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With all the hoopla about the recent announcement from Microsoft that Windows 8 will not support DVD playback nativly, I kinda confused on why everyone seems so upset and shocked. This does not mean that you will not be able to play DVD on Windows 8 machines, it only means that Windows will not include the DVD decoder within Windows Media Center for the Pro edition. Standard users are completely out of luck altogether with Media Center since it will not be included, you must have Windows 8 Pro.
But fear not, this really is not a big deal and really it’s a good thing. Why you ask? Really it’s because there are already some solid DVD playback software apps already out there and will now only get better because they will be the only ones to turn to in the future. Since Blu-Ray playback was not supported at all in Windows 7 this really is not new news because Blu-Ray watchers had to turn to 3rd party solutions for HD video playback. So now the same will be true for both DVD and Blu-Ray. Read the official quote from Microsoft to see where they are coming from….
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.
Solid Playback Solutions
The majority of people that I know use VLC Player for all media playback including DVD. VLC is simple at it’s core and it does playback very well. If a free solution is what you use then be sure to check it out if you don’t already have it. Roxio CinePlayer is a paid solution that can playback both DVD and Blu-Ray already on Windows XP, Vista, and 7. Will it support 8? You better believe that it will now that it’s major competition is out of the question and most likely Microsoft will be even promoting existing solutions to those that are asking for it.
So is Microsoft making the right decision with dumping DVD natively? Personally I don’t really care and all this tech talk going on about it today is just making something out of nothing. Optical disc playback will still have a need even in the near future when most will be migrating to digital streaming. Heck my parents still use their VCR so you know that DVD will be around when I have grandkids.