Microsoft Announces Windows 8 Will Not Include DVD Media
In a surprising move, Microsoft has announced that its Windows 8 platform will not include its Media Center software as a standard part of the package. Users wanting the software will have to purchase an upgrade in order to watch DVDs and Blu-Ray disks. The release will, however, continue to support popular media such as MP3, MP4, PCM, and WMA. According to Microsoft, the cost for Media Center in Win 8 will be "marginal."
Overall, the company claims that use of Media Center is itself marginal, citing that just 6 percent of those with Windows 7 even open the software package. Not only that, but it notes that ultrabook computers do not even have DVD drives. This is true as well for other devices, including tablets which Win 8 will run on. Finally, Microsoft points to the fact that there are fewer external drives being used to hook up to computers to watch DVDs.
Factor this sharp decline in watching DVDs on computers against the cost to pay for the royalties involved in optical media to understand why Microsoft has made this decision.
Microsoft employee, Bernardo Caldas wrote in his blog
that “Given the changing landscape, the cost of decoder licensing, and the importance of a straight forward edition plan, we’ve decided to make Windows Media Center available to Windows 8 customers via the Add Features to Windows 8 control panel (formerly known as Windows Anytime Upgrade). This ensures that customers who are interested in Media Center have a convenient way to get it. Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support. For optical discs playback on new Windows 8 devices, we are going to rely on the many quality solutions on the market, which provide great experiences for both DVD and Blu-ray.”