updated 11:57 am EDT, Fri May 4, 2012
Cdec costs, decline in habits reasons for no DVD playback in Win 8
On its Building Windows 8 blog, Microsoft revealed that its Windows 8 operating system won't play back DVD movies, unless the optional Media Center pack is purchased. The reason is the added royalties needed to pay for the specialized decoders and the cost of hardware to enable this. Microsoft also justified the decision by throwing out numbers that showed a sharp decline in DVD movie sales and broadcast TV consumption. Last year, Microsoft revealed only about 6 percent of users utilized Media Center.
Microsoft's partners have also expressed concern over the added costs of licensing codecs. Windows 8 users will have the ability to purchase the Windows Media Center in the Add Features to Windows 8 control panel, which is known in Windows 7 as Windows Anytime Upgrade. Windows Media Player will be available in all editions of the software, but won't support DVD movie playback.
Opting for the upgrade means users will get support for broadcast TV recording and playback (including DBV-T/S, ISDB-S/T, DMBH, and ATSC formats) and VOB file playback. Pricing will be announced later, though Microsoft promises it will be "in line with marginal costs."
Of course, third-party software will enable DVD playback in any version of Windows 8.