Microsoft to charge extra for DVD playback
By Adam TURNER
Microsoft's media centre interface is an optional extra with Windows 8.
Microsoft is busy spruiking Windows 8 and the new Metro UI, but if you read the fine print it's clear the MCE media centre interface is taking a back seat. It was introduced with Windows XP Media Centre Edition, turning your computer into a Personal Video Recorder, DVD player and general media player. Since then MCE has been built into several versions of Vista and Windows 7.
Since Vista, Microsoft has bundled an MPEG-2 decoder with MCE versions of Windows so you can watch DVDs using the MCE interface or Windows Media Player without the need to buy extra DVD playback software. This is changing with Windows 8, as explained by Angus Kidman over at Lifehacker.
If you read the fine print, an MPEG-2 decoder will no longer be bundled with Windows -- perhaps as a cost-cutting measure to eliminate paying for decoder licensing fees. You'll need to pay extra for the Windows Media Centre add-on or install a third-party DVD decoder, either by purchasing standalone DVD playback software or perhaps installing a codec pack from the likes of Shark007. Unfortunately you can only purchase the Windows Media Centre add-on if you've paid extra for Windows 8 Pro.
Windows' media centre isn't for everyone but it does offer some great features and it has a loyal fan base. They'll be glad to know they'll still have the option to install the media centre add-on with Windows 8, but the move by Microsoft doesn't bode well for its long term future.
|Subscribe to Hydrapinion|