We suspected that Microsoft’s reasoning for shattering the glass hearts of Windows Media Center enthusiasts, might have been a business decision. Turns out, to understand their reasoning, you need only follow the money.
“Our partners have shared clear concerns over the costs associated with codec licensing for traditional media playback, especially as Windows 8 enables an unprecedented variety of form factors. Windows has addressed these concerns in the past by limiting availability of these experiences to specialized “media” or “premium” editions. At the same time, we also heard clear feedback from customers and partners that led to our much simplified Windows 8 editions lineup.
Windows 8 Pro is designed to help tech enthusiasts obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies. Acquiring either the Windows 8Media Center Pack or the Windows 8Pro Pack gives you Media Center, including DVD playback (in Media Center, not in Media Player), broadcast TV recording and playback (DBV-T/S, ISDB-S/T, DMBH, and ATSC), and VOB file playback. Pricing for these Packs, as well as retail versions of Windows 8, will be announced closer to the release date. To give you some indication of Media Center Pack pricing, it will be in line with marginal costs.”
The post does go on to detail the ways in which the new Windows Runtime applications will have the flexibility and codecs to create a more modern home media experience.