Codecs or Not? Dolby Digital Sound Technology Will be Used in Windows 8

Microsoft says it won’t be implemented codecs like in Windows 7, but Dolby are using its tech in Windows 8.

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Dolby Digital is integrating its sound technology into Windows 8, and it will cost more for machines with an optical drive

In a blog post on Windows Media Center and Windows Media Player integration, Microsoft said codecs weren’t being implemented like Windows 7 because copyright was driving up costs. Dolby Digital has announced its going to be using its sound technology in Windows 8.

OEMs will be required to license the sound technology from Dolby and a pay a royalty to use the tech. Machines with no optical disc drive will require a higher fee. Microsoft Windows unit Chief Financial Office said the deal will ensure great sound quality for media using Dolby Digital Plus, and home videos recorded now and in the future will work from Windows 8 installation.

Dolby said the deal won’t affect its 2012 earnings report as Windows 8 doesn’t ship until the 2013 fiscal outlook for the company, which may points towards a release near the end of the year. The first quarter of that outlook is from October, so that release date could be the period.

Dolby Vice President John Couling said to deal supports PC and tablets running x86 and ARM processors. Microsoft is Dolby’s largest customer, and Dolby was involved in DVD playback technology for Windows Vista and Windows 8.

OS launch speculated

We still don’t know when Windows 8 will definitely launch. Along with Dolby’s comment suggesting an October launch, or possibly later, is when Windows will arrive other software launches have hinted the operating system is nearing release.

In a roadmap, that was later confirmed to be intentionally public by Microsoft, a mid-2012 releas date was shown for Internet Explorer 10. That’s around now, and the launch of Internet Explorer means the corresponding version of Windows isn’t too far away.

An October-November launch makes sense for Microsoft, though December doesn’t. When finally released, the company will probably be pushing devices from tablets to PCs. With tablets, launching in December would put the device up against the iPad – last year’s most requested devices during the holiday period – while October put the focus on Windows 8.

Published: Friday, May 4th, 2012 Last Modified: May 4, 2012

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