It’s starting to become a lot more evident as to why Windows 10 was a free upgrade. With the omission of Windows Media Center in Microsoft’s latest operating system, users who wished to play DVD movies natively on their systems would be restricted from doing so. Now, however, Microsoft is reviving DVD playback, albeit at a cost.
The Windows DVD Player app on the Microsoft Store costs $15, and it doesn’t even play Blu-Ray discs. The app apparently supports both DVD discs and ISO video files, but don’t expect much else. It’s light on features, but on the bright side, it’s also free “for a limited time” if you upgraded from Windows 7 Ultimate, Professional, Home Premium or Windows 8.1 with Media Center.
While this move makes sense given the sort of freemium business model Microsoft has decided to adopt with Windows 10, it is curious that Microsoft would charge money for an app to play DVDs on a PC despite enabling complete 3D Blu-Ray playback via a free first-party app on Xbox One. It may be that the company feels DVD playback is not common on PCs, or perhaps Microsoft is ceding the territory to other third-party applications.
Speaking of which, there are quite a few free alternatives to Microsoft’s microtransaction efforts as we illustrated back in June. Personally, I suggest the open source VLC player, which bolsters support for DVDs, numerous audio and video file types, and even Blu-Ray discs if you’re willing to put up with a complicated workaround.
The new Windows DVD Player app may “[make] it easy to watch your favorite DVDs” including both “commercial and homemade discs in the DVD-Video format”,” but $15 is steep for a version of Windows Media Center, stripped of its functionality. We don’t recommend buying it given the variety of better free and paid options available.