Microsoft announced the retail version of Windows 8 will not support DVD movies, users who wish to playback DVD will have to download third-party software or pay for the Windows Media Centre add-on. Microsoft explains its decision due to the high cost of licensing the DVD codec, as well as the move towards digital distribution.
'Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support,' Microsoft's Bernardo Caldas revealed in a blog post late last night. '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.'
The dropping of DVD playback support comes as Microsoft announces a deal with Dolby to, ironically enough, improve the audiovisual capabilities of its new operating system. Under the deal, all Windows 8 releases - including the ARM-compatible Windows RT - will include support for Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel audio as well as Dolby Digital stereo audio.
Dolby Digital Plus support will, however, be limited to downloaded or streamed content: playback of Dolby Digital Plus content from optical media will, as with DVD and Blu-ray playback, require third party software.