The N and KN editions of Windows 8 include the same functionality as other Windows 8 editions except for media-related technologies (Windows Media Player, web camera) and certain preinstalled media apps (Camera, Music, and Video). In addition, the KN editions do not include certain preinstalled communication apps (Calendar, Mail, Messaging, and People). You must have additional software from Microsoft or another company to have this communication functionality and to play or create audio CDs, media files, and video DVDs, to stream music, to take and store pictures, and to use a webcam. Some websites and software—like Windows Store apps, Microsoft Office, Encarta, and FrontPage—rely, to varying extents, on Windows Media−related files that aren't incorporated into the K and KN editions of Windows. End-users can make these websites and software work correcctly by installing the Windows Media Feature Pack for N and KN editions of Windows 8 (KB2703761).
This update installs Windows Media Player and related technologies on the N and KN versions of all Windows 8 editions. This update does not include or install Windows Media Center or preinstalled Windows Store apps. Additional software will be required to play back or record certain kinds of media. This includes DVDs.
The N and KN editions of Windows 8 include the same functionality as other Windows 8 editions except for Windows Media Player and related technologies. The excluded technologies include but are not limited to the following:
Windows Media Player user experience: Enables Windows Media Player features such as the ability to play media files and audio CDs, manage media in a library, create a playlist, provide metadata (including album art) for media, create an audio CD, transfer music to a portable music player, and play streamed content from the web.
Windows Media Player ActiveX control: Exposes methods and properties for manipulating multimedia playback from a webpage or app.
Windows Media Format: Provides support for the Advanced Systems Format (ASF) file container, the Windows Media audio and video codecs, basic network streaming capability, and digital rights management (DRM).
Windows Media digital rights management: Enables the secure delivery of protected content for playback on a PC, portable device, or network device.
Windows Media Device Manager: Enables communication between an app, the Windows Media DRM system, and portable audio players.
Media sharing: Enables music, pictures, and videos on a networked PC to be shared with other PCs and devices on the same network. Also enables PCs to find those kinds of files on the network.
Media Foundation: Provides support for content protection, audio and video quality, and interoperability for digital rights management (DRM).
Windows Portable Devices (WPD) infrastructure: Communicates with attached media and storage devices. This includes devices that support the Media Transfer Protocol.
MPEG, WMA, AAC, and Dolby Digital audio codecs: Enables playback of digital audio content such as MP3, WMA, MPEG-2 audio, AAC audio, and AC-3 audio.
VC-1, MPEG-4, and H.264 codecs: These "standards-based codec components," as they are collectively called, enable Windows 8 software such as Windows Media Player to support activities that include playing back and creating multimedia files that are encoded with standards-based codecs.
Webcam: Enables a video camera whose output appears on a webpage, usually updated on a regular and frequent schedule.
Camera: A preinstalled app that makes capturing photos and videos easy.
Music: A preinstalled app that makes it easy to play digital music.
Video: A preinstalled app that makes it easy to play digital video.
Additionally, the Windows 8 KN editions do not include the following preinstalled communication apps:
Calendar: Combines scheduling of events from multiple accounts into a unified view.
Mail: Enables sending, receiving, and managing email messages from multiple accounts in a unified view.
Messaging: Enables SMS and instant messaging functionality.
People: Aggregates rich information about contacts and makes it easy to start communication with contacts.
Effect on other features
Some features aren't removed but are affected by the media technology removal in the N and KN editions. These features include the following:
HomeGroup: Integrated media sharing through streaming features doesn't work.
Windows SideShow: This feature doesn't work.
Windows Experience Index: This feature doesn't work.
Windows Mobile devices: There's no support for media synchronization, image acquisition, or file browsing.
Windows Photos: Cameras that use the picture transfer protocol (PTP) don't work.
Sound Recorder: Recordings are limited to the WAV format.
Group Policy for removable disks: This feature doesn't work in the N and KN editions of Windows 8 Pro.
Sensor and Location Platform: This feature doesn't work.
The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:Windows Media Feature Pack for Windows 8 N and Windows 8 KN
Download the Media Feature Pack (KB2703761) package now.
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