Interview: Netflix talks about its new Windows 8 app

Several days before Windows 8 launched to the general public, Netflix went ahead and released the first version of its Windows 8 "Modern" app to the Windows Store. It's likely to be one of the most popular apps for the new OS, offering access to tens of thousands of movies and TV shows, and original content in 2013 such as the revival of the TV show Arrested Development. We got Netflix PR rep Joris Evers to talk to us about the new Windows 8 app from Netflix

First, when Netflix first heard about Windows 8 and the Windows Store, what was the company's first reaction?

In the past quarter Netflix members streamed more than 3 billion hours of movies and TV shows on Netflix. Windows PCs are among the top platforms for Netflix streaming. When Microsoft started development of its new operating system, we were very excited about the opportunity and we’re extremely pleased with the result. The Netflix application on Windows 8 is certainly one of the best Netflix experiences available today.

How important was it to get a Netflix app up and running for the launch of Windows 8?

There are now more than 30 million Netflix streaming members globally (Americas, UK/Ireland and Scandinavia.) Netflix has become a key part of people’s lives and being available on Windows 8 at launch with a great application that provides a very immersive experience was very important to us and also was very much appreciated by Microsoft, one of our key partners.

How hard was it to get the app working in Windows 8, compared to other mobile operating systems?

We have great engineering talent at Netflix that knows how to build applications for nearly every platform. Netflix applications are available on many different types of devices, from home theater systems and Blu-ray players to smartphones and Smart TVs. Creating great experiences for multiple devices is one of our core competencies. Microsoft did provide some great tools and guidance to help developers and we certainly took advantage of those.

What are some of the more important features in the Windows 8 Netflix app?

We have taken full advantage of the touch interface as well as features such as semantic zoom and the integrated search capability. Additionally, we take advantage of the hardware support to decrease the use of CPU power when playing back video which extends battery life. Please look at our blog at blog.netflix.com for more details on key new features.

What's the reaction been like to the Windows 8 version of Netflix so far?

It has been great. A UK publication, Pocket Lint, just wrote that they have “fallen in love” with our app, which is very flattering.

What plans do you have about adding to Netflix for Windows 8 in future updates?

Stay tuned!

How do you feel about some of the comments made by other developers that feel that the Windows Store and Windows 8 are making the PC more of a closed system?

Microsoft has always encouraged third parties to develop great applications for Windows, we don’t see a change there.

Finally, is there anything else you wish to say about Windows 8 and its official launch?

It is exciting to be able to deliver a brand new experience on Windows, we’re proud of our application for Windows 8 and hope that our members will love it.

We would like to thank Joris Evers for answering our questions!

Image via Netflix

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8 Comments

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I rely on rating shows and movies when I am done watching, I see no way to do this in the Win 8 app, if I'm missing that hopefully someone can point me in that direction. If it is missing, you would have to think that it's not on purpose.

i don't want to be negative but i found the app to be lacking, and that's why i still use the browser to watch netflix, i might be doing something wrong, but when watching a tv show it's frustrating that there's not a "next episode" button. having to back out of the episode to watch the next is not as good of an option as to just say it, if you use xbox and kinect, or just selecting another episode while playing in the browser player. if you are watching a show by pressing continue on the apps home screen, then to watch the next episode you have to go out of the episode, back to the apps home screen, and then finding the show you where watching to then select the next episode. i do not rule out the possibility that i am doing something wrong, and if i am, please let me know. i like the look of the app, and i have faith that the app will be better after a few updates.

Not saying you're doing something wrong but I've never had these problems.
When an episode is finished the app will automatically go back to the the show and season the episode was part of and scroll to the next unwatched episode. Only works if you let the whole episode play of course, credits and all though.

I have noticed the continue playing tiles on the home screen of the app be a bit sluggish at times though sometimes they show the episode you just finished as if you had watched half of it and sometimes the section just isn't there at all, the website seem to be experiencing those issues too though.

that was the problem i had, when pressing play on the continue playing in the home screen it always just started the episode i just watched:( it happens every time for me, but as i stated, this will get fixed in time, and i do really like the way the app looks.

It's one of the better netflix apps out there.. much faster than the legacy windows stuff and web player by a long shot.

It would be interesting if Microsoft updates the kinect drivers for windows 8 and allows people to use their kinects to navigate metro/modernUI.. bring Netflix on PC to the kinect experience (even if for voice support alone )

spudtrooper said,
It's one of the better netflix apps out there.. much faster than the legacy windows stuff and web player by a long shot.

It would be interesting if Microsoft updates the kinect drivers for windows 8 and allows people to use their kinects to navigate metro/modernUI.. bring Netflix on PC to the kinect experience (even if for voice support alone )


This far I'd say it's also among the best Windows Store apps. Looks and works really well.

I have seen a few reviews for it in the store saying it was crashing but other than that everyone seem to like the app, if the review gives a lower score it's due to the limited content here in Scandinavia