New laptops are moving away from having a CD/DVD drive in them. The reason for this is because more people are using online storage, flash drives, and video streaming so the drive isn’t necessary and it saves space to make devices thinner. Well to some surprise, Windows 8 does not even play DVD’s “out of the box”. You do have options tho.
If you purchase a new computer, the manufacturer may have included a pre-installed software to play DVD’s. If you have purchase a copy of Window 8/8.1 and installed it yourself or someone did for you, you won’t be able to play DVD’s.
In order to play DVD’s on your computer with Windows 8.1, you will need to install a dvd player by downloading a free one or buying one, which you can do from the Windows Store. If you have Windows 8.1 Pro, you could also download Windows 8.1 Media Center Pack. This does cost extra. The reason for this is because in order to save money (and reduce cost of the operating system) Microsoft chose not to pay the fees necessary to include DVD playback by default. The cost of the media pack covers this cost.
Windows RT 8.1 (used on devices such as the original Windows Surface) does not support playing DVD’s and the Windows Media Center Pack is not available for it. Also Windows 8 does not support DVD play back and there isn’t a media pack for it either. You will need to find a DVD player for them.
If you search the Windows Store or google DVD player software for Windows 8 you will find many different options, free and paid. One of the most popular free software is VLC Player. Others I found in my search include, GOM Media Player, MPC-HC, Real Player, KM Player, XBMC Media Center, and many more.