Windows 8 Beta may be on the way

According to a member named canouna over on the MDL website, the latest build he has managed to acquire is 8141.0.winmain.111021 and includes Windows Media Center.

According to canouna, there are quite a number of changes, like Metro apps zooming, changeable metro background color, and more.

People had assumed that Media Center was dropped, because it wasn't included in the developer preview; but back in September, Steve Sinofsky put that rumor to bed saying "I want to reassure customers that Media Center will definitely be part of Windows 8. No doubt about it. "

Additionally, it seems that build 8140 in Simplified Chinese has been made available to OEM's; the build stamp shows it was compiled a day earlier than 8141 on Oct. 20th. English translation here.

Now all we need is a public beta, or will this leak too?

Thanks to Faikee for the tip in our forums.

Image credits: MDL

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Hopefully they give us an option to have a regular start menu, rather than that metro crap. It has no place on a desktop.

Hopefully more of the cloud functionality will be enabled for the beta, and also making it easier to run Metro apps on low-res screens (which would benefit the most from full-screen apps)

I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't pick a single media player to provide with it's operating system by default. Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player, and Zune Software are all made by Microsoft, and yet contain none of the same features. I believe it's time for a unified media player that can handle various branded mp3 players alongside the Zune and Windows Phone 7. It would be nice not to have to open Zune to sync my Zune/WP7 and then have to open WMP because Zune doesn't support some codec.

satukoro said,
I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't pick a single media player to provide with it's operating system by default. Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player, and Zune Software are all made by Microsoft, and yet contain none of the same features. I believe it's time for a unified media player that can handle various branded mp3 players alongside the Zune and Windows Phone 7. It would be nice not to have to open Zune to sync my Zune/WP7 and then have to open WMP because Zune doesn't support some codec.

I could see WMP and Zune merging together. However, there is a lot of HTPC-specific functionality in WMC that would be overkill for most media player needs.

lordcanti86 said,

I could see WMP and Zune merging together. However, there is a lot of HTPC-specific functionality in WMC that would be overkill for most media player needs.

That is because a lot of the additional functionality in WMC requires additional hardware (such as a TV tuner card, like Ceton's InfiniTV4 USB/PCI or the moribund ATI HDTV Wonder, which is still supported even by 7 x64 today).

Yes - you did read that correctly. Ceton's InfiniTV4 is now available in an external/USB *flava* - since it's the same price as the PCI version, you no longer have to open your case.

I have no problem with change, I embrace change. But it MUST be intuitive to use. I've been running Win8 since it came out as my exclusive OS, on 4 big screens. Stable yes, but I stick to the desktop because that's where all my apps are. In this build at least there really is no reason to be in Metro, plus the mouse controls for Metro are bizarre. I'll wait patiently, but I be nervously waiting patiently.

Actually, Sinfosky said Media Center will be included b4 the dev preview came out. We originally thought that Media Center won't be included from an info leak of an earlier build, which makes me surprised that Sinofsky would comment at all since companies responding to something we thought from leaks is like those pigs I see in the sky right now.

I was thinking the same thing, JJMustang. The statement "There's no word if Media Center will make it into the released version of Windows 8..." is completely false and shows poor journalism. Not to say Steven was lying, but the statement shows ignorance when it comes to the Windows 8 blog, if nothing else.

As far as the whole Vista topic, I think people need to move on and quit bringing that up. Jim Allchin and others that were in charge of Vista development are long gone. Not to say that Windows 8 is going to be the success that Windows 7 has been, but I don't think it is going to be a Vista-type disappointment.

That said, I am concerned with the change to the Start Menu and how all of that will work on a Desktop or Laptop. I'm not sure I like what I have seen playing with the Developer Preview. But I do think Windows 8 could prove to be really nice for a tablet/slate PC.

I based that off comments from MDL and our own forums, but yeah I should have checked the official Windows 8 blog as well.

It's fixed now anyway!

I'm hoping Media Center is available by the Beta release, I'm looking to start development of a couple of addins, but want to see what the new version brings before commiting myself to the current mechanisms.

That said I don't imagine the Beta will be publicly available until at least Q1 2012.

)-(orus said,
I'm hoping Media Center is available by the Beta release, I'm looking to start development of a couple of addins, but want to see what the new version brings before commiting myself to the current mechanisms.

That said I don't imagine the Beta will be publicly available until at least Q1 2012.

My guess us that add-ins are dead as your expected to make apps instead. At the vey least, it'll be a different plugin API since the app was rewritten for Windows 8.

As long as you can disable the Metro interface I'll give it a spin and maybe even use it as my main desktop (as I have done with both Vista and 7 once they hit beta). I can see the appeal of Metro on a small touch screen device. But across 3 large screens it's just awful. IMHO

Slugsie said,
As long as you can disable the Metro interface I'll give it a spin and maybe even use it as my main desktop (as I have done with both Vista and 7 once they hit beta). I can see the appeal of Metro on a small touch screen device. But across 3 large screens it's just awful. IMHO

Windows 7 users wanted the XP start menu, Windows 8 users now want the 7 start menu. I gotta say that some Windows users suck at accepting change, at least Mac users embrace things more openly.

SoyoS said,

Windows 7 users wanted the XP start menu, Windows 8 users now want the 7 start menu. I gotta say that some Windows users suck at accepting change, at least Mac users embrace things more openly.

Except Mac users never get big changes. Ever. Every new release has been more of a major service pack than really a new OS. They've never changed the way you do most things.

Ambroos, that's a bit of an exaggeration - OSX releases certainly have noticeable changes in each release (e.g. dock, app store, etc.). Not as major as Windows releases, but that's no surprise since they're more frequent.

Slugsie said,
As long as you can disable the Metro interface I'll give it a spin and maybe even use it as my main desktop (as I have done with both Vista and 7 once they hit beta). I can see the appeal of Metro on a small touch screen device. But across 3 large screens it's just awful. IMHO

Afaik the start screen will only be one screen, the rest will be the "old" desktop. Not sure what happens on first boot though before the desktop is loaded.

Bertch said,

Afaik the start screen will only be one screen, the rest will be the "old" desktop. Not sure what happens on first boot though before the desktop is loaded.

You start at the start screen Click on the desktop tile (or any desktop application tile, in fact) and it will revert to the desktop.

Ambroos said,

Except Mac users never get big changes. Ever. Every new release has been more of a major service pack than really a new OS. They've never changed the way you do most things.

Do you even use a mac?

I used to work as a helpdesk worker for an ISP and it seemed like mail app was entirely different with each OSX point release!

Tell me they don't change things will you.....

Slugsie said,
As long as you can disable the Metro interface I'll give it a spin and maybe even use it as my main desktop (as I have done with both Vista and 7 once they hit beta). I can see the appeal of Metro on a small touch screen device. But across 3 large screens it's just awful. IMHO

Do you have ANY idea what that means?
Do you know what you're giving up?
You're giving up an entire application platform that allows anyone with half a mind for technology being able to create rich immersive applications for you.
I suppose that's fine for you, but I want the new start experience and the apps that come with it.

SoyoS said,

Windows 7 users wanted the XP start menu, Windows 8 users now want the 7 start menu. I gotta say that some Windows users suck at accepting change, at least Mac users embrace things more openly.

Mac users have no choice that's why...

SoyoS said,

Windows 7 users wanted the XP start menu, Windows 8 users now want the 7 start menu. I gotta say that some Windows users suck at accepting change, at least Mac users embrace things more openly.

Whats it got to do with you what I want on my desktop ? Buy me a new PC and I will run it they way you want .... Keep your fanboy opinions to yourself troll.

What's the deal with this stuff seeming like it's getting rushed/leaked out like there's no tomorrow?

I can see Windows 8 being another Vista just because of that!

cork1958 said,
What's the deal with this stuff seeming like it's getting rushed/leaked out like there's no tomorrow?

I can see Windows 8 being another Vista just because of that!

It's close to beta. Doesn't mean there will not be a beta 1, beta 2, beta 3, etc. Not like there will be a RC next month, or something.

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
They had five years to get Vista right.

Yeah but didn't they restart the project half-way through it? Just because you have more time doesn't mean you will do better.

Everyone seems to forget that Vista was an entirely new version (version 6) and that 7 is a point increase on this version. Without Vista, 7 wouldn't be what it is today and without the bedding in period that Vista provided, we would have had the same device driver problems when 7 was initially released.

)-(orus said,
Everyone seems to forget that Vista was an entirely new version (version 6) and that 7 is a point increase on this version. Without Vista, 7 wouldn't be what it is today and without the bedding in period that Vista provided, we would have had the same device driver problems when 7 was initially released.

The kernel version number have no relation to the scope of changes between Windows versions. It's used for compatibility only. Vista changed the driver model, and thus it got a major kernel version bump. Windows 7 is mostly driver compatible with Vista, that's why it only got a minor version bump. With that said, I agree. Windows 8 will hardly become "another Vista. Windows 8 will build on existing technologies, unlike Vista which was about replacing the aging technologies of legacy NT. Also, one need to remember that Microsoft has a stable development process for Windows now (as we could see with Windows 7), unlike the mess that was Longhorn.

Exactly. Good point. Vista took forever, but there was foundational work put into Vista that Windows 7 built on. Again, the biggest problem with Vista was that it took too long to arrive, features and promises were scrapped, and device drivers were not ready by many manufacturers. But, if one was unaware of the Longhorn "demos", features, etc. or the five year time issue, then the only obvious issue with Vista initially was the lack of driver support by manufacturers. It's a good case example of "What you don't know can't/doesn't hurt you." or "You don't know what you're missing."

Neobond said,
Latest rumor is that it will be released in August 2012, so plenty of time to get it right

I hope so, since that would mean that I'd get it before my Technet subscription runs out next year in September.

They should just make Media Center an add on for Windows, a free download for those who are downloading from an activated, legit W8 copy. I can see people not having a use for it on a tablet (I'd rather use Zune) but they can install if using their PC as a HTPC.

Now hopefully that beta is out soon, can't wait to replace the developer preview with the beta bits

Windows 7 N didn't inlcude any media player functionality, it had to be downloaded as a windows update package if you wanted to use it (this included Media Player and Media Center). Not sure if this ever made it to the shelves and I think it was an EU thing, but it is certainly the version we download from MSDN for our development platforms.

DawnUnder2002 said,
I can see people not having a use for it on a tablet (I'd rather use Zune) but they can install if using their PC as a HTPC.

I sort of disagree with you on that. The Media Center UI would actually be quite nice on a tablet, assuming it was updated to allow for swiping gestures (maybe it already supports that, but I've never tried it on anything that supports touch yet).

Neobond said,
I agree, I've never used it myself!
I've used it a few times, especially on my tablet accessing movies and music from my home server. If I could build an HTPC with a nice case (monuel) I would drop TiVo and use the Media Center interface, the upfront costs to build the machine are what is stopping me.

zeke009 said,
I've used it a few times, especially on my tablet accessing movies and music from my home server. If I could build an HTPC with a nice case (monuel) I would drop TiVo and use the Media Center interface, the upfront costs to build the machine are what is stopping me.

You may want to check this case:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/...e-ft03-nothing-else-like-it

You may also want to give a look at the ASRock Mini PCs and HTPCs. This one seems like a nice one for an htpc:

http://www.asrock.com/nettop/o...dy%20Bridge)#Specifications

Has Blu-ray, Sandy Bridge, Nvidia graphics for 3D Vision and comes with a remote, among other things.

roadwarrior said,

I sort of disagree with you on that. The Media Center UI would actually be quite nice on a tablet, assuming it was updated to allow for swiping gestures (maybe it already supports that, but I've never tried it on anything that supports touch yet).

WMC fully supports touch gestures in Windows 7.

DawnUnder2002 said,
They should just make Media Center an add on for Windows, a free download for those who are downloading from an activated, legit W8 copy. I can see people not having a use for it on a tablet (I'd rather use Zune) but they can install if using their PC as a HTPC.

If you don't need it you can always uninstall it in Programs and Features.

I absolutely love it on my HTPC but have never really found a need for it on laptops but it would work really well on a tablet and I hope that encourages MS to take it a bit more seriously than they do.

jakem1 said,

If you don't need it you can always uninstall it in Programs and Features.

I absolutely love it on my HTPC but have never really found a need for it on laptops but it would work really well on a tablet and I hope that encourages MS to take it a bit more seriously than they do.

Still can't believe most people don't know you can remove features

DawnUnder2002 said,
They should just make Media Center an add on for Windows, a free download for those who are downloading from an activated, legit W8 copy. I can see people not having a use for it on a tablet (I'd rather use Zune) but they can install if using their PC as a HTPC.

Now hopefully that beta is out soon, can't wait to replace the developer preview with the beta bits

Windows Media Center is an early Metro Stryle App design that was made to be used by a remote control, arrow keys, mouse/mouse pointer, and touch screens.

So it may not have the functionality that you expect, but it was made for a tablet, and has had gestures and other features that fit a tablet better than Media Player.

Zune needs to be overhauled, and replace at least Media Player, and then Media Center could be separate with Zune integration would be good.

Media Center has an ecosystem and unique functionality, it isn't like other products have DVR abilities. And adding a program guide, internet streaming video, and some of the other media center features might be too heavy or complex for Zune itself, just as they were for Media Player.

djpailo said,
Can't wait til its fully released. I'll get it for free at my university

Beta looks good too

I'll get it free anyway aha!

djpailo said,
Can't wait til its fully released. I'll get it for free at my university

Beta looks good too


Thank God you posted, I was losing sleep at night thinking you might have to pay for it. Now I can rest easy.

Neobond said,
Quite interested to see what they've done for the desktop experience.

It would make the most sense, for programs like the Zune software and Media center to become full-on Metro apps.

My theory is that Media Center was left out because if you were going to go through the extreme effort of making it a metro app (which judging by the tile it is not, shame) then you would also just update (freshen up, nothing extreme) the UI and they would want to keep that a secret for as long as possible.