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

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.

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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  1. Yea, I knew that since the developer preview. I couldn’t play any DVDs on my Windows Developer Preview PC with Windows Media Player. I had to install VLC. The same is true with the Consumer Preview.

    I just don’t understand why all the tech reviewers and sites just didn’t catch it. I got doubtful looks when I mentioned Windows 8 doesn’t play DVD videos. I got responses like “oh, I am doubtful of this claim; have to check it out myself.” Oh well, at least now it’s official.

  2. Rammazzoti2001 / May 4, 2012 at 12:35 am /Reply

    it sucks, I can’t believe that!!!

  3. did i really read this correctly? with windows 8 there won’t be any software from microsoft originally installed for playing dvds and bluerays??!

  4. what about zune?

  5. Makes sense, it cuts costs if they don’t have to pay to include a licence to decode DVD’s

    XP didn’t originally come with codecs to play DVD’s for the same reason. 

  6. I use Media Center heavily via the extender on my XBOX… Glad it will still be a part of windows 8.

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