In the latest "Building Windows 8" post, developers have confirmed that Media Center will be left out of the upcoming OS, alongside DVD playback support. Those wishing to play these kinds of files will have to pay for an upgrade package or, resort to third party software.
The decision was motivated by the fact that television and DVD use on the personal computer is experiencing an abrupt decline, basing on Microsoft's studies.
Microsoft assures future clients that online media support is the focus of Windows 8 and the future operating system will be compatible with H.264, VC-1, MP4, AAC, WMA, MP3, PCM as well as a huge range of other formats.
Dolby Digital Plus codecs are also included, but strangely, its main purpose (to play DVDs) will be removed.
Those wishing to have this feature included can purchase add-on packages that mainly integrate the also-excluded Media Center. These packages vary from one Windows 8 version to another, with their pricing options yet to be confirmed.
A less demanding alternative is the bundle DVD software that most manufacturers distribute with the drive, usually supplying a free program which gives the ability to play these kinds of files.
Meanwhile, users can also install the Media Player Classic, as well as VLC Media Player, two free programs that can easily do the job.
Source: Building Windows 8