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Ed Bott, writing for ZDNet:
“Microsoft’s decision to remove support for playing DVD movies in Windows 8 has caused some confusion. If the VLC media player can provide DVD support for free, why can’t Microsoft? For starters, Microsoft isn’t French.”
I speculated that Microsoft was looking ahead to a DVD-less hardware future, but in fact they're just avoiding the headaches and fees attending that technology. If Windows 8 customers want DVD playback, they'll have to find someone else's software to make it happen.
Reminds me of Steve Jobs' claim that Apple would skip Blu-ray support until its licensing complexity was sorted out by the marketplace, because it was a "bag of hurt." Now that Netflix, Apple, Amazon and others are successfully streaming video content, make that 'never.' Good riddance.