Microsoft wants you to pay $15 for DVD playback in Windows 10
If you partake in Microsoft's free upgrade offer from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10, Windows Media Center will be removed without warning. In its place, a new app called Windows DVD Player has been added to the Windows Store. It costs the princely sum of £11.59, or $14.99/€14,89 if you live in the terrifyingly parched wastes outside Blighty.
Updated: A number of commenters are reporting that the Windows 10 upgrade tool does warn you that you're about to lose Windows Media Center.
Microsoft doesn't exactly hide the fact that Windows 10 forcibly deprecates Media Center, but the information isn't in the most obvious of locations either. If you visit the Windows 10 upgrade website, and then click the "Windows 10 specifications" link in the small print at the bottom of the page, there's a big list of deprecated features. Media Center is the main one, but you'll be dismayed to hear that Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts have also been removed.
Now, the good news: if your computer had Media Center before the upgrade (most versions of Windows 7, or Windows 8/8.1 with Media Center), you will be credited with a free copy of Windows DVD Player. In practice, this means that most people upgrading from Windows 7 will have access to the Windows DVD Player app for free, while most Windows 8 upgraders won't. Likewise, if you bought a full Windows 10 Home or Pro licence, or a new Windows 10 computer, you won't be eligible to download the DVD Player app for free.
For almost 12 of your good pounds, you'd expect the Windows DVD Player to be a polished, feature-rich replacement for Media Center. Sadly, that isn't the case. The official screenshot at the top of the story says it all: this app really is just a bland blue box that plays DVDs when you slot one in. It doesn't play Blu-ray discs, it doesn't play VOB backups from your hard drive, and, well, it basically doesn't replicate any of Media Center's useful features (DVR, image slideshows, media organisation, etc.)
And the charging starts. How's that free upgrade looking now? And I bet it wont be long before they block 3rd party players.