Microsoft outlines Play To for Windows 8 developers, shows media sharing just a heartbeat away

Play To is often an unsung advantage of Windows 8; it's the key to spreading media throughout the home without jumping through hoops, much like Apple's AirPlay or the more universal Miracast. Microsoft wants those quieter Windows advocates to pipe up a bit. It just posted a sweeping developer overview of Play To support that addresses the basics and dives into the nitty-gritty details. The biggest takeaway may be that programmers sometimes don't have to do anything -- unprotected music and video in common formats are usually shareable as a matter of course, and it's only with photos or complicated conditions like playlists that a "contract" is needed to reach another screen or speaker. The document does have some warnings for developers, however, both official and otherwise. There's a (fairly evasive) explanation as to why copy-protected media won't work, while commenters remind us that hardware compatibility isn't as surefire as we'd always like. Any developers who want their media apps to shine on an XPS 12, however, could still find the guide to be just what they need.