Microsoft Potentially Dropping Dolby Support in Windows 8



+ Add a Comment


This does not mean in any way that Microsoft is cutting DVD surround sound from Windows. It just means that Microsoft isn't using the "Dolby" branded decoder. A good way to think of it is comparing "Advil" to it's generic counterpart. They both include the EXACT same ingredients, one just costs significantly more.


I have a strong feeling that based on the direction of past updates to Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, Xbox, and Windows Home Server, that Microsoft is finally taking codec support seriously, and there will be a major revamp in Windows 8. And in order to support the hundreds of different audio/video codecs without paying a substantial amount for all of them, they are going to use their one major advantage, their large number of skilled developers, to solve it. They're either going to just write all of their own closed source codec's, or even easier, customize and build in open source codecs (the exact same one's used in VLC player and many others).


I could absolutely be wrong, but I doubt it. Microsoft isn't as stupid as many people think they are. But we'll see I guess...


Mighty BOB!

Another reason to not get Windows 8.  Of course in the end I'll have to wait and see how it handles for myself, but this is already stacking things against it.



Are you kidding? They're not going to dump DVD playback, didn't you read the article? I mean, the OS comes with a media center so it would be idiotic to not be able to play DVD's. They'll probably just give JVC or Samsung or some other company less money for the same thing.


Holly Golightly

I was never a fan of Dolby to be honest with you. I have always preferred DTS equipped with THX certified speakers. Much richer sound in my opinion. 



The cost of licensing Windows keeps going down, but the cost of buying motherboards has increased, on average, 400-600%. It doesn't seem unreasonable to shift the burden of some of these licensing costs to hardware manufacturers - in fact, that's exactly the way it used to be when DVD first became an option on PCs.



Good thing I read about it now because I planned on investing in Dolby since their stock is in 52w low. 



I have to say that I will be playing with any public offerings for Windows 8 when they come out, and I will reserve final judgment for that time, but I have to say that I am disappointed in the direction it seems to be going in. The last decade for Windows does point to a hit, then miss product cycle since 2000 Pro, so it will be interesting to see exactly where Windows 8 comes in.



I believe I read in the very pages of this magazine, not so long ago, that Micro$oft made their proclamation: "the majority of Windows users don't have speakers". So along that twisted path of logic, dropping support for audio features must seem perfectly sensible to those ostriches.



They may be right. Where I work, there are about 300-350 Windows PCs, none of which have speakers. At home, I have a laptop (that does, technically, have speakers, but not useful ones) and a desktop. Only the desktop has speakers. So, maybe future iterations of Windows Professional Edition should be stripped of Windows Media Player/Center, audio codecs and Direct X, and come with a limited number available hardware configurations/drivers, since those things aren't necessary in a typical office environment. They could also bundle in Microsoft Office in that version, since most offices license it anyway. That way, if you don't need that stuff, you don't have to pay for it. Then leave all the media and gaming options for the home edition. I bet more IT departments would be willing to ditch Windows XP for Windows 8 if the Professional Edition didn't require so much to be locked away from the typical user.


Holly Golightly

Hey, WP7 backstage!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 



Yeah I completely agree. All the computers I work with have no sound. My personal computer, it has/doesn't have sound. I broke a tip off in the plug in. So I use HDMI to a TV for sound.


Military computers use sound because they love their talking training programs.



Hmmmm. Well, both companies would seem to be walking a fine line. Microsoft can't exactly go and dump a major windows component like DVD surround sound support when just about every desktop, and even a lot of laptops, now comes with at least 5.1 surround sound support, but I imagine that they have been paying above market for the Dolby codecs recently too just because of that.

As much as we like to crow about the death of the optical disk, netflix recent manuevers have shown just how prevelant they still are and will be for time to come. So hopefully these companies can get things sorted out. Not that I am planning on using Windows 8, it seems to be a turd from everything I have seen and heard lately.

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.