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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

November 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Windows Phone 8 won’t play videos purchased from Xbox Video store

Microsoft has been touting its move to better connect its devices — smartphones, tablets, PCs — to entertainment content offered through Xbox.

But at least one basic functionality is missing from the mix: You can’t watch movies or TV shows you’ve purchased from Xbox Video on your Windows Phone 8 device.

Granted, most people probably won’t want to watch movies frequently on their smartphones. But watching TV shows during a commute or while traveling is not at all unusual.

As one commenter on Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows put it: “I love the phone, but this type of basic functionality is to be expected, not yearned for.”

Microsoft would only say that: “Transfer of movies and TV shows purchased from the Xbox Video store to Windows Phone 8 is not currently supported.” The company declined to say why the functionality was not included in Windows Phone 8 and if or when it might be coming in the future.

The issue was noted by Thurrott last week, and more recently by Windows Phone Central and ZDNet.

The ability to purchase videos and watch them on a Windows Phone device was apparently there in Windows Phone 7 and 7.5, in conjunction with Microsoft’s Zune video service. (Zune Music and Video has since been rebranded to Xbox Music and Video.)

But with Windows Phone 8, that’s not possible.

Windows Phone Central has a screenshot of a movie recently purchased through Xbox Video. The screenshot features a note saying the buyer could then watch the movie on an Xbox 360, PC or Windows Phone.

“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,” according to the WPCentral post. “That’s right, even your older Zune Videos that you purchased are useless on Windows Phone 8.”

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