To say the re-launch of Zune Music and Video as Xbox Music and Video has been smooth for some consumers would certainly raise some eyebrows around Windows Phone Central. Since day one we have had numerous complaints over incompatibles and items that need re-purchasing.
One area for which we can verify ourselves as a problem is that of Xbox Video, where as far as we can tell, it is not possible to transfer your purchases to your shiny new Windows Phone 8 device. We spent a good hour or two yesterday fidgeting around with various setups and failed on each one. We’re sure many, many other people have and will do the same—after all, according to Microsoft it’s “three screens and a cloud”, right?
Copying to Windows Phone 8 of recently purchased Xbox Video content fails
Microsoft has now flat out stated that rented or purchased video content via Xbox Video is just not supported in Windows Phone 8. The info is published on their Windows Phone 8 knowledge base and just confirms what many of us have been trying for weeks now:
So though we purchased Drive (2011) from Zune Video and just the other day Warrior (2011) via Xbox Video, as of now there is zero chance that those videos will play on our Nokia Lumia 920 or HTC 8X—it’s just not possible. That's right, even your older Zune Videos that you purchased are useless on Windows Phone 8. (We could even point out how Zune Videos can't be re-downloaded to Windows 8 devices via Xbox Video. You need to use Zune Desktop, which is fine except when you have the Surface RT and you can't. But that's just adding salt to the wound, no?)
This despite the fact that when you purchase those items, you are explicitly told you now own a license to play them on your Windows Phone. Technically we guess that’s true if you have an older phone but not their new mobile OS, Windows Phone 8.
Fail: Older Zune Video content (manually copied) won't play on Windows Phone 8 either
Normally we try to be more forgiving of Microsoft, acknowledging how “these things take time” and Windows Phone is a work in progress. But we have our limits too and we find this glaring hole in the Xbox Video service to be unacceptable, especially if you’re upgrading.
Microsoft, we don’t say this often around here but do something about this and do something fast (including refunds for purchase content). This is embarrassing.
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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.