VLC for Windows 8 closes in on its Kickstarter goal

With just seven days to go before the end of their Kickstarter campaign, things are looking like the VLC app for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will in fact become a reality. The Kickstarter page now shows that, as of this writing, it has raised over 90 percent of its £40,000 goal.

The Kickstarter page also has posted an update that goes over some of the more technical aspects of bringing VLC to Windows 8. They admit that bringing the popular video player to Windows 8 will have some "significant challenges" due to changes in the APIs. It added:

Other APIs, like sockets, were replaced by their COM interfaces counterpart (for instance Windows.Networking.Sockets). They are used to provide asynchronous interfaces for code running under WinRT. They got inspiration from mobile applications and the “always responsive” goal: a WinRT application should not use blocking code, and should go to sleep or wake up quickly if needed. With COM interfaces, the code polling the socket is executed in another process, and the data is provided through a callback. This changes a bit the usual networking code (connect-\>select-\>read-\>select\>…) and we need to write a large layer of compatibility code.

There is also the issue of actually distributing the app to Windows 8 users. While side loading has been discussed, it seems the major goal is to have VLC launched on Microsoft's Windows Store. You can get more information about the VLC Windows 8 project in our recent interview with members of the team.

Source: VLC on Kickstarter | Image via VideoLAN

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17 Comments

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Salty Wagyu said,
Does VLC for Windows 7 not work on Window 8 then?

It works, like everything else on the desktop. But I would prefer it to be a modern app. Right now VLC and Office are the only applications I use in the desktop environment. So even though I'm on 8 instead of RT, I will be using this app the moment it becomes available.

Microsoft would be foolish to block VLC from their store. It's on Android as well and a platform that doesn't have VLC just isn't competitive. Having VLC will make it a potential tablet option for many people I know.

Just wait for it. Apps like these typically get blocked, due to complaints from proprietary codec owners like Dolby or DTS. Even if there are reverse engineered open source alternatives used.

After all, blocking apps is half the purpose with an app store... and the end of free software. It's pretty clear where things are going.

That would be between them and VideoLAN. Microsoft shouldn't get in between. It's also available on Android and blocking must-have apps like VLC will cripple Windows. I'm a fan of the new windows UI, I like what Microsoft is doing (incl. the store) but I'll switch in a heartbeat to any platform that does offer me what I need.

I dont think they can stop free software that easily. If all big players block it then a new player will fill the void. Some companies simply have a hard time accepting the reality of modern times. Others will develop new business models around it and make do.

As for Microsoft, today they once again reorganized the main menu of their store and removed the 'top paid' tile. I can now only immediatly access the 'top free' apps of all categories. So hopefully they understand they too have to adapt. Considering how they're integrating third party services instead of forcing consumers to use their own, I think they're are learning to do so.

Ronnet said,
Microsoft would be foolish to block VLC from their store. It's on Android as well and a platform that doesn't have VLC just isn't competitive. Having VLC will make it a potential tablet option for many people I know.

Well iOS doesn't have VLC and is competitive.
(Though it does have GPlayer which is very similar)

I didn't mean to imply that without VLC alone you're not competitive. I meant opensource software in general, in particularly much loved apps such as VLC. Being able to install opensource software is one of the things that made Windows big. I dont think Microsoft can compete if they block software like VLC from their store.

The way I see it VLC is a big name, if they dont get VLC in their store because VideoLAN isnt interested or they deliberatly block it, it will be viewed as a sign for the direction of Windows. Like Varoon said, it could be the gateway drug but blocking it could have an opposite effect as well. I know I will question my support of Windows 8 if VLC doesnt make it to the store.