Movies Anywhere has added Microsoft Movies & TV as the latest digital movie retailer to its service, putting the movie store accessible through Xbox and Windows 10 alongside iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and others. The Movies Anywhere service initially began as Disney Movies Anywhere, an alternative and competitor to UltraViolet which allowed buyers of Disney films watch all of their content in one place, but it has since grown into something much more.
If users had a Disney movie on iTunes, linking to their Disney Movies Anywhere account would allow them to watch that same movie on Google Play, Prime Video, or the native Movies Anywhere streaming app. The service expanded to include other studios, including Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros. Pictures. Microsoft Movies & TV was one of the retailers supported with Disney Movies Anywhere, before being removed in September 2017.
The expanded Movies Anywhere service has quietly allowed Microsoft back into the fold, with Microsoft Movies & TV being one of the six digital retailers participating. Linking a Microsoft account with the Movies Anywhere account will allow users to watch all of their movies purchased through Microsoft alongside films obtained from the other participating digital stores, whether it be on the Movies Anywhere app on smart devices or browsers, or through any services connected to Movies Anywhere accounts. As a bonus, anyone who connects their Microsoft and Movies Anywhere accounts from now until August 28 will receive a digital copy of X-Men: Days of Future Past for free.
This is nothing for good news for movie enthusiasts with extensive digital movie libraries, as it will allow them to expand their collection to other platforms. For Microsoft, this will make their movie service more enticing to consumers who may otherwise have ignored it for its lack of Movies Anywhere compatibility. Now, users will be able to view most movies that they purchase from their iTunes or Google accounts on their Xbox One with ease. Arguably, the biggest retailer for digital movies that has yet to be included now is Sony's PlayStation Video store.
But this expansion only points out a few shortcomings that the Movies Anywhere service still has left to fix; for one, even with Microsoft's service being named "Movies & TV," Movies Anywhere still has zero support for television shows. Additionally, several customers are complaining that the service is restricted to the United States. But this action does demonstrate the constant changes and evolution to the service. With Xbox users now being brought into the Movies Anywhere ecosystem, the service can get to work on attracting PlayStation users. And if Movies Anywhere is able to strike deals with non-participating studios like Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate, their service might just become the standard for digital movies in the future.