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Windows 8 won't support native DVD playback, Media Center explained

Windows Media Center support in Windows 8 has been something of a tricky subject for Microsoft. The company admits that Windows Media Center in Windows 7 wasn't used that much but it still has a very loyal and very vocal following. When Microsoft announced its lineup of Windows 8 SKUs, it also announced that Windows Media Center would be available, but only as an add-on.

Today, the official Windows 8 blog revealed that Windows 8 owners will be able to access and install Windows Media Center via the "Add Features to Windows 8" option in the control panel. If you have the regular Windows 8 SKU, you can choose to install the Windows 8 Pro Pack for Windows Media Center. Windows 8 Pro users will install the Windows 8 Media Center Pack. The end result is that both versions will then have the Windows 8 Pro with Media Center SKU.

The actual pricing for the Media Center packs has not been announced. However, it will allow users to have DVD playback in Media Center, along with broadcast TV recording and playback and more. The regular Windows Media Player, which will be in all versions of Windows 8, won't be able to play DVDs anymore like it can with Windows 7. Microsoft states, "For optical discs playback on new Windows 8 devices, we are going to rely on the many quality solutions on the market, which provide great experiences for both DVD and Blu-ray."

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