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VLC player for Windows 8 gets demoed

Wondering when some of your favorite Windows apps will be refreshed with a Modern update? Google and Mozilla are already hard at work making sure their browsers run well using both Windows 8 interfaces, and now VLC has been shown off running from the Start Screen. It’s pretty much exactly what you would expect: a minimal interface with a handful of tiles linked to specific tasks such as browsing your local network for media, playing back music or video, opening media from a URL, or making changes to VLC’s configuration.

During the demonstration, it’s mentioned that VLC has some API dependencies that would probably prevent Microsoft from approving a VLC Windows 8 app submitted to the Windows Store. That might be the case, but what’s certain is that the VLC license isn’t one that Microsoft will allow in the Store. The Windows Store requires that any app that utilizes FOSS “must not cause any non-FOSS Microsoft software to become subject to the terms of any FOSS license.” That means GPL-licensed software — like VLC — isn’t welcome.

That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get something like VLC4Win8 running on your system. If Mozilla and Google can both successfully bundle their Windows 8 browsers with the installer for their traditional desktop browsers, it should be simple enough for VLC to do the same thing. Install the desktop app, set it as your default video handler, and the live tile would pop into place on your Start Screen.

We’ll have to wait patiently to see what the VLC team comes up with, but don’t get too excited about running this on your Surface yet. Getting VLC to play nice with Windows 8 is one thing, but Windows RT — which can only install apps from the Windows Store — will prove to be a much bigger challenge.