Windows 8.1 gives a nod to pirates, natively supports MKV video at last

Microsoft Windows 8.1

Just because Microsoft is hard at work developing Windows 10 into the best, most productive, close-knit desktop OS ever, doesn’t mean previous generations have been brushed away and forgotten. After all, 8.1 improved on some of 8’s countless flaws, and it’s a pity its usage numbers are so low.

It’s perhaps illustrative of Redmond’s desperation to increase 8.1’s relevance that they’ve decided to indirectly endorse the file sharing community. Online pirates have long favored the open MKV file format for illegally obtained movies, and now Windows natively supports said shady format.

Seamless MKV video playback was added to the Xbox One a couple of months ago and should also roll out to Windows 10 Technical Preview testers in a future beta update, alongside lossless audio compatibility through FLAC.

Until now, playing MKVs on Windows 8.1 or its ancestors wasn’t exactly mission impossible, but it was a little uncomfortable. You had to install a third-party media program, like VLC or GOM Player. Obviously, Microsoft didn’t enjoy folks dumping its proprietary video app before giving it a chance.

Bottom line, supporting MKV is a no-brainer, and long overdue regardless of the ethical concerns. Besides, sweeping piracy under the rug won’t make the worldwide phenomenon disappear. So, why turn your back on such a massive audience when you can recognize, embrace it and possibly earn from it?

The updated video app can be pulled from the Windows Store by anyone with Windows 8.1 installed. Enjoy!