Windows 8 Will Include Windows Media Center

Many people have been wondering if Microsoft will continue to include the Windows Media Center in Windows 8 or just axe it all together. Well now Steven Sinofsky, the president of the Windows division, confirmed in his recent blog post that the Media Center will be returning for Windows 8.

He also added that the Media Center won’t be included in any of the pre-release builds. As well as that, Microsoft won’t be including Windows 7 games, DVD Creator, upgrade setup and Dot Net 3.5 Apparently they won’t be included for engineering reasons as well as business decisions. Microsoft probably wan’t to ensure the OS is working properly before they start adding in these additional features.

Sinofsky also noted that they are hard at work trying to improve the quality and compatibility of the add-ins for the Media Center.

However one of the most interesting points he made was on how popular the Windows Media Center was. It turns out that just 6% of Windows 7 users launched Windows Media Center. The heaviest usage was in Russia, Mexico and Brazil. What’s more the majority of people are just looking around and not actually using the Media Center. Only 25% of the 6% used it for more than 10 minutes per session. 59% of users just used it for less than a minute or two – so probably launched it by accident or were just looking around it. The most popular usage for the Media Center was to watch TV unsurprisingly.

By comparison, the Windows Media Player was launched by 66% of Windows users in July and IE was launched by 88%.

So it looks like the Windows Media Center is here to stay for another edition of Windows, but judging by those usage figures, I wonder how much longer it will be around.

You can read Steven Sinofsky’s full post here

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34 Responses to Windows 8 Will Include Windows Media Center

  1. Bobfrey September 25, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Hi Guest-C14
    Just to confirm that shark007 codecs application will fix WMC for you to watch MKV and pretty much all the other common video & audio formats.
    I’ve used media center on a HTPC in my living room for a few years now. Shark007 codecs is essential.
    You probably won’t need to configure it, but if you do its got lots of options.

  2. Kevin Preston October 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    On a personal preferance I can’t stand the current Media center because of it’s lack of compatability with x264 .mkv files and other annoying feature.  That said I do use it with my basic cable tuner only because I don’t have anything else.

    But seriously, how do they know when, how long and what for does this thing run on people’s computers?  I often wonder why my firewall catches simple outgoing traffic within windows especially when I install something and for some reason, no one will or can explain, Installer HAS to try and access the internet.

    It is 100% none of Microsofts business what I install on MY computer or when I install it.  What I run or how I run it.  MY computer is private property esecially when it is in my home and on a private network.

    That said, if I willingly participate with Microsoft that is a differant story but I have yet to and don’t plan on it in the future until they take me and other users serious.

  3. Go45cvi October 14, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    I must say Microsoft is throwing in the towel a little early.  With the new cablecard tuners, media center is unbeatable.  Nothing compares with it’s dvr, puts TWC’s to shame, and I’m saving $20 a month in rental fees (which will pay for the cablecard very quick).  You can build libraries of dvds, music, pictures.  Play blurays, netflix.  And yes other formats (1080p HDDTS mkv, flac) via codecs readily.  It’s really a great product, but not for the mouse, for the couch.  There’s a dozen programs to play mp3s, but only one can do cablecard.  If a manufacturer could put together a $350 media center cablecard pc, it could go mainstream easily.
    I just wish they would add the following features:
    1. PIP, how hard would this be?2. Display port support for hdcp, who left this out? I want ESPN on my laptop.
    3. Dynamic tuner switching over your home network.
    4. Share copy once materials within your network/homegroup.
    5. Native bluray support.  Never gonna happen.
    6. Perhaps a web interface to manage recordings, I know I can just RD in.
    7. Better streaming/extender support. I SHOULD be able to use any W7 pc as an extender w/ 1080p.

    • lord xeon October 24, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

      The ability to save recordings in an H.264 format is long overdue

  4. Killer B October 15, 2011 at 7:03 am #

    I love Windows Media Center, but again, how many people actually have an HTPC?  It’s a niche thing.  I think they should roll Media Center and WMP’s components into Zune and just leave it at that…

  5. 501bob October 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    I use it to watch or record TV while on my PC. I would miss it.

  6. MCLover October 18, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    Media center rocks for Home Media center, I’ve used it in XP, Vista and 7 for over 6 years, the UI isn’t designed for touch it’s designed for a remote control.   I have a Windows Media center machine with a Tuner card set up to My Large screen television Media center starts on boot, and I watch videos,  with an added IR blaster I watch TV with my Set top box piped through the TV Capture card, time shift live TV, and use for a DVR.  Netflix is in there for streaming plus a few other options for on demand video, adding Boxee to the MC menu allows me to view you tube and countless other Internet TV options all with the same remote including Hulu Desktop.  Complete access to my Ripped DVD library aall of my pictures and Music collection.  It’s incredibly powerful as a HTPC, but I never use it on a computer I use for… well computing

  7. Fretless6_99 October 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    I use it with the Ceton InfiniTV. It’s great! It’s a DVR with the only limit to storage being the HDD that YOU put in it.  I like XBMC, but that’s only a front-end, so no live TV without some other back-end anyway. MythTV is just too much of a PITA to set up (and forget having to teach my wife and kids to use it). Media Center is crap (as far as I’ve seen) for web content, but you use Boxee for that. Frankly, if there was a better and more intuitive DVR / Media Center app (with a decent “theater view” experience), I’d probably use it. But WMC is just the best (and in the case of cablecard— the ONLY) thing out there.

  8. Phantom1X October 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Yup. I have WMC running on two machines, one with an InfiniTV recording up to four shows at once. Big time.

  9. Nikhil December 31, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    visualization on my vlc media player is not so gud in windows developer preview even it was very good in win 7. What is the reason behind it? isnt it compatible with my desktop?

  10. Soundude February 29, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    I’m not a big fan of windows, I love my Macs. I built a HTPC to replace my Tivo and like some of the above posters I use the Ceton InfiniTV 4 card to watch digital cable. I’m looking forward to getting the Ceton Echo so I can watch all my HD channels upstairs without another tuner.

    There are several things that WMC does that are very nice – supporting cable card tuners, Extenders (send your TV to an Xbox, PC, or other extender) and a nice guide to find programs.

    There’s lots of room for improvement, which is why people look for addins or alternatives like XBMC, Media Browser, etc. I hope Microsoft continues to develop this application. I think more people will take advantage of it in the future. A lot of people are using it to “cut the cable.”

  11. BigDel March 1, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    My gosh! I would hope that Windows 8 would continue to support Windows Media Center! I have my home theater invested in it with Ceton InfiniTV 4 USB Tuner and XBOX 360 extenders. I just installed Windows 8 Trial version on my laptop and was worried because I could not find Windows Media Center. So I am happy to read it will come and hopefully support the Ceton and other cable tuners.

    • Jon March 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

      Big Del, use the search tool from the charms bar. Search for ‘media’ you will see media center in the Consumer Preview.

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