You set the stage after months, if not years of hard work. It’s time to inform your corporate friends and distinguished members of the media to come to Los Angeles at a moment’s notice, and tell them only at the last minute exactly where to go.
Everything is shrouded in the utmost secrecy. Only a handful of people know internally what the company has up its sleeve.
Then this happens. (Warning: It’s utterly cringeworthy.)
Granted, Windows president Steven Sinofsky handles it well, despite a vague sound of panic in his voice as he frantically and repeatedly pushes the Windows ‘home’ button.
But just over one minute of awkwardness in 2012 sends the company back fifteen years to the inaugural demonstration of Windows 98 and “that crash” that caused the crowd to erupt in hysterics. The Surface-crash video has been viewed more than two million times as of this morning.
To turn a phrase by Microsoft founder Bill Gates: maybe that’s why the company hasn’t announced a shipping date for Surface yet?
If you have to issue an explanation to follow up an explanation, then it’s pretty safe to say the first one wasn’t clear enough, and it’s under those circumstances that Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky and the Windows 8 team are returning to the subject of Media Center and DVD movie support. Afteraddressing both a few days ago, the internet backlash was (predictably) quick to finding out that Media Center would be available only as an upgrade to the Pro version of the OS, and that without it Windows wouldn’t natively play DVDs. What many may not know however, and the new FAQ points out, is that this is not an entirely new thing — Windows XP did not have support outside of specialized editions or add-ons, several versions of Vista did not play DVDs and on Windows 7 the Basic and Starter editions lacked the add-on. Of course, for most users this doesn’t matter in the least since brand new PCs tend to ship with third party software to play DVDs (or Blu-ray movies where applicable, which no version of Windows has or will natively support). Answering the question we had of what this means for users upgrading their own computers, they’ll either need to see if they have existing third party software to play DVDs that is compatible with Windows 8, or acquire Media Center post-upgrade.