Dolby: Our technologies are not built into Microsoft's Windows 8

Dolby Laboratories executives shared some information about Microsoft's Windows 8 during an earnings call this week. What are the implications of the disclosure?
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

During an earnings conference call with analysts and press on August 4, Dolby Laboratories executives shared some interesting tidbits about Windows 8.

Specifically, they revealed information about what they believe won't be part of Windows 8 -- Their  DVD playback technologies.

From a transcript of earnings call remarks by Dolby's Chief Financial Officer Murray Demo:

"In the PC market, the broad adoption of optical drives has driven the inclusion of Dolby technologies on many of the world's PC shipments.

"We work with operating system providers, ISVs and OEMs to support DVD on the PC. In recent years, our mix of PC licensing revenue has increasingly shifted towards the operating system as our technologies are included in 4 editions of Windows 7. However, we have recently learned that our technologies are not currently included in the Windows 8 operating system under development. If our technologies are not included in the commercial version of Windows 8, we expect to support DVD playback functionality by increasingly licensing our technologies directly to OEMs and ISVs, and we will seek to extend our technologies to further support online content playback."

As Forbes Tech Trade blogger Eric Savitz noted on August 5, Dolby's shares are down today following the call.

DVD playback is built into Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate.

Dolby's Digital Plus technology also is built into Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate, according to Dolby's Web site. The site describes Dolby's DIgital Plus as providing "next-generation surround sound" that helps improve the listening experience of DVDs and digital TVs by complementing high-definition video with support for HD audio.

"Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate editions all allow you to watch, pause, rewind, and record TV with Windows Media Center. You can also watch all of your favorite DVD movies. All three editions include integrated video codecs as well as Dolby Digital Plus to deliver next-generation surround sound," Dolby's site explains.

Anyone have any thoughts/guesses as to what Dolby's Windows 8 disclosure means? Are there implications for Microsoft's Windows Media Center and/or Microsoft's Xbox Live TV service (which could potentially work on Windows and not just the Xbox)?

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