Disney’s Movies Anywhere is Anywhere But Microsoft

Posted on October 12, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Movies & TV, Music + Videos with 51 Comments

Disney's Movies Anywhere is Anywhere But Microsoft

Disney has expanded its Movies Anywhere service to include the four biggest other movie studios. Now, you can share your movies purchases from the biggest movie studios among any of the top digital movie services. And you can do so Android and iOS, Apple TV, Roku, Kindle Fire, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast.

See anything missing? Right. Microsoft’s Movies & TV service, which is locked to Windows 10.

“Movies Anywhere is a massive step forward for the consumer digital media experience, bringing the incredible film libraries of five studios together in a virtual one-stop movie-watching shop,” Movies Anywhere general manager Karin Gilford says. “Movies Anywhere means that consumers never have to remember where they purchased a film or which device they can watch it on, because all of their eligible movies will be centralized within their Movies Anywhere library and available across platforms through the Movies Anywhere app and website and also available at their connected digital retailers. And as Movies Anywhere continues to add more studios, retailers and platforms, the entertainment possibilities are endless.”

That last bit leaves open the possibility that Microsoft could still sign up. But there is another dark possibility to consider. Sorry.

As you may recall, Microsoft Movies & TV was silently dropped from Movies Anywhere’s predecessor, Disney Movies Anywhere, last month. And with the recent killing of Microsoft’s Groove Music Pass, which the software giant had kept limping along for 11 long years, speculation now turns to Movies & TV. If Microsoft can’t support a music service, how on earth can it do so with movies?

Microsoft could surprise us. But my expectation is that this improved and more compatible Movies Anywhere service will be the impetus for Microsoft shutting down its own Movies & TV service. And app, which again only runs on Windows 10 for some reason. All it needs to do is partner with one of the compatible digital retailers—like Amazon or Apple—or with Movies Anywhere. And users will be able to move their existing libraries off of Microsoft.

So that is just speculation, of course. But it makes sense.

Returning to Movies Anywhere, this new service could solve my Apple TV problem: With its unusable remote, the Apple TV 4K has not met my expectations, but I was sort of stuck because I have so much content in Apple’s ecosystem. With Movies Anywhere, that’s no longer the case: Many—probably most—of my Apple movie purchases are now (or will soon be) available on Roku and Chromecast, and via Amazon and Google Play. So I can experiment more openly with a replacement. And will do so.

“Sharing your Video Data allows us to bring you the Movies Anywhere services, including enabling you to access, manage, browse, and watch your eligible videos across your accounts and devices, no matter where you purchase them,” a Movies Anywhere support document notes. That is exactly what I’ve been looking for. And it may be a nice out for anyone who (foolishly, sorry) actually purchased Microsoft content back in the day.

We’ll see how this evolves. But right now, this looks like a ton of good news. Movies Anywhere supports content from Disney, Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros. That does leave out some heavy hitters, for sure, like MGM and Paramount. But it’s still pretty impressive.

 

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Comments (51)

51 responses to “Disney’s Movies Anywhere is Anywhere But Microsoft”

  1. BoItmanLives

    "See anything missing? Right. Microsoft’s Movies & TV service, which is locked to Windows 10."


    The Windows 10 store is an industry joke and pretty much self parody at this point. It barely exists. And it alienates more than half of all windows users by being limited to 10, while users actually on 10 mostly ignore it. And that's why publishers do.


    It should have instead begun as the go-to repository for Win32 programs and been available on Windows 7 and 8.1 too, then added the UWP garbage slowly. MS tried doing it back asswards.

    • rameshthanikodi

      In reply to BoItmanLives:

      The thing is, the store also doubles as a digital locker for the content that people from there, so it's not as easy as just backporting it to Windows 7. Also, backporting the Store to Windows 7 would just make Windows 7 the same thing as what people like you complain about Windows 10.


      I should also point out that Microsoft offered a free upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 but you obviously didn't upgrade. If you wanted the store, you would have upgraded. So why are you asking for the store on 7 despite you clearly not being interested in it?

  2. silvan2

    Disney movies on Windows devices is really pretty cool. But there are some free resources like Freeflix HQ which lets you watch all latest movies and TV shows for free right from your Android, iOS and Windows devices for free. You can try it out.

  3. timothyhuber

    This is great news. I have a few movies on Google Play, Amazon, and iTunes with the vast majority on Vudu. After adding these retailers to the new account, most of my Vudu library is now available across all of the services. (Including Star Wars, which was excluded from Disney Movies Anywhere because of 20th Century Fox).


    Plus they threw in 5 free movies, one from each of the studios.

  4. DarrellPrichard

    I've been a very heavy users of our M&TV app over the past 3+ years. Because of where I work, I've been able to interact directly with those in the M&TV team who are responsible for TV content and content ingestion. I've seen a recurring pattern of TV episodes first being available on iTunes - sometimes days or more before being available on M&TV. I can't say for sure that this is a deliberate ploy of the content providers but it happened enough to finally push me over to replacing my Surface 3 as a consumption device and replacing it with an iPhone 7+ and now buying my TV content from Apple. The timely availability of TV episodes (usually within 12-18 hours of air date), the wider selection of content and the extras that come with the Apple season pass, make the switch a no-brainer. I'm hopeful that when iTunes comes to W10 as a UWP app, I can once again start using my Surface for TV entertainment. However, the M&TV app is dead to me. (Just my personal $.02 and not that of my employer.)

  5. Jeff Jones

    I have a lot of movies in Vudu courtesy of the disc-to-digital program they have.


    However I really like the Google Family Group feature (which Vudu doesn't have) that allows you to add up to 5 other people and share movies with everyone in the group. This new MoviesAnywhere system has synced most of my Vudu movies over to Google Play and also made them shareable with the Family Group.


    Pretty nice and it makes digital download movie purchases much closer to the appeal of Blu-ray by cutting out some of the sharing restrictions.


    Now if we could sync all the TV shows too.

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  7. hrlngrv

    This may be an academic distinction, but this is movies. What about TV? Does Movies & TV offer more than Netflix or Hulu? Looks like there'll be a much better option for movies. If there's also better options for TV, then what's the point?

    Also, standard question: outside the US what's available in the way of TV on Movies & TV? Kojak reruns like used to be shown in Warsaw Pact countries before the Berlin Wall came down? Local TV?

  8. Waethorn

    The Internet is just Cable 2.0, replete with channel bundles of about 10% of what you want and 90% crap and reruns.

  9. jongross

    So something else odd happened when DMA moved to MA, Verizon was also dropped as a partner, where they were a DMA partner. Amazon is new in this mix. The services that seemed to have been consistent are Vudu, Google and Apple. Things that make you go hmmm.

  10. sharmashubham

    It's a great move by Microsoft. Like apple now they have also dedicate movie house to store the movie or tv shows in the windows devices. But still there are some features which microsoft needs to adopt from freeflixhqapk I hope it will be done very soon and we will see the new updates.

  11. Tony Barrett

    Lots of rumours Movies & TV is heading for the chop. It's only a matter of time I think. MS will stretch it out so the announcement isn't too close to Groove streaming shutting up shop to try and dilute it, or it will be announced as a sub-item in another corporate no-name blog posting. I can imagine there's very, very few paying subscribers. Netflix and Amazon have the market sewn up. It will be one more step away from the consumer.

  12. mkdhrub1

    Well from childhood we are big fan of Disney. Now a days internet replace the tv's and there are lots of application in market such as FreeFlix HQ that provides free movies and tv shows to watch online and I think Movies Anywhere will get some tough competition from those apps

  13. viratrai6545

    Movies Anywhere supports content from Disney, Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros. 

    freeflix hq

  14. nageshroy

    Microsoft is always the one stop go; Movies Anywhere is really a wonderful move I should say and of course, everybody should agree that. Whereas Crowns Lite is the best app to watch stuff without ads from movie apps and it is easy also.

  15. melanin

    Better to watch the movie on Cyberflix tv app because it has more sources and hd version available to watch the movie



  16. alextrab

    Apple TV have problem so BeeTV App is best choice to watch movies and TV series

  17. alextrab

    Anyone here who watch movies on live channel streaming app like IPTV OLA TV or IPTV

  18. jeetisking

    watch anywhere any time best hollywood movies download. Microsoft is doing fantastic work

  19. sanjusamson

    BeeTV is the perfect app for you. It is best not just in the variety of contents they provide, but also for the performance of the app. Good thing is that the application searches entire content in High Definition.

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  20. downloadfest

    It will be soon on Microsoft for sure. But when they come back, they are gonna give tough competition to the entertainment industry for sure.

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  21. AliMaggs

    It seems never ending at the moment, doesn't it? I would have simply reused that "Kick me" graphic again ;).


    I have purchased a ton of video content through Microsoft over the years (I stopped a while back). For good reasons, I promise! Or good reasons at the time. What made sense then doesn't make sense now.


    Firstly, for context (and so I don't punch myself in the face), my excuse/reasoning for having so many movies and shows in Microsoft's ecosystem. Firstly, the UWP app is very good (as was the Windows 8 version before it), allowing me to download my movies, and television shows, for offline use which was, and still is, an advantage of the service as somebody who travels a lot for work (likewise, the battery life of the Movies and TV app is excellent for travel). Secondly was the living room play of the Xbox 360. I watched most of my content on a large HD TV and so the Xbox was a big consideration as to how I got my video content. At the time, the apps we have today on Xbox One were not available here in the UK or were poor or more "unstable" (services such as Tesco Video, Blinkbox, anyone?). Thirdly, it's only two years ago that my ISP here in the UK has upgraded us to "fibre" and I get a speed at which I can happily stream HD content. Before then, I would use the Xbox 360 to download movies, in HD, to the Xbox's hard drive to avoid the unbearable start/stop buffering that can ruin a good movie. And finally, I was a Windows Phone user living in a market where Windows Phone actually did okayish. And I was in, what I thought, was an ecosystem of phones, computers, consoles, and tablets. But that was then.


    Times have changed, and today I'm able to stream HD movies and 4K movies to my (now) 4K TV, reliably, and without issues. Also, Amazon's video app on the Xbox One is pretty excellent now, and works across many of my devices. I've stopped buying my movies through Microsoft now and have switched to Amazon for the most part (or only renting through Microsoft). So the only advantage of Microsoft's Movies and TV service (or Films and TV as it is known in the UK) is the ability to play the movies, offline, across my Windows 10 devices.


    None of the movie services in the UK offer a UWP app, or the ability to download movies for offline play on Windows 10. But, at this point, I'd gladly forfeit any of the convenience that affords me for a service that I can trust to last. After all, Microsoft has never brought their Movies and TV app to Android or iOS, so the cross-platform advantage I felt when I was "all in" on Windows Phone, and it looked like Windows Phone might be a viable platform, no longer applies.


    After the death of Groove, the end of Microsoft Movies and TV feels inevitable. And I wondered about the future of the service when Disney pulled its support for Disney Movies Anywhere a short while back (not that I could use the service anyway, being in the UK). At this point, having been burnt enough times, I'm almost *willing* Microsoft to partner with a provider who is serious about entertainment, and allow me to migrate my content across. And with this Movies Anywhere service, at least I can then stop trying to remember what content is where...


    It's another case of Microsoft having a viable service or platform and not following through. Despite the failings of the Zune device (which never launched over here), they were left with a viable entertainment service. At the time, they were in the position of being one of the few companies that *could* compete with Apple who was dominating all of this stuff at the time. Same as the Band, same as Groove, same as...


    Anyway, Kick me... It's another product that Microsoft came out shouting and screaming about, and then squandered the chances of it ever being a success. I had wished they'd get serious about this stuff, but now I'm just hoping they partner with somebody who is.

    • maethorechannen

      In reply to AliMaggs:

      I'm almost *willing* Microsoft to partner with a provider who is serious about entertainment, and allow me to migrate my content across.


      My money would be on Amazon. Though I don't see it happening until Microsoft can stomach another write off (as I'm guessing they would technically have to rebuy everyone's videos on Amazon, even if Amazon doesn't take their cut).

  22. spacecamel

    One other thing is that VUDO allows disc to digital conversations so this should allow me to get all of my older movies into the digital locker.

  23. ekimvf

    Not available in Canada.... dang... Hopefully soon?

  24. Rob_Wade

    I'll stick with Ultraviolet and Vudu, thanks. I've never purchased movies from Microsoft. Only music. We typically buy the actual blueray disks at our local Walmart and then register the digital copies with Vudu, which is accessible everywhere.

    • Ricky Myers

      In reply to Rob_Wade: You may want to use Movies Anywhere going forward, as I take it, UltraViolet is on its way out the door, and the new Digital Locker that Disney created, is the future, especially when nearly all the studios are on board, and the 2 that didn't sign into this new service, gave their blessing and may end up being on board soon. I myself was using a mixture of iTunes.com and Vudu, and to a lesser degree, Google Play and Movies and TV from Microsoft. Movies Anywhere just simplified my movie collection and digital movie purchase experience.


    • Jeff Jones

      In reply to Rob_Wade:


      Well the upside now is you can use MoviesAnywhere to sync your Vudu movies to Google Play Movies and use the Family Sharing system there to let up to 5 family members view those movies directly without needing your Vudu login.

  25. Dave_D

    What I find even more interesting is Netflix. When Disney ends it's relationship with Netflix and starts its own streaming service are these 5 studios along for the ride? Expanding the available library beyond Disney properties? That would almost certainly kill Netflix.

    • jgraebner

      In reply to Dave_D:

      More and more, Netflix is primarily using their original content as their selling point. That is helping to reduce their dependency on the studios and should help to protect them going forward. Basically, they are following the same approach that HBO took. At one time, HBO was primarily the best way to watch unedited, commercial free movies at home. As this attraction was blunted by the combination of the VCR and the arrival of Showtime and the advent of exclusivity deals, HBO started to very aggressively produce original content. While HBO still offers theatrical movies, most people see that as a sideline and not their main business now.

  26. JacobTheDev

    I really hope Microsoft does partner with someone else, and shuts down their Movies & TV service. I naively bought a bunch of content from them when I was in my Microsoft-fanboy phase, and would love to get that content out of there.


    This basically solves the DRM issue with movies, as long as enough studios and services sign up. I'd be thrilled if this came for TV shows as well. Fingers crossed!

  27. Lewk

    I have to disagree with you on this one Paul. And it's for the fact that you're approaching this with a very U.S.-Centric view. Outside of the U.S. there aren't as many other Movie and TV digital content services. Microsoft's Movies and TV app on both Windows 10 and especially Xbox is the only place for some countries that provide this service. Groove was a different exception as the competition is available just about everywhere. But Amazon and Roku are distinctly U.S. only. And Apple products outside the US are even more expensive and less used. I can't see Microsoft's Movie's and TV service going anywhere anytime soon.


    Also, the Disney Anywhere service has been U.S. Only as far as I can recall, and this expanded version is still U.S. only. So please don't be surprised if Movies and TV is around for years to come.

  28. rameshthanikodi

    Microsoft should just kill the Movies section in the Store. They really just have no business in the content world. Apple's stronghold and brainwashing of the media industry (see: planet of the apps) is something MS should not touch with a 10-foot pole.

  29. glenn8878

    No one should buy a movie. They get lost into the ether. Movies should be regarded as disposable. There are eight versions of Blade Runner and many versions of Star Wars. They are cut and recut. Then remade and always worse than the original, which didn’t hold up to time, which is why they are remade, but they want to get that old magic to new audiences who resist. Save your money. I have more channels or services than ever and nothing to watch.

  30. rob4jen

    My conspiracy theory is that Sony knocked MS out of the Movies Anywhere club as a condition of joining it.

  31. pwrof3

    You know what I want? One service with all of the movies I have ever purchased digitally or unlocked via Ultraviolet. As it is now, I have to use VUDU for my Ultraviolet movies. A few yeara ago, AMazon had a great sale and I bought a bunch of movies with them. Now I've been buying movies through iTunes with the Movie of the Day app, which gets you a different movie every day for only $5.99.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if I didn't have to have an Apple TV just to watch my iTunes movies?

    I know it will never happen because Apple is is Apple, but I'd love to have just one place to go for my movies.

    • jgraebner

      In reply to pwrof3:

      If you link to VUDU for both Ultraviolet and Movies Anywhere, it will sync everything except for Paramount and Lionsgate titles. I connected to VUDU this morning and I now see all of my Ultraviolet titles from Warner, Sony, Universal, and Fox in my Google, iTunes, and Amazon accounts.


      I have a hunch it won't be too long before Paramount and Lionsgate join the program.

  32. Andy Babiec

    Paul, do you know if they will release a MovieAnywhere streaming app for xbox or win10?

  33. Care

    Microsoft Movies & TV isn't the only thing missing from that list. Is there an Xbox app? That's our living room box of choice. (I also have purchased from MM&TV, mostly with Bing rewards.)

  34. jaydsd

    With Movies anywhere feature, I guess people will have solutions for some problems related their movie watching experiences. If you are a movie lover, then it is better to give a try to CyberFlix TV application that you can use on Android devices. You can download it from here.

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