to Amazon or Google 1:1.
  • > I'm going to sue for my money back They give you your money back for books, willingly, but... if your original payment method is no longer available, you will get Microsoft Store credit. I am not sure you can use *that* to re-buy content elsewhere.
  • They reimbursed for books, I assume they will do the same here.
  • Yes, it's next, just like Books, Music, Phone, Band, etc.
  • As long as Xbox is sold I don't see the movie and TV section going anywhere.... It'd be like best buy not having a CD section even if almost everybody buys digital or streams now a day... Without Xbox yeah sure definitely... Then again I don't see why MS should have a music, books TV and movie store... Their isn't any real justification to that... It's not their business at all... Now on an other note people ******** at their bought content being lost I understand then again it's not an MS thing... They all do that and that should be something our governments and every customer de fence group should fight against... I understand the piracy issue with DRM and all... But I have been trying to find legit digital sources for UHD movies that I can store on a plex server and I'm willing to pay... But there isn't any... That's just outrageous in our day and age... It's not like I can't Rip the disc's anyway... The only thing it does is encourage people like me to skip the buying and ripping process and just DL an illegal copy.... Cause anyone that knows how to Rip a DVD knows how to DL it I'm pretty sure....
  • I don't imagine Movies and TV actually makes a huge amount of money, it would be interesting to find out how much they get from it. I have hired the occasional film, and bought a couple on sale (and Logan full price just because I was away from home and really wanted to watch it). But it's never been my go to for media.
  • Yeah, and Microsoft said that Kinect IS Xbox One, that you couldn't even turn the thing on without a Kinect. Where's Kinect now?
  • Best Buy still has a CD section?!
  • Yes! They are not a consumer company... Business is their focus... Getting my movies from Amazon and watching on my BlackBerry KeyOne and Google Slate...
  • Can't even watch Microsoft movies on Android or iOS devices in the UK... Company is a joke for consumers... Just wish Apple and Google would make a big push into business so that MS would feel some hurt... They have all their eggs in one basket now... Hope Huawei will make their own OS going forward...
  • >> Just wish Apple and Google would make a big push into business They tried, and failed. More than once.
  • Back in 2015 Apple reported enterprise sales to be $25 billion annually and growing. Not sure "failed " is the correct word choice here.
  • Huawei has already built their own os and are literally waiting for Ms to eff up windows so bad so they can just step in with a replacement. Dead serious
  • You got that wrong. They're preparing for the case that they cannot use Windows anymore because of US sanctions. If they thought their own OS was that good they could already use it.
  • Chinese government Does not trust windows. what is why Huawei os.
  • Probably so, and then I suspect Surface heads will eventually be cancelled just like their phones and Microsoft Band leaving us the consumers with a hit to our bank account with discontinued support from Microsoft.
  • Once again, Ms replacing a product with a "newer" version with less features. At least they didn't pull the old edge BEFORE the new one is out. I guess Nadella has learned a bit this time. Smh. Don't screw enthusiasts over 100%, just 99% this time. Really hard to be a consumer enthusiast for Ms and the worse part about it is THEY DON'T CARE. Likes it's pretty ironic that in their attempt to advance edge for consumers, they take away features. Eff it, I'm surrendering to Apple or Google lol
  • No, Microsoft hasn't learned. The new browser isn't ready, yet they've openly told everyone to avoid IE like the plague and said Edge is dead as it stands. They've basically said "here are our two browsers, both are dead platforms that you should avoid." They've told us to bail for the competition...why would we come back for the next version, let alone trust it to stick around if we considered a return?
  • Zac, I literally just found out about book integration in Android edge YESTERDAY! Do a poll or an article asking how many people knew about that beforehand
  • I've never seen anything alluding to the book store on Windows 10, either. I've used Edge as a PDF reader for books, but not an eBook platform itself. Then again, I've never really used an eBook platform in the first place, but at the same time, Microsoft does a HORRENDOUS job of marketing new services and platforms, then blames the consumers when they fail.
  • Yeah, not willing to buy any content from them anymore, just don't trust them. On another article note, anyone that watches movies on a phone, should be taken out backed and flogged.
  • I have an hour and twenty minute commute in the morning and then again in the afternoon. Why should I not watch something on my phone?
  • It seems to me that Nadella simply does not have the honesty or morality to tell us straight out what will and will not be in the MS portfolio in the next 3 years. Instead he's taking the death by a thousand cuts approach that not only hollows out MS products but destroys faith in Microsoft. If there is a more effective way to destroy a company's credibility then I have yet to see it.
  • I totally agree, but then don't understand why they are still working on their OS. I think if they keep cutting consumer service, who's going to use Windows anymore. I'd switch to Apple or Google so I can do work and pleasure on the same device. I don't think MS understand the modern business person who is also a consumer and wants to do both without too many devices. Or, is that just me?
  • > I'd switch to Apple or Google so I can do work and pleasure on the same device. Apple desktop/laptop offerings are fairly narrowly focused and ChromeOS does not exist in the desktop world altogether (please, do not remind me of ChromeBoxen). It might be that your work requirements fit well into either of the world, I am not sure how well this work for majority of the people.
  • Azure is a huge service and booming and Enterprise isn't worried about people using Android and iPhones. Windows has enough integration with them as is. The modern business person is using Microsoft products. *Maybe* small businesses might be getting away, but even then, Office365 is still huge in that market too. There's no momentum moving away from Microsoft in business at all.
  • The problem i had with Microsoft telling me to move to Spotify was that i can't buy songs from Spotify, and their handling of local files it poor at best. I would have much rather been told to wait the iTunes arrival or Amazon music arrival. Companies keep pushing users to these subscription models and you are basically tied to them for your content. The least they could have done is add the ability to play your music library through the invoke+ OneDrive without having to use Bluetooth.
  • "The reasons behind Microsoft pulling music and books from its online store is simple: not enough people were using those categories" ... Maybe being available only in the US can be a reason?
  • There is absolutely no reason to trust anything from Microsoft these days. No statement of a public commitment matters when you have things like Kinect and Windows Phone in your past--products and platforms that got talked about positively for years, then tossed in a trash bin. I guess there's some merit to the value of Xbox to the movies and TV platforms, but I also don't buy those points. Kinect was built on Xbox. It pushed that tech in a really good direction, and now what? Microsoft barely supported it with software on XB1, gutted it from the OS, took it out of the hardware refresh, now the tech is buried in niche enterprise products. Also, what good did the Xbox brand do for the "Entertainment Division," or whatever they called that group they dismantled within a year, which was used to promote the "where is that, anyway?" endeavor known as the Halo TV series. The Xbox brand didn't save the music platform from getting rebadged to Groove (another instance of Microsoft's self-destructive rebranding efforts). There is no chance I will ever buy from the Movies/TV store Microsoft has. There is no value in trusting them over the competition, which is established and reliable. Microsoft has cemented its place in the consumer space, I think. They are wholly unreliable as a product or service provider, beyond things that are a decade-plus old. Surface is the only thing that seems to have been successful in the last decade, from the consumer space, and even that has devolved into an Apple-like line of overpriced products I have gone from recommending at every turn to pushing people away from whenever I can.
  • Hope not, use it every day!!!
  • I doubt i would ever buy movies or any video that is not on some sort of media. I do buy books for my e-book reader I must admit, but then I can read them on multiple devices and i only buy them when they are cheap or on offer. I got a Jack Reacher book last week for £4.
    Music i don't mind MP3 as long as there is no DRM, but I do prefer CD or even better vinyl . I do subscribe to amazon music, but to be honesty I do not use it enough, so I am thinking of getting rid of it, I had a deal for 3 months in which it cost me 99p, but £10 a month for something I do not use that much is a bit much. I will subscribed to video services, I have both Netflix and Now TV, now TV being a UK service offered by sky.
  • I'm done with Microsoft as a home consumer facing company. It's pretty clear that they are backing away from the consumer market and focusing mainly on businesses and developers. I expect movies and TV will be next. I'd be surprised if it stayed. I will never buy media from Microsoft other than Windows software. At this point I'm even questioning if the app store is going to stay.
  • I just buy from the Movies Anywhere vendor that offers the best price for what I'm looking to buy. I generally don't buy TV shows, as I'm willing to wait for it to hit Netflix or Hulu. When I do buy a TV series, I generally lean towards Amazon though as its available on more of my devices than Google (at least in regards to control... i could cast, but I don't like to use my phone all the time).
  • Yes. I think eventually Movies&TV will be deprecated. Microsoft has done this time and time again with the apps predecessor software such as Xbox, Zune and other temporary Microsoft services. The experiences over time have been clear to me that it's only a half-hearted attempt as media servicing within the Windows platform, and has been an odd thing. I never trust it enough to actually fully buy services. My advice would be to only consider hiring or renting at best. The risk is relatively low compared to full purchasing. If Microsoft does consider taking media servicing in Windows are relevant and serious there are a few things to consider as my 2 cents, that makes its value propositions in servicing a barrier or lesser value to pursue. It feels like they don't understand how certain markets work. 1. subscriptions services for movies and TV servicing. Currently streaming services like Netflix, to me, is the business model to compete with. What Movies&TV offer, even though many content is released later than the movie theatres, is too expensive in comparison. If Microsoft would offer a reasonable price for a subscription service, to watch new and existing movies & TV series I would be tempted to switch. Having to pay 3-4 times as much to watch a single whole TV-series, that I can also watch on Netflix makes no sense to me. If say arbitrarily I could watch new movies &TV series, say arbitrarily, for 25 euros a months, the framing becomes a different story. 2. competition for third party streaming services. There are at least 5 other official third party services that offer the same offering at lower price. The only edge Movies&TV app has is that many new movies can be seen a few weeks earlier. But if I could watch the at a lower price or longer (say 72-96 hours) for the same price it will be a different story. 3. Most movies are full purchase only. For Microsofts proprietary service this is a nono for me. I don't trust their long term roadmap to buy a full copy locally. Rent is fine. If more movies supported renting from the start I would be more tempted to watch from the app. But the offering is not there, even compared to third party services. 4. Ease of payment. In my expeerience Microsoft does not offer adequate enough payment services that are relevant to regional markets. It could help with ease of access. In my region of the Netherlands, many use services like iDeal e.a. All we get is credit card and PayPal. If Microsofts wants to be inclusive with regard to ease of access from many users across society it would help to address these accessibility issues, if they're willing to actually do this. Otherwise many will still miss out. Not everyone has or uses a credit card in every region. It may be mandated, but it is not based on every real world usecase. 5.Books: to me it failed, not due to a technical standpoint be due to a failure in proper global and regional support. In my region of the Netherlands support for books via the Store is a joke. The selection is heavily curated, with little choice. As I understood it Microsoft's reason to support books was because of their roadmap in better supporting education. Even then the offering was meager at best from the start. I have seen little progress over time. I has been an odd implementation from the start. I think it was a noble idea, but I think expectations were set too high that the market would develop itself. I think a push for a "startup" with a good selection for all global markets, from the start, would have made that market far better. Even though the cut is small, Microsoft could have made a better revenue, if that is their benchmark for performance and continuity of their Microsoft Store Books market, to invest in volume. Common thought in basic economics, right?
  • I buy Movies & TV shows on my PC the way it's a 30 inch HDR monitor.🧐
    The book section never made sense because there was no physical app.
    Yes it worked great in edge but still.
    I will get a full refund so not bitter about it.
  • Well, I'm guilty, I never used MS books... The problem is same as pdf integration in edge - I just wanted a separate app for book content, and as horrible as is Kindle for PC, it has that one advantage.
  • I don't buy movies or TV shows from Microsoft for this very reason. I'll rent, but I won't buy. I just don't have faith that Microsoft won't pull that rug from under my feet. I've had that happen FAR too many times at this point.
  • "Microsoft, if you're listening, a public statement reaffirming your commitment to Movies & TV in the Microsoft Store would go a long way right now. Perhaps explain why these other content categories are going away, and why Movies & TV content is safe to buy. Your silence is deafening." I agree! They should just release a statement so everyone will have complete confidence in them going forward. "If there are a lot of OEMs, we'll have one strategy. If there are no OEMs, we'll have one strategy. We are committed to having the phones in these three segments. And I think the operational details will become clear to people as they see it." - Satya Nadella Oh wait...
  • This is hurting Microsoft. Will users believe them and will they buy any media from their Store?
  • Thanks for the justification for purchasing physical media! ;) There are ways to ditize your library, storage is affordable, and you can stream via Plex for very little money and time. I'll never buy digital content for that reason.
  • Hi! MS failed at managing their mobile platform. Now, they are failing in the store :( Mobile, music streaming and now books.. Are movies and tv shows following that trend? Will Windows Store survive in the 4-5 coming years? :(
  • I read a lot of disappointment and loss of trust with regards to Microsoft, but yet here we are still posting on "Windows Central". I get it, we've all had our feelings hurt by them on numerous occasions, but let's be honest and consider this hypothetical scenario... tomorrow, Microsoft announces a new Windows Phone with support for Android apps... how many of you would buy it?
  • > tomorrow, Microsoft announces a new Windows Phone with support for Android apps... how many of you would buy it? After the pain of migrating three seniors off the Windows Phone, one of them remotely, I would not buy another Windows Phone until market penetration in Europe crosses at least 30% and, probably, not even then.
  • I would never buy a Windows Phone that supported Android apps. It's doomed to fail. No one will ever write mobile Windows apps natively if all they had to do was write it for Android. Then, the experience will always be better on Android. Windows Phone is only possible if it can get developers to write apps for it. The only way that will happen is if they offer a compelling reason to buy a phone that doesn't have a healthy ecosystem, so hardware wise, it must offer something, like running full Windows 10. Continuum fully imagined. Just connect your phone to a KVM or a lapdock and have the full windows experience. At that point, then you're not buying only a phone, but a computer as well. People still buy Windows 10 devices.
  • Movies & TV still aren't available in Ukraine, nor were Music and Books... But either way, I don't believe Microsoft. They are closing services and products and don't care about consumers.
  • Microsoft was always pretty good with with the localization of their user interface, both on the phone (RIP) and desktop. This is in stark contrast to Android where Ukrainian interface elements (if present at all) give way to the English ones very quickly. I do not think macOS has Ukrainian localization at all. Does ChromeOS?
  • After MS killed MS Reader I never knew the still offered books. I doubt they would kill Movies and shows even with streaming apps in the store the unique offerings and XBox users make this a viable offing IMO.
  • I run a publishing house Ebooks are dying.
  • Microsoft has been late to the dinner table on multiple fronts. IMO, Yes, Movies & TV will be next on the chopping block, and probably sooner than later. It would not surprise me if the Windows Store was pulled altogether. The reason behind my logic on the subject is simple... Windows went full-on with Windows 10 mobile and killed that because Android and iPhone dominated the market, so the mobile ecosystem had no room for it. Android and iPhone had been around for much longer, and developed an app, music, movie, tv, and book market long before Microsoft went full speed ahead with their UWP promising easy migration for devs and whatnot. No one got on board, and that was the end of it. There are numerous other music, movie, and TV services that beat Microsoft to the punch, some having been around for well over a decade. Microsoft, late to the part again, is experiencing the SAME issue. Customers have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, streaming from content or cable/satellite providers, Google Play, Apple Store, etc.. What customer is going to ditch their services, and purchased libraries to have to buy it all over again through Microsoft? Microsoft Books; speaks for itself. Nook, Kindle, Google Play, Apple Store - all fully established, well-rounded, and content rich stores. I have to ask the same question again - what customer is going to ditch their services, and purchased libraries to have to buy it all over again through Microsoft? As for the rest of the Microsoft Store for apps and games - again, same problem with a few more complications that I feel is going to lead to it's eventual demise. First off, PC-Gaming; Steam, a multitude of MMORPG installers and launchers, and other companies even moving AWAY from Steam like Bethesda and Epic Games in favor of their own game launchers. Who is going to buy their games from Microsoft? What is so earth-shatteringly awesome that makes Microsoft's Store stand out about the rest? Nothing. Coupled with the failed adoption of UWP which has left a rippling effect on Microsoft since their lofty promises fizzled to a death rattle. Microsoft also needs to stay away from the hardware business outside of their XBOX products. The way they pull the plug on GREAT hardware is faster than you can blink and before you know it, you are out a few thousand dollars, and they don't even care - speaking from personal experience. Productivity and Gaming needs to evolve to other platforms, as Windows is simply being whittled away at slowly to becoming a business / enterprise operating system...
  • you missed something really important in the article, does movies and tv needs a license like music, or not like books?
  • The difference between Zune/Groove music and the others is that purchased music was not DRM'd. Music you bought could be download and played anywhere, anytime, and uploaded to other services, including iTunes and Google Play. Books you bought via MS books, will just disappear. Yea you are supposed to get a refund, but you lose the books. I expect when, (not if), Movies and TV goes away it will be the same. The content will just disappear. There may be some compensation like books, but who knows. I don't believe these things will stay in Movies Anywhere. That appears to be an aggregator, allowing purchases on any supported and connected service to be seen on any other such service. It does not seem to be a service that subsumes the movies if the service is disconnected. I'm not sure, but I expect they'll disappear if you disconnect MS.