Windows 10 is free for most Windows users. Unfortunately, users have already stumbled upon one hidden cost: Microsoft wants you to pay $15 to watch a DVD.
Here’s what happens when you plunk a DVD into your Windows 10 machine: Microsoft requires you to download the Windows DVD Player app from the Windows 10 Store.
That app is currently “free for a limited time” but Microsoft never explains how long that offer will last. Microsoft does, however, claim that “it will end at or before the free Windows 10 upgrade offer.” Which means it could end anytime between now and July, 2016.
Once that free upgrade offer is finished, you will need to pay $14.99 to use Windows DVD Player.
Of course, Microsoft recently emphasized that everyone who upgrades from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will get the Windows DVD Player app for free. You’ll only pay if you’re installing it from scratch or buying a brand new Windows 10 computer.
Solitaire Isn’t Free Either
Okay, I can understand why Microsoft has to charge to run DVDs. Legally, you’re supposed to purchase codecs and licensing to run the video and audio on the DVD. Besides, all of us use VLC Media Player anyway, so it’s not really a big deal.
But charging people to play solitaire, on the other hand, is something I just can’t figure out.
That’s right: Microsoft wants to charge people to play its own Solitaire app. That app requests people to sign up for a monthly subscription to play a stupid virtual card game you can easily play offline.
To be fair, that subscription costs just $1.50 per month ($10 per year) and in exchange, Microsoft removes advertisements. But why are there advertisements in the first place?
Windows 10 comes preinstalled with the full “Microsoft Solitaire Collection”, which comes with Klondike, FreeCell, and Spider Solitaire. Microsoft also tracks your stats, logs your achievements, and has leaderboards. The ads are built all on top of this.
These ads are intrusive and run over the full Solitaire window, including 15 or 30 second advertisements. They can’t be canceled once they’re running. You need to pay Microsoft $1.50 per month to remove those ads.
Stop Freaking out: Windows 8 Didn’t Include DVD Playback Either
Due to the rising costs of DVD playback, Windows 8 didn’t include it in their launch either. Microsoft didn’t want its users to pay an extra $15 to $25 to run DVDs, which is approximately what it would have cost for each Windows 8 license. That’s too much money for a feature few people would ever use.
But you can totally freak out about paying for solitaire. That’s ridiculous (but who plays solitaire anymore anyway?).