Microsoft Explains Windows Media Center Upgrade in Windows 8; Mums the Word on Price

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DocBogus

The market is closed, or maybe I should say enclosed. That is why Microsoft goes on treating users like cattle.

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ohsnaps1104

I don't see what all the fuss about Eight is. Metro UI can be switched off. You don't have to use it! Eight has an option to switch to regular desktop mode! There are some improvements in Eight over Seven that I do really like. The resources manager has been overhauled to make the whole OS lighter weight in Eight. It only needs 300 meg of memory to run smooth. Eight also supports running from a USB flash drive natively. This can be useful for installing on multiple PCs. I haven't used Eight but everybody that I have talked to that has, has said they really like it (even if they didn't like Metro UI) because it seemed to run a lot smoother and faster than Seven.

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TechLarry

It's NOT normal desktop mode. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Oh well, without DVD playback at least that's one less Baby Block on the screen.

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ohsnaps1104

I don't know, I haven't bothered to try Eight. I just imagined Metro would be some what like Unity. I thought Unity would suck horribly. It did, until I started actually trying to find my way around. I'm not saying Unity is good but it certainly isn't completely horrible.

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Hella-D

Doesnt Really Mean Sh.. To Me Anyway, With Every Version Of Windows Ive Used One Of The First Things Ive Done Is Remove Media Center And Internet Explorer... Both Buggy Junk.

I Use Firefox And Mediapotal MUCH MUCH Better Than Media Center.

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burntham77

I don't mind them separating the Media Center feature out, especially if means regular Windows 8 is cheaper (although I doubt that will be the case). It just seems like even with it, it won't provide everything I need for my HTPC (DVDs, Blu-ray, Netflix that has GPU acceleration). The DVR and media management features are great, which I why I built my HTPC, but Microsoft is going to have to step it up if it is going to be the all-in-one solution that it could be.

As for the Metro interface, I actually think it will be good in an HTPC environment, but I am not yet planning to use it on my desktop gaming machine.

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machew100

duplicate post

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machew100

When I first saw Windows 8, I was like "Oh my god what is this. This is great for phones and tablets, but what the hell are they thinking??!!" Upon downloading the consumer preview and actually getting to know it. It's really pretty neat. I approve of a lot of neat little features, (especially that the OS has a low footprint and boots up really quickly. It really is a visually pleasant interface, and to be honest it's really not that annoying to navigate at all. I know people want the simple and clean never ever changing operating system that they've known since the beginning of personal computing, but for the love of god Windows 8 actually is really cool to me. I was a skeptic, but I gave it a shot and now I definitely want it when it comes out. I'm glad I had an open mind, that's all I'm gonna say.

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maxeeemum

Must be an MS employee or software (apps) developer.

I've used many operating systems, mostly linux and windows, and Win8 metro is the worst,hardest to use & figure out I've ever played with on a PC.

Google "windows 8 looks like AOL" or go here:
http://macnaticopr.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/windows-8-looks-like-aol-in-1996/
Hurry MS is taking the picture down.

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Neufeldt2002

"...visually pleasant interface..."

One mans junk is another mans treasure. You find it has a visually pleasant interface, and I think it has the ugliest interface I have ever seen. All in all, it will be interesting to see exactly how many people end up buying Win8.

To me though, it seems that MS is really just trying to get a mobile OS out so they can try to compete with iOS and Android. They are cutting features to fit the mobile market which is fine and all, but they are trying to shoehorn the mobile OS on desktops rather than spend the money to give users an OS that works.

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Teeebs

Not surprising really. Gaming companies have been doing this for years. Selling you an incomplete product, and then selling the missing pieces back to you as DLC. Get used to it, that is unfortunately the way things are going. And another reason I will be staying FAR away from Win8.....

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dstevens

Oh noes, microshat winblows with internut exploder is going to nickel and dime us for Widgets, basic functionality, usability, connectivity all extra... touch screen support is free tho(the thing we care about not one bit about go figure)

I hope this crashes and Burns so badly that microshat cannot recover

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Ceadderman

What would I gain from 7 to 8?

First off I don't do touchscreen. I don't WANT touchscreen. So where is the benefit of going from Win 7 to Win 8? There isn't any. So what Microsoft refined some features from Win 7. I still am not a big fan of 7 but the hand writing was on the wall for XP so I went with 7 in this last build.

On top of this Win 8 wants a cloud based system. So unless my Internet is up 24/7 I'm hosed? Eff that!

I'ma do with 8 like I did with Pista. Skip it!

~Ceadder

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maxeeemum

And we really won't need WMC in Windows 8. This is the "Post PC Era" right. LOL!

We'll all be using Win8 tablets by New Years Day! LOL!

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TheMiddleman

Screw it. I have no interest in Windows 8 until touch screens become affordable and commonplace. Why would I spend another hundred bucks just to get a new UI that looks like ass and is difficult to navigate with a mouse?

Stupid Microsoft. Windows 7 is fine, let the product mature before you go throwing a worthless upgrade at us for the sake of a tablet market that's DOA right now anyway.

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Goolashe

Windows 7 will turn into another XP at this rate.

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jonnyohio

So basically I should just keep using windows 7? Well okay if I have to I guess. Lol

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Rift2

WIndows 8 is microsofts attempt to ween people off the computer.

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livebriand

At this point, it seems more like they're TRYING to make Windows 8 fail. If they're going to do all this bullshit (with the metro UI being the worst), there's no way in hell I'll consider downgrading. Windows 7 FTW!

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maxeeemum

Windows 8 LOL! It will be DOA!

I wouldn't downgrade to Windows 8 if they gave it away for free.

When I put a DVD in my drive under W8 CP it plays under WMC but in W8 DP I had to install VLC to play a DVD movie.

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jaygregz

If your looking for cable card support that includes cable listings then there is no better substitute than WMC. It's unfortunate that Microsoft doesn't push Windows Media Center more than they do. I always felt like it was Microsoft's biggest untold success story.

As far as other media players.. XBMC is king with Plex being a good alternative. Boxee died unfortunately.. at least in terms of PC Users.

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chop_slap

lol @ people still spending money regularly on Windows THIS and Mac OS THAT.

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Scatter

So they streamline the amount of version of windows 8 but then break components into a la carte pieces that you have to purchase separately. Thanks for nothing.

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aarcane

I hope this is a first step toward a friendlier "Pay by the feature" OS market from Microsoft, ALA the linux JEOS concept. Start with a single unified base, and add on the features you need and none of the others. Desktop interface? $10. IIS? $15. AD? $20. Bitlocker? $5.99. And it just links it with your windows account, so when you sign in on a new PC you choose if you want to use one of your PC slots in your account to activate this PC on your account.

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guntlager

I've been reading the Windows 8 blog since it started it. The decisions that MS has made regarding W8 just plain baffle me. If they were agents hired by Apple to destroy Windows they couldn't be more effective.

Their most recent blog on Media Center really through me for a loop. Why wouldn't MS want to make W8 a totally modern OS with a great Media Center that plays all popular codecs? It's not like they can't figure out how to write the software. If licensing for Blu-ray or other high-end features costs a little extra so be it.

At one point it looked like Microsoft was going to win me back from Mac. The last couple of month though has shown Apple to be in 'correcting mistakes' mode with Mountain Lion while Microsoft is clearly in the 'making really big mistakes all over again' mode with Windows 8.

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aarcane

Don't let redmond's follies push you to mac. Let them push you to Linux :D

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USraging

sounds like a new way to make money. i don't really care though i would just switch to vlc player and not have to spend anymore money. i do agree that a lot of the services that are installed don't need to be there running in the background. one thing to point out though is it is hard to come up with a happy medium for what users need. for instance linux does this by default you choose what you want installed in the installation process than if you decide you wanted something than you have the package manager to search through. there is negative side to this which is that you may install a piece of software that depends on the service and it is not running, now the user does not know why the software does not work. this in turn ends up making windows less user friendly and makes it harder for the none tech savvy to operate their OS.

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publicimage

I'd be willing to bet that licensing fees associated with the content on the "Internet TV" section of Media Center could be what's driving this, in addition to what otherwise would be known as "DVR fees" from cable or satellite providers for managing the on-screen guide and even licensing the DRM/Macrovision protection schemes and allow DVR recording in the first place (legally, anyway).

I'm not saying it's right, just might be what's going on. If only MS would say it that way. And of course the price point will be everything.

If you're looking to play back local media from a HDD or NAS, the built in "Music" and "Video" apps seem to be pretty "up, down, left, right" friendly for remote control use.

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JohnP

I have been running my HTPC with just using Directory Opus file explorer and Firefox for two years now. As long as I can read the file names and have a mouse and keyboard available, who needs Media Center?

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Incognito

The people who need Media Center are the ones actually using their HTPC as an HD-DVR. Are you watching (and recording) TV via a Cable Card Tuner using DO and FF? Didn't think so... Unfortunately, for now, Microsoft is the only game in town for this feature and instead of trying to attract as many users as possible before Tru2Way hits they are alienating and frustrating their customers. Once Tru2Way is out there will be a ton of companies offering better (and cheaper) hardware and software solutions and Microsoft will be scratching their heads wondering where all the users went. I'll stick with Win 7 and MCE and hopefully in the future I'll be able to switch to a better software solution on Linux.

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Valor958

All I have to say about Windows 8 is...

LOL

NO THANK YOU.

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Budman_NC

This is actually good news! Now get rid of OE, IE, Messenger and everything else that we DON'T need or want. Just boot the damn computer M$, make it secure and let us take it from there ala the days of DOS. Take out all this bloatware and price the OS so that the people who DO want these additional features can buy them from the app store. The number of processes and services running in the background are ridiculous. The recent court rulings in Europe should be telling Redmond that people are tired of M$ dictating what an operating system should include by hooking these features in so tight, they can't be removed.

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keyzs

couldn't agree with you more!!!!

there are so many other better alternatives to what Windows is offering... ie VLC for Videos and Media Monkey for Music (hmmm... the new MM supports videos, haven't tried though...); however their tagging system is legendary!!!

Simply boot up with DOS and GUI (Win 8 or whatever), as for drivers, all are provided for by the hardware manufacturers anyway; CD initial install and then update via the internet. although this may be a little more time consuming during the first install, my bet that it is well worth the time spent as compared to dealing with all bloat-ware be that uninstalling and or stopping services etc...

as for nay-sayers... you may be surprised that MS may be able to keep the price of this (Win-DOS) OS down to the minimum which may ultimately benefit all consumers at all levels.

comparing the versions available for Win7, most would not use the built in stuff like Bitlocker, BackUp, Differential Compression, Defrag, specific scheduling processors etc... why... simple, there are tons of both freeware and paid-ware which performs much faster and with additional features.

its ultimately stooppeed to disable Win-Firewall (first) then install another third party FW and or other similar process features yet we have to be made to pay for Win-Firewall to begin with...

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Incognito

If you think that Microsoft is going to lower the price of Windows 8 while removing features then you're delusional. Also, you have apparently never used Windows Media Center because VLC and Media Monkey can only do a small portion of what MCE can. Oh BTW, Windows MCE doesn't have any processes running in the background unless you actually set it up and use it.

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riopato

This add-on better be worth the cost with an updated interface and improved functionality. Considering that Metro UI was inspired by Media Center UI, an integrated look and feel with Metro would only make sense and keeping the ui as it was before would be a huge product fail! If Media Center 8 has the same interface as Metro but doesn't have the same access to apps the way the Metro start screen does, Media Center would be totally useless as it is currently! For example, to actually have a web browser as part of media center instead of only being part of the OS would be revolutionary! In fact, it would be evolutionary for this add-on to be a start screen replacement! Nothing changes to windows 8's ui except that the add-on allows it to have media center functions!

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riopato

To simplify what I was saying. Media Center 8 should not be a lame app that's tacked on the start screen! It should be a transparent add-on to Windows 8 metro ui and is integrated with the OS as well.

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Budman_NC

There's that word "integrated" again.

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riopato

Yes integrated! if I get the Media center add on and see a stupid tile on the start screen in order to run it, windows 8 will be uninstalled immediately until MS integrates it!

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Budman_NC

NP riopato, I get what you mean and in this case, integration is the way to go for sure. Its the superfluous integrated bloat that I want to be able to get rid of. How can M$ say its listening to its user feedback and still come out with ...uh... whatever "this" is? Thank you Stardock for fixing the start menu! :)

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Neufeldt2002

"if I get the Media center add on and see a stupid tile on the start screen in order to run it, windows 8 will be uninstalled immediately until MS integrates it!"

I would wait and google that info before buying it. If you buy Win8 and the MC add-on and it isn't what you wanted, MS has no incentive to change because they already have your money. By waiting you could save yourself some headaches and a few hundred dollars.

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NayusDante

I built my DVR-PC around Media Center since gets free listings and receives ClearQAM channels without any fuss. I don't intend to upgrade that box to Win8, but if there's a better alternative I'd like to hear it. Last I checked, setting up MythTV or XBMC for DVR was a crazy ordeal that involved external scripting to retrieve listings from a scraper.

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dgrmouse

That stuff pretty much works out of the box for most systems nowadays. Before I moved outside of a cable service area, I used schedulesdirect for listings ($10/year?), and it downloads files in a format that is supported by all the XMLTV setups. Tweaking a HTPC of ANY sort requires some effort, but in my experience setting up GBPVR, XBMC, etc. is not any more difficult than WMC.

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igoka

I'm in the same boat and agree with you , unfortunately linux is not good and well polished alternative. If I need to build another HTPC I have to stick with Win7.

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aarcane

Last I heard that was pretty much all automatic. The hard part was getting the scrambled channels from your Cable or Satellite provider without using an analogue adapter. Insofar as I'm aware there's still only one cablecard tv tuner for windows as well, and it's poorly supported, so it's mostly a moot point.

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SPreston2001

What a fuggin ripoff! Charging for a feature thats long been free! Greedy sons of beeches! But whatever im sticking with Windows 7 and didnt use Media Center to begin with so I couldnt care less. Smh...

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DarkMatter

So does that mean that I can convert the sucky proprietorially wrapped MPEG files into something that is more portable with out the need of purchasing some third party crap-ware ? Somehow I doubt it.

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gmvolk

I can count the number of times I've used Media Center on my Win7 with two fingers. Not that I'm likely to go Win8, but if I did I would not miss the fact that media center is not there. Maybe for those running HTPCs, but as others have said there are plenty of alternatives out there that support more formats. I don't see this as a big loss. Now if we could finally lose IE and OE from the OS that would be great.

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alabasterdragon

Given the way the courts in Europe have been ruling, I'm not the least bit surprised at this move. Microsoft may end up stripping windows down to the chassis and make every thing that is not required for base functionality downloadable for a fee or maybe free. Maybe a return to the DOS error, where noting comes with the operating system will stop the courts from ruling against Microsoft. I'm surprised the courts in Europe haven't ruled that no Microsoft software, not even windows can come on a computer sold over there.

There are somethings I wouldn't miss. I won't miss media center anymore than I miss outlook express/windows mail or windows messenger.

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LGA1156

I have a ceton HTPC with 4 X280n extenders... guess Ill be sticking with Win 7, works great

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azuza001

And yet another reason I'm sticking with Windows 7.

Keep it up guys, removing features is always a great way to make people want something more!

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