All versions of the Windows 8 operating system ship with Windows Media Player but not with Windows Media Center. That's relevant because Media Player in Windows 8 can't play DVD movies anymore. While you have a lot of free third party alternatives for that, like VLC Media Player or SMPlayer, you may want to know about the only official solution to add DVD playback to Windows 8. While Media Center is not included in the operating system by default, it is available as an add-on for a price.
As part of the promotions to get Windows 8 going, Microsoft is giving away free Media Center product keys that you can use to add Media Center to your version of windows 8. Here are the important facts about the offer:
To add the Windows Media Center Pack product key to your copy of Windows 8 do the following:
Microsoft is basically giving away a free copy of the Windows 8 Media Center Pack to all customers who buy a PC with Windows 8 Pro or purchase Windows 8 Pro separately until January 31, 2013. If that is not a great deal, what is?
Update: It appears that only Windows 8 Pro owners get a free upgrade to Windows Media Center Media Pack. Windows 8 owners need to purchase an upgrade to the Windows 8 Pro Pack which is available for $69.99 during the promotional period. The upgrade includes Windows 8 Pro and Media Center.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.