In another lengthy post on the Building Windows blog Microsoft talk about Windows 8’s media platform. The post talks about what content types it supports, 3D video, voice communication and some of the Play To features in Windows 8. Its very detailed but there are some interesting points in it like the video and audio formats supported in Windows 8 and which need the Windows 8 Media Center Pack to work.
Engaging with rich media—whether watching a movie, video chatting, or playing music—is one of the most prevalent and enjoyable things we do on our PCs today. I’d like to talk a little bit about the work we’ve done in Windows 8 to make a rich variety of multimedia activities possible, and to extend those capabilities to third party developers through an extensible media platform.
We had three goals in mind when designing the Windows 8 media platform:
- Maximize performance. We wanted media playback to be fast and responsive, enabling the full power of the hardware while maximizing battery life on each PC.
- Simplify development and extensibility. We wanted to provide a platform that could be easily extended and tailored for a given application, setting the stage for innovative custom media apps on Windows.
- Enable a breadth of scenarios. A high performance, high efficiency, extensible platform can then enable a wide range of music, video, communications, and other multimedia apps.
With these three goals in mind, we set out to reimagine the media experience on the Windows platform.
Faster, more responsive media experiences
Performance is a key aspect of any user experience, but it is especially critical in multimedia scenarios. Videos need to play in real time, voice communication needs to feel instantaneous, and all of these tasks need to minimize the drain on your battery.
We measure performance by the time, computing resources, and memory that a given task takes on a system. We aimed to minimize all of those metrics. Our goals for media performance were focused on audio and video playback, transcoding, encoding, and capture.