Microsoft today announced the Windows Store is getting music, movies, and TV shows in addition to apps and games. Movies and TV shows are rolling out to the new Windows Store for Windows Insiders (Windows 10 testers) “over the course of the next 24 hours” and music will be following “in the coming weeks.” This is Microsoft’s answer to Google Play and iTunes.
The rollout comes just over a week after Microsoft revealed Windows 10’s new Music and Video apps in preview, which integrate directly with the Windows Store. These apps notably dropped the Xbox branding of their predecessors, which frankly never made sense in the first place.
Last month, Microsoft added “Movies & TV” to the Windows Store beta, but the category didn’t have any content. Now, Windows Insiders in the following countries will be able to purchase and/or rent movies and TV shows: Australia, Austria, Belgium (only movies — no TV content), Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S.
Those who have accumulated a digital collection in Xbox Video will see it show up in the new Video Preview app. Your movies and TV shows will be accessible on all your Windows devices and your Xbox One, Microsoft promises.
In addition to missing some movie and TV show details, the Video app still has one big limitation today: You can only stream the videos you buy or rent. The good news is that the ability to download content to watch offline is on its way.
This is clearly Microsoft’s attempt at competing with Google Play and Apple’s iTunes. By bundling its new Windows Store into the world’s most popular desktop operating system, Microsoft has a small advantage, but its mobile failures and the sheer lateness of this push will make it an incredibly difficult uphill battle.