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Microsoft announces native Dolby Digital Plus support for Windows 10

Dolby Audio has announced that in a new partnership with Microsoft, the company is set to bring native high-quality audio playback to Windows 10 machines and the upcoming Windows Edge web browser.

The joint effort will let Windows users take advantage of Dolby’s experience delivering rich audio experiences, giving users access to the highs, lows, and mids that their favorite music and movies have to offer.

All applications available in the Windows Store will natively support Dolby Audio through the company’s Dolby Digital Plus codec, which will enhance audio fidelity of built-in speakers, external speakers, or headphones. Dolby Digital Plus supports up to 15 audio channels with 24 bits per channel and can handle a bitrate up to 6.144 megabits per second.

This is absolute overkill for most PCs, of course, but DDP’s inclusion means Windows machines will be able to easily handle balanced, surround-sound audio. Offering such a standard will encourage developers to code applications for multi-channel sound, since they’ll know Windows can handle it well by default.

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“With the launch of Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge in nearly 200 countries, Dolby and Microsoft will enable better user experiences with high-quality audio that is robust, consistent, and at a scale necessary for the large Windows ecosystem,” Couling continued.

Microsoft’s Edge browser will also be the first ever to support the Dolby Digital Plus decoder in full, a feature that both Chrome and Firefox will have to add on later, once the source code is made available for wide development.

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Microsoft’s Corporate VP of the Operating Systems Group, David Treadwell, echoed Dolby’s excitement about the collaboration, stating that “with Dolby Audio incorporated into the Windows 10 platform and Microsoft Edge, content providers will be able to deliver their content with superior sound in Dolby Audio for a wide range of Windows 10 based PCs and tablets.”