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Microsoft ditches Media Center in Windows 10


A Microsoft executive has confirmed that the company will no longer update the Media Center feature in Windows 10. Any PC upgrading to Windows 10 OS from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, will lose the feature.06-media-center

The decision was confirmed at the Build Developers Conference, this week, in San Francisco. A small group of Media Center enthusiasts are likely to be disappointed with the move. They had hoped that Microsoft would release a Windows 10 add-on, similar to the one that was released in Windows 8. During installation, Microsoft will notify users that Media Center is not compatible on Windows 10.

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Once a significant feature in Windows “premium” editions, the team behind the development of the feature was broken up in 2009, after releasing the final Media Center code for Windows 7. However, Microsoft released an extra-cost Media Center for Windows 10, without any new functionality. The add-on included a post which clearly mentioned that the feature was not a part of “the future of entertainment.”

Microsoft seems to have taken a cue from the “cord-cutting” trend,, with consumers migrating to Internet streaming services. Media Center was launched in 2002 along with a special edition of Windows XP, and included support for PC tuners, interface for controlling media playback and a remote control.

Media Center added more features  like support for high-definition TV, CableCard-based tuners, and a Software Development Kit that supported apps like Netflix and Blu-ray disc support. Before the launch of Windows 8, then-Windows head Steven Sinofsky stated that he would leave out Media Center due to low usage and economics. According to Microsoft’s automatic telemetry, the usage of Windows is “infinitesimal.”

Regarding the alternate solution, ZDNET says,

And as painful as it might sound, the best alternative for those who want time-shifting functionality from a cable or satellite provider is to rent a DVR from that provider. Those options might not match the Media Center experience, but Comcast’s Xfinity DVR and equivalent products from DirecTV have improved significantly in recent years.

The only way hardcore Media Center users can retain the feature, is to stick with Windows 7 or the Windows 8.1 add-on. Another way is to forgo the free Windows 10 update while users can still use the feature on operating systems that is supported until 2020 and 2023 respectively.

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About Anirudh Madhav

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A movie buff, a bookworm, and a compulsive doodler. All posts by Anirudh

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