Add Media Center to the Windows 8 Release Preview

Some of you already running the Windows 8 Release Preview will know by now that Media Center is not included by default, instead requiring a feature upgrade that will most likely come at a price once the Windows 8 RTM comes around. However for now, you can enable Media Center in Windows 8 through simply adding a new product key to your installation.

Heading over to the Windows 8 FAQ provided by Microsoft reveals the steps that you'll need to gain the feature. However to save you time trying to find it, we've posted the steps needed below:

Windows Media Center is not preinstalled in Windows 8 Release Preview. If you want to use Windows Media Center, you need to add it by following these steps:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter add features in the search box, and then tap or click Add features to Windows 8.

  3. Tap or click I already have a product key.

  4. Enter this product key: MBFBV-W3DP2-2MVKN-PJCQD-KKTF7 and then click Next.

  5. Select the checkbox to accept the license terms and then click Add features.

Your PC will restart and Windows Media Center will now be on your PC and the tile will be pinned to the Start screen.

It's as easy as that to get Media Center back on your Release Preview installation, although enjoy it while you can because it will not be free come the time for the full release. Also worthy of note is that this feature upgrade installs the necessary tools for DVD playback, which previously was only possible though third-party tools.

Source: Windows 8 FAQ | Via: @DigitalAmoeba

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WMC is dying. Why not use one of the many alternatives? I've been using MediaPortal for ages now for TV and Media, and it's got excellent skins and plugins.

I just tried Windows 8 tonight. It has some nice looking parts to it, but it is a real pain to use.

You even have to hunt and click through a bunch of menus just to get to the stupid shutdown/restart button. That is just insane and uncalled for.

There is no way ANY business will be running this software. I guarantee it.

And you can pretty well bet Windows will still charge their jacked up prices, as always.

jd100 said,
I just tried Windows 8 tonight. It has some nice looking parts to it, but it is a real pain to use.

You even have to hunt and click through a bunch of menus just to get to the stupid shutdown/restart button. That is just insane and uncalled for.

There is no way ANY business will be running this software. I guarantee it.

And you can pretty well bet Windows will still charge their jacked up prices, as always.

and you shut down your computer how often in a day ? and your computer dont' have one of those "power" buttons....

HawkMan said,

and you shut down your computer how often in a day ? and your computer dont' have one of those "power" buttons....

Honestly I have not used the power button since the time of Intel DX4 processors I guess; people get habits and, unless there is a good reason to do it, they do not want to change them.

jd100 said,
I just tried Windows 8 tonight. It has some nice looking parts to it, but it is a real pain to use.

You even have to hunt and click through a bunch of menus just to get to the stupid shutdown/restart button. That is just insane and uncalled for.

There is no way ANY business will be running this software. I guarantee it.

And you can pretty well bet Windows will still charge their jacked up prices, as always.


I thought the same way a couple of months ago when i first installed CP.
Now there is NO WAY i can go back to 7 or any other thing with so un intuitive start menu.
give it a try a couple of weeks. I am sure you will feel the same

HawkMan said,

and you shut down your computer how often in a day ? and your computer dont' have one of those "power" buttons....

Yeah really, just leave the computer on 24/7/365 because microsoft made it too difficult to figure out how to properly shut it down, sounds like the perfect solution!! /s

Fritzly said,

Honestly I have not used the power button since the time of Intel DX4 processors I guess; people get habits and, unless there is a good reason to do it, they do not want to change them.

Yeah there's no reason to shut down a quadcore/SLi setup, electricity is free.

Order_66 said,

Yeah there's no reason to shut down a quadcore/SLi setup, electricity is free.

Did I say that? No, I di not...... but for ages I shutted down the system from Windows.....
Relax people...... relax........................

Order_66 said,

Yeah really, just leave the computer on 24/7/365 because microsoft made it too difficult to figure out how to properly shut it down, sounds like the perfect solution!! /s

Sure, initially finding the on-screen power controls is tricky the first time. But once you've done it once, it's neither hard nor time consuming. You are seriously underestimating human intelligence (or maybe not given some of the ignorant comments I'm seeing about Windows 8 from some people) if you think that people can't memorise a simple two click process to shut down their PCs. Alternatively, just press the power button that will trigger a shutdown or sleep for you (depending on the default setting).

That said, I do agree that they should make that option more discoverable in the UI and not bury it inside a settings menu. Perhaps putting a power button in the charms bar itself, or in the menu when you click your name at the top of the start screen. Or better yet have a little power symbol at the top of the start screen next to the word start.

what *is* a good, free alternative to Windows Media Center for viewing TV through TV Tuner card? The program that came with my card is just plain crap (doesn't have a "guide" to tell what is on, recording is a pain, etc), and the XBMC above doesn't have a way to set up TV?

jamwheat said,
what *is* a good, free alternative to Windows Media Center for viewing TV through TV Tuner card? The program that came with my card is just plain crap (doesn't have a "guide" to tell what is on, recording is a pain, etc), and the XBMC above doesn't have a way to set up TV?

MediaPortal

I've installed it, because I can, but honestly I'm very disappointed. I was hoping they would revamp the UI and add access to Hulu and Netflix, but it just looks the same as it has for years. I don't ever use it, anyway, and there doesn't seem to be any new incentive to mess with it much now. I think it's good they're offering it as an option, but I think it should be free, like the media features pack for the Windows 7 N editions was.

Its obvious you have never used Windows Media Center, you are just showing your ignorance.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I never used it in Win7, so I think I'll pass. There are plenty of better alternatives out there.

willard27 said,
Its obvious you have never used Windows Media Center, you are just showing your ignorance.

The only advantage WMC has over XBMC, for example, is DVR. The Huge advantage is CableCard/DRM Digital Channel DVR Support.

As a stored media "center" it's a POS compared to XBMC.

willard27 said,
Its obvious you have never used Windows Media Center, you are just showing your ignorance.


What's wrong with his statement? He's saying he never used it in Windows 7 and won't use it when Windows 8. I can perfectly understand that. Now who's ignorant?

MrHumpty said,
The only advantage WMC has over XBMC, for example, is DVR. The Huge advantage is CableCard/DRM Digital Channel DVR Support.

As a stored media "center" it's a POS compared to XBMC.

Which is a major advantage, especially if you are using it to replace or supplement a pc ! And no it is not a POS, as I use xbmc on other devices and for what I use it for, (movies, music and photo's) the functionality is pretty much alike. And for mc there are also plugins, like mymovies.

FarCry3r said,

What's wrong with his statement? He's saying he never used it in Windows 7 and won't use it when Windows 8. I can perfectly understand that. Now who's ignorant?

Exactly! The Holy Inquisition is on patrol.........

crispkreme said,
It looks the same. I hope it will receive some updates before RTM.
Agreed. While I appreciate MS focusing on streaming media. The fact remains that the content owners are also cable companies in nearly every case. With that stranglehold they will keep Cable alive for quite some time and it will be the only place to get some content unless you want to invest the time/bandwidth/risk in torrent/usenet.

boumboqc said,
I installed Release Preview on a dual screen and wow.. it is amazing!
Imma try this now.

Same here, they improved the dual screen. Support a lot, there are still as few things to do, but for now it's way over w7 and I use it as ny mason OS from now on (due to good support for dual screen).

SubZenit said,

Same here, they improved the dual screen. Support a lot, there are still as few things to do, but for now it's way over w7 and I use it as ny mason OS from now on (due to good support for dual screen).

Sorry for typos, wp7 autocorrect them and didn't paid attention.

Ambroos said,
Did Media Center receive any enhancements or Metrofying?

Media Center is dead. They are emphasizing streaming services more and more like what you see on the new Xbox dashboard.

majortom1981 said,

No it has not and microsoft stated it wont be updated

So basically it would be pretty silly to upgrade a HTPC to Windows 8 to have to repay for Media Center without any updates to the actual app.

majortom1981 said,

No it has not and microsoft stated it wont be updated

one of the spart things they did, complete oposite of this metro crap

nekrosoft13 said,

one of the spart things they did, complete oposite of this metro crap

ummm... you do realize WMC is the original Metro app right...

dagamer34 said,

Media Center is dead. They are emphasizing streaming services more and more like what you see on the new Xbox dashboard.

Maybe Ballmer and Co are buying shares of internet providers....................
Cap and metered connections will be the future for short/mid term future and this trend will not play nicely with streaming, clouds storage etc. push.

majortom1981 said,

No it has not and microsoft stated it wont be updated


So you have to pay extra for a piece of software that hasn't seen any updates? Nice.

.Neo said,

So you have to pay extra for a piece of software that hasn't seen any updates? Nice.

You have that backwards. Everybody else will be paying less. Those who want media centre pay the same. At least the general consensus.

TCLN Ryster said,

You have that backwards. Everybody else will be paying less. Those who want media centre pay the same. At least the general consensus.

Show me the licensing cost breakdown to prove this point...

Still pointless to upgrade a HTPC to Windows 8. It offers you NOTHING except extra costs. Keep in mind that a HTPC spends its life inside WMC and not the useless start screen or pointless Metro apps.

TCLN Ryster said,

You have that backwards. Everybody else will be paying less. Those who want media centre pay the same. At least the general consensus.

I would say speculations.... or W8 prices have been announced?

xendrome said,
Nice, have to pay extra for a feature that was previously included... the news just gets better and better...

I'm sure it was known for a while that it was going to be a "feature upgrade". Anyway you can enjoy it for free right now, and by the RTM you can just switch to XBMC which is a great free alternative

xendrome said,
Nice, have to pay extra for a feature that was previously included... the news just gets better and better...

I've been using Windows Media Center since like 2006 and it is by far the best DVR I've ever used. I will gladly pay for it in Windows 8 after six years of free usage.

xendrome said,
Nice, have to pay extra for a feature that was previously included... the news just gets better and better...

How much did you use it in Win7/Vista?

wixostrix said,

I've been using Windows Media Center since like 2006 and it is by far the best DVR I've ever used. I will gladly pay for it in Windows 8 after six years of free usage.

Free usage?

People today really perplex me. You paid for it for those 6 years... Unless you're saying you have pirated Windows for 6 years and will finally not be pirating a copy this time...

xendrome said,
Nice, have to pay extra for a feature that was previously included... the news just gets better and better...

It was never "free" though... just included in the price. If anything it will make Windows cheaper as rather than paying for licenses that no-one is using only those who want it will pick up the cost for WMC.

lt8480 said,

It was never "free" though... just included in the price. If anything it will make Windows cheaper as rather than paying for licenses that no-one is using only those who want it will pick up the cost for WMC.

Why won't people stop with this? There is no proof that Microsoft plans on passing the cost savings on to end users. The only credible breakdown of the cost savings are to OEMs. Windows won't be getting any cheaper as a result of this change.

Frazell Thomas said,
Why won't people stop with this? There is no proof that Microsoft plans on passing the cost savings on to end users. The only credible breakdown of the cost savings are to OEMs. Windows won't be getting any cheaper as a result of this change.
There's also no evidence that they are passing along the extra cost of all of the windows live syncing, free *ad free* storage etc. However, those of us with an understanding of markets/economics etc. can deduce that the price will reflect their changes in cost and savings. I know it's silly, but it's called logical deductive reasoning.

Frazell Thomas said,

Free usage?

People today really perplex me. You paid for it for those 6 years... Unless you're saying you have pirated Windows for 6 years and will finally not be pirating a copy this time...


Indeed......
It is like when you go to buy a car and the rep says: " you also get 4 years of manteinance........ for free!!!!!!!!!"
It is not free, its cost is included in the price of the vehicle.....
Said that I would gladly pay for it if MS has fixed the issue of Media Center locking the screen when running; nowadays multi-monitors setup is not so uncommon.

Seems Windows 8 is the operating system that keeps taking. Pay for Media Centre. Pay for upgrade on new machines. Take away start bar.

Take it AWAY please.

Fritzly said,

Indeed......
It is like when you go to buy a car and the rep says: " you also get 4 years of manteinance........ for free!!!!!!!!!"
It is not free, its cost is included in the price of the vehicle.....
Said that I would gladly pay for it if MS has fixed the issue of Media Center locking the screen when running; nowadays multi-monitors setup is not so uncommon.

lol, yeah. Or "free shipping" when you order something. -___-

butilikethecookie said,

Windows 8 is to cost $15. It does make it cheaper.

Windows 8 will have a flat price of $15 and it is all due to removing Media Center? You must be delusional to think Windows Media Center is why Windows 7 HP costs $200 Retail... Windows 8 will not be significantly cheaper.

The $15 upgrade deal that Microsoft is doing is nothing new. In fact, prior to Vista the upgrades were FREE! When the old version was purchased within 6 months of the release of the next version.

xendrome said,
Nice, have to pay extra for a feature that was previously included... the news just gets better and better...

No matter what you do people complain. People bitch and moan Windows is too expensive, so MS make it cheaper by removing less used features and charging you to put it back in (cause you know, it's not actually free). What do people do? complain...*sign*

xendrome said,
Nice, have to pay extra for a feature that was previously included... the news just gets better and better...

Except that you won't be paying extra, will you? No.

One of Microsoft's main reasons for removing this feature is to avoid paying the DVD playback royalties on every copy so they could lower the price of the OS. So actually, people without this feature will be paying less. Those who decide they need it will pay about the same as they do now.

Troll harder mate.

TCLN Ryster said,

Except that you won't be paying extra, will you? No.

One of Microsoft's main reasons for removing this feature is to avoid paying the DVD playback royalties on every copy so they could lower the price of the OS. So actually, people without this feature will be paying less. Those who decide they need it will pay about the same as they do now.

Troll harder mate.

Where is the proof that this will result in a Windows price drop? Where is the proof that this price drop will be a direct result of this change? I'm tired of people claiming this will result in a price drop for Windows it is getting annoying. Windows 7 was cheaper than Windows Vista WITH the codecs.

Just because Microsoft lowers its cost there is no guarantee that they will lower their prices to match. The two aren't linked. Microsoft isn't in a competitive market where they have to keep their costs low.

The only credible information I have seen on the topic is that this will result in a lower cost to OEMs, not end users. This being due to the fact that the licensing for the bulk of the codecs already push the cost to OEMs and not Microsoft.

MrHumpty said,
There's also no evidence that they are passing along the extra cost of all of the windows live syncing, free *ad free* storage etc. However, those of us with an understanding of markets/economics etc. can deduce that the price will reflect their changes in cost and savings. I know it's silly, but it's called logical deductive reasoning.

No, those of us with an understanding of economics know Microsoft is not in a competitive market. As a result, their pricing does not reflect their costs already. Microsoft prices their products artificially high because they have a market monopoly.

Competitive Markets != Monopolistic Markets in economics...