We now know that Windows Media Center will not be including in the standard edition of Windows 8 (confusing called just Windows 8 ) and that to get Media Center you will need the Pro version with the optional (and paid) Media Center pack. There is another implication to this change in the Windows 8, the removal of DVD playback support.
The standard version of Windows 8 will not play DVDs out of the box something Windows 7 Home Premium could do and you will either need the Pro edition with Windows Media Center pack or a 3rd party solution. Back in the Windows XP days you needed a 3rd party codec to playback DVDs and it looks like we are going back to that model. For most new machines that come with DVD or Bluray drives the OEM will install 3rd party applications to handle media playback, also there are applications like VLC that will handle DVD playback.
So overall for the average consumer I can’t see it making that much difference, the rise of streaming media means that we are watching less DVDs so its really only going to effect HTPC users who are going to have to pay for the Pro/Media Center pack.
Does it matter to you? Would you pay for the Media Center pack or go for a 3rd party addin?
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.