Ok, fine. I’m exaggerating. In fact, I still buy DVDs. I never got a Blu-Ray player. I did, however, rip all my DVDs to my computer. In ISO format. Because I want my menus, dammit. I want my deleted scenes and behind the scenes and making a scene and scenic routes and….sorry, believe I got off point. Anyways, Windows 8 will support ISOs natively.
It’s pretty cool. And actually has some far-reaching implications. Currently, it is illegal to rip DVDs to a home computer for personal use. Not because it violates the copyright, but because it circumvents the DRM (DMCA § 1201). You’re legally allowed to make a digital copy of your DVDs for personal use like you are with CDs. You’re just not allowed to use any of the tools that allow to you make a digital copy of your DVDs*. Make sense? No? Good. It shouldn’t.
One can hope that supporting a new ripped DVD format might come with a new DVD ripping tool. Though, this may just be wishful thinking, since it would require Microsoft to walk in a legally gray area. So don’t count on it.
Still, movie buffs with large DVD collections, nuanced views on copyright laws, and an unwillingness to compromise on compression levels should be excited. Or, you know, anyone who downloads an ISO that’s not a movie.
Also of note is that Windows 8 will support virtual hard drives (VHD). This will be a boon for those of you who run virtual machines or test software. Users will be able to create additional, virtual drive letters that can be mounted and unmounted just like USB drives and the like.
* — Note: This doesn’t include “digital copies” that are included with a lot of newer and popular movies. Obviously the distributors can make as many copies or give permission for whatever copies they’d like. However, it’s worth noting that these copies are essentially gratis additional copies of what you’re already purchasing and are permitted to make additional copies of. It’s convoluted.