Microsoft has just confirmed that Windows 8 will not ship with the Media centre interface that has been integrated into the last two versions of Windows.Instead, users will have to buy it as part of an upgrade. Pricing hasn’t been announced.
Media centre was designed for using a PC with a remote control to do things like watch and record TV and play DVDs and music.
It was originally introduced in a special edition of Windows XP but later found its way into premium consumer editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7.
But Microsoft admitted last fall that most people weren’t really using it, and the company has shifted its consumer focus to the Xbox, which makes a lot more sense, since it’s already an entertainment device and is already connected to a big-screen TV.
While Media centre itself is being thrown onto the scrap heap, a lot of its design elements — like the horizontal scrolling menus and the font — have since found their way into lots of other Microsoft products, including Windows Phone and Windows 8 itself. Windows 8 will also have many other ways for users to play back media files, including the Music and Video apps, which are designed for the new Metro touch-screen UI.
The details are in Microsoft’s misleadingly named blog post, “Making Windows Media centre available in Windows 8,” which in fact is exactly what Microsoft is NOT doing.