Microsoft didn't make many friends by casually mentioning how Windows Media Center wouldn't be included with Windows 8, Redmond's next generation operating system set to debut in a few months. In fact, many were downright outraged at the news, and seeing the sharpened pitchforks and brightly lit torches being waved around cyberspace, Steven Sinofsky set out to clarify things on the Building Windows 8 blog.
"In this post we wanted to update you on Media Center and Windows 8, specifically how we will make sure Windows 8 fully supports the capabilities of Media Center as it is in Windows 7," Sinofsky begins. "We took the feedback about maintaining the functionality very seriously, and we clearly understood what we’ve heard many of you saying around the value of Media Center for movies, Internet TV, broadcast TV, optical media, music, photos, and all the other scenarios it covers today. Many said in comments and email to us, that so long as the feature is available somehow it is fine."
So, how will it be available? Through the 'Add Features to Windows 8' option in the Control Panel, previously known as Windows Anytime Upgrade. Windows 8 users will have the option to purchase the Windows 8 Pro Pack and end up with Windows 8 Pro with Media Center, while Windows 8 Pro users will be able to purchase the Windows 8 Media Center Pack and also end up with Windows 8 Pro with Media Center. Sound confusing? Here's a visual that will help:
Windows 8 Pro + Windows 8 Media Center Pack = Windows Pro with Media Center
Windows 8 + Windows 8 Pro Pack = Windows 8 Pro with Media Center
Basically, this is Microsoft's way of sugarcoating the fact that Windows Media Center isn't going to be included with any version of Windows 8 like it currently is with Windows 7 Premium and Pro, and that it will cost extra to obtain it, though there's still no word on much the add-on will cost.