Windows 8 will not be able to play DVDs natively. Don’t panic, what this means is that Windows Media Center won’t be pre-installed on Windows 8. In order to access WMC you will need to install it from the “Add features to Windows 8” feature in the control panel. users of the regular Windows 8 SKU will most likely have to pay for WMC, while Windows 8 pro users will not. Microsoft has admitted that not many people use WMC, so this shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. There are plenty of free 3rd party applications that will be able to play DVDs for you, the most notable being VLC.
The interesting thing about this is that Microsoft won’t have to pay the royalties associated with DVD/Blu-ray playback. This could be a sing that Microsoft is looking to cut down the price of Windows 8, perhaps in competition with Apple. The last version of Apple’s OSX software cost a mere $30, while most versions of Windows 7 cost over $100. This would be a huge milestone for Windows, a historically expensive OS.