The next Xbox Live update would include apps from some of Microsoft’s partners. It would have content from HBO Go and Comcast’s video-on-demand. The two companies were the first new partners who signed up with Microsoft when it announced changes to its Xbox Live user interface.
The content deals were made last October and Microsoft staggered the updates that included its content partners over the last couple of months. At present, apps from Verizon, Vevo, Epix, YouTube, and Vudu are already found on the game console.
In February, HBO co-president Eric Kessler said that Xbox Live would start offering HBO Go on April 1, just in time for the season premiere of the hit show Game of Thrones. But observers pointed out that the release date was unlikely because Microsoft usually rolls out Xbox updates on Tuesday and that didn’t coincide with the Sunday premiere of Game of Thrones. It was also unlikely that HBO would want to have users download the app the same day that the premiere will be shown. That would result into bad user experience if things didn’t go as planned.
While HBO’s inclusion in the update is not a surprise, it is not the same with Comcast. It has been criticized because people complain that it violates net neutrality rules and compete against other streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu Plus.