Windows 8 Makes DVD Playback A Paid Upgrade

By: Shaylin Clark - May 4, 2012

You may recall last month when Microsoft announced the editions of the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. The OS will be divided into two basic versions: Windows 8, and Windows 8 Pro.

There was a lot to be excited about in that report. It seems that Windows 8 includes several features that were not available in the more basic versions of Windows 7, including an enhanced Task Manager and improvements to Windows Explorer. Windows 8 Pro, meanwhile, includes all those features, plus a slew of other features that are aimed at “tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals.” That includes encryption options, virtualization features, and more.

Apparently, though, there’s one thing about Windows 8 that might be a little less exciting for some users. It seems that Windows Media Player will no longer include DVD playback capabilities. At all. To get DVD playback back, you’ll have to upgrade to Media Center. If you’re running Windows 8 Pro, you’ll have to purchase the Media Center Pack. If you’re running Windows 8, though, you’ll have to buy the Windows 8 Pro Pack, which upgrades you to Windows 8 Pro, but includes Media Center.

In a blog post yesterday evening, Microsoft explained the decision by pointing to the rapid growth of digital video formats, as compared to DVDs, sales of which are dropping sharply. Given the breadth of third-party DVD playback solutions available – many of which come included with the software for your computer’s optical drives – DVD playback in Windows Media Player isn’t a great necessity.

What do you think? Should DVD playback be built in to Windows 8 for free, or does Microsoft’s decision make sense? How often do you actually watch DVDs on your PC? When you do, how often do you use Windows Media Player, as opposed to third-party software? Let us know in the comments.

Shaylin Clark

About the Author

Shaylin ClarkShaylin Clark is a staff writer for WebProNews. Email:, Twitter: @stclark81, Google Plus:

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  • Len

    I’m tired of all the Microsoft bull***t, you gave us Vista with all its bugs and promoted it with enthusiasm I can go on with other failed systems but it would take too much effort to stay calm, I strongly believe you owe us all big time. I for one will not purchase windows 8, keep squeezing and I’ll switch to Apple! DVD’s are everyones home and will remain so for quite a while even though the propaganda tells us they are doomed. Changing formats again!!! Home theater formats: 16mm projector to Beta and VHS (another pile of s**t for the consumer) then Laser Disks then DVD then HD DVD then Blu-ray now digital Ultraviolet. How stupid and rich does Microsoft and Hollywood think we are. Now no DVD playback options on Windows 8 why not wait till Windows 10 or even 11 because I know they’re coming soon! Operating systems should be universal but these richer than rich too big to fail companies keep squeezing customers for their hard earned cash only to give us all less for more money. When was the last computer you bought supplemented with an actual OS disk included. Do I seem bitter? No, just broke and frustrated.