Part of Microsoft’s rebranding strategy surrounding the release of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 has it selling and renting TV and movies under the Xbox Video banner. When you purchase such a video through Microsoft’s storefront, it lets you know that you’ll be able to play it back from your Xbox 360, from your Windows PC, or from your Windows Phone smartphone. The latter is true to an extent, as WP7 users will have no trouble transferring the DRM-laden videos to their devices, but what if you’ve already upgraded to Windows Phone 8? As plenty of new users are just finding out, they’re out of luck when it comes to watching such content on their phones.
In response to a growing number of complaints, Microsoft recently posted a new Knowledge Base entry on the issue, which offers precious little in the form of explanation. All it manages to do is confirm that, in fact, “Windows Phone 8 does not currently support playback of rented or purchased content from the Xbox Video Store.”
The company invites users to leave feedback if they’d like to see the situation changed, but that still doesn’t keep us from thinking that this is a monumental oversight. For the moment, it’s unclear just why Microsoft might have allowed this to happen. Could it have to do with licensing issues? Whatever the reason, the company could have taken steps to make the situation a lot clearer for its users.