The Vista system will be available to consumers at the end of the month. However, in an interview with The Times, one of its chief architects said that because of anti-piracy protection granted to the Hollywood studios, Vista would not play HD-DVD and Blu-ray Discs on certain PCs.
Dave Marsh, the lead program manager for video at Microsoft, said that if the PC used a digital connection to link with the monitor or television, then it would require the highest level of content protection, known as HDCP, to play the discs. If it did not have such protection, Vista would shut down the signal, he said.
The admission will be a blow to Microsoft, which is hoping that more users will turn to their PCs for watching films and other content.