As you have may heard by now, the next release of the Windows operating system will not come with DVD playback support as standard. Instead, you'll need to fork out for this feature via the Add Features to Windows 8 software upgrade - and if you're using the standard edition, you'll also need to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro.
The reasons Microsoft has given for its decision are various, including declining DVD sales, the cost of decoder licensing and a streamlined, one-size-fits-all OS plan.
"Globally, DVD sales have declined significantly year over year and Blu-ray on PCs is losing momentum as well," explains the official Windows 8 blog. "Given the changing landscape... we’ve decided to make Windows Media Center available to Windows 8 customers via the Add Features to Windows 8 control panel."
In other words, to acquire Windows Media Center, users will need to install a separate upgrade.
The blog goes on to state that Windows 8 users have the option to rely on "quality solutions on the market" for optical discs playback - examples include Cyberlink Media Suite 10 and VLC Media Player, which you can download for free here.
While we agree that the industry is steadily moving away from optical media, we can't help but wonder if Microsoft may have brought the axe down too quickly. After all, the DVD and Bluray formats are still very much alive - just poke your head inside a JB HiFi store for proof.
We'd like to hear your thoughts on Microsoft's decision to cut DVD playback from Windows 8. Do you regularly watch DVDs on your PC or laptop? Or do you consider optical media to be a fading relic of the past? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.