Microsoft Eliminates DVD Playback From Windows 8

Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 8 is being readied for a commercial launch but prior to that, we’re starting to hear more and more about what Microsoft will and will not include in the upcoming OS.

On the Building Windows 8 blog, the Redmond company has now detailed their vision for media playback for Windows 8 and it doesn’t include Media Center by default. The feature is not completely unavailable as customers that still want it will be able to buy it through the Control Panel in an option called Add Features To Windows 8. It’s just that by default, Media Center will not be included.

Microsoft will however continue to keep Media Player around, the only problem is that it will not support DVDs because of the phasing out of the MPEG-2 codec. There are still lots of people that rely on DVDs so the question becomes why would Microsoft make this change and according to a company spokesman, the rationale for this move lies in the fact that licensing costs are expensive, not to mention that global DVD sales are dwindling. Additionally, within America, more and more customers are now turning to digital online streaming as their primary source for multimedia entertainment.

Although Microsoft is directly addressing the MPEG-2 codec, support for other codecs such as MPEG-4 Part 2, H.264, VC-1 remain untouched at this time. In addition, those that are looking for a free route to play DVDs will still be able to use third party media players such as VLC.