Microsoft now charging for HEVC Video Extensions

If you're looking to extend your PC to be able to play video files in the HEVC format, you may have to shell out a little change. As initially spotted by Michael West on Twitter, Microsoft is charging 99 cents for the extension, which allows you to play the HEVC format in any app.

Microsoft appears to be directing Windows 10 users to this particular store page when trying to open HEVC files or HEIC images.

However, confusing matters a bit is that, as pointed out by another Twitter user, a separate HEVC Video Extensions listing is available for free. The only difference is that this one is listed as "HEVC Video Extensions from Device Manufacturer." Both are from Microsoft, and the descriptions are largely the same.

Presumably, the free version is for PCs that ship from a manufacturer with the necessary hardware for HEVC playback. My Surface Book 2, for example, already had the free extension installed. Still, I was also able to install the free version on my custom-built desktop PC.

It's unclear what the differentiator is between versions here. But, in any case, you can check out both extensions at the Microsoft Store now.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl