Microsoft has let its Zune and Windows Phone 7 users know that any content that they've bought on their devices won't be accessible after February next year. Users will have to upgrade to a Windows Phone 8 handset to stay current.
Windows Phone 7's tiled interface.
First reported by Pocket-lint, Xbox Video will cease to be available on Windows Phone 7 handsets and Microsoft's Zune media players from late February 2013. This coincides with an update that means better quality video for Windows Phone 8 users, likely being a new codec that isn't supported by the older operating system.
Any user with a paid library of Xbox Video content will have to upgrade to a Windows Phone 8 handset to view their videos or can also watch content on any Windows 8 or 8.1 PC, the Xbox 360 or the Xbox One.
The most recent Windows Phone 7 device, the Nokia Lumia 900, was released 18 months ago in April 2012, although most WP7 devices are at least two years old by now. This is an update cycle that syncs nicely with Google's Android obsolescence timeline; the Samsung Galaxy Nexus misses out on Google's latest and greatest, too.
It's not an entirely unexpected move, considering Microsoft is right in between the big Windows 8.1 update and the launch of the Xbox One. However, a small subset of Windows Phone 7 users will likely be frustrated come early next year.