Microsoft Leaks New Media App for Windows 11

Posted on September 29, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 29 Comments

Note: I blurred the middle so you can focus on the app itself

Windows 11 will launch next week with the weakest collection of updated in-box apps I can recall. But that’s going to change over time, just as is the case with Windows 11 itself. And this week, the software giant leaked—perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not—a modern replacement for Windows Media Player.

The leak came during a Windows Insider live webcast, which I stopped watching years ago for obvious reasons. But as was reported by Windows Latest and other blogs, the live video included the seemingly impromptu appearance of a new app called Media Player. To my eyes, this appears to be a modern replacement for Windows Media Player, which first debuted in Windows Millennium Edition and hasn’t gotten an update in several years. But others guess that it is perhaps a replacement for, or update of, Movies & TV.

Microsoft has since made the YouTube version of the webcast private, suggesting that the leak was inadvertent. But I welcome any improvements to any of Windows’ built-in apps, many of which are out-of-date and/or lackluster.

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (29)

29 responses to “Microsoft Leaks New Media App for Windows 11”

  1. blue77star

    It looks like it is using Windows 7 style.

    • BobBuilder

      Yes, it does look awful. I'll be sticking with VLC.

      • codymesh

        using VLC on the basis of something else looking awful, LMAO, that's a good one

        VLC, famously known for a slick modern UI /s

      • Kudupa

        VLC.. That's a boat from the past. I haven't used that software in 7 to 8 years. Playing movies is usually on my Xbox or streaming.

        Also, VLC is suited only for geeks & who love tinkering with formats, sound skin etc.

        Default UI of VLC is absolutely shit & is out of place in 2021 & normal people wouldn't even know or think about skins.

      • MikeCerm

        "It looks awful" and "I'll stick with VLC" is pretty funny, considering VLC hasn't gotten a visual refresh in like 15 years.

        • hrlngrv

          Does VLC need a visual refresh? VLC suppots skins, which means interested users can make fundamental changes to its appearance. Why isn't that sufficient?

          FWIW, I used LiteStep for 12 years from 2002 to 2014, when I moved on from Windows XP to Windows 7. Many LiteStep themers spend a lot of effort skinning foobar, WinAmp and more exotic music players to incorporate them into LiteStep desktop themes. FWLIW, I found fewer than a half dozen of those efforts appealing. I figure that's true for changing default UIs generally. People usually dislike and resist change, so why force change on them? As long as there are customization options for those who crave new & different, everyone's happy.

          • MikeCerm

            It looks really outdated, so yeah, I'd say it does need a visual refresh. If nothing else, it should support light/dark mode, and better scaling of the interface, because some of the UI elements are not appropriately sized on certain display size/resolution/scaling combos. It's not "forcing change" on people to suggest that software in 2021 shouldn't look like it was designed in the Win9x days. The people who don't like change don't have to upgrade, can run the old version as long as they want. I like VLC because there's nothing it won't play, but the interface really sucks in ways that I don't think skins can even address.

          • codymesh

            it's not sufficient because most users spend time using their computers and not web-hopping VLC fansites built in 1999 for skins

            also good luck download skins from random websites on enterprise PCs

            • hrlngrv

              VLC itself is part of the standard software image at lots of enterprises, is it? Since when? Which enterprises?

      • spacein_vader

        This. The added advantage being they have a version that runs on anything (windows, ios, android, macOS, Linux and BSD,) with more or less the same UI so you don't need to relearn how to use it.

        That and it will play pretty much anything.

        • MikeCerm

          VLC on Mac looks nothing like it does on Windows and Linux.

          • spacein_vader

            I’ll defer to your experience, never used macOS version, all the versions I have used look pretty similar.

  2. anoldamigauser

    How Microsoft lost its Groove?

    • singingwolf

      The icon looks near identical - the record has been replaced with a play button.

      I hope it is Media Player updated but I would not hold my breath.

  3. fuller1754

    Amazingly, still not as nice as the Zune 4.0 desktop app.

    • brettscoast

      That's true but then what is, the Zune software was so good, well designed, and excellent to use compared to this it's not even in the same ballpark.

  4. hrlngrv

    I appreciate Windows coming with a default set of applets, Notepad, Calculator, Paint, Media Player, but I don't use them myself. Well, to be precise, I still use MS Paint from Windows XP because it doesn't use a ribbon, and it handles rectangles with rounded corners the way I want rather than how Windows 7 & later versions do. Other than that, I've replaced pretty much everything bundled with Windows with 3rd party alternatives which work better for me. The only bundled programs I use with any frequency are Task Manager and Task Scheduler.

  5. jdawgnoonan

    Well, we have been waiting for real improvements to the Windows 8.1 era apps throughout the entire life cycle of Windows 10. So I guess we should not hold our breath for these improvements. Rounded corners doesn't count.

  6. ebraiter

    Would love to see more support for newer formats in addition to [better] DVD and Blu-ray support.

    • MikeCerm

      Never going to happen. DVD is a dead format but still costs money to license all the patents. Similar situation with Blu-ray, the patents cost money, and >90% of Windows devices don't even have optical drives capable of Blu-ray playback anyway.

  7. rm

    If it is replacing the current Windows Media Player, I (still) need it to rip CD's!

    • ebraiter

      I hope you know there are plenty of free apps that can rip CDs in addition to other formats such as FLACs.

  8. harmjr

    My only issues and this is critical of most "modern" media players especially youtube is the shadows box that has the on screen controls overlaid on the view. I really wish we could have them below the video so they are not cutting off the view of the video.

  9. Ron Diaz

    But I welcome any improvements to any of Windows’ built-in apps, many of which are out-of-date and/or lackluster.”

    Kind of like Windows 11 itself….

  10. ngc224

    The real nugget of interest from this “leak” is Microsoft dropping “Windows” from the name.

  11. will

    "Windows" - We are never done with this OS.

  12. wright_is

    It looks like someone ran a steam-iron over the Windows Vista/7 version of Media Player...