Microsoft to end Xbox Video support for Windows Phone 7, Zune software + devices

Microsoft has hammered another nail into the coffins of some of its products with an announcement from the Xbox Video team today. The company has revealed that support for Xbox Video on Windows Phone 7, the Zune PC client and all Zune devices will end early next year. 

Towards the end of February 2014, Microsoft will update the Xbox Video platform to kill off support for all three of these products. That means that any video content that you have purchased via Zune Video or Xbox Video will no longer be viewable on Windows Phone 7 devices, Zune media players or via the Zune PC software. 

The move comes as Microsoft aims to focus its entertainment offerings around the new generation of devices, including Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets, Windows Phone 8 handsets and the new Xbox One. The company also assures customers that video content will still be viewable on the Xbox 360 and on the web via XboxVideo.com. 

Curiously, though, as @mcrommert points out, there is no XboxVideo.com yet, although Microsoft does own the domain. 

Source: Xbox via @tromboneforhire

Editor's note: This article was updated after publishing to include additional information regarding XboxVideo.com.

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38 Comments

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If they made a desktop client with Xbox music all over to replace Zune , I don't mind.
But just cancelling support for Zune without any replacement is downright madness!
If not for Zune, they do not have any desktop client to support their services as well.
Just holding on to Zune as long as I can!

This really upsets me. I don't listen to music every day, but I do listen. And I'm stuck in a contract Lumia 900 with AT&T until April. They could at least wait until then.

Lumina 900 owners get screwed again.

Real question here, is there a specific reason Microsoft cannot support theses devices? I have an original iPhone from 2007 and it still works fine in the Apple world. Just wondering why they have to cut support. Thanks in advance.

Well I think the simplest explanation is that Apple has stuck with the same core OS since 2007. Yes there are updates, but nothing fundamental, more improvements on the core instead. That makes its a lot easier to support older devices.

Think of it like the pc world, where windows has a legacy of supporting old apps due to not messing around with the core of the OS too much.

Now for WP, MS shot themselves in the foot by releasing WP 7 with such a limited core, not connected to windows at all. In order to move towards a single, unified code base and app support, they had to get WP onto the windows core like win 8. So WP8 was made and while it looks like WP7, its basically a new OS that is not related to the previous.

MS tried to make the transition a bit better by releasing WP 7.5 and 7.8, but they cant escape the fact that 7 is simply more limited than 8 OS wise and its gets harder and more costly as it goes along for them to keep supporting two different OSes like that. Because of 7's limits, services like Xbox Music are forced to come in two versions each time.

So the inevitable result is that WP7 apps and services will be inferior to WP8 and beyond.

Now the idea is that now that WP is using the same windows core, we wont see a repeat of this transition. It was a one time thing to get everything on the same page. If that is really what happens, then people will be happy to see it. MS just needs to prove that it is on a solid track now.

JHBrown said,
Real question here, is there a specific reason Microsoft cannot support theses devices? I have an original iPhone from 2007 and it still works fine in the Apple world. Just wondering why they have to cut support. Thanks in advance.

To add to Troopers' excellent explanation: eventually Apple will also have to make a similar generation jump. microsoft was foolish to rush Windows Phone 7 out of the door based on the old WM6 core. But the damage was limited because Windows Phone hadnt picked up speed yet. Now imagine if Apple has wishes to merge its popular iOS with OSX.

Tim Cook says he sees no reason to do this and perhaps he does lack so much vision that he really doesnt. But being able to build one app with an adaptable UI so you can use it on all your devices is brilliant. It is sure to tie people to your ecosystem. Microsoft is in a position to do this and by Windows (Phone) 9 I think they will make it happen. It will be interesting to see how Google and Apple will react to that. In that ndustry fortunes change quickly.

I really hope they just rebrand the software. I'm a fan of Windows 8 but the video app is just meh. I'll use Zune software until the day it dies. Also, I'll use my ZuneHD till the day it dies. RIP ZUNE!

So they're not even going to transfer your licenses to the new service? How long will this one last? I would definitely stay away from buying any digital content and stick to renting if that's how they treat you.

No, actually they are claiming you can still access the content via the 360 and the upcoming xboxvideo.com. It will also be accessible via any WP8 device once they add the support this fall.

So no, it does not look like you lose your license on the content, your just losing support on some devices.

Just a quick follow up for you.

The email says that you will be able to view purchased videos via the 360, Xbox One, WP8, Windows 8 (app), or Windows 7/8 via the web.

It makes sense to me. Windows Phone 7 devices are so ancient! /s

MS showing us how bad their support for old mobile operating systems is. And they wonder why they are not luring customers away from Android and iOS? They can't get updates right and they made WP8 API so that developers either have to maintain two separate versions of their app for WP7 and WP8 or just abandon WP7 hardware. Pathetic. I was highly interested in WP, but MS keeps telling me reasons (like this article) why I shouldn't touch that platform with a 9 foot pole.

Really bad to abandon the platform like this. Many people are on two year contract cycles and WP8 has barely been out for one year so there are people still under contract with their WP7 device that have been screwed over repeatedly by MS, including myself.

I agree. I have no confidence in MS' consumer phone and tablet initiatives. I think they wills remain in last place. Their sales will be driven by the enterprise as windows mobile was, and not amount to much with consumers. Primarily because of the software/integration ecosystem. Zune should have been ported to Modern UI and WP8. Without that middleware, and spotty BT 4.0 implementation, WP8 and Surface/8 Tablets just can't be the lifestyle device iOS devices w/iTunes can for me.

I just don't see a winning strategy here. Heck, I don't see a strategy at all.

I know it doesn't make this any better, but I think its important to remember that MS went through this transition to WP8 because it gained an NT core versus what WP7 was based around.

To me, the important thing is to see what the next version of WP looks like. MS claims that all of these issues come down to them wanting to bring WP into the same core as Windows, but that now that they have done that, we wont see the harsh transition like we are seeing between WP7 and WP8.

So lets see if they honor that. If we see a mess like we did for WP7, then I would agree that it just seems like MS doesn't get it and cant pull together a strategy.

Considering their huge push to unify everything and therefore allow it all to be more flexible in support going forward, it seems at least possible that MS does now have a proper strategy that's good for consumers and we will see things going well for the future.

I don't know if I would just give up on the whole thing at this point. Lets at least see if MS is on a better track now going forward.

You never know, this whole unify push could be the strategy that finally puts MS on the right track and proves that they can get something right.

Yeah, I still use my Zune HD when I travel. Small, Lightweight, a great device. Too bad they abandoned it.

With Microsoft finally bringing Xbox Video to WP8, this is to be expected.

Maybe they can finally get everything integrated and working as they intended across Win8/WP8/Xbox.

My only concern is Zune Pass access via WP7/ZuneHD interface. They need to keep this alive even if they remove the Zune 'Store' video features.

I use both ZuneHD and extra older WP7 devices for media/Apps in cars, especially my classic Vette. Great stopgap when ya don't want to rip out the stock receiver in the dash.

Sad to see the Marketplace functionality being cut-off... but that's fine. The Zune devices and Zune software will still work fine.

I still use the Zune software as my primary PC music player, and my Zune HD while I work out. My WP8 for everything else. :-)

Me too.

It's sad to see this day coming. I'll keep using my Zune HD as long as the Zune PC client runs on the desktop and my Zune HD keeps a charge.

The company also assures customers that video content will still be viewable on the Xbox 360 and on the web via XboxVideo.com.

Is that a hint at web streaming for video content?

You can still use it, you just can't use the Zune Marketplace anymore after that date.

I still use the Zune software for as my default media playing on my computer.