Microsoft hit Windows users with a big bombshell on Thursday when the company announced that regular editions of Windows 8 would not allow users to play back their DVDs on Windows Media Player unless they bought the extra Windows Media Center add-on.
Later, Microsoft offered more information about this decision, revealing that it was made, at least in part, because they felt it would be too expensive to offer such a feature at a time when DVD use appears to be on the decline.
As one might expect this kind of decision has met with some polarizing opinions and many Neowin forum members posted up their thoughts in our message boards. One message board thread, "You Can Still Use VLC to Play DVDs in Windows 8 for Free", points out that people can download third party applications to play DVDs in Windows 8 from now on. The originator of the thread, Nazmus Shakib Khandaker, states:
I hear people saying that since Windows 8 won't support DVD codec natively, VLC won't play DVDs. That isn't true. VLC plays DVDs fine in Windows 8; I know from my experiences with Windows Developer Preview and Windows 8 Consumer Preview. If you want to play DVDs on Windows 8, you don't have to pay for Media Center.
However, another forum member, c3ntury, has a different view, writing:
This is true, but will your average say... 13 year old girl looking to watch a DVD have heard of VLC? No. Can't they just do what Ubuntu do with restricted-extras and just include it in an update instead?
Another forum post, Windows 8 dropping the ability to play DVDs, posted up an article from another web site on the subject, with a comment from forum member Scorbing: "Another stupid move by Microsoft. Way to go Steve Ballmer. "
However, it looks like quite a few Neowin forum members actually are supporting Microsoft in this decision. A post from member Wakers says:
Good move by MS - it allows them to sell Win 8 for cheaper because they don't have to account for royalties, and it removes a feature that hardly anyone used in the first place - who actually uses WMP to playback movies?
I don't have a problem with the decision MS have made. Everyone's always complaining about bloat and the price of Windows and this seems to be a sensible way of reducing one and lowering the other without causing anyone any pain.