Microsoft confirms 32-bit Vista will not play HD discs

Culver City (CA) - Microsoft officials have confirmed an earlier TG Daily report about the HD playback features in Windows Vista. At the Tech Ed 2006 conference in Sydney, Australia, yesterday, Microsoft's senior program manager Steve Riley told an audience that the 32-bit Vista would not natively playback high-definition content on Blu-ray and HD DVD media. Riley justified Microsoft's decision with a concern that the content protection of these media was too easily bypassed with unsigned and malicious drivers.

Vista users who want to play high-definition content on their PCs will have three options to play HD content. Users of the 32-bit Vista either can buy a third-party video player such as CyberLink's and Intervideo's media player. Second, HD videos located on the hard drive can be played directly in teh Windows Media Player. And third, the 64-bit version of the operating system will natively play HD content as Microsoft hopes to be able to sign every driver.

Microsoft has touted Vista as a powerful next-generation operating system capable of both producing and playing high definition content. Back in April, at the National Association of Broadcaster's conference, Microsoft released a press release saying, "Microsoft Windows Vista is now poised to be the platform of choice for the next generation of workflow and production tools for high-definition and high-fidelity digital media."

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External link: Microsoft cuts another feature: Full HD playback in 32-bit Vista goes