Dolby Digital Plus is recognized as a standard for high-quality audio on many types of products, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, connected TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, and game consoles.
Developers will be enabled to deliver cinematic sound through Windows 8 APIs in desktop and Metro-style apps, including those developed for x86 and ARM architectures. Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel decoding and Dolby Digital two-channel encoding will be supported in all PCs and tablets licensed to run Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT editions.
Windows 8 is not expected to ship until Dolby's fiscal 2013.
Every copy of Windows 8 will include the function to play all online content that uses Dolby encoding but OEMs will have to pay for optical disc playback functionality.
"Dolby's goal is to deliver the best possible entertainment experience, wherever content is delivered through broadcast, broadband, or wireless networks," said Ramzi Haidamus, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Dolby. "We are pleased to be working with Microsoft to address the growing demand for high-definition content delivered across a broad range of services and devices. Widespread availability of Dolby Digital Plus on Windows 8 will enable more people to enjoy cinematic sound anytime, anywhere, and on any device."
"With the incredible growth of online download and streaming media, particularly for video content, this agreement ensures a great audio experience for those consumers who wish to download or stream TV and movies containing Dolby Digital Plus," said Tami Reller, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Windows and Windows Live, Microsoft. "Additionally, all of their existing and future home videos recorded with Dolby Digital Plus audio will work great on Windows 8 right out of the box."