Microsoft breaks out Media Center, DVD video playback from Windows 8

The “Building Windows 8″ blog has been a boon to the technically-minded with an interest in Microsoft’s newest iteration of their desktop operating system, but the latest post is attributed to Bernardo Caldas of the Windows Business Group. That’s a sign of what that post holds in store, namely a business move that will save Microsoft some cash on each copy of Windows 8 sold but might affect power users who are used to Windows’s legacy featureset.

That move is one that likely won’t affect most mainstream users – taking out several video and audio codecs/decoders that were bundled in previous versions of the OS. In promising to “deliver a world-class video and audio entertainment experience”, Windows 8 will support most web video codecs that make websites like Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu work like H.264 and MP4. What won’t be included are codecs that’ll allow for DVD playback, a feature that can be alternatively gotten through third-party applications that’ll likely be provided by OEMs.

Beyond that change in codec/decoder support, Microsoft will also be taking Windows Media Center out of the base installation. Microsoft’s DVR and television UI has slipped from being in the company’s focus since the development team for that software was dissolved in favor of the growing Xbox and Zune brands. Both of these features (Media Center and DVD playback) will be sold separately after the fact through what was previously marketed as “Windows Anytime Upgrade” and will now be called “Add Features to Windows 8″. Pricing has not been announced, but details will inevitably release as we approach the final release date for Windows 8.

Source: Building Windows 8, ZDNet | Further reading: ZDNet

Related Posts