A very important feature in Windows 7 was the inclusion of the Windows Media Center service, which allowed users to have the best multimedia experience on their home computer. Also, this feature made it possible for many users to transform their PC into a very powerful Home Theater PC, sitting quietly under the TV in the living room.
Well, now it looks like thing are going to change once Microsoft release their Home and Pro versions of Windows 8. No matter which of the versions you will choose, you will not be able to playback a DVD you created on your summer holiday because Windows 8 will not have native support for DVD playback.
Moreover, the Windows Media Center service which was available for free in Windows 7 will be completely missing from Windows 8 Pro or Home version. Microsoft says that users will be able to purchase the feature as an add-on but things are going to be complicated for those who decide not to go for the Pro version of Windows 8. While for Windows 8 Pro you will only have to purchase, download and install the Windows 8 Media Center service through the Add Features option, for the basic version you will first need to upgrade to the Pro Pack and only then get the service.
Microsoft claims that there is a financial reason backing the decision of not offering DVD playback support in Windows 8 right out of the box. Based upon the reports they’ve conducted, it seems that DVD usage on the PC is declining so they want to save up on the royalties which would have to be paid in order to natively support DVD playback in Windows 8.
Even though the online environment is on an upwards slope, we think that such a feature should be offered to the users without any kind of fee, just like it was in Windows 7. Those who decide to pay for the Windows Media Center service in Windows 8 should know that DVD playback will be restricted to the service only, as it will still be unavailable to Windows Media Player.
It is very likely that the decision Microsoft took regarding DVD playback, will considerably improve sales of 3rd party software capable of doing this. Moreover, optical drives purchased separately usually come with some kind of software that allows you to playback DVDs at no extra cost.