In a new blog post on the Windows 8 development blog, Microsoft have confirmed that Windows Media Center will be included in Windows 8 but with a few caveats.
Some choice quotes:
While not a central topic of feedback, I received about 50 emails about Media Center. I want to reassure customers that Media Center will definitely be part of Windows 8. No doubt about it. Knowing how strong the support for Media Center is among pre-release testers, we still have work to do to make sure the quality and compatibility with add-ins is what you would expect even in pre-release (as with any release of Windows, compatibility is a major effort and when we work on the underlying video engine, as one example, we have to make sure features that push these areas receive adequate coverage).
He does go on to say that it will not be included in early builds:
Media Center will not be part of the first pre-release builds. Some other features/capabilities will not be in the first pre-release builds including: Windows 7 games, DVD Creator, upgrade setup, Dot Net 3.5 (I will leave room for perhaps a couple of other relatively low profile items). These are engineering decisions as well as business decisions.
Then there are some interesting statisctics about Windows Media Center usage. It’s really, really low:
Our opt-in usage telemetry shows that in July, Windows Media Center was launched by 6% of Windows 7 users globally with the heaviest usage in Russia, Mexico, and Brazil (frequency and time). However, most people are just looking around; only one quarter (25% of 6%) of these people used it for more than 10 minutes per session (individual averages), and in 59% of Media Center sessions (by these 6% of users) we see almost no activity (less than a minute or two of usage).
TV was the most common scenario we observed, and not surprisingly, traditional media (DVD and CD) are less common (and declining over time) than streaming and file-based content.
By comparison, Media Player (66% of Windows users in July) and IE (88%) are popular rendering engines for all types of media content, including an increased volume of “premium” and streaming content. This is another place we’re reminded of the tremendous diversity of Windows activity.
Really interesting stats.
Stay tuned for more Windows 8 news and updates.