Media Center will be a “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro

With the announcement of the Windows 8 SKUs, if you took a look at the feature matrix, you would have noticed that one item major feature is missing. That feature is Media Center which still has a loyal following and if you want to know how the product will be utilized with Windows 8, it will be a "media pack" add-on to the Windows 8 Pro SKU.

The Windows blog states that "Windows Media Center will be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro" but unfortunately does not state anything else such as if there will be additional fee to use the product.  

It would appear that the Media Center add on will only work with the Pro SKU which leaves those who purchases the vanilla version of Windows 8 out of luck. This is an interesting twist as the blog states that Windows 8 Pro is for enthusiasts and in the business environment which means that Media Center is not targeted at the casual consumer anymore. 

With the removal of Media Center from the native experience and requiring an additionally step to install the feature, it would seem that Microsoft is not keen on making it an integral part of the OS and this most likely marks the beginning of the end of Media Center.

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I dont know why people are weird about this, Microsoft done this before with XP and has since merged this with the Xbox, but they have stated that they found that most people don't use the software i.e myself a avid Windows user. i mean Media Center software are mostly for set top boxes nowadays anyways. Apple removed Front Row so not a surprise that Microsoft is removing Windows Media Center too

I've had a Windows MCE PC under my telly since 2005 and upgraded it to use Vista MC and currently Win7 MC. I also have an Xbox as an extender in another room. It works well and I love the native support they added for many popular codecs. I agree it passes the WAT (Wife Approval Test) as it's easier to use than Sky (IMHO). I used to use the Sky Player app within Win7 media center but sadly they dropped support for Win7 MC when Sky moved to Sky Go. The lack of interest in development of add-ins for media center by leading players is a worry. Wish it properly had Netflix add-on in the UK. Also, the new Xbox remote doesn't even have a green button which tells me that MS is winding down media center. Making it an add-on to Win8 is more evidence of this. Streaming is the future, but nowhere near being the standard in the UK yet due to hardly any fiber to the home broadband services, but that's. Windows could have owned the PVR home market if they wanted to, but the strategy wasn't there. Such a pity. I'll likely use MC to the bitter end, but it sounds like I don't need to upgrade my dedicated PVR from Win7 to Win8 as I thought I would if it's going to cost extra only to get the same app. Madness Microsoft! Madness. Where's the love? (Shareholders aren't interested in love)

I've had a Windows MCE PC under my telly since 2005 and upgraded it to use Vista MC and currently Win7 MC. I also have an Xbox as an extender in another room. It works well and I love the native support they added for many popular codecs. I agree it passes the WAT (Wife Approval Test) as it's easier to use than Sky (IMHO). I used to use the Sky Player app within Win7 media center but sadly they dropped support for Win7 MC when Sky moved to Sky Go. The lack of interest in development of add-ins for media center by leading players is a worry. Wish it properly had Netflix add-on in the UK. Also, the new Xbox remote doesn't even have a green button which tells me that MS is winding down media center. Making it an add-on to Win8 is more evidence of this. Streaming is the future, but nowhere near being the standard in the UK yet due to hardly any fiber to the home broadband services, but that's. Windows could have owned the PVR home market if they wanted to, but the strategy wasn't there. Such a pity. I'll likely use MC to the bitter end, but it sounds like I don't need to upgrade my dedicated PVR from Win7 to Win8 as I thought I would if it's going to cost extra only to get the same app. Madness Microsoft! Madness. Where's the love? (Shareholders aren't interested in love)

This is a shame. I've tried some other HTPC applications, and I have never liked any of them as much as I like WMC (even though they are able to play more files with less configuration). Maybe it's time to look at those alternatives that are still being developed again.

The idea is probably Windows Home Server 8 (or Pro acting as sever for now) with large storage pool and tuners farm as the back end and tablets or HTPC's as extender front end.

How many people bitching that they're losing Media Center actually participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program and send their error reports when programs fail?

^This is why you're a 'minority' in MS eyes.

deadonthefloor said,
How many people bitching that they're losing Media Center actually participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program and send their error reports when programs fail?

^This is why you're a 'minority' in MS eyes.

This. Personally, I opt in, send feedback and even post on MS' own forums. But then i'm a dev, and enthusiast and not intrinsically paranoid
Tis true though - MS do use all that data in their decision making - they regularly tell us that on their blogs.

We use Media Centre at home but only for music stored on the HDD. Hopefully they'll make it so the metro interface and music apps etc can be controlled by remote. From my brief experience with the music app it seemed a plausible idea. I guess fullscreen metro apps from the people of Spotify/Netflix will fill in the gap.

I still feel WMC is undervalued though

It must be nice to be someone so sanctamonious that they can declare WMC dead and put down the minority of users. I work evenings so I have 3 tuners. It's the only way I can watch new shows. I bet I'm far from the only one. Go get a real job Joshie and work evenings or shift and see how you like not being able to watch your shows.

I tried so hard to enjoy using Media Centre just because i had an Xbox 360, but the fact is... its horrible. Its slow, doesnt support alot of the decent video formats unless you go through installing Addons and doing various tweaks.

I reckon MS will include a way to link an Xbox 360 to a Windows 8 Home PC, they know alot of people use this.

so i guess this means media center doesnt go with the windows 8 principles in mind, and they have something else in store for windows 8.

I built myself an HTPC 3 years ago and used WMC for a bit. WMC is great for a hobbyist but not easy for the average user, say your wife or 6 yr old to make sure everything is turned on and on the right setting to make sure it works. I do have a Harmony remote to get all the components turned on and in the right settings but it is not as easy as turning on an xbox. my HTPC is collecting dust and only turn it on when I have company over and want to show off my digital jukebox since i have a touch screen attached to it. For all my movies, tv shows I use my xbox and so does the rest of my family. It is just much easier to do imo.

dbdmora said,
I built myself an HTPC 3 years ago and used WMC for a bit. WMC is great for a hobbyist but not easy for the average user, say your wife or 6 yr old to make sure everything is turned on and on the right setting to make sure it works. I do have a Harmony remote to get all the components turned on and in the right settings but it is not as easy as turning on an xbox. my HTPC is collecting dust and only turn it on when I have company over and want to show off my digital jukebox since i have a touch screen attached to it. For all my movies, tv shows I use my xbox and so does the rest of my family. It is just much easier to do imo.

Setting up WMC itself is really easy - it's all wizard driven after all - but there are a few stumbling blocks for the more advanced stuff (codecs for example are always a bit of a nightmare on Windows at times - I use the Shark007 ones though which does [mostly] make this trivial). You're right though, the XBOX is much easier (less capable mind). I think the guy above hit the nail on the head - MS could of pushed this with 3rd party manus to get ready-built boxes shipped to end users etc. It will always remain a niche product (plenty of MS software is in some respect) but I don't think MS can really afford not to be in the media arena (even if that's a new app altogether) when Google and Apple are.

Sad, but expected. As an enthusiast, i have built our home entertainment hub around Media Center (live satellite tv, pics, music, etc.) and on one side i do understand that from MSFT point of view, WE represent a very small fraction of their user base which doesnt really justify the investment in further development of Media Center. Now the criticism - MSFT have done it once again - they have built a great technology and they have been really lousy in marketing it. Why not join forces with the LGs, Samsungs and Panasonics of this world and install Media Center embedded directly on the TV? Everyone is happy? This will end the fragmentation in the "smart TV software" market as manufacturers are lousy at differentiating themselves there, MSFT is happy as it has now a huge user base and most important - customer are happy as they can instantly stream all their media content from various devices out-of-the box directly on the TV

wotsit said,
wtf? MC is a consumer thing, not a business thing?!

And this effectivly takes MS out of the home media hub game? EPIC FAIL!

GP007 said,

*cough*Xbox*cough*

hehe - true - but the other way round you can use an xbox as a WMC extender and that's pretty cool too

Wait guys, I just saw a comment over on the blog and we MAY be reading it wrong.
It mentions that WMC is in Windows 8, but it's a add-on for Pro, due to it being more business orientated, and not that many businesses I use do use WMC.

It could be free. They'd save money on licensing certain codecs since it would be per download instead of for every copy of Windows.

I just think the Music & Video Metro apps seem redundant. It would just be easier to integrate them into a MCE in Metro (I should patent this idea) and also include podcast app - otherwise known as Zune App!!!

Hmm interesting. Wonder how as a paid addon it will be licensed. Like do I enter another product key to install Media Center on Windows 8 Pro.

Had to look up exactly what it is we're talking about here and the interpretation of what it is.

I've heard of it, media center, and being as I have Windows 7 on all 8 computers, I know I have it, but you can obviously tell from how I'm saying this, I have no use for it and don't even have a clue how to use it. Of course, being that it has to do with wasting time watching tv on a computer (can't believe people waste their time and computer for such dumb s**t) I DEFINITELY have no use for it!!

This is an absolute non issue!

cork1958 said,
Had to look up exactly what it is we're talking about here and the interpretation of what it is.

I've heard of it, media center, and being as I have Windows 7 on all 8 computers, I know I have it, but you can obviously tell from how I'm saying this, I have no use for it and don't even have a clue how to use it. Of course, being that it has to do with wasting time watching tv on a computer (can't believe people waste their time and computer for such dumb s**t) I DEFINITELY have no use for it!!

This is an absolute non issue!

Uh, I am in college and use a tv tuner along with WMC. Saves space a tv would use and I can use my ssd as a dvr to boot. Just because you have no use for it does not mean others don't.

cork1958 said,
Had to look up exactly what it is we're talking about here and the interpretation of what it is.

I've heard of it, media center, and being as I have Windows 7 on all 8 computers, I know I have it, but you can obviously tell from how I'm saying this, I have no use for it and don't even have a clue how to use it. Of course, being that it has to do with wasting time watching tv on a computer (can't believe people waste their time and computer for such dumb s**t) I DEFINITELY have no use for it!!

This is an absolute non issue!

No need to be a **** about it. It's pretty damned slick and handy. I love having everthing at my fingertips on a single machine- Movies, TV, music, classic console emulators, full featured web browser, file management. It's not watching TV on a computer- it's using a computer as an entertainment hub with your big-ass TV. The flexibility you have with an HTPC is boundless when compared to something like the XBox360. A lot of us WMC users are the power users of the entertainment sphere, and we appreciate these features. Why **** on our parade just because it doesn't fit your lifestyle?

The cynical side of me thinks Microsoft would rather push users to Xbox 360s if they want something like a HTPC. They'll recuperate costs better on that front than include an underused HTPC frontend in Windows.

Still, slightly disappointing news. Probably moreso if Microsoft ships the same unchanged Media Center in Windows 7.

Media Center for Windows Pro only?
What is it Microsoft does not understand? My Media Center machine is a dedicated keyboardless and mouseless computer. Why in the world would I want to have a Pro version for this?
Also, if the Consumer Preview is any indication of the upcoming Media Center product, we can be fairly confident that it will be cheap: almost nothing changed on the product.

TheCyberKnight said,
Media Center for Windows Pro only?
What is it Microsoft does not understand? My Media Center machine is a dedicated keyboardless and mouseless computer. Why in the world would I want to have a Pro version for this?
Also, if the Consumer Preview is any indication of the upcoming Media Center product, we can be fairly confident that it will be cheap: almost nothing changed on the product.

Almost nothing? Sure looked like absolutely nothing to me.

Cool! Now we all get to experience the blissfully unaware yet somehow incredibly vocal minority of Windows users that use TV tuners!

Somehow forgetting the enormous amount of time they had to spend, digging around the internet, looking for community help to master configuring a HTPC, they've still managed to completely blind themselves to their small number, and bang drums, kicking and screaming all over the Internet, as if they're somehow a source of profit for Microsoft.

I would bet every computer I own that the cost of developing the WMC functionality exceeds ALL of the money Microsoft has EVER made in total from WMC's loyal user base.

Maybe Microsoft hasn't made much money off of WMC, but there are other companies out there who have made $millions from the small ecosystem that has risen out of this.

And what's wrong with hobbyists who happen to love the hell out of WMC? Do you have such animosity towards people who like that iTunes hobby machine from Apple?

Joshie said,
Cool! Now we all get to experience the blissfully unaware yet somehow incredibly vocal minority of Windows users that use TV tuners!

Somehow forgetting the enormous amount of time they had to spend, digging around the internet, looking for community help to master configuring a HTPC, they've still managed to completely blind themselves to their small number, and bang drums, kicking and screaming all over the Internet, as if they're somehow a source of profit for Microsoft.

I would bet every computer I own that the cost of developing the WMC functionality exceeds ALL of the money Microsoft has EVER made in total from WMC's loyal user base.

For someone who just said

if you wanted to sound like an adult at all
, your rants make you sound like a non-adult.

What has you so upset about Media Center? I am one of those users, have setup Media Center for a number of people (people who have so little tech knowledge that they have problems figuring out how to switch inputs on a TV) and once it is setup, they cannot live without it. I didn't spend hours on end searching the internet for ways to setup my computer, just a simple search on Amazon for tuners, which have become quite cheap.

No, Media Center is not a big profit generator, but it sells additional copies of Windows and keeps a group of people happy. And if people want to upgrade to the Win8 version, the additional $5 - $15 upgrade to get DVR functionality on that old extra computer has much more value than buying an Apple TV and paying $50 for a single season of just one HD show on iTunes.

nohone said,

For someone who just said , your rants make you sound like a non-adult.

What has you so upset about Media Center? I am one of those users, have setup Media Center for a number of people (people who have so little tech knowledge that they have problems figuring out how to switch inputs on a TV) and once it is setup, they cannot live without it. I didn't spend hours on end searching the internet for ways to setup my computer, just a simple search on Amazon for tuners, which have become quite cheap.

No, Media Center is not a big profit generator, but it sells additional copies of Windows and keeps a group of people happy. And if people want to upgrade to the Win8 version, the additional $5 - $15 upgrade to get DVR functionality on that old extra computer has much more value than buying an Apple TV and paying $50 for a single season of just one HD show on iTunes.

MeeeeOW, baby!!! You are so right.

Skwerl said,

MeeeeOW, baby!!! You are so right.

It amazes me the things that people troll about - I get that someone doesn't like, see the point in or want WMC. Fine. But it's just rant after rant on here with laughable 'facts' to back up his foaming-at-the-mouth posts. One wonders why people can't read back what they've written and see that rather than be persuasive it's having the opposite effect on the reader and painting an extremely unpleasant picture of the author. Disagree, debate but be respectful of other's views and don't deliberately set out to inflame just for your own (perverse) entertainment. That's trolling, and nobody likes that.

It makes me sad that MS are trying to slowly kill of Media Center. It is one of my most used features of windows. There are other programs like XBMC for videos and things, but there is nothing half as good for use as a PVR.

Mungo23 said,
It makes me sad that MS are trying to slowly kill of Media Center. It is one of my most used features of windows. There are other programs like XBMC for videos and things, but there is nothing half as good for use as a PVR.

If MS was trying to kill Media Center, all they had to do was nothing. Enough people asked about it for MS to do something. It's not even a part of the default OS, its an addon that's probably not free. Why else would they call it 'economical', if it were free?

Mungo23 said,
It makes me sad that MS are trying to slowly kill of Media Center. It is one of my most used features of windows. There are other programs like XBMC for videos and things, but there is nothing half as good for use as a PVR.

Agree totally with you, WMC is by far the best PVR software out there. I see it been dropped by Windows 9 to be honest as they have no reason to update it now.

SikSlayer said,

If MS was trying to kill Media Center, all they had to do was nothing. Enough people asked about it for MS to do something. It's not even a part of the default OS, its an addon that's probably not free. Why else would they call it 'economical', if it were free?

Its called economical because its cheap? if it was free they would have said so?

InsaneNutter said,
Its called economical because its cheap? if it was free they would have said so?

That's what I'm saying. It's not free, but its low cost. If they really wanted to kill Media Center, they could have just taken it out and left it at that.

But there are enough people that care about Media Center, more people using it than ever used a TiVo at its height.

OK. A real question: whats is in it for me?
There is a unbearable interface for a dual "no-touch" screen, and now I've lost my media center (I hope we can get it "for free" on MSDN/Technet...)

New, from a power user point of view (as most of us here are), i think we have... hyper-v, storage spaces, and... really, and what?
Am I missing something or I've just lost Media Center and the user interface, for nothing basically? Hyper-v is cool... I have it on my 2008 Server - with drive bender!

I want something on the client side! As a power user, I'm looking for a reason - any good reason really - to upgrade!

aristofeles said,
OK. A real question: whats is in it for me?
There is a unbearable interface for a dual "no-touch" screen, and now I've lost my media center (I hope we can get it "for free" on MSDN/Technet...)

New, from a power user point of view (as most of us here are), i think we have... hyper-v, storage spaces, and... really, and what?
Am I missing something or I've just lost Media Center and the user interface, for nothing basically? Hyper-v is cool... I have it on my 2008 Server - with drive bender!

I want something on the client side! As a power user, I'm looking for a reason - any good reason really - to upgrade!

Amen. Windows 7 MCE (and the MyMovies addon), and a good Hauupage card or two, is hands down THE BEST way to run a HTPC.

I already have not much reason to move the HTPC to Windows 8, and now it seems even less reason. So much for upgrades eh?

rosszone said,

Amen. Windows 7 MCE (and the MyMovies addon), and a good Hauupage card or two, is hands down THE BEST way to run a HTPC.

I already have not much reason to move the HTPC to Windows 8, and now it seems even less reason. So much for upgrades eh?

I totally agree. I have no reason to upgrade my HTPC, but my workstation PC could use the OS upgrade.

Well, this is disappointing, I use Windows 7 Home Prem, I'm an enthusiast and I use Win MCE for watching television because it is by far the best product I've found for doing so. This is a very disappointing move by MS.

I've fiddled with windows 8 on my notebook at little bit, and while it's not too bad, I can see it is the next Windows ME/Vista before Windows 9 comes along and blows us all away with awesomeness.

Think about it. Videos, Music and Pictures are their seperate apps and Sports is better handled by a Metro app (we'll probably see ESPN sooner or later). The only thing left is live TV and Microsoft clearly sees the writing on the wall that CableCard is dead and IPTV is the future. I wouldn't be surprised if we see apps cable users can download to watch live TV just like on the 360 right now with AT&T and Verizon.

statm1 said,
If IPTV can come without buffering and without needing to stay wired, then fine..

On a managed network it works fine.
That IS my day job.

I manage a mediaroom installation with 60k customers.
It works like a dream.

once 802.11ac hits this fall, yes your concerns will be addressed.

The over the top stuff that you're talking with xbox apps isn't IPTV, it's smooth streaming video over unmanaged networks.

deadonthefloor said,

On a managed network it works fine.
That IS my day job.

I manage a mediaroom installation with 60k customers.
It works like a dream.

once 802.11ac hits this fall, yes your concerns will be addressed.

The over the top stuff that you're talking with xbox apps isn't IPTV, it's smooth streaming video over unmanaged networks.

Ah another router/nic I need to buy.. Wonderful..lol But thanks!

Microsoft screwing up as usual. I love MCE and there's no way I'm going to upgrade from 7 to 8 AND pay for something I already use. Kind of the wrong time to provide customers less value, not with Apple doing so well and tablets (that aren't MS) threatening the PC scene.

thornz0 said,
Microsoft screwing up as usual. I love MCE and there's no way I'm going to upgrade from 7 to 8 AND pay for something I already use. Kind of the wrong time to provide customers less value, not with Apple doing so well and tablets (that aren't MS) threatening the PC scene.

You love Windows XP MCE?

Just wondering. Because Windows 7 has nothing called MCE. Now, WMC on the other hand...

Also, if you wanted to sound like an adult at all, you wouldn't kick off your post sounding like you actually believe dissing WMC is "screwing up". As a user, you can't seriously have convinced yourself that it's a popular application. You're part of a VERY small group of users, and frankly you sound like you don't even realize it.

Joshie said,
....

Extender

W7 has Extender technology in mediacenter.
That's how I used to consume content on my xbox before the fall dash and content apps.

Joshie said,
Also, if you wanted to sound like an adult at all,

..you wouldn't be such a pendant - does it really matter he used the wrong acronym? No. He has a point, he could of put it better, but then I'd level the same criticism at you. Quit trolling.

PsYcHoKiLLa said,
Just another reason not to buy Windows 8 then.

Sure, for the massive 0.001% of Windows users who don't simply know WMC exists, but also use it. On purpose. Regularly.

Do you know what it ****es me off? That it will probably be as Windows Media Player: no update whatsoever. Why don't give it a little push?

Answering my own question: Now that I think about it, I believe that since MS is trying to unite all the ecosystem, it means that there will be other options rather than Media Center. I hope to see the Video App upgraded to satisfy Media Center.

ACTIONpack said,
I use media center on my Xbox 360 which means I need it on my computer. :-(

The Videos and Music app have a "Play to" option, and Xbox was one of the listed options. I couldn't test it however because I needed to sign in with my Live ID, and signing into apps with my live ID apparently isn't available in the UK.

McKay said,

The Videos and Music app have a "Play to" option, and Xbox was one of the listed options. I couldn't test it however because I needed to sign in with my Live ID, and signing into apps with my live ID apparently isn't available in the UK.


There's also signs of more to come when you see apps like the Xbox Companion included with Windows 8 CP. Right now that particular app is more about controlling your Xbox from a tablet, but it shows that MS is paying attention to bringing the Xbox 360 and Windows 8 platforms very close together. I genuinely do not think WMC will matter with Windows 8. At all.

Joshie said,
...

Precisely.

The only thing they need to do is allow their Mediaroom platform to have a presence on W8.
Since Mediaroom partners don't want to deploy to W7, it'll be a tough sell to use your PC as DVR using paid broadcast.

I have paid broadcast, and a carrier provided DVR, yet I have 16GB worth of low grade torrent rips of my favorite content.

It used to be fed to my devices through media center extender, but as of late, I've been using media streaming via zune, as it's library management is more up to date than Windows Libraries / aka Media Player libraries.

It's about being flexible and seeing the need for change.

Microsoft won't make Media Center a killer app until Apple one-ups them and dominates the TV scene.

Cause honestly what we have now is pretty advanced and I use it on my TV by default, but it takes a little expertise to get the hardware and whatnot all set up, and it's getting long in the tooth.

Just like Microsoft couldn't make the Pocket PC a killer smartphone and they had to wait for Apple to make it popular.

Man, I don't know what's coloring your perspective, but it's amazing you can look at something to such an extent without ever even catching a glimpse of a more realistic way of looking at things.

WMC doesn't compete with something like the Apple TV, it never will, and it was never meant to. The whole media center thing was back-burnered due almost entirely to the success of the Xbox 360 as a media streaming platform. Any dirt cheap device will ultimately rely on an existing home computer to supplement content (see: reliance on iTunes), and anything more independent coming out of Apple would have a pricetag far above the Xbox.

Hell, if you're talking about a media device, the Xbox 360 DOES 'dominate the TV scene', which Apple sitting pathetically off in the distance somewhere, and the only way you can believe otherwise is if you refuse to put the Xbox 360 in the same category. But then you'd look obtuse, since you seem perfectly willing to classify an entire *desktop OS* in the same category as an Apple TV.

WMC's fans need to wake up and move on. They aren't even worth calling a niche market, and probably make up a smaller number of people than Linux users running Opera with Yahoo as their default search. There is already a significantly more advanced and far more affordable piece of hardware than any HTPC, and frankly, when the go-to criticism is lack of blu-ray support, I pretty much feel like I can rest my case.

There's 6 million people using Windows Media Center as a DVR. There's only (not even) 2 million using TiVo for the same thing. They aren't even worth calling a niche market, because they're not. MS seeing fit to do something about having WMC in Windows 8 it is proof enough.

SikSlayer said,
There's 6 million people using Windows Media Center as a DVR. There's only (not even) 2 million using TiVo for the same thing. They aren't even worth calling a niche market, because they're not. MS seeing fit to do something about having WMC in Windows 8 it is proof enough.

6 million is literally (and the real kind of literally, too) less than 1% of Windows licenses owned by users. You can play the cute little quantity game, but proportion is what's actually *relevant*.

Not to mention, your cute absence of a source means I can't check to see if you're overshooting even your cute little <1% claim. But hey, nice work comparing it to another dead platform.

Computer users don't DVR. They stream. That's not a fanboyesque twisting of facts, either. That's the simple reality and the direction of the market. Even cable companies--the ONLY people who could possibly compete with streaming media--have fallen in line and started testing their own on-demand streaming TV services. DVR has no future. None.

Steven Sinofsky himself has said that the metrics behind WMC make it impossible to call it anything other than a dud, and that 3/4 of the people who have even executed the application did so accidentally, or at least never executed it again.

Edited by Joshie, Apr 17 2012, 2:14am :

Joshie said,

6 million is literally (and the real kind of literally, too) less than 1% of Windows licenses owned by users. You can play the cute little quantity game, but proportion is what's actually *relevant*.

The only one playing games here is you. It doesn't matter what percent of Windows users it is. This is a DVR app, not an OS. Quantity is FAR more important than proportion when it comes to this. That's why I compared it to the ever-popular TiVo in the first place. Less than 1% of an OS that has over 90% total market share is still millions of people, enough to outnumber the brand-name in DVRs. Enough people for Microsoft to pay attention to them.

As for where I got my numbers, they came from Steven Sinofsky's statements that Media Center would be included as a part of Windows 8 in one form or another earlier in the year. Sinofsky said NOTHING about it being a dud, and if it was, why would they even bother to add it to Windows 8 at all?

SikSlayer said,
As for where I got my numbers, they came from Steven Sinofsky's statements that Media Center would be included as a part of Windows 8 in one form or another earlier in the year. Sinofsky said NOTHING about it being a dud, and if it was, why would they even bother to add it to Windows 8 at all?

And Steven got his numbers from those who opt into the customer experience improvement program.

See how users ACTUALLY affect development choices at MS?
BTW, I am agreeing w/you Sik.

dotf said,

And Steven got his numbers from those who opt into the customer experience improvement program.

See how users ACTUALLY affect development choices at MS?
BTW, I am agreeing w/you Sik.

I gotcha dude. There won't be any arguing semantics as opposing opinions here. But I could have been more clear.

What I was saying was Steven wasn't trying to show Media Center as a dud when he mentioned the numbers, as its detractors like to claim. He was trying to show how much it was used. And as you point out, those are just the ones who were a part of the customer experience improvement program. Who knows how many more actually did who weren't being counted. The day Steven made his blog post, most of the Media Center community would go on to say that they DIDN'T opt in. Its most ardent users weren't even being counted.

But things aren't so rosy, even with it coming to Windows 8. First off, it just seems to be the same version that's in Windows 7, no bug fixes or further improvement. Also, why do you have to have Windows 8 Pro to install something so consumer-driven? I think these are two major missteps.

Joshie said,
Computer users don't DVR. They stream.

Whilst I appreciate your entitled to your opinion, no need to be a dick about it now is there? In any case, I *do* DVR - as do a number of my friends - and that's the killer feature for WMC that we love - pile in a bunch of cards and you can record from stacks of channels (and sources simultaneously - e.g. 6 in my case) with a nice integrated TV guide - and all for free (i.e. no sub required). Couple that with the sublime Media Browser (and other plugins) and it's a extremely powerful HTPC. I love it, it passes the WAT (Wife Acceptance Test) with flying colours and the same is true for many others. The fact is MS have never pushed it - most of us aren't even aware it's there - but when you show people what it can do they're universally amazed with it. Whilst I'd never make a case that it'll ever be 'mass market' i'm not sure MS really need to sandbag it (and in fact if they do they're really leaving the door open for Apple and Google - although the former *still* doesn't record TV which is a huge turnoff for me) given there's a active community of people using it and developing for it. In fact, rather than killing the product they're far more likely to replace it in the future.

Ironically Xbox owners do *stream* - and they do it as an extender from WMC - it's great slinging an xbox in another room and having full access to your WMC.

I wish MCE front end would just fade away and they would Metro'fy the new interface so you could "Extend" it through any web/rdp enabled device.

Wishful thinking I guess

spudtrooper said,
I wish MCE front end would just fade away and they would Metro'fy the new interface so you could "Extend" it through any web/rdp enabled device.

Agreed.
I wanted to develop for Media Center until I looked at the differences between XAML and MCML.
The writing was on the wall back then that this product would fade away.

Being that content owners never liked the PC being able to record as a base function of the OS (has WTV been cracked yet?). Network operators didn't like that once you use Media Center, you lose their branded experience for digital cable.
Microsoft didn't like to have to develop interfaces for proprietary technologies used by the network operators.
The Media Center's team refusal to adopt XAML was the turning point.
Now that content providers are augmenting the Network operator stack with over the top apps like you see on cell phones and xbox, it's only a matter of time.

Since W8 has Xbox, you'd think the over the top app experiences will be there at launch.

PmRd said,
Probably will be free

It will probably not be free since MS has to pay licensing fees associated to some of the technology in Media Center. I see this as a good thing. Perhaps it means that the standard Windows 8 version will be cheap enough to drive adoption. Say around $99 with Windows 8 Pro maybe coming in at $129. I'm just guessing but if MS made it cheap enough they could drive a significant part of the market to adoption as well as be competitive with iOS and Android on x86 tablets with OEM pricing coming in at around $50/license. Time will tell.

PmRd said,
Probably will be free

They called it an "economical add-on". I don't think they would call it economical if it was going to be free. Maybe just enough to cover licensing/royalty costs.

rfirth said,

They called it an "economical add-on". I don't think they would call it economical if it was going to be free. Maybe just enough to cover licensing/royalty costs.

My exact thoughts.

rfirth said,

They called it an "economical add-on". I don't think they would call it economical if it was going to be free. Maybe just enough to cover licensing/royalty costs.

This makes the most sense, now to see what the price will be? I'm thinking anywhere from $5 to $20. And depending on what changes they've made etc the higher price could be worth it.

GP007 said,

This makes the most sense, now to see what the price will be? I'm thinking anywhere from $5 to $20. And depending on what changes they've made etc the higher price could be worth it.

As far as I know, they've not done a thing with it- Abandonware. I think that's a shame, because I sure love it. The only thing I don't care for are its quirks (can'
t play sh_t without messing around with a bunch of hacks and utilities to trick it into playing media) and the MCML API. Wish it were vanilla WPF.

Skwerl said,

As far as I know, they've not done a thing with it- Abandonware. I think that's a shame, because I sure love it. The only thing I don't care for are its quirks (can'
t play sh_t without messing around with a bunch of hacks and utilities to trick it into playing media) and the MCML API. Wish it were vanilla WPF.

I think it's too soon to say that, sure we haven't seen anything yet in the Win8 builds that are out but by MS making it an add-on app it could mean they're making changes as well. Otherwise, if you're not going to do any work why even bother to take it out? I can't honestly believe it's due to licensing that goes with it, they make that bit up on the cost of the OS as a whole.

GP007 said,

I think it's too soon to say that, sure we haven't seen anything yet in the Win8 builds that are out but by MS making it an add-on app it could mean they're making changes as well. Otherwise, if you're not going to do any work why even bother to take it out? I can't honestly believe it's due to licensing that goes with it, they make that bit up on the cost of the OS as a whole.

Why pay licensing fees for x users when only x/100 users actually utilize it. It's a lot cheaper to just charge the users a la carte.

Skwerl said,

Why pay licensing fees for x users when only x/100 users actually utilize it. It's a lot cheaper to just charge the users a la carte.

Sure, that makes sense but on the flip side you can't charge for the same old version from Windows 7. Those WMC users will just stick to their Win7 HTPC setups and not even bother with Windows 8 etc. Honestly I think MS could have done something, maybe a metro/start screen front end for it or something. We'll just have to wait and see.

Drewidian said,

It will probably not be free since MS has to pay licensing fees associated to some of the technology in Media Center.

That's why the Pro addition would cost more, to cover those fees and those of the other available features. So technically, it's not free, but it's apart of the cost of the edition. If their is an additional charge for it, then they're screwing us.