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.

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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  1. I dont even remember how to get to WMC.. LOL

  2. When you don’t support the newest TV standards you shouldn’t expect people to use it…

  3. Richard Gunther / September 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm /Reply

    It’s important to keep in mind here what these purportedly low numbers really mean. 25% of 6% of 400 million copies of Windows 7 is still 6 million users of Media Center. As a point of comparison, TiVo’s current subscriber base is under 2 million. Recent changes to CableCARD rules and the very recent availability of affordable external CableCARD tuning devices make Windows Media Center an even stronger competitor now. I’m thrilled to see that Windows will continue to support this often overlooked and under-appreciated DVR alternative.

    • That’s a good point but 6 million is still a small number when you are looking at the overall Windows base. I think the issue at this point is exactly how to offer it to users – as an add on etc?

  4. I personally think it really makes no sense that there is Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player, and Zune desktop client, all to play the same media. They need to kill two of these applications and retain one that will be updated UX-wise to handle all these things well with leyboard/mouse as well as a remote control. If this were to happen, I am sure Zune will be the one they will retain.

  5. media player is slow buggy, and not necesary. if you have media player, and zune, why do you need media center. They need to have on player and make it work and not so buggy and slow as media center.

  6. Have been using Media Center for years.  I believe it’s a great application.  The only problem I have with it that the Channels’ Menu.  About 40% of the entries in the menu do not show the actual program that is running on some channels.  That has not changed in years. I don’t know the cause for this

  7. I use a SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDTV tuner that works great with WMC.

  8. I have a computer dedicated to Windows Media Center connected via HMDI to a 65inch wide sceen.  Also have the NetFlix plug in and record all my shows on Media Center.   Would love to see more plug-ins develop for it.  That machine never crashes since upgrading it to Windows 7.  It runs for days and days without reboots.  Only reboots is the Windows Update.

  9. Widow media center does not work on my computer running widows 8 but an open source software does wondering if MS will ever get anything right …. after this I see why people are got to Apple by the bushel …. I’m thinks about doing the change myself …   I see MS stick crashing just like there software . 

  10. I MAY be missing something here? But I have installed WIN8 consumer Preview & I am happily playing everything I want on Win.Media Centre

  11. WMC is the best thing since sliced bread… I gave back the cable company’s cable boxes years ago. Silicon Dust is also great for offering a rock solid cable card tuner. There is one improvement that I would like to see… An that is the ability to use a PC as an extender.

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