Microsoft has announced that it is the first operating system developer to more completely incorporate Blu-ray support into its platform, with the addition of the Windows Feature Pack for Storage.

This will allow Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008 users to burn Blu-ray discs directly from the OS without the need for usually expensive third party applications.

The software giant says the upgraded storage patch will add the ability to “lock down removable storage with a certificate or password to prevent the theft of secure material”.

It also says it will add new forms of Smart Card support for government workers and others that depend on the standard to access networks and data.

The pack has been in non-disclosure laced beta testing for quite some time, but can now be seen on the Microsoft Connect website.

When released, it will upgrade Windows XP and Vista, as well as Server 2003 and 2008.
No release date has been announced for the Feature Pack.

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