Microsoft confirms Media Center is still part of Windows 8

By Tom Warren, on 2nd Sep 11 10:24 pm with 26 Comments

Windows 7 Media Center

Microsoft confirmed on Friday that Media Center is still part of Windows 8.

Windows chief Steven Sinofsky confirmed that Media Center is still very much part of Windows 8 after receiving feedback on the topic. “I received about 50 emails about Media Center,” said Sinofsky in a blog post on Friday. “I want to reassure customers that Media Center will definitely be part of Windows 8.” Media Center was missing in recent leaked builds of Windows 8, leading many to question the role of Microsoft’s flag ship entertainment product. Sinofsky confirmed that Media Center will not be part of the first pre-release build of Windows 8, expected at BUILD later this month:

“Knowing how strong the support for Media Center is among pre-release testers, we still have work to do to make sure the quality and compatibility with add-ins is what you would expect even in pre-release (as with any release of Windows, compatibility is a major effort and when we work on the underlying video engine, as one example, we have to make sure features that push these areas receive adequate coverage).”

Sinofsky also revealed that Windows 7 games, DVD creator, upgrade setup and .NET 3.5 will also miss the first pre-release builds of Windows 8. Microsoft has clearly not decided which SKUs of Windows 8 will include Media Center and Sinofsky confirmed it’s too early to discuss the versions of Windows 8 at this stage.

Microsoft appears to be focusing on the integrated media experience in Windows 8 but not neglecting its hardcore Windows Media Center users. “We’re completely committed to delivering Media Center in Windows 8,” said Sinofsky. He also revealed some usage data for Media Center for July. Windows Media Center was launched by 6% of Windows 7 users worldwide in July. The most frequent users of Media Center reside in Russia, Mexico and Brazil.

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  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Media Center always had this slight metro interface, i imagine in Windows 8 the whole thing will be in Metro!!!! 

    • Avatar Roku

      Metro UI started with Media Center.

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      Actually Media Center started the ’10-foot UI’. It didn’t follow the guidelines (and still doesn’t follow quite a few of them) that were established for Metro.

      A lot of the inspiration for Metro actually came from local signage in and around the Microsoft campus. For instance the arrows encompassed in a circle are practically identical to some on signage for buildings.

      The design of hierarchical information (Larger letters donating higher levels with smaller letters underneath denoting sub-info) is very reminiscent of the King County Metro (heh) signs around the area.

      The first examples of playing around with the idea of being authentically digital with a focus on typography date back to the mid-90s. They idea has been floating around for a very long time…but now it’s finally coming to fruition.

    • Guest

      “The first examples of playing around with the idea of being authentically digital with a focus on typography date back to the mid-90s. They idea has been floating around for a very long time…but now it’s finally coming to fruition.”
      Do you mean MSFT specifically?

    • Guest

      “The first examples of playing around with the idea of being authentically digital with a focus on typography date back to the mid-90s. They idea has been floating around for a very long time…but now it’s finally coming to fruition.”
      Do you mean MSFT specifically?

  • Frylockns86

    ” Sinofsky confirmed that Media Center will not be part of the first
    pre-release build of Windows 8, expected at BUILD next month:”

    You mean two weeks? “Next month” would mean the conference is in October…?

  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    Please just build the Zune client right into windows 8

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000688576949 Erik Oegema

      Just stop Windows Media Player, or make it only to play media without all the bullshit, and make Zune the default media libary and player:)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001039271971 Martyn Metalous

      I think its more the case of them getting into trouble again like they did with IE, hence why Zune is downloaded and not the default.

      Could be wrong, just guessing here

    • http://www.facebook.com/richeymeister Mark Richey

      Hear hear. I wondered why this hasn’t happened previously and with phones taking cernter stage now, it is high time.

    • rsgx

      It’s also the main player on the 360. It’s insane they don’t include it by default.

  • Guest

    Gee, maybe MS should be figuring out why a product as good as MCE, which is such a competitive differentiator for Windows, is used by only 5-6% of users?  Hmm, maybe they should market it better. Or I dunno, maybe put in on a seperate media box like *cough* Apple TV and sell it to the much greater audience that wants an HTPC-like box in the livingroom vs a gaming console?

    • http://twitter.com/Exyaster Mykal J. Joseph Day

      The seperate media “box” is the Xbox. It has supported Media Center at least since 2008 (I didn’t own the Xbox past that so I wouldn’t know.) It has the added bonus of games.

    • Guest

      That’s works for gamers. It doesn’t work for non-gamers. The market for those buying a ATV type box is many times that of the person who will install a gaming console and connect it to their PC. 

    • Anonymous

      It’s really sad that only 1.5% of Win7 users used it for over 10 minutes! But the truth is MCE is difficult and expensive to setup properly with tuners for average users. Cable companies have also done their best to make cable card devices fail. But future ARM based MCE devices could be same size as a Roku or Apple TV. Maybe MS should just buy Hulu and build it into MCE.

    • http://quantumkitsune.blogspot.com/ Aurrin Lightpaw

      Bear in mind, that’s 5-6% of all Windows 7 boxes, period.  A more useful statistic (and one that MS probably has no way of obtaining) would be what percentage of boxes primarily intended for large-screen entertainment used WMC.  I think it would probably be a much higher percentage, as many boxes and laptops only rarely, if ever, serve up entertainment in a way that benefits from the so-called 10-foot display type.

      If anything, they need to work on better support for plugins and customization, as the instability of WMC with lots of plugins is what eventually pushed me toward XBMC.  (Please don’t make us hack a DLL to skin it?)

  • Keith Franklin

    I suppose the .NET 3.5 not part of pre-release builds is simply for backwards compatibility and .NET 4.0 and .NET v.Next are part of Windows 8.

  • Guest

    If they’re going to continue letting it fall behind XBMC and others, don’t bother.

  • Guest

    Microsoft should unify all their media software (Media Player/Media Center/Zune) into the recently revealed Xbox Live Media Center. It doesn’t make sense to have multiple media software(s) – its messy and MS should really be looking to streamline windows.

    • Anonymous

      I think that it is adequate for MS to have a media player only(sans shop interface), something that plays all kind of media(like vlc). 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

    I would love to see Microsoft unifying all their media software (Zune, WMP and MC) into one product, preferably as beautiful and perfomant as Zune.
    I have some 80000 songs and several hundred videos on my media library, and Zune opens in a heartbeat. WMP takes some five minutes to start!

    • Anonymous

      I have no speed problems with WMP but I totally agree that all 3 media software should become one.

      Zune looks beautiful but its missing such basic things its ridiculous.

  • Guest

    The ‘new’ Xbox 360 Media Hub UI = Zune + Windows Media Player + Windows Media Center
    ADVANTAGES
    All in one beautiful, light, clean/easy, informative/descriptive, consistent & elegant solution – More in sync with Windows 8 UI
    Fully updated modern Windows 8 Style Metro UI
    Live Informative/Descriptive Tiles (No static text/icons)
    Integrated Services (Kinect / Windows Live / Sky Drive / YouTube / Twitter / Facebook / Skype / Market Place / NetFlix / Games / Other Cloud Services/ etc)
    Consistent & Familar UI (Xbox 360 / Windows 8 / Windows Phone) = Three Screens (PC/TV/Phone) + Cloud
    App Support = Prob support current Win Phone 7 Apps aswell as the newer Win 8 Apps (MCE had very few developers – developers will def want to develop for the 360 + Phone) – Easier to build.
    Avatar Support – TV/Phone/PC
    Live TV (tuner Support) + Guide Support – Prob need a bit of tweaking updating
    Extender Support – Prob be easier, due to the consistent UI + code

    This new Xbox 360 Media Hub UI will definately be a winner and easily surpass the 6% usage of Windows MCE.

    Please see below for screen shots of what could be:

    Homehttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Home.pngMovieshttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Movies.jpgVideoshttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Video.jpgMusichttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Music.pngGameshttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Games.pngSocialhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Social.pngLiveTV/DVRhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/LiveTV.jpgYoutubehttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/YouTube.jpgBinghttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Bing.jpgThere’s also a short demo video(s) of this with Kinect + Voice Search:
    Movieshttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Movies.jpgVideoshttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Video.jpgMusichttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Music.pngGameshttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Games.pngSocialhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Social.pngLiveTV/DVRhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/LiveTV.jpgYoutubehttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/YouTube.jpgBinghttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Bing.jpgThere’s also a short demo video(s) of this with Kinect + Voice Search:
    Videoshttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Video.jpgMusichttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Music.pngGameshttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Games.pngSocialhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Social.pngLiveTV/DVRhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/LiveTV.jpgYoutubehttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/YouTube.jpgBinghttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Bing.jpgThere’s also a short demo video(s) of this with Kinect + Voice Search:
    Musichttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Music.pngGameshttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Games.pngSocialhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Social.pngLiveTV/DVRhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/LiveTV.jpgYoutubehttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/YouTube.jpgBinghttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Bing.jpgThere’s also a short demo video(s) of this with Kinect + Voice Search:
    Gameshttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Games.pngSocialhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Social.pngLiveTV/DVRhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/LiveTV.jpgYoutubehttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/YouTube.jpgBinghttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Bing.jpgThere’s also a short demo video(s) of this with Kinect + Voice Search:
    Socialhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Social.pngLiveTV/DVRhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/LiveTV.jpgYoutubehttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/YouTube.jpgBinghttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Bing.jpgThere’s also a short demo video(s) of this with Kinect + Voice Search:
    LiveTV/DVRhttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/LiveTV.jpgYoutubehttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/YouTube.jpgBinghttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Bing.jpgThere’s also a short demo video(s) of this with Kinect + Voice Search:
    Youtubehttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/YouTube.jpgBinghttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Bing.jpgThere’s also a short demo video(s) of this with Kinect + Voice Search:
    Binghttp://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m90/PRINCEGRINCH/Xbox%20360%20Media%20Hub%20UI/Bing.jpgThere’s also a short demo video(s) of this with Kinect + Voice Search:

    There’s also a short demo video(s) of this with Kinect + Voice Search:
    Demo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1VD_XndgIgAdverthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UWysrvU9EEWhat do you guys think of the Media Hub UI?
    Adverthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UWysrvU9EEWhat do you guys think of the Media Hub UI?

    What do you guys think of the Media Hub UI?

  • Imp

    I take it  6% haven’t heard of XBMC then ;)

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, cuz provides cablecard tuning and tuner sharing support, right?

  • Entegy

    Darnit, I was really hoping WMC and WMP would be scrapped and everything would just be rolled into Zune 5.