Microsoft has announced plans to scrap native DVD playback from Windows 8, instead focusing on improving video streaming abilities by making it easier to access services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Citing a decline globally in physical media sales, Microsoft is investing in a future without discs, and is hoping to keep costs down by removing DVD licensing fees. However, those interested in having access to their collection of DVDs do have options, as Microsoft claims that third party DVD software will be readily available to fill the void where Windows Media Player once was.
The announcement comes off a bit harsh, but it's important to note that this is nothing new, and that Windows hasn't always included native DVD playback. Several editions of Windows Vista, and Windows 7 shipped without DVD playback, but hardware companies filled in the gap, pre-installing DVD software on their machines. Most customers didn't seem to mind this practice then, and the same should hold true now, especially given how popular services like Netflix, and Hulu have become. The decision to remove DVD support proves that Microsoft is committed to making Windows 8 an OS that can fit the needs of tablets as well as traditional PCs.
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Unfortunately, it appears Microsoft still isn't above squeezing a bit more cash out of its customers by releasing multiple "editions" of Windows 8. Microsoft intends to release "Windows 8 Pro Edition" with an advertised feature of DVD playback thanks to the inclusion of Windows Media Center. With the availability of third party DVD software not necessarily something that will come up at your average software retailer, we might see many purchasing the "Pro Edition" under the mistaken belief that's the only way to get DVD playback on their machines. Guess that would be a win, win for Microsoft.
Source: MSDN Blogs