Confirmed: Media Center is Dead

Posted on May 5, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Windows with 0 Comments

Confirmed: Media Center is Dead

You may have seen recent rumors that Microsoft has killed off Windows Media Center, the ten-foot digital media interface that it first developed for a special version of Windows over 10 years. Well, it’s true: Microsoft’s Gabe Aul confirmed this week that Media Center will not move forward to Windows 10.

“Due to decreased usage, Windows Media Center will not be part of Windows 10,” Mr. Aul tweeted recently.

In subsequent tweets, Aul noted that it would address the main Media Center usage—which is apparently DVD movie playback—“later this year.”

“The main scenario people used WMC for was to play DVD,” Aul explained. “We’ll provide another option for DVD playback in the future.”

Of course, many Media Center fans actually use the product to record and watch TV shows via Media Center PCs in the living room. Microsoft’s solution for this need will apparently be the Xbox One, though the console currently only provides live TV watching, but not recording. My sources tell me that will change, and most probably this year, to include TV recording.

Windows Media Center—originally codenamed “Freestyle”—was released as a standalone Windows XP version in 2002, and Microsoft followed it up with a “Fiji” update before pulling it into mainstream Windows versions. Media Center was included with Windows Vista and Windows 7, but in Windows 8 it was relegated to a separate paid update and wasn’t updated further.

RIP, Media Center.

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