Windows Media Center Confirmed For Windows 8

Subject: General Tech | September 3, 2011 - 07:31 PM |
Tagged: Media Center, htpc, microsoft, windows 8

There are quite a few aspects of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system that are still an unknown; however, a recent MSDN blog confirmed quite a few bits of software that will make the cut into the final version of the operating system. One piece of software in particular that will definitely be included in Windows 8 is Windows Media Center. Steven Sinofsky stated “I want to reassure customers that Media Center will definitely be part of Windows 8. No doubt about it.”

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While the good news lies in Media Center’s inclusion in the new operating system, the announcement comes with two bits of bad news. Firstly, they are not able to release details about the Media Center application itself, so there are no details on any new features or speed increases. Further, Media Center will not be included in most of the pre-release builds of the operating system. While Microsoft reports that the beta testers of the application are pleased with it, the majority of consumers and enthusiasts will have to wait until the operating system gets closer to RTM (release to manufacturing) before getting a look at the application.

Microsoft further stated that the Media Center application will be included in the “premium” SKUs of the operating system, assuming the upcoming OS will imitate its predecessor’s multiple SKU strategy. More information on upcoming Windows 8 features can be found on the MSDN blog.

What are your thoughts on Media Center? Is it an application that you find useful, and if so what features would you most like to see improved upon? Personally, I use the Media Center extender functionality quite a bit to watch videos on the living room TV, and I would love to have Microsoft implement some performance increases to speed up the often pokey interface (which admittedly might be partly attributable to the Xbox 360’s hardware).

Source: Microsoft
September 3, 2011 | 10:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have a feeling that a lot of the apps that we normally think of beig included with Windows are going to be separated from the OS and made available as downloads for faster updating and te ability to add more features in between Windows releases.

September 4, 2011 | 12:45 AM - Posted by Ninjin (not verified)

I cheered audibly when reading this news. I love WMC and use it every day (or just about) to watch TV. Hopefully Win8 will bring some sorely-needed speed improvements to the UI, but in terms of feature set, WMC is where it's at (with the help of a few choice addons). No set-top box (or stack of them) can duplicate the functionality of my HTPC with Windows Media Center and a Ceton tuner.

I'd love to see WMC, HTPCs and PC cablecard tuners become mainstream (or heck, even just common among geeks) but it does seem to be fairly well entrenched as a niche product. Thankfully if one company has the resources to continue to serve a niche market segment, it's Microsoft.

September 5, 2011 | 01:39 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

heh, if there was a like button here for your post, I'd use it :)

September 4, 2011 | 09:16 AM - Posted by hvakrg (not verified)

Personally I'm a big Mediaportal fan so I don't have any direct worries about WMC being discontinued or not. But I do believe that WMC is important for the market as a whole, if Microsoft didn't continue on with WMC we would probably lose all the good HTPC parts from Microsofts HW-partners.

September 4, 2011 | 09:22 AM - Posted by hvakrg (not verified)

That said I do think that Microsoft should rethink the way media is collected, distributed and consumed to offer a much more userfriendly experiense.

September 4, 2011 | 09:42 AM - Posted by Aaron (not verified)

I would really like to see them improve the Netflix support in Windows Media Center. My Media Center Remote can't pause Netflix movies which is quite irritating, but even worse is the screen tearing that's present when watching Netflix movies in WMC. The screen tearing doesn't occur when watching movies through a browser so it's clearly something that WMC is doing rather than Silverlight.

September 5, 2011 | 01:39 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Ouch, yeah those do sound like serious issues. Hopefully they get fixed!

September 6, 2011 | 12:44 AM - Posted by z3o (not verified)

Being a user of an Ceton InfiniTV 4 tuner, how about some basic functionality to take advantage of the multi-tuners? One obvious feature would be PiP, which WMC conspicuously lacks. A nice delighter would be a feature allowing 4 separate channel displays simultaneously...now that would make WMC awesome!

September 15, 2011 | 04:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Media Center is sorely in need of improvements in many areas. Without them, users stay away from it. Staying away from it takes away incentive for MS to improve it.

In some areas it's strong. For anybody with a tuner card, it provides a better out of the box solution than what comes bundled with a typical card. And having a remote control makes the use of other MC components (such as watching movies) a practical solution.

But if you don't have a dedicated media center, and you have other components that will do what you want (including the completely separate Media Player) then a cursory look at Media Center gives no reason to come back to it.

For those who use it, it's a tremendously powerful solution. Using it on a home network is a compelling reason to upgrade other household computers to Windows 7. It would be a compelling reason not to upgrade from Windows 7 if it were not available in the relevant Windows 8 edition.

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