Yesterday, Microsoft put up an interesting post about Media Center and Windows 8. While the post gave a lot of insight on how the application will be used with Windows 8, there is a key takeaway from the post and that is that native DVD/Blu-ray playback will not be supported.
This is a big change because if Microsoft defers to third party applications to support these formats, the company does not have to pay the royalties associated with DVD/Blu-ray.
If Microsoft is cutting out the royalty payments, is the company looking to lower the cost of entry for Windows 8? The idea is not unheard of. We have already seen Apple drastically lower the cost for its operating system and Microsoft could be looking to do the same.
Another revenue stream for Windows 8 will be the Windows Store as Microsoft will be scraping 20% off of each purchase for its own coffers. Microsoft could be hedging its bets that you will likely purchase items from the store and as such, can use that revenue to offset the cost of entry for Windows 8.
What will the final cost of the OS be? The answer to that question is still unknown, but we would be surprised if it is even a penny more than that of Windows 7. Given the strategy outlined above, we fully expect Windows 8 to cost less than Windows 7 to lower the barrier of entry to try Microsoft’s dramatically different Windows experience.