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32-bit Windows Vista will not support HD DVD or Blu-ray out-of-the-box

Matt Burns

Good 'ol Microsoft. Things are getting stripped out of Windows Vista left and right. Next up to the chopping block is the ability to play high-def media on the 32-bit version -- from Microsoft that is. Redmond is worried about unsigned drivers which translates into copy-protection concerns and while this is a disappointing move by Bill Gates & Co., they do the same thing with standard DVDs; even Media Center Edition does not support DVD playback out of the box. Don't throw up those arms just yet as unsigned drivers are allowed to run under the 32-bit version that will allow you to play your favorite high-def content just like under the 64-bit flavor of Vista. Who knows when these drivers will be out, but it is safe to say they're coming.

Plus, there is the whole other issue of Windows Media Player 11 that ships with Vista not playing high-def content ether. Microsoft's OEM Systems Engineer for Microsoft Australia indicated to CNET that the consumer must look elsewhere for the playback software, such as WinDVD BD or Cyberlink as WMP 11 will not play back HD DVDs or Blu-ray media. Good 'ol Microsoft...good 'ol Microsoft.

Read: 32-bit Windows
Read: WMP11

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