In a new post on their Windows 8 Development Blog, Microsoft have clarified the status of Windows Media Center in Windows 8.
They have taken into consideration the cost of decoder licensing, and the changing media landscape and decided to make Windows Media Center available to Windows 8 customers via the Add Features to Windows 8 control panel (formerly known as Windows Anytime Upgrade).
The upgrade path diagram:
Windows Media Center Upgrade Path
Basically if you’re running the base Windows 8 edition, you’ll need to upgrade the OS and install the Media Center Pack.
Here’s the twist:
Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support. 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.
Yeah, you read that right – DVD playback options will not be included with the new Windows Media Player.
Decoders for H.264, VC-1 (WMV), and MP4 video will be included, as are audio codecs for MP3, WMA, AAC, PCM (Wave), and DD+.
You can read the full post here.