Interview: Cyberlink exec talks about its Windows 8 apps

In January, CyberLink was one of the first companies that announced plans to offer apps made especially for Windows 8. Since that announcement, Microsoft revealed that Windows 8 would not be able to play DVD dics in its basic version. That gave Cyberlink an opening to announce that it would have its DVD Windows 8 apps installed in a number of PCs.

We got a chance to ask Richard Carriere, the senior VP of Worldwide Marketing for CyberLink, about the company's plans to support Windows 8 with a number of media-centric applications.

First, what was Cyberlink's reaction to Microsoft's Windows 8 and the "Modern" UI, along with the Windows Store?

Back at the end of 2011 summer, when Microsoft shared details of its Windows 8 strategy at its Build Conference in San Diego, CyberLink was one of the best represented software makers in the industry. Several of our most senior engineers, and our Chairman and CTO, attended the conference and immediately defined a complete Windows 8 strategy to fully align CyberLink’s product roadmap with the upcoming operating system. We saw the benefits of complementing the traditional UI with a complete new one that is highly streamlined and conducive to delivering an intuitive experience across devices, something that makes complete sense for multimedia software such as CyberLink products.

What was Cyberlink's opinion to Microsoft deciding not to support playing DVDs with the Windows Media Player in the regular version of Windows 8?

CyberLink’s PowerDVD is the world’s #1 digital media player and, by far, the most advanced player for DVDs and Blu-ray disks. There is no question that Microsoft’s decision is positive for us. With hundreds of millions of copies sold, PowerDVD is a household name for anyone who is viewing videos and movies on their Windows PCs. We are confident that users will turn to us more than ever to enjoy their movies and digital media.

How many PC OEMs will have Cyberlink-based DVD software pre-installed on their Windows 8 PCs for the launch on Friday?

All the top-10 OEMs will ship their Windows 8 PCs with at least 3 CyberLink applications. Generally speaking, Windows 8 PCs from all top-20 OEMs will come with pre-installed CyberLink software. Along with our long standing relationship with manufacturers, the amount of resources that we dedicated early on to develop Windows 8 applications, both for the “Modern” and traditional UI, together with our clear product strategy, have given us an edge over competition when PC OEMs came to make decisions regarding their multimedia software partners.

What can you tell us about developing Cyberlink's Windows 8 apps in terms of their features and how easy or hard it was to work with Microsoft on their creation?

On one side, we worked closely to Microsoft, as we have done in the past, to have our “Traditional” Windows apps and software certified for Windows 8 early. In parallel, we have developed 3 native apps under the new UI. They are YouCam Mobile, a webcam utility that has been available as a beta on the Microsoft App Store since its inception, PowerDVD Mobile that complements our traditional PowerDVD and extends media playback experience, and PowerDirector Mobile, a streamlined version of our video editor that enables easy editing and connects into the fully featured PowerDirector for advanced work. Microsoft has been supportive of our work. Inviting us to showcase YouCam Mobile early on their App Store is a tangible sign of that collaboration.

Do you see downloadable software as being the future of PC software, as opposed to discs sold in boxes?

We believe that users buy where they are comfortable buying and want to make sure our software is available where they want it. We are investing in physical distribution channels for boxed products, as well as third-party online stores, app stores and our own web store. All channels are important to us and complement each others. We are however seeing a trend toward software download, and this is how the majority of our software that is not pre-bundled on OEM PCs is distributed.

So far, what's the reaction been like to CyberLink's Windows 8 apps?

Reactions have been generally quite positive. Here, we are talking primarily of beta testers, people who have downloaded YouCam from the Microsoft App Store during Windows 8 user evaluation phase, as well as specialists and press who have had sneak peak at our apps. Highlights include the intuitive user interface, smooth performance, relevance of the apps and their robustness. Of course, the real test is coming now, with the public launch of Windows 8.

Does the company plan to continue to create new Windows 8 apps for sale in the Windows Store?

Yes. CyberLink is one of the most innovative consumer multimedia software companies in the world. Our engineers will continue to exploit the capabilities of the new OS. Stay posted! 

Finally, is there anything else you wish to say about Windows 8 and Cyberlink's support of the OS?

We are proud of the trust and support that CyberLink has received from all key Windows PC OEMS and from millions of loyal users since our company was founded 16 years ago. We believe we earned this trust from the consistency and quality of our products, our support of the Windows platform, and our unmatched innovation to develop the software people desire to unleash their creativity and endorse today’s digital lifestyle. Our consistent support of the Windows platform, including its newest incarnation, is one significant part of our commitment to the market, our users and our business partners.

We would like to thank Richard for answering our questions!

Image via Cyberlink

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12 Comments

Once it became possible to play DVD's with so many different freeware applications it made Power DVD nigh on obsolete in my mind, Windows 8 might well just bring them back into relevance again. Given, however that Power DVD's most basic edition costs £34.99 and the WMC addon will cost £6.99 and comes with the added advantage of supporting my IR receiver and MCE remote, I know what I'll be using.

Damn, I don't know how you didn't ask him if PowerDVD Mobile would ever be coming to ARM so people can play MKV files on Windows RT.

jhoff80 said,
Damn, I don't know how you didn't ask him if PowerDVD Mobile would ever be coming to ARM so people can play MKV files on Windows RT.

Came here to say the same thing, can you email them back and ask about arm support to get mkv playback?

spudtrooper said,

Came here to say the same thing, can you email them back and ask about arm support to get mkv playback?

I'm hoping for a VLC or MediaPlayer Classic app

Please tell me this was a written correspondence. It scares the bejeebus out of me to think people talk like that in real life.

The marketing is strong in this one.

There are tons of freeware DVD playing apps but not really any good Blu-ray playing apps as far as I know.

That said, it's a shame that Cyberlink's "PowerDVD Mobile" can't... you know... play DVDs. A metro-style DVD player would be handy to have.

Don't really care about this.

According to Steven, a metro app can come with its own codec pack. Based on that, I'm waiting for a media app (for Windows RT) that can play all types of MKV out here. It should utilize hardware acceleration too.

lol. PowerDVD is a household name for sure... a name for bull$*** pre-installed on new PCs that nobody actually uses.

As for number one digital media player... what??? Where the hell do they get their stats?

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