Microsoft addressed concerns on Windows 8 dropping DVD playback support

Movies in Windows 7 Media Center (Netflix)

You may have already read about Microsoft dropping DVD play back support in Windows 8 and having to pay more to add Windows Media center to your system. Now it seems that this new changes raised a lot of questions, and so last night in a new article from the Building Windows 8 blog, the company answered some of the users concern based on feedback to try clear the air, here are some of the questions you’ll find answers to:

  • How Windows handle DVD licensing prior Windows 8?
  • How much licensing cost?
  • Why you just can pay for DVD when is need it?
  • Why Media Center will not come pre-installed?
  • How to upgrade to Media Center? And many other questions.

This is not a surprise, but you’ll notice in the article that Microsoft taking out the codecs will not lower the price in Windows, because the royalties on licenses has to be paid by the company that is selling the product. “The rules surrounding who pays these royalties vary by licensing program. According to the MPEG-LA program, the company that ships the end product is responsible for paying. In the case of new PCs with Windows pre-installed, that would be the PC OEMs. The Dolby program for Windows 7 was defined based on an agreement between Dolby and Microsoft where Microsoft has paid Dolby directly for the rights to Dolby Technologies built in Windows 7. Royalties are also paid by ISVs that include those technologies in their applications, even if those applications are bundled on new systems. This means that in many cases the same royalties can be paid multiple times over for a single PC (Microsoft pays some, OEM pays some, ISV pays some).”

Also it was not good to learn that you will have to pay for a version of Media Center that is the same as the one currently in Windows 7 and not a new Metro style version as the software maker said: “The version of Media Center included in Windows 8 is what we shipped in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview”. And that even though you’ll pay for MC pack, you will still won’t be able to play DVDs in Media Player, only in Windows MC — I guess Microsoft really want you to use Media Center if you pay for it, right?

At the end this shouldn’t be a big deal because this is not new, in the past Microsoft didn’t offer DVD playback support right out of the box either — this only happened in Windows 7.

If you are currently using Windows 7, this probably will, for now, be the best choice to have Windows Media Center. In the case you buy a new PC with Windows 8, you’ll still have choices, you could install, for example third-party codecs or a media player like VLC or Media Player Classic to add the DVD support.

One thing for sure, thanks open source and alternative software.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.