back to article Microsoft ejects DVD playback from Windows 8

Digital media playback in Windows 8 has fallen casualty to the savage economics of the PC industry and changing tastes in consumer viewing. We knew Windows Media Center would be sold at extra cost in Windows 8, but Microsoft now says you won’t be able to play DVDs on Windows Media Player in Windows 8. If you do want DVD …

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  1. David 39
    Boffin

    OH YEAH!

    can they also remove the shit from windows 8 too?

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Happy

      Re: OH YEAH!

      'Cos it wouldn't leave much of an O/S behind would it?!

    2. dogged

      Re: OH YEAH!

      Can we remove the shit from Gavin Clark? Because what MS are saying is "people rip DVDs and then play the rips".

      I can't speak for anyone else but that describes my PC-based DVD experience perfectly.

    3. Lewis Mettler
      Happy

      removing IE would also help

      It is illegal for Microsoft to continue to commingle IE and OS technology. The US Appellate court said so in plain English. Microsoft even appealled that decision (so clearly they know it is illegal) to the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said the decision stands.

      Dropping a product so few consumers want and few use would also help give consumers the choice of which browser they want on their machines.

      And, then Microsoft could be legal again. A prerequisite certainly if Microsoft wants to complain about anything competitors might be doing as far as antitrust is concerned.

      1. D@v3

        Re: removing IE would also help

        how do you intend to download a different browser without using the one they gave you?

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: removing IE would also help

          Easy! You use a dvd instal...fergit!

        2. Doug Glass
          Go

          Re: removing IE would also help

          By using my old XP Pro SP3 box? Maybe by using my virtual machine running XP Pro SP3? Might even run a LiveCD of Unbuntu. Dunno ... have to think about that I guess.

          1. Doug Glass
            Go

            Re: removing IE would also help

            So hard to get Firefox or whatever your non MS browser is. I mean really ... just hard.

        3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: how do you download a different browser

          Since "you" in this context is (for 99% of users) the OEM building the machine image, I'd have thought there were any number of solutions to that problem.

        4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: removing IE would also help

          > how do you intend to download a different browser without

          > using the one they gave you?

          ftp

          Note: ftp stands for File Transfer Protocol, just what is needed for transferring files. It can be scripted too.

          1. SethInLondon

            Re: removing IE would also help

            Bought a Win7 machine not that long ago, and it asked me at first boot which browser I wanted to install, and went off and downloaded it for me. i.e. no IE

        5. RAMChYLD
          Boffin

          Re: removing IE would also help

          > do you intend to download a different browser without using the one they gave you?

          The old way- using command line FTP. I remember doing that to get Netscape Navigator back in '97. Good times.

        6. Homer 1
          Headmaster

          Re: removing IE would also help

          "how do you intend to download a different browser without using the one they gave you?"

          Easy.

          Click on the "Install Web Browser" icon on the desktop (or on Windows 8 I suppose that'd be a tile on the, erm, whatever). InstallShield installer asks you to choose from a detailed list of browsers (complete with glowing descriptions and pretty pictures), fetches your chosen browser using any of several protocols (including ftp and http), then installs it.

          There, was that so hard?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: removing IE would also help

        "It is illegal for Microsoft to continue to commingle IE and OS technology"

        It shouldn't be illegal in the first place. What's next, will it be illegal for car manufacturers to sell cars with built in radio, Sat Nav, i-phone/ipod connectors, etc?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: removing IE would also help

          It wasn't that which was illegal - it was MS lying to the court saying that IE was such an integral part of the OS that no other browser choice was possible after somebody demonstrated you could just delete a couple of dlls. When you are a monopoly supplier you tend to be noticed pulling this sort of thing.

          The case started when MSFT blocked O'Reilly's competing web server on NT and claimed it was a fundamental OS design difference that stopped the workstation version handling more than 10 connections - before it was shown to be a single registry switch.

          So it's really more like a car maker claiming that their cars can only be used with their brand of MP3 player and having a device that detects using an iPod near the car.

          1. cybersaur

            Re: removing IE would also help

            No, in the U.S. anti-trust case it was the fact that M$ started bundling IE for free and illegally used their effective monopoly to eliminate the market that Netscape was selling their Navigator product to.

    4. Kaorukun
      Pint

      Re: OH YEAH!

      Shit is for free, so nope, not a chance.

      1. James O'Brien
        Thumb Down

        "rely on the many quality solutions on the market"

        Riiiight....so now I have to go out and pay another $50 to get Windvd again just to watch a dvd on my machine if I want? How long till they stop shipping with audio codecs making you have to find something to play mp3s because we all know that internet is killing music. Windows 7 appears to be with me for quite some time.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: "rely on the many quality solutions on the market"

          Indeed- it seems that Windows is starting to exhibit all of the traits that were once leveled at Linux- no DVD playback,need to use the command line all of the time (regedit anyone...)- by the MS faithful... What next?

          1. Someone Else Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: "rely on the many quality solutions on the market"

            You mean like: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, RedHat, SuSe, Debian,...

        2. JustNiz

          Re: "rely on the many quality solutions on the market"

          Wait... your'e happy to pay maybe $250 for a Windows 8 upgrade, even though free and better OS's exist (e..g. Linux). But you're not happy to buy a DVD app?

          Anyway why did you write "get WinDVD again"? If you already bought it once just use the old one yoiu already have.

          Or better yet install VNC which is, again, both better and free.

          1. LaeMing Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: "rely on the many quality solutions on the market"

            I assume you meant VLC, unless you really do watch DVDs by remote from another machine!

            1. RAMChYLD
              Boffin

              Re: "rely on the many quality solutions on the market"

              Exactly my thoughts too. Just drop in VLC, no big deal.

              Or just install FFDShow, though they will need to add DVD/Blu-Ray menu support to it.

              I remember when Windows Media Player 7 came out and you need to have PowerDVD or WinDVD installed to have DVD playback. So things have went full circle and Windows Media Player now needs external codecs to play back DVDs and Blu-Rays (and old-skool VideoCDs- remember them?) again.

            2. Ian 55

              Re: "rely on the many quality solutions on the market"

              Doesn't everyone?

        3. CheesyTheClown
          FAIL

          Re: "rely on the many quality solutions on the market"

          Uhh... Kinda stupid isn't ya?

          Your brand new laptop with a Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge or AMD APU already has a hardware MPEG-2, H.264 and VC-1 decoder built into the chip and drivers. Your AMD or NVidia chip on your older machines that meet the specs for Windows 8 do too. They don't however have built in support for AC-3. So, Microsoft is simply removing a highly inefficient decoder which requires your CPU to consume an extra 10-35 watts of power during DVD playback favoring hardware decoders which consume milliwatts instead.

          So, not only won't you know anything has changed, but you'll consume less power and extend your battery life at the same time.

          What was the problem with this again? You had a point I'm sure.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "rely on the many quality solutions on the market"

            Yes but then if the support for playback is already present the removal of media player is not a logical course of action. The question becomes how does the removal of DVD playback software from Windows 8 benefit Microsoft? If I was a maker of such software I'd not be accepting their explanations at face-value and would be watching MS very carefully. Follow the money.

          2. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Re: "rely on the many quality solutions on the market"

            > So, Microsoft is simply removing

            Being unable to play DVDs while the MPEG2 decode support is BUILT INTO THE GPU?

            That's pretty counter-intuitive.

            What I care about is being able to play my DVDs, home movies, and HD-PVR recordings. Don't care about dodgey marketing rhetoric about "improving efficency". Stuff either works or it doesn't. It either works out of the box or not.

            If it's not included, then are you left on your own to sort out things yourself without a proper package manager?

            1. Danny 14 Silver badge

              Re: "rely on the many quality solutions on the market"

              who said licensing was meant to be sensible?

    5. xpclient

      Re: OH YEAH!

      No. They will remove all the good stuff that makes Windows a great desktop OS and turn it into a trashy looking tablet OS that no one wants. Here's a list of removed features: http://xpwasmyidea.blogspot.com/2011/09/features-removed-in-windows-8.html

  2. Jop
    Facepalm

    Another nail in the coffin

    Apart from Windows 8 looking totally naff, another reason to stay with Windows 7 or another OS. While many will want bluray players, they still probably have a large collection of dvd's they will want to play. Got a feeling that Windows 8 will be the worst sales performance MS have, even once they force PC manufacturers to put it on new pc's.

    Patents and licences go on for way too long.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another nail in the coffin

      Of course! It all makes sense now. Windows 8 is the next version of Vista that will keep Windows 7 selling for the next 10 years (or more).

      Oh, those clever marking types at Microsoft.

      1. tfewster Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Another nail in the coffin

        Nope, the purpose of Windows 8 is to convince you to buy Windows 9

        I'm copyrighting the phrase: "Windows 9 - It doesn't suck as much as Windows 8" and planning to retire off the proceeds.

  3. Tim 64
    Linux

    Linux

    My Ubuntu box plays DVDs just fine :P

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Linux

      Really? Mine doesn't there are still DVDs that randomly won't play and some which have corrupt colours. It drives me up the wall...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Linux

        Ubuntu does not include many codecs by default. A better distribution is Mint 12 or Mandriva that adds the non-proprietory stuff and works superbly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ubuntu does not include many codecs by default.

          but they are easily added - it is a few keystrokes and seconds, or download an ubuntu flavour already setup

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Linux

        Hah, I have DVDs that won't play in my Sony DVD player, or my Linux box, due to dodgy DRM. They are fine once I pirate them, though, stripping the DRM off (true story, a lot of my DVD cases have the original and a burned copy that actually plays, too).

    2. Oliver Mayes

      Re: Linux

      Mine can't handle a refresh rate of more than about 10 FPS, so DVDs stutter and flicker.

      And that's with a fairly decent spec and recent nvidia graphics card installed, Ubuntu just can't handle anything more complex than running OpenOffice yet.

      1. Steve Renouf
        WTF?

        Really??

        That's strange because it runs perfectly on my Acer netbook as well as my laptop and desktop, so I don't know what crappy spec machine you must be trying to run it on?!? An Acer netbook is a pretty basic spec...

        1. Oliver Mayes

          Re: Really??

          " I don't know what crappy spec machine you must be trying to run it on?!?"

          Dual core CPU @ 2.6GHz, 4 GB RAM, recent nvidia card (1024MB, can't remember the model), Creative 5.1 sound card. All latest drivers.

          Video stutters, random coloured pixels flicker across the screen, menus and buttons flicker then disappear leaving artifacts behind.

          None of these problems manifest in Windows on the same PC. Just Ubuntu.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Joke

            Re: Really??

            No problem just write your own drivers and hardware accelerators and away you go. That's the good thing about Linux isn't it.

            1. Chemist

              Re: Really??

              I know you are joking but some people may not know that the VDPAU drivers for X give excellent GPU acceleration on modern-ish Nvidia cards

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Really??

                Maybe you are running the Unity 3D interface? My quad-core 3Ghz + GTX460 can't even run glxgears with Unity3D on Ubuntu 12.04 - Turn that s**t off.

            2. hplasm Silver badge
              Windows

              Re: Really??

              Good practice for getting the best out of Win 9 then...

            3. Chris Parsons

              Re: Really??

              What a silly comment.

          2. The BigYin

            Re: Really??

            @Oliver Mayes

            Almost exact same spec as my box (1GB nVidia GT240) with 7.1 soundstill running 10.10. DVDs play fine.

            I suspect PICNIC.

            You should get on the forums and resolve the issue - might be the drivers, compositing or just a dodgy config; but this is hardly the place to do support.

            1. Chelios

              Re: Really??

              That's the point though isn't it? Most people don't want to have to get on a forum in order for their PC to play a DVD.

              1. Chemist

                Re: Really??

                "Most people don't want to have to get on a forum in order for their PC to play a DVD."

                Most people don't have to !

              2. hplasm Silver badge
                Windows

                Re: Really??

                Sounds like they will have to get used to it.

              3. JEDIDIAH
                Linux

                Re: Really??

                Now Windows users get to experience that joy.

                The only tricky part on Linux is the DVD DRM. Everything else is handled "App Store" style.

            2. MrZoolook
              Thumb Down

              Re: Really??

              When I tried to resolve an issue I had with Ubuntu by asking in the forums, I was called a 'Windroid troll' and told that Linux didn't have any issues and that I must be doing something wrong?

              Windows might be more buggy then Linux, but at least the various help forums available for it actually, you know, HELP!

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Really??

            I can play SD and DVD content with XBMC on Ubuntu on a Shuttle XS35 (passive cooled Atom dual core with Intel graphics and cost $160).

            1. Linker3000
              Thumb Up

              Re: Really??

              Then there's XBMC on my £26 Raspberry Pi!

              1. Anomalous Cowturd
                Thumb Up

                Re: XBMC on a Raspberry Pi...

                Indeed. My daughter and I watched a 2 hour film last night, (using Openelec/XBMC), run from a SAMBA share on an Ubuntu 10.4 box. It didn't drop a frame!

                Bloody marvellous little baby.

                I'm not too sure how long that micro USB power socket is going to last though...

          4. spegru

            Re: Really??

            Have you cleaned the disc and or/is the DVD drive knackered?

            DVDs all fine on my (several) Mint setups....

          5. Not That Andrew

            Re: Really??

            Hmm, try using the official NVidia drivers. The open source Nouveau drivers often have issues with recent hardware. For full support its better to use an older card (2 or 3 years should do).

          6. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Re: Really??

            Stuttering on a "recent nvidia card" ?

            An Atom can playback BD rips with a recent nvidia card. Never mind DVD.

            Even the relatively ancient 6x00 generation of nvidia cards had partial HW acceleration for MPEG2.

      2. Chemist

        Re: Linux

        Something very wrong then.

        I use DVDs on all my various Linux boxes without any problems also I can play HD720p on an old Celeron laptop and edit/play mp4 1080/50p videos on an old 2 core AMD using Nvidia/ VDPAU using ~5% CPU.

        Sorry I can't really attempt to diagnose what's wrong but definitely something is.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Linux

        THe problem exists with some Nvidia drivers - the company does not provide them so someone has to hack and try and emulate, which unfortunately is often not ideal.

        1. Chemist

          Re: Linux

          "the company does not provide them"

          The company DO provide them but only as binaries. Hence the project to emulate them

        2. RAMChYLD
          Boffin

          Re: Linux

          > THe problem exists with some Nvidia drivers - the company does not provide them so

          > someone has to hack and try and emulate, which unfortunately is often not ideal.

          Erm, Nvidia /does/ provide Linux drivers. Problem is many distros do not agree with their licensing (specifically, the fact that there's a close-sourced binary blob smack in the middle of the drivers that NV refuses to open the source code to) and thus do not ship them with their default repos.

          This has also caused said Nouveau driver project to kick off.

          That said, the Nvidia official Linux drivers are far more mature than Nouveau, even supporting SLI and CUDA. Just a shame that some effort must be taken before they can be installed (and that they break as soon as a X or Kernel upgrade comes out) just because of NVidia's stubbornness.

          1. Chemist

            Re: Linux

            "and that they break as soon as a X or Kernel upgrade comes out"

            NEVER had that happen

            1. RAMChYLD
              Boffin

              Re: Linux

              > NEVER had that happen

              Well, I run OpenSUSE Factory and Debian Sid with self-rolled kernels :P

              You'll only see the drivers break when they come out with a new major XOrg release (usually because the ABI's too radically changed in the version), and the kernel break if you roll your own kernel and opt for the latest and greatest, and something changed in their structure too (iirc this happened in 3.1. Some of the kernel header's locations changed and as a net result it wreaked havoc on the driver's module source during compile-time).

        3. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: Linux

          > THe problem exists with some Nvidia drivers - the company does not provide them

          Just use the ones supplied from the vendor. Chances are that there's a nice "download vendor graphics drivers" here button on your desktop. Very easy. Even a Mac user can manage.

      4. A J Stiles
        Trollface

        Re: Linux

        I smell troll.

        Secondly, Ubuntu were one of the first to ship LibreOffice instead of OpenOffice.org; and firstly, nVidia have never made a decent graphics card.

        1. DryBones
          Trollface

          Re: Linux

          He who smelt it...

          AMD's OpenGL support is absolute pants, at least under W7. They artifact and goof up z-buffering, Nvidia doesn't. Hmm...

      5. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        @Oliver

        I get good DVD playback on my EeePC 701 using a USB DVD drive running Ubuntu 10.10, and that is really an underpowered PC, being a Celeron clocked at less than 700MHz.

        Methinks you need to look at the graphics options. Sounds like you've either not installed the Nvidia restricted drivers (which would be strange, as if that adapter was in the system when Ubuntu was installed, it should pick it up automatically), or something has disabled hardware rendering, and the system is using software rendering. Try installing and using the Nvidia driver settings tool from the Ubuntu repository (no, that's no more difficult than installing drivers from CD that came delivered with your graphics card).

      6. JustNiz
        Angel

        Re: Linux

        You sound like a Microsoft stooge. Linux works fine playing DVDs (actually smoother than Windows) unless one or more of these apply:

        1) You have really ancient or ghetto hardware (which wouldnt play DVDs under windows either)

        2) Youre using a REALLY old version/distro of Linux, like maybe 5+ years old.

        3) You didn't install the display driver.

        Before you whine about Linux sucking more than Windows because you have to install a driver, please be aware that you have to install display drivers in Windows too.

      7. RAMChYLD
        Boffin

        Re: Linux

        Fascinating.

        I have a set of GTX260s in one gaming rig which I set up for Linux gaming testing.

        SLI not only works, I was capable of playing Team Fortress II on it quite well. And movie playback works fine as intended, even large HD movies.

        Of course, I need a better distro. OpenSUSE sucks, with all the packages being so badly outdated and all.

      8. h4rm0ny

        Re: Linux

        You might want to check if there's something specific to your set up. I would check your graphics card drivers for a start as stutter suggests the CPU is decoding things. (Not sure about Nvidia but my AIT card handles all the decoding on the card and I'm sure any recent Nvidia must provide the same). Just for reference, my Debian system can play DVDs with no problem (and Ubuntu is built on Debian). Now getting it to play Blu-Ray was a challenge, but I got there in the end.

      9. MrZoolook
        Mushroom

        Re: Linux

        I used Ubuntu for ages with no issues. I used Xine for DVD playback and it worked fine. The only problem I had was lack of driver support for my wireless card. UBU helpfully suggested I check online for a driver for it. *shrug*

        1. Chemist

          Re: Linux

          I'd suggest you use a Live-CD ( or USB if you can boot from one) of a modern distro like OpenSuse 11.4 or 12.1 ) and see before you install if the wireless problem is still there. If it is then your wireless system might be rather a rare one. Most wireless chipsets are now supported, some of them officially by the manufacturers.

      10. the spectacularly refined chap

        Re: Linux

        I get around 10FPS playing back DVDs full screen too - over a remote X connection limited to 100Mbps by the LAN. Either something is drastically misconfigured or that figure was made up on the spot.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Linux

      How I wish that MS Office could work 100% under wine and without frigging about and without needing to run under VBox. I would happily stay with Ubuntu / Mint for ever and a day.

    4. Doug Glass
      Go

      Re: Linux

      So does mine. Same for my two backup/standby XP Pro SP3 boxes. This is just tough, very tough to figure out.

  4. Christoph Silver badge
    Pirate

    How to stop piracy

    They are massively worried about piracy, so they are going to make it more difficult and expensive to play legitimately bought content?

    1. Aramando

      Re: How to stop piracy

      "They" may be, but Microsoft aren't massively worried about [media] piracy, as they're not a media company.

  5. Jesse G
    Pint

    duh

    Just run media center in "windows 7 mode"

    1. Steve Renouf
      Facepalm

      Dubble duh

      Why use anything other than VLC?!?

      1. jason 7 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Dubble duh

        No idea why you are getting downvoted on that piece of logic. I'd love to know why.

        I havent used MS's native DVD playback or Media Centre in years. I just install VLC as standard on any PC I build.

        Although I also cant remember the last time I watched a DVD on my PC. Most of my PCs sit within 10 feet of the TV which is a better solution for playback.

        Once again this is another example of herd rage over nothing.

      2. CheesyTheClown
        FAIL

        Triple duh?

        Sandy Bridge and/or Ivy Bridge? When you disable the MS video codec and use a QuickSync codec included with Intel drivers, you use almost no power making it possible to cross and Atlantic watching DVDs the whole way on a single charge while your CPu is basically idle and the QuickSync decoder consumes milliwatts?

        VLC playback consumes about 20% of my CPU for DVD playback, Windows Media consumes about 2%.

  6. oldredlion
    Linux

    Microsoft will include Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

    It's not really included, is it?

    I mean, if you have to pay a third party provider before you can use it, it isn't part of the system, it is just something you can buy and then you'll get any additional benefits - a bit like any other piece of software.

    It won't look good on the marketing blurb so why do they bother? And if MS isn't adding all the extra bits and bobs that people apparently want, why should people pay for a MS OS? It's easy to stick a linux variant onto a PC nowadays and you'll end up with the same functionality.

    Patents and copyrights will slowly strangle MS. Ha ha.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft will include Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

      Correction.

      "Patents and copyrights will slowly strangle progress and innovation"

      It was Newton who said "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Just a shame that these days 'standing on shoulders' is seen as copyright/patent abuse.

  7. yossarianuk

    Its almost like they're trying to force people to use Linux. ..

    There are many distros where you get DVD codecs, etc out the box - Linux Mint/Mandriva, pclinuxos (my mum uses that one..) are examples - you have to do absolutely nothing....

    Oh well, total morons will stick with windows and I couldn't care less - they deserve Windows 8 - they're stuck in the matrix and need to wake up - I'm sure that Windows 8 customers enjoy being farmed.....

  8. Zog The Undeniable

    VLC Media Player. That is all.

    1. I'm Brian and so's my wife
      Thumb Up

      VLC FTW!

      My first thought was "who the hell still uses Windows Media Player when there are so many better alternatives?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: VLC FTW!

        Exactly, I don't think I've used wmp in about, oh, 12 years.

        1. FrankAlphaXII
          Trollface

          Re: VLC FTW!

          I actually still use WinAmp, but I like VLC. Last time I think I used WMP was under Windows ME to see how fast I could make it BSOD.

  9. AbortRetryFail

    VLC

    Presumably VLC will still run just fine on Windows 8 and still continue to provide support for pretty much every audio and video format out there including playing DVDs?

    1. yossarianuk

      Re: VLC

      Shame its not built into the OS (unlike some version of Linux..)

      Which all this opensource software surely your better off using an opensource OS - and one you can actually still get a real desktop for...

      Anyone who buys Windows 2008 on an ARM system has essentially just bought a brick (you can NEVER change)

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So why can't you simply install the greatest media player of all time, the mighty VLC? Yet to find a standard video/audio format it won't have a bash at playing, that's on Linux, OSX and Windows platforms!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Any reason for the downvote?

      Downvoter - are you some sort of irrational WMP junkie?

      1. Kevin 6

        Re: Any reason for the downvote?

        Dunno about you but VLC(for windows can't comment on the linux one) half the time for me gets a ton of artifacts and broken audio I've tried it for the last 5 years and always experience the same exact thing. I've tried it on literally 30 different PC's with specs all over the place with AVI's OGM's,.MP3s, MKV's, and DVD's. The same exact files played flawlessly on MPC, winamp, and hell even windows media player on the same systems. So no the down vote isn't because of people being WMP junkies its because some of us don't have good experience with it.

        For the record I use MPC on my systems. It uses less CPU time, and plays files perfectly for me.

    2. Carrot007
      Unhappy

      VLC is great and I use it whereever I can. However there is something up with the OSX version.

      It may just be performace. When playing HD stuff (I only go for 720 since it is an original intel macbook) I get occasional pausing and stuttering. I also note the machien does not heat up so it appears not to be hitting anything near max cpu usage.

      i have recently installed mplayer instead and get no such issues, however at times the machine does get hot and the fan comes on as expected.

      1. Chemist

        Re : mplayer

        mplayer certainly seems to use less CPU on any of my Linux boxes regardless of whether the video is accelerated or not.

        Doesn't fit with your experience of hot or not but it's what I've noticed

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Disturbing move...

    I'm not too pleased with the whole "marketplace development". I think its only a matter of time before more and more components are stripped from Windows where customers are left to fend for themselves using the Marketplace. Of course the price for the OS doesn't go down, even though it provides less functionality.

    And considering that developers need to pay to publish stuff through the marketplace and customers most likely will need to buy stuff from the marketplace leaves MS in the middle of the revenue; generating more income with less effort.

    Not too sure I like where this is going.

    1. Zack Mollusc

      Re: Disturbing move...

      Well, I am pleased with this development as it will mean that I don't have to delete Windows Media Thing after I have restored to factory default. Saves a step. If they get rid of the dvd-burning thing that never works right for me, that will save another step.

  13. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    MS generously bringing more fondeslab greatness to the PC version

    First the UI, now DVDs. Next week I look forward to news about keyboard and mouse support being removed from the PC version.

  14. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    Didn't this always used to happen with older Windows anyway?

    I have a whole bunch of CyberLink PowerDVD install disks and keys because every time we bought an 2000/XP laptop or PC, they didn't include the MPEG2 codecs and the workaround was that all manufacturers bundled "something" that would play MPEG2 for no cost - either with the machine or the DVD drive if you were upgrading. That "something" usually cost them pence in bulk and consisted of some DVD playback software that you didn't even install most of the time.

    I still have the pile for our XP machines here, still have the problem that Media Player doesn't play DVD by default on a clean Windows XP install (you have to install that bit of software first or - my solution that bettered my employer's - use VLC and just make sure you can prove you have the PowerDVD disks, and hence MPEG playback license, somewhere). Then the whole EU software patents things went a bit up the wall and basically the Fraunhoefer Institute's patents meant nothing any more so we could just use playback software at our whim.

    Isn't this just a return to an earlier policy rather than some shocking new omission from the OS?

    1. Joe Drunk
      Windows

      I had forgotten that 2000/XP couldn't play DVDs. I do remember an XP Thinkpad I had came with WInDVD 4 and a subsequent XP Dell Laptop with PowerDVD 4.

      I don't know how I feel about this - myself and most power users have always used third party apps such as VLC so this would have no effect. I did ask most of the noobs I know and they watch DVDs on a dedicated player and never knew that their Vista PC could play DVDs. This feature will probably be missed by the masses as much as SLIP.

      Even though I hate the new WIndows 8 interface maybe MS is on to something here - The majority simply won't care that their new PC can't play DVDs.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      If you re correct-

      Win 9 will ship on 37 floppies.

      1. PT

        Re: If you re correct-

        By my calculations, even a svelte distribution like XP would have required 750 floppies.

  15. squilookle
    Meh

    Although Media Player became respectable/quite good in the last few years, it has always been rubbish for playing DVDs anyway.

    I do like it for ripping audio CDs, but don't even use it for that (K3B on the Linux box gets that job).

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1) Buy Windows 8.

    2) Stick in a DVD.

    3) Receive System Message: "We are sorry. DVD playback is not supported. Please visit www.thepiratebay.se for further information."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      3) Receive System Message: "We are sorry. DVD playback is not supported. UK users, please visit http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://thepiratebay.se/ for further information."

      Fixed it for you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I thought el reg was removing posts about work arounds?!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          it's not a workaround, it's a solution :D

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Devil

        Hmm..

        3. "We are sorry. DVD playback is not supported. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!"

  17. adam payne Silver badge

    I didn't like the Windows 8 preview, especially the way it navigates. I also don't use Windows Media Center so this is a none issue for me. I'll be sticking with VLC.

  18. ici.chacal

    On a side note...

    ... I wish they would change that stupid traffic cone icon in VLC to something that doesn't make me think that I'm running an unfinished application that is 'under construction'...

    1. toadwarrior

      Re: On a side note...

      I like it. It has nothing to do with the status of development (it has to do with the author having originally collected traffic cones or something like that) and it's better than yet another generic icon that looks like all others.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Knowing its history...

      ... I think the chances of that happening are fairly slim.

      But you're welcome to propose an alternative. On the relevant mailinglist or you could try and float the idea first on the IRC channel.

      Tangentially, VLC has a piracy problem in the sense that there's sites that offer various versions or even just links to same for a fee* that are in fact not affiliated with videolan and none of your money ends up with the project or its developers. Some versions even come with malware or snooping browser bars or whatnot. It's saddening to see people demand support "because they paid for the download", only they paid someone else and didn't notice. They always get the answer "please ask the people you did pay."

      Best just fetch the thing for free from the original source and if you like donate via the project's own website. Most readers here will do so anyway, but plenty of non-techies get caught--and with an user base estimated in the tens of millions, even duping a small fraction is good monies. Happens with other free software too, so buyer beware. This is something you might want to warn your relatives about.

      * Which might turn out to be a yearly subscription with a six-month notice period or something, read the fine print!

    3. MikeyD85
      Trollface

      Re: On a side note...

      Around Christmas time, it becomes a traffic cone with a santa hat on...

      That any better?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    presumably, in the grown up world, if you try and sell something that uses tech from someone else, you need to pay for it.

    MS going to pull DVD playback? ok, but id expect the drop in price to be noticable, i dont use WMC or WMP for dvd playback, i use TMC, or MPC so not bothered to be honest, so long as its reflected in the price

    all you lot saying linux does this an that, im pretty sure its because its free, if a distro tried to sell it without a licence they would be in a world of trouble, infact im sure there are some codecs that cant be shipped in a distro for that reason, all be it they are easily available, an often ignored by smaller distros

    1. squilookle
      Linux

      My understanding is they can't be shipped in certain countries, and that the distro that do ship the codecs operate/claim to operate in a country where they can be shipped.

      I notice Ubuntu now have you check a box to say you want to download and install restricted software, which I guess puts the onus on the user to ensure they are in a territory where the software is legal.

      ^ Based on the understanding I have and no further research, feel free to correct me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ myself and Downvoters

      This is fact now my friends, to be able to play a DVD requires a licence to be legal, that is fact, if the software does not have a licence its using IP with out the permission of the owners, if I were from the MPAA id be saying words like theft and stealing but im not so I hope you understand what I mean!

      Now, some software may well have a licence and remain free, but there will be some advertising / back room deal to allow them to do this, good examples are when you buy an optical drive, usually you get a OEM copy of a player, its free, its also shit, cut down and very limited but it works and promotes the software player and usually nags you to "upgrade", oh and its licenced!

      So if you run Linux, and if you are using software that allows playback then unless that is licenced then you are using software without the owners of that technologies consent, the irony of doing so in an OS made famous for being Open Free and (GPL) licenced to fuck with restrictions and/or usage policies is very apparent and somewhat hypocritical. Now I don't know what DVD solutions are available so perhaps they all have licences and if so, that's great, but that's not always the case, or and splashing some prompt on the screen to pass the buck to the end user is still IP theft if there isnt a valid licence.

      MS pulling the plug on DVD playback is one thing which wont bother me, the somewhat confusing media upgrade packs are troubling and no one has mentioned what will happen to my legal WMC on Win 7 ultimate after I upgrade?? oh and I hope there is a noticeable drop in price MS, or this move could back fire big time!

      1. JustNiz

        Re: @ myself and Downvoters

        >> the irony of doing so in an OS made famous for being Open Free and (GPL) licenced to fuck with restrictions and/or usage policies is very apparent and somewhat hypocritical.

        Wow Troll or Microsoft employee, you badly need to check your facts. The GPL is actually CopyLEFT, any "restrictions" would only be perceived as such to organs like Microsoft already looking to impose their own worse restrictions in order to cash-in on others freely donated hard work.

        FYI the GPL ensures that all the end-users EXPLICITLY CAN do with it what they like in perpetuity. The only "Usage Policy" is that if they distribute the program with changes, they also include the source code so others can do the same.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ myself and Downvoters

          Ok so I can take your GPL code and, put it in my own program and sell it off?

          no, I cant

          For the same reason you shouldn't use unlicensed DVD playback software. The only reason Linux can get away with it, is because the software used to playback DVDs is made by people who would be too costly to sue and the gains to small a return. There are also some countries that don't allow software to be patentable I think France is one of them

          But the fact remains whether its illegal in our country or not,

          IF you watch DVDs on your system you are using someone else's technology to do so and if that software doesn't have a licence you are doing so without permission, which is similar to me taking your work, and selling it off as my own...

          its not about liking MS, it has nothing to do with them other than the fact they have been licencing the use of DVD playback in WMP ( in a very crude poor way) if they hadn't licenced it, MS would have been sued to hell and back

          All im saying is, don't assume that because Linux if free and all cool people use it that you are correct in playing back DVDs, if it was included with the distro then its likely that it would cost to much to claim against them however you know that there are some instances of this and thus they cant directly install it, and if its a third party program then theres even less chance if them getting pulled up....still doesn't make it right.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I can take your GPL code

            put it in my own program and sell it off?

            Absolutely you can, as long as you copy the GPL, and comply with it. It's perfectly legal to burn some Linux CDs and sell them on eBay if you want.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I can take your GPL code

              your still missing the point.

              If I make some fancy new way of viewing films, I then licence the use of that technology out to other people, it doesn't matter about the content, that's for someone else to worry about, the fact is I own the tech on the content delivery system, people then pay me to use that system, if they don't then they are in effect in violation of the patents around that device.

              just because you come along and rip off my work allow people to do it for free doesn't change the fact you are using/breaking my IP/patents to do the job

              Take Microsoft, if it was so easy to rip off someone else's work without paying for it, they would have added BD support to the Xbox a long time ago, they don't because that would mean they have to pay Sony a licence not only for the hardware but also the usage of that hardware, the playback of the disks.

              What makes Linux above the law? because the people who make this software conveniently live in a place that couldn't give a funk about IP/patent protection?

              Now, if you want to do that and watch DVDs on your Linux box then fine, I couldn't care less, but don't come on here saying that Linux is whiter than white and better than everyone else because its free, that's BS, everyone else sticks to the law / the spirit of the law, MS included (in this case) just because in the Linux world (perhaps a better word would be "Freetard" world as VLC etc is available on Windows too) doesn't make it right

              1. JEDIDIAH
                Mushroom

                Re: I can take your GPL code

                I am "stealing" nothing by playing my own paid-for copy of some DVD with whatever program I choose. The only reason there is even any sort of "ownership" associated with playback is as a backhanded non-cricket extension to copyright law that shouldn't be tolerated anyways.

                The physical copy is legitimately acquired and it's my personal property. I should have the legal right to decode it . Period.

              2. JEDIDIAH
                Linux

                Re: I can take your GPL code

                Your nonsense is EXACTLY why this whole nonsense about the h264 monopoly cartel is such a problem. Our culture and personal information is held hostage to these corporate interests that want to take advantage of everyone.

                These kinds of patent cartels are a threat to everyone and should be taken more seriously.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  FAIL

                  Re: h.264

                  Ok, so anyone who wants to make money out of something they develop need not bother because someone else will then do the same thing for free making the original work redundant?

                  As I said, the world revolves around money, when things that get developed for a global scale out, people generally intend to make money out of it

                  What you are in fact saying is this.

                  Anything developed should be free to all, to use as and how you wish without fear of prosecution.

                  Im sorry, but in the real world people need to earn money and if a company develops something like blue-ray playback, then they have every right to sell it off. Sony and Phillips more or less developed the CD starting way back in the 70s, it probably cost the a small fortune to work it all out.

                  they made an absolute mint from doing so, effectively making money out of any CD made up until recently when many of the patents ran out.

                  Now that's mostly hardware, but the same principle applies to software used to keep the data stored on a disc in a given format allowing playback on a device, if someone develops a way of storing data allowing for playback on a separate device then why should they not be paid for the right to use it?

                  If you make something for free and it gets used world wide, ie, something like DVD playback then that's fine, I hope you feel noble about your gift to humanity. Just because someone wants to make money out of something they develop doesn't make them a bad person.

                  lastly I am aware that France doesn't sign up to the spirit of the law, and European "law" if there is such a thing, is about as clear as mud. But just because someone broke something doesn't make it right to then use it.

                  But we are getting way of the point here, you all saying Linux is better because they circumvent the law or the spirit of the law if you must, doesn't make it better then Windows, and correct me if im wrong, but DVD playback in Linux is a third party function anyway, the same software is available for windows, which makes Linux better because? they distribute semi illegal software with the OS?

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: your still missing the point.

                About your ignorance of GPL? I think not.

                Regarding the whole CSS thing, might I suggest the following point?

                Commercial DVDs are encrypted, in order to prevent unauthorised copying of copyright content. Manufacturers of DVDs, DVD players and software all signed up to a confidential licensing agreement to protect the encryption method. But one of them screwed up, someone reverse-engineered the algorithm using their key and now DVDs aren't protected any more. That means there's no longer any point in signing up to the confidential licensing agreement, whose purpose was to protect DVD content. CSS is officially no longer a trade secret., and VideoLAN has developed software for playing DVDs that doesn't use the leaked decryption key. Being French they don't have to worry about the DMCA, and under European law they're pretty much in the clear. Of course US residents need to worry about the DMCA, but that's their problem, not ours.

      2. PT

        Re: @ myself and Downvoters

        That's worth a downvote <done>. If I buy a DVD, I own it and will damn well play it on any device I like. If purchasing the format doesn't come with an implied license to play it, there's something very wrong - if not actually fraudulent - in the licensing arrangements.

        But wait, what's this I see in your post - "I were from the MPAA id be saying words like theft and stealing but im not",and then a little further on, "is still IP theft if there isnt a valid licence" - ok, I get it now. You're just confused.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ myself and Downvoters

          ha, if you buy a DVD you have the righty to watch that DVD for personal use. you do not have the right to decode that DVD or even play it.

          That right comes in the form of a licence that ALL DVD player manufactures have to pay and all legitimate software DVD plays also have to play.

          Just because you can, doesn't mean its right.

          I can download PowereDVD or TMC just now, and have it working in a few min, doesn't make it right though does it, unless I pay for the use of that software.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: @ myself and Downvoters

            Since the alleged offence is a copyright violation, the most that the IP owners can expect to recover through the courts is the money that I paid to the "vendor" of my free OS.

            They haven't sold anything so they haven't made any money off the back of someone else's cleverness. Quite the reverse, in fact, since a wide deployment of *players* increases the market for content for those players, and the owners of the DVD IP presumably make money every time someone *encodes* a film and *sells* it as a DVD.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              FAIL

              Re: @ myself and Downvoters

              So its one rule for one and one for another?

              So using that logic, im going to come over to your house and use your computer. But its ok, because im not making any money out of it.

              You might get a bit cheesed off with that id imagine.

              Or lets put this another way im going to download DVDs and xbox games, its all fair game as im not selling it on or even distributing it, so theres not losing any money.

              Or how about whilst im downloading that DVD im going to download the latest version of Windows to go with it., its not like im selling it and its actually benifical to MS as ill tell everyone how wonderful it is...

              Im sorry your logic is flawed, MS pulled the DVD playback to save money on the licence, now the question is will we notice, I hope we do otherwise it would be a waste of time.

              The "free" alternatives on any OS "should" pay a licence fee to do so, many of them dont.

              If we ALL did this, the people designing tech wouldn't bother any more, why? because we'd just rip of their work and have a free version, they wouldn't make any money and that really does put a whole downer on the development side to things

              Outside of the utopia of Linux people have to make money by making shit up and selling it. There is nothing to stop a legal piece of DVD playback software on Linux. However judging from the replies on here very few people would use it because they seem to believe that everyone elses work is theirs for the taking.

      3. A J Stiles
        FAIL

        Re: @ myself and Downvoters

        Any licence required to watch a DVD was already included in the original purchase price of the DVD. Once it is your property, nobody can restrict you from using it for its rightful purpose.

        If you want to argue different, it's going to end up with Hollywood refunding the full purchase price of every DVD ever sold in countries with strong consumer protection laws, plus compensation for whatever can be claimed for and both sides' legal costs.

        The movie studios are fully aware of all this, which is why they prefer to talk big and scary as opposed to showing their complete and utter lack of leg to stand on in court.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ myself and Downvoters

          Ive not down voted anyone yet as you are all entitled to your own opinion, and Linux is a grey matter I will admit, however I have to in this case because you are simply so wrong.

          All Legitimate hardware and software plays must pay for the licence to decode your DVD otherwise it is not legitimate.

          That is a fact of which there is no question. You pay for it in terms of the price you pay for that player, it will be included in the cost. There are some "free" OEM software players that usually come with hardware, these are also paid for but the cost is not passed on to you, its hoped that you then upgrade your crap version to the proper version. There could also be "free" players that pays up front for the licence then sells advertising space to make up the payment, thus again, to you It appears "free"

          However the large majority of Solutions to play back DVDs on any system including VLC / MPC etc do not employ these methods and do not have licences to do so, therefor they are not legitimate in the wider world, (although locally in some countries as ive said they couldn't give a funk about it or they pass the responsibility of breaking the law on to you, )

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8 = Downgrade

    Stupid Microsoft, hobbling their software to supposedly bring (artificial) costs down, did they buy PowerDVD or Roxio surreptitiously so they could make more money and control more DRM?

    Didn't you need the capacity of a DVD disk to hold a complete windows install anyway?

    1. Steve Renouf
      Alien

      Re: Windows 8 = Downgrade

      "Didn't you need the capacity of a DVD disk to hold a complete windows install anyway?"

      Don't be silly, you don't get installation discs with a new PC - they all come pre-installed!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 8 = Downgrade @Steve Renouf

        You would get them (retail versions) if you built all of your own computers; knowing enough to not buy P.o.S premade PC's from the likes of Dell, HP, or whomever because they suck the rectal membranes of herpetic monkey's.

    2. Cameron Colley

      Re: Windows 8 = Downgrade

      This is DVD video playback, with CSS and the like, they're talking about and not the ability to read DVDs.

    3. Annihilator
      Facepalm

      Re: Windows 8 = Downgrade

      "Didn't you need the capacity of a DVD disk to hold a complete windows install anyway?"

      1) it's a "disc"

      2) they're not discontinuing the support for the physical media (hard to imagine how they could) but for DVD video.

      Although given you're managing to see conspiracy in this, I'm not surprised you're confused.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Windows 8 = Downgrade

        1) it's a "disc"

        Actually, if we're on the subject of correcting others, it's a "__", since the second "D" in "DVD" stands for disc or disk, depending on your brand of English. (The "V" stands for video or versatile, depending on your brand of country, if I remember correctly.)

        1. the spectacularly refined chap

          Re: Windows 8 = Downgrade

          DVD doesn't actually stand for anything - it is officially a meaningless initialism. As for disk/disc that is more to do with the technology than the locale - magnetic disK but optical disC. I don't know where exactly that convention originated but it seems to be true in all anglophone countries.

  22. toadwarrior

    For computer literate people this isn't a problem. Any reasonable person would be playing their DVDs on Linux anyway which is far better anyway.

    And sure we can suggest VLC but the problem is this is going to hit most of their customers, the people that don't know enough about computers to get by.

    They'll be used to just pushing the disk in and it plays. WMP may be rubbish but they don't know any better. This is just going to make Windows look bad.

    Also not everyone has broadband or unlimited broadband or feels compelled to pay for netflix to watch something they have on DVD. The US doesn't exactly have a stellar record on broadband so it's an issue for a lot of their customers, not just people living in the middle of the Amazon.

    But why should I care, Linux provides what I want so I can't see myself even considering Windows 8.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Seriously? You're defining "computer literate" as "uses linux"? For real?

      1. toadwarrior

        If you are computer literate and not using a unix based operating system then you're an idiot. OSX is an acceptable substitute and comes with DVD playback.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If you're computer literate or computer illiterate and you make personal judgements about other people based on their choice of OS. then you're obviously extremely shallow and likely the only people who want to hear your opinion are like-minded shallow types.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's funny how people claim that every computer literate person uses Linux, as if it's some inescapable conclusion once you discover what an AND gate is.

      I know around a hundred people who are not only computer literate, but count amongst them some of the best coders on the planet.

      Not one of them uses Linux as their primary desktop OS.

      Linux is for people who aspire to be computer literate, but haven't yet achieved the workload which requires them to stop wasting time learning arcana about stuff that doesn't matter.

      1. Darryl

        It's easy. Just imagine the OP's comment spoken in the voice of Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons

        "Any reasonable person would be playing their DVDs on Linux anyway which is far better anyway. Now leave me alone so I can enjoy my breakfast burrito."

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Shark007

          Have you seen the kinds of sites that host multimedia components for Windows and MCE?

          That kind of crap right there is reason enough to dump Windows for a Mac at least.

          It's mind boggling what DOS Lemmings will put up with. It never ceases to amaze me. I know it shouldn't since I remember the old nonsense with memory management. Still does though.

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Bah!

        The real computer literati speak GEORGE (and probably OS1100 too if they were literate at the time ICL shot itself in the foot).

        Unix? A toy OS for toy computers!

        1. Philip Lewis

          Re: Bah!

          George3 iirc was the first OS i met. Then rsts/e, and then ...

      3. hplasm Silver badge
        Trollface

        I see that you didn't say

        what the' best coders on the planet 'did use as their desktop.

        Bet it's not windows.

      4. jason 7 Silver badge
        Unhappy

        I've tried to get to grips with linux as all the linux guys tell me over and over I should use it.

        I then ask the linux guys a question and I get told to "fuck off and stick to Windows noob!"

        You can't win with the mentally imbalanced I guess.

      5. h4rm0ny

        "Linux is for people who aspire to be computer literate, but haven't yet achieved the workload which requires them to stop wasting time learning arcana about stuff that doesn't matter."

        If you want to argue that Win7 is a nicer desktop envrionement and easier to work with than KDE, you can argue that. If you want to say it's better than the hideous thing that Gnome has become, you don't even have to argue that. But to say Linux is only for people with low work-loads is just trolling. I have Windows 7 for my main desktop and then I have Debian running alongside it for development work. I would not want to be without either one and I can assure you that my workload is high enough, thankyouverymuch.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think we'll see...

    ... lots of "unauthorized" downloads offered with the requisite codecs from some other distribution. Some of them will turn out to be malware vectors, just like today only moreso. Fun.

    Also seeing how their boot from usb "feature" is only offered locked away behind an enterprise contract, I think it's not much of a stretch to they're on a greed high. That, or they royally screwed up the licence fees negotiations. Or possibly both. It doesn't seem to be a particularly smart move, though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think we'll see...

      Presumably somebody can just publish the relevant codec on Windows Marketplace for free? Microsoft will then run their standard malware checks so it should be safe. I'm assuming that, as others have said on here, Linux gets to include them for free because they aren't actually selling them (either that they steal them), so I assume that same rule would apply to free Windows downloads.

      Presumably when you try and play a DVD widows will offer to find you the required codec in the market place and provide a list of options to install one.

      My Android tablet didn't come with all the needed codecs, Archos offers to sell them for £8 extra, so this is not a Windows specific issue.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: I think we'll see...

      "Also seeing how their boot from usb "feature" is only offered locked away behind an enterprise contract, I think it's not much of a stretch to they're on a greed high."

      The boot from USB feature isn't an equivalent to, e.g. Linux on a pendrive. It actually is an enterprise tool designed to allow sysadmins to set up secure, portable distributions that integrate into their network. E.g. for temporary workers or those that want to bring their own desktop (BYOD). That's why it's in the Enterprise edition. It's not a 'boot from USB' in the sense of "hey let's just install it to a USB stick instead of a harddrive". They're different things, that's why it's in the Enterprise edition.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...such as YouTube, Hulu and Netflix, Microsoft says"

    The vast majority in -- North America -- maybe.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    "What’s going on is an attempt to pare the costs of PCs and keep down the price and maximise the margins."

    Or what's really going on is the continual chipping away of desktop PC functionality to make crappy tablets look more attractive. Then sell stuff that used to come bundled with the OS as an additional extra cost "app".

    The really sad thing is people will accept this and try to justify being ripped off by calling people "dinosaurs" who don't want to forced into Fisher Price computing.

    With every article I read about Windows 8 (yes I have installed and tried it) my incredulity level increases. Microsoft seem hell bent on travelling the road to self destruction. Either that or they're smoking some really serious shit in Redmond.

  26. Kev K
    Happy

    klite codec pack with media player classic runs pretty much anything I throw at it.

    I always have an issue with VLC for the same reason as the above poster. The traffic cone icon really makes me (irrationally I know) hate it

    1. John 90

      Just change the icon.

      Not that big of a deal.

  27. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Microsoft?

    Are they still around?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Microsoft?

      Wait...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: VLC

    If VLC is the same on Windows and on Linux, how come it can't play certain DVDs on my Linux (mythdora) box which it can play on my Windows 7 workstation?

    I suspect that VLC uses the Windows codecs (where present) on Windows boxes and its own codecs on Linux boxes.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: re: VLC

      Check that you have libdvdcss (or libdvdcss2) installed as Fedora doesn't have it OOB, due to its "naughtiness". Without it, CSS encoded disks will fail.

  29. gaz 7
    Pirate

    Crap like this is why piracy will continue

    Crap like this is why piracy is and will continue to flourish. not cos people want to rip off the entertainment industry, but because the entertainment industry are ripping the people off.

  30. EddieD

    Well...

    At least they're leaving the hardware - the last Mac Minis we got had no optical drive at all.

  31. Eddie Edwards
    WTF?

    This still costs real money?

    One would have thought the licensing cost to MPEG-LA for DVD-era technology is now rather trivial. Is this not the case? You still have to pay real money for MPEG-2 and *cough* CSS?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: This still costs real money?

      Apparently so, even though Microsoft are part owners of MPEG-LA.

      The phrase "hoist by their own petard" comes to mind. Couldn't happen to a nicer patent troll.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: This still costs real money?

      Actually, MPEG-2 is expensive!

      H.264 is much cheaper as well as being a better codec.

      That said, given that MS are part of the MPEG-LA in the first place, I would have thought their cost was zero (even if it's an out-and-back) while an OEM's cost is high.

      I suspect this may actually be an attack on MPEG-LA. I wonder why.

  32. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Not much of a loss

    OK, WMP was crap, is crap and will always be unusable crap only infesting the computer with MSFT's own flavour of DRMs. First thing I do on any PC is removing any file associations with WMP for all media I am planning to regularly use.

    Then, I wasn't aware that WMP ever came with MPEG2 and AC3 filters included. Maybe in Win7 it did? Or maybe they are talking about the code that processes DVD navigation such as menues, VM commands etc? As per above WMP was *always* crap at that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not much of a loss

      I used Linux about 12 years ago it was crap, horible UI, so it will always be unusable crap. I used Apple Mac's 22 years ago, they were crap, nice UI but kept on crashing. So they will always be crap.

      That logic follows dosn't it?

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Not much of a loss

        apt-get remove troll

  33. Furbian
    Unhappy

    Can Metro be a paid add-on too?

    Now that would a definite Windows 8 selling point!

    Microsoft really think people will pay for Media Player? Even Apple don't charge for iTunes, and VLC has become so much more popular due it being able to play media formats that Media Player just can't manage, mkv and flv come to mind.

  34. Peter Mc Aulay
    Flame

    Hardly matters

    Yes, this idea of removing DVD playback capability from Windows is prima facie absurd.

    However. Windows users already are accustomed to having to hunt down and install third party software in order to perform even the most mundane of tasks. They'll hardly notice. As others have noted it'll merely result in an increase in VLC downloads.

    1. hitmouse

      Re: Hardly matters

      Their numbers are greatly overwhelmed by those who complain that every such thing added is bloat.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how computing works

    1. Microsoft bundle something previously provided by 3rd parties: Microsoft are evil.

    2. Microsoft don't bundle something previously included in the OS: Microsoft are evil.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: how computing works

      True, MS ought not use it's power to drive out smaller business from the market, but at the same time they ought not charge mega luxury prices for major profit margins and not supply the world and its dog in return.

  36. pip25
    Meh

    I never used Media Player

    But I would still be interested just how much DVD licensing money are we talking about here. Considering the amount of Windows licenses sold, I can't help but feel that it's pretty minimal. I wonder if such a tiny price reduction is really worth another round of negative PR for Microsoft.

    1. hitmouse

      Re: I never used Media Player

      The figure I heard being bandied about some years ago was $50 per Windows license. Not chump change.

      Microsoft licenses a lot of third party technology. Sometimes it pays a flat-fee, sometimes the licensor demands unit royalties. Other providers distribute the same stuff but more often than not they don't get sued simply because they won't get the big moolah you get from hitting a Microsoft/Apple/Google ...

      1. Raz

        Re: I never used Media Player

        More like $5 when XP came out. Probably less in newer releases.

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: I never used Media Player

        It could never have been $50 because that is greater than the cost to OEMs and Microsoft would therefore *irrefutably* have been selling Windows *at a loss* when they were under investigation in the US and EU for monopoly abuse.

        Even given Microsoft's history of sailing close to the legal wind, that just doesn't seem likely.

        1. hitmouse

          Re: I never used Media Player

          Actually no because it's likely that the owner of the IP didn't want Microsoft to ship anything it could get more revenue for directly, so it put a ridiculously high price on it. Much like Adobe having a hissy for Microsoft putting freely available (to everybody else) PDF drivers into Office.

  37. banjomike
    FAIL

    I've already crossed Windows 8 off my shopping list ...

    ... I'll see what Win 9 brings.

  38. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Could it have something to do with...

    adding access to the xbox movie rental system to windows 8?

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: Could it have something to do with...

      Hmm I think you have a point there, but doesn't Xbox use Netflix?

      1. jason 7 Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Could it have something to do with...

        No bizzarely the Zune Movie selection is far far superior to Netflix or Lovefilm.

        It has all the latest releases in it which both the others lack. I've had Lovefilm on the Xbox for three months now and I've seen no new major movies added to it in that time.

        I just don't like having to buy MS points to rent the movies. Bit expensive.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely if you cut an Ap's functionality you are starting to kill off the Ap ? In which case why leave Media Centre there at all ?

  40. Archivist

    Hell's freezing over!

    I think this is a sensible move. Other platforms are going optical disc-less, so why include the licence cost for playback from a device that might not be fitted to your hardware? Don't imagine the coming Ultrabooks are going to have room for optical drives.

    Heck, I never thought I'd agree with MS about anything!

    1. Chemist

      Re: Hell's freezing over!

      I don't have an optical drive on my Linux netbook but I do load images of DVDs from my network to watch when travelling.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Hell's freezing over!

      You, too, appear to have failed to distinguish between DVDs as a physical medium (still supported) and the codecs required to play certain kinds of content (which is what MS are removing).

  41. William Boyle

    Say NO! To DRM!

    Yet another reason to run Linux on your PC...

    1. tekgun

      Re: Say NO! To DRM!

      Does DRM magically disappear from a DVD when put in a Linux box then?

      1. A J Stiles
        Boffin

        Re: Say NO! To DRM!

        Linux machines are most likely to be running Open Source applications, which don't generally bother with restricting users from doing what they want with their own property that they have bought and paid for with the fruits of their own effort, by hand or by brain. And even if they did, judicious insertion of a few comment marks is all it takes to un-restrict you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Say NO! To DRM!

          Hay, the irony!

          yes, you rip out the CSS, well done, however you are aware that there are no Free ways to play a DVD unless you do so without permission, ie illegally?

          Free is somewhat subjective as its not always a case of paying money up front but my point stands, if you use Linux to watch DVDs and use software that isn't licenced then your doing so without permission. Now given that Linux is tied to GPL rather tightly which usually has restrictions of use with in it but is generally followed because that is the LICENCE that was given to you, its amazing that you may condone the breaking of a licence agreement, or in this case no even getting a licence and just stealing it!

          Ignorance is not an excuse

          1. A J Stiles
            Alert

            Re: Say NO! To DRM!

            If you own the DVD, then you have an implied licence to watch the movie on it, as that is its Rightful Purpose. So nobody can legally prevent you from watching it, nor from performing any necessary step in the course of so doing.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge
              Unhappy

              @A J Stiles

              Except in the United States of America, where the DMCA specifically makes doing that illegal.

              So far that isn't the case in the rest of the world, though several parties are clearly pushing for it.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ignorance is not an excuse

            That's you shit out of luck then, isn't it?

  42. N2 Silver badge

    VLC

    Windows Media Centre would be sold at extra cost - why bother with it when VLC is better & free?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Childcatcher

    Oh well

    Why should microsoft incure a few pence charge when the end user can pay them the same price and allow a 3rd party to rape them for a a few pounds instead of pence - bravo microsoft - bravo.

    Maybe whilst there removing DVD playback they could increase the prices in the UK by upto 30% and blame it on difference on EURO price difference to GBP (which aint realy changed over past 5 years). Though given that Australia over the past 5 years has become more valuable compared to the dollar by over 30% and no sign of any form of price cuts in that period I would have to say I'm unsure about this word fairness in the dictionary thesedays.

    That all said I actualy prefer Vista over windows 7 and suspect that I'd prefer Windows 7 over Windows 8. But I knew how to use windows 3.11 so that probably explains it.

    So I suppose come windows 11 we will have to buy a application just to open a file and another application per file format. This will lead to the EU demands that the user has choice on the application they use to install and buy applications.

    Bottom line I say this:

    Dear Microsoft,

    I note that the new version of windows has DVD playback as an optional extra. May I firmly point out that every version of windows since version 1.0 thru to any furture version has one optional extra you have no control over at all and that is the user. For this user I will be optionaly not purchase your new operationing system as I shall be using a Linux desktop which has DVD playback.

    Optionaly yours

    Vista User }->

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh well

      it has DVD playback but not necessarily legally, MS couldn't ignore such a licence without getting its arse booted in courts,

    2. MCG
      Thumb Up

      Re: Oh well

      That all said I actualy prefer Vista over windows 7

      That was the point when my eyes rolled back in my head. Very droll, sir.

  44. Lallabalalla

    By the way...

    WTF is a "codec decoder"?

    1. StooMonster

      Re: By the way...

      A relative of an ATM machine, RAM memory, DOS system, etc.

  45. Doug Glass
    Go

    VLC

    Maybe the boys at VideoLAN have a plan. A LAN plan as it were. A LAN plan to beat the ban. Bejubus! This is hard to figure out! Where's A Sacred J when you need one?

  46. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    What were the Marketing People smoking?

    "Right guys.... New version of Windows... Fantastic computing experience... Brainstorm away!"

    "I have an idea!"

    "Let's deliberately make it RUBBISH and HARD TO USE for common, everyday tasks that our customers might want to use it for"

    "Yeah, man. I mean, wow, that's such an awesome idea...."

  47. Inachu

    I hate DOLBY.

    Dokby makes all my music no matter the source material sound as if its being played behind a pillow.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hate DOLBY.

      There's your problem, you see! You have the "DOKBY" codec, you need to get the "DOLBY" one!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hate DOLBY.

      turn it off then

    3. A J Stiles
      Facepalm

      Re: I hate DOLBY.

      Well, it will do that, if there was no Dolby on the original source programme to begin with!

      It's a two-ended process. The recording is made with Dolby encoding, which -- by means of a non-linear transfer function -- gives a bit more emphasis to the frequencies where noise is most obtrusive. At the time of playback, the signal -- along with any noise it may have picked up -- is subjected to the inverse transfer function, undoing the deliberate distortion introduced in recording, and most of the noise disappears.

      If you haven't got a Dolby decoder, turning down the treble control a bit will make it sound tolerable.

  48. Mage Silver badge

    MS OS is grossly overpriced in Retail

    but what is the OEM price that they have to do this stupidity?

    What about Blu Ray disk (BD) video playback?

    What about Media Center [sic] MPEG2 for DTT & Satellite and MPEG4 H.264] for DTT USB sticks* and Satellite cards?

    [* Some countries and UK after October 2012 use MPEG4 for SD not just HD]

    This seems like shooting their toes off at the knee. A gift to OS 10 and Linux.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    perhaps

    the idea is to lead toward a windows where you pay for the kernal then pick all the functionality item by item til you have an OS that only does what you want and you only pay for what you need.

    What does that remind me of?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: perhaps

      It probably reminds you of a car, particularly if the optional extras are outrageously priced.

      Or maybe it reminds you of Apple's entire product line, for which you *could* buy optional extras from third parties, but they won't quite match the base product (either in visual styling or function) so anyone who buys into the basic product tends to stick with the brand for all the add-ons.

      I wouldn't, but I understand that plenty of people with large disposable incomes do. It could be that MS are now chasing that demographic, having figured that their business desktop is a monopoly and so *cannot* deliver the growth that the shareholders demand.

    2. FrankAlphaXII

      Re: perhaps

      It probably reminds you of a certain penguin flavored OS, but Ive never seen a distro that doesn't include the basics.

  50. Smithson
    Facepalm

    Wow, I wasn't even aware that Vista/7 could play DVDs without additional software! Knew that WMP couldn't play a DVD on 98 or XP until I installed PowerDVD -- and even then only in a slower, less customisable, and generally crappier way than PowerDVD itself, thereby rendering said WMP functionality entirely pointless. However given that various manufacturers (e.g. Acer, Sony) include extra media player crapware on their current Win7 machines anyway, I don't think the removal of in-built functionality that's only been there since Vista is going to affect the end user too much. And anyone buying and installing a retail copy of Win8 is going to be literate enough to download VLC. But either way, I think anyone using WMP for watching DVDs is doing themselves a disservice.

  51. James O'Shea

    What's all the noise about?

    If I want to watch a DVD I usually use either my Bluray player, attached to my TV, or slap the disc into my desktop Mac and use either Apple's DVD Player or VLC. In the rare event that I want to watch a DVD on a WinBox, I use VLC; my Toshiba laptop, for example, comes with a perfectly horrible kludge (it _still_ hates Aero! It's only been _SIX YEARS_ since Aero shipped with Vista, for Christ's sake! And the Aero hatred ain't the worst thing about it!) and VLC is far superior. I never even _thought_ about using Windows Media to play a movie. I pretty much never watch videos when I'm running Linux (Linux is for servers, so long as you don't need Active Directory, and I have better things to do than to watch video on a server) but when I do want to watch a movie while running Linux (usually on the same Toshiba laptop, running Ubuntu 9.04 'cause everything since then has been rubbish) I just crank up VLC.

    This appears to be much ado about nothing.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i promise i'm not trolling....

    I prefer WMP. I've run the same files in both VLC & WMP to do a side by side comparrison. It appears (to my eyes anyway) that the colours are better in WMP. I can achieve the same results if I tinker with VLC but I have to do custom tweaks every time I play a file as opposed to WMP which just works. Believe me when I say I never thought those words would flow from my fingers in relation to a Microsoft product! Truthfully, I find WMP + CCCP = epic win.

    But I guess as the kids say...YMMV

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    All Sounds Very familiar. Nostalgic, even

    I seem to remember it was media players that wouldn't play media unless you bought something else that first sent me in search of software like VLC.

    Now I'm a penguin so ya boo sucks.

  54. JustNiz

    Microsoft are the bitches of Hollywood

    Its pretty obvious Hollywood/MPAA are slowly moving to kill off all production and any way of buying or renting movies on actual media entirely. They want to move everyone to a streaming model and make sure you can't even have a local copy (under your control) so they can also charge you up the wazoo.

    This is all about Microsoft facilitating the MPAA by trying to make DVDs less popular even at the cost of making the OS less useful for its actual customers/users. Its another perfect example of how Microsoft doesn't give a shit about the little people who buy their products, because they're sure they will keep buying Microsoft regardless, like sheep. And they're right.

    1. bobbles31

      Re: Microsoft are the bitches of Hollywood

      That could be the case, or.........just maybe it is a correlation with the increasing popularity of laptops over desktops and even tablets over laptops that is leading to a market where an ever larger proportion of machines are sold with no media drive at all.

      I mean what percentage of a target market needs to have no need of something before that feature is removed. Especially in the case where that feature costs real money in terms of a license?

    2. Raz

      @JustNiz Friday 4th May 2012 21:05 GMT

      The studios do not want people to stop renting or buying optical media, either DVD or BD. They actually want people to rent and buy MORE optical media. That's where they are making their money. Everyone else on the Reg is saying how MPAA tries to stop progress by not allowing online distribution.

      This is only Microsoft's move to cut their costs.

  55. etabeta
    WTF?

    Who cares

    Who cares? I NEVER use WMP anyway. VLC and KMplayer work much better, have the codecs built-in, and are both FREE!

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Microsoft are the bitches of Hollywood"

    It's been that way for ages.

    E.g. When MS talked about "trusted computing", it wasn't really about users (and IT departments) trusting they wouldn't get virus infestations etc, it was more about media companies being able to trust the alleged end to end content protection e.g. Blu-Ray to Windows to HDCP-connected display, DRM-infested stream to Windows to whatever.

  57. Idy
    Pirate

    Please, encourage piracy, maybe the MAFIAA will go after Microsoft!

  58. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    FAIL

    MS has always screwed us on that front

    VLC Media player anyone?

  59. Sil
    Thumb Down

    Pathetic

    Pathetic, the value of an upgrade to Windows 8 keeps lowering.

  60. Hooksie
    Facepalm

    Quit your griping

    Just install CCCP

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A solution

    VLC Media Player - http://www.videolan.org

  62. Gil Grissum
    Thumb Down

    Does it kill Windows 7's DVD playback??

    That makes an upgrade decision easy. I currently have DVD Playback. I'm not going to upgrade to a Windows OS that kills my existing working DVD Playback. Screw that. Up yours Microsoft.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Screw that. Up yours Microsoft."

    With the greatest possible respect: So what.

    You (and me) are not the target market. People with an existing PC are not the target market.

    The target market is the Windows 8 new PC market. In that sector, MS can either charge extra $$$ for a basic system customer to enable an online upgrade via the marketplace so Win8 can do what used to be included in the price of Win7. Or MS can convince the system builders to bundle a higher grade (ie more expensive) Win8 licence that does include DVD playing etc.

    The consumer-oriented volume system builders (HP Presario, Dell equivalent, etc) may bundle a more expensive licence. Or if companies like Cyberlink haven't by then been driven out of the market by MS bundling a DVD player in Win7, the consumer suppliers might revert to bundling PowerDVD or whatever's current.

    Be interesting to see how this plays out.

  64. ken jay
    Happy

    Ninite.com is the dogs

    Use ninite.com download installer to networked storage and run to install your fav apps. the best bit is that if you run it again it will automatically update all your apps for you as well.

  65. Ketlan
    Thumb Up

    Don't like VLC

    Never have done and have always been pretty happy with Windows so excuse my ignorance but what's wrong with grabbing the K-Lite codec pack which includes Media Player Classic and going from there? I've always used it (except for a brief go at VLC) and it works fine for all my video/DVD needs and plays anything I throw at it absolutely fine. Never did like the media player that was built-in to Window - too many bells and whistles for me.

    As for Linux - every Linux user I've ever met has been so far up their own arse it's been impossible to get useful information out of them to help with a Linux install. It's always been simpler to go back to the old and (more or less) trusted Windows. This is a common problem, I'm told.

    Currently using XP (on laptop) and 7 (desktop).

  66. Toby 2

    Did they ever?

    Still using XP, but DVD codecs are didnt come with WMP11 here, had to get FFDShow or VLC or some such...meh, why would they continue to shovel development dollars into an area that has so many competing, free options already without any hope of ROI?

  67. Catmanii
    Linux

    I have 5 PC's, two desktops and three laptops. Four run Windows 7 and an older Dell running Zorin Linux. I see no reason to buy Windows 8 at all. I will use 7 until it is no longer supported and from what I see and hear about Windows 8 that will be a very long time.

  68. AZComicGeek

    Who even uses Windows Media Player anyway? That's like using IE just because it came with the OS. VLC, Chrome, Firefox, etc were all written to get away from the simple OS crud and create useful programs.

  69. GT66

    Media player software that doesn't play media: another Microsoft innovation!

  70. tempemeaty
    Mushroom

    What monopoly MS + entertainment industry = less on your computer...

    ...and the MS monopoly is doing it to you in grand fashion. Seems the whole of the corporations and entertainment industry have colluded to end optical storage as of late, doesn't it?

    They wouldn't want you keeping user created content longer than the 5min life span of today's typically delicate short lived 2T HD's.

    Also, I'M BLOODY SICK AND F****** TIRED OF FEATURES DISAPPEARING FROM THE MS OS with every new version. REPLACE STEVE BALLMER NOW!

    1. Chemist
      Joke

      Re: What monopoly MS + entertainment industry = less on your computer...

      "TIRED OF FEATURES DISAPPEARING FROM THE MS OS with every new version. REPLACE STEVE BALLMER NOW!"

      I never realised he had been a feature of the OS and (even if I used WINDOWS) I wouldn't want him back !

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