Forget playing DVDs – Windows 8 won’t have disk drive.
Microsoft are blaming the “the incremental costs of codecs to play DVDs” and enormous royalties it would have to cough up for the likes of Dolby Digital sound, MPEG-2 video compression and other software needed compress/decompress digital media files.
“Blu Ray would be an additional cost on top of these. So when you add all this up and apply to all Windows PCs, it is an ongoing cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per year to the PC ecosystem, well over a billion dollars over the lifecycle of the operating system and yet by most predictions the majority of PCs will not even be capable of playing DVDs, ” writes Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft Windows President, on Windows 8 blog.
Microsoft don’t think this won’t be too big an issue though as it reckons demand for the faithful disk drive is fading. Fast.
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The Windows 8 makers cited the evolution of tablets and Ultrabooks “none of which have optical drives” that are changing consumer viewing habits to online sources like Netflix, Youtube, Hulu.
Windows 8 is the new operating system based on tiles designed for tablets, smartphone and PCs due for full release later this year.
“We concluded that we would no longer make DVD and broadcast TV capabilities available in all Windows editions, simply because the feature applies to a decreasing number of PCs sold,” says Sinofsky.
However, DVD playback will be available for users who still want it via “Add Windows Feature” upgrade.
So is this death to the disk drive?
It is ultimately be the PC makers including the likes of Dell, Toshiba, HP as to what peripherals they include but will most likely include those to suit the vast majority of customers, says Sinofsky.
An add-on optical drive (internal or external) will almost certainly come with DVD playback software unless you intentionally purchase a white label drive, he believes.