So, what was the point again to remove the DVD codecs? We've been told they are expensive, ok, so, they are gone. What's the result? The Windows 8 retail pricing is back to normal.

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/pd/productID.266514600

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/pd/productID.264832100

199$ for pro, 119 for the home version. W7 had the same pricing in case you forgot:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10272259-56.html

"Microsoft sets Windows 7 pricing, upgrade programs"

"When boxed copies of Windows 7 go on sale on October 22, Microsoft plans to charge $119 for Home Premium, $199 for Professional"

I don't know exactly whether OEMs get Windows cheaper now, but fact is, the customer doesn't get the devices cheaper, quite the opposite:

http://slashdot.org/topic/cloud/windows-8-sales-sluggish-npd-group/

The average selling price (ASP) of a Windows machine has also jumped "significantly" this year, in the firm's estimation, from $433 to $477. That could be due in part to touch-screen laptops, which generally retail at a premium to their non-touch siblings

The only one who benefitted from the drop of the DVD codecs is MS. Customers pay the same (or more) without any benefit from this move. In fact, they get now advertizing shoved in the face in an OS they bought for their hard earned money instead of a price reduction.

The lack of the codecs was sort-of ok while the short-lived special upgrade offer was still in place and you were able to get the media pack for free, but now it's unexcusable. Bring them back with blue.