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Can't Install Windows Media Center on Windows 8 RTM

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  • And I was wondering the same thing. Cannot find anything on MSDN and trying to buy the feature ends up in an error message: "An error occurred. Close this wizard and try again".
    Wednesday, August 15, 2012 11:02 PM
  • Here is how... Keep in mind their servers are up and down so the errors are they are too busy.

    http://www.windows8core.com/how-to-get-and-install-windows-media-center-in-windows-8-pro-rtm/


    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:08 AM
  • Very good question. I depend on Media Center too.

    Since the Windows Features store is not working, anyone know the product key to add Windows Media Center to Windows 8 Pro RTM?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you in advance, Mike

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:09 AM
  • it's just the pro key you have from technet


    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:24 AM
  • So we all know how to upgrade your windows 7 versions from "home" to "pro", just use Control Panel=>System=>upgrade your windows

    windows 8 "pro" and "pro with media centre" works the same way. while you click below link, 

    input your media centre key follow the instructions.

    If you don't have a media centre key, you can buy one in the next steps.

     

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 2:50 AM
  • Mantis:  Unfortunately that doesn't work.  It just says there's an error and to close the wizard.  Any other ideas?
    • Proposed as answer by vs6xfx-1 Friday, August 24, 2012 7:45 PM
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:39 AM
  • Neither my Technet no my MSDN windows keys will work for me in the Add Features to Windows 8 tool.  Previous Keys from the RC do not work either.  It appears that MS is content for now with requiring Technet and MSDN members to pay for the media pack.  (although I just get an error if I try)  If MS is listening we need to petition them to make keys available to paying subscribers.  Media Center is invaluable to some of us.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 6:01 AM
  • Run Process Monitor in background look what fails.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 9:10 AM
  • Hello - I'm also have the same issue "An error occurred. Close this wizard and try again" when I try to upgrade to Media Center. I've installed Windows 8 Pro. Anyone any ideas as this is currently a major issue for me??

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:07 PM
  • The key mentioned above only works on the Release Preview, not the RTM.  I get the same error when clicking "I want to buy a product key online" instead.
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:16 PM
  • It's not released commercially yet, so there's no way to "purchase" a
    key.
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:20 PM
  • well if there's no key to add the feature to RTM, and there's no way to purchase to evaluate, then there's also no way for anyone to test the functionality of media center in the RTM.  weak.
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:30 PM
  • agreed theb4sa... I was really looking forward to upgrading....

    When will it be released commercially? please don't tell me it won't be available until October...

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:38 PM
  • Pretty much.  If they want us to test the extras, they'd have to give
    us a key through MSDN or Technet.
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:48 PM
  • ARE YOU FRAKKING KIDDING ME?!?!

    Do you mean that I just wasted all this time and energy upgrading 3 PCs, to which I RELY on Media Center since it's how I watch and record TV in my house?

    Thanks a lot Steven Sinofsky.

    Thanks for making the BONEHEADED decision to extract WMC from Windows.
    Thanks for putting WMC in the PRO product when it's the HOME users that use it the most.
    Thanks for making us PAY for something that used to be INCLUDED with the operating system.
    Thanks for the god damn COMMUNICATION in telling us that it wouldn't be available until GA.

    Thanks for treating loyal customers like CRAP.  THIS is why people are switching to Macs in droves.  Apple doesn't treat their customers this way.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 4:54 PM
  • ARE YOU FRAKKING KIDDING ME?!?!

    Do you mean that I just wasted all this time and energy upgrading 3 PCs, to which I RELY on Media Center since it's how I watch and record TV in my house?

    Thanks a lot Steven Sinofsky.

    Thanks for making the BONEHEADED decision to extract WMC from Windows.
    Thanks for putting WMC in the PRO product when it's the HOME users that use it the most.
    Thanks for making us PAY for something that used to be INCLUDED with the operating system.
    Thanks for the god damn COMMUNICATION in telling us that it wouldn't be available until GA.

    Thanks for treating loyal customers like CRAP.  THIS is why people are switching to Macs in droves.  Apple doesn't treat their customers this way.


    Yeah, thankfully I installed it in a VM first, because WMC is essential for me as well.  I'm considering a hacky workaround, which would entail getting a second network card (since Hyper-V needs exclusive access to an ethernet port), using Hyper-V and installing Win8 RP on it, and using the VM for the WMC capabilities, namely the TV tuner (I have an HD Homerun, which connects via ethernet, so I'd be fine there).  Not the best solution, I know, but at least it would work...
    • Edited by NateB1 Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:09 PM
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:08 PM
  • Don't take my word as gospel on this, it's an educated guess and I
    should have stated that to begin with, but it's logical that it would
    be that way.
     
    Things can change, especially if enough people complain (in a nice way)
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:17 PM
  • First off, Hyper-V doesn't need exclusive access to the NIC, it can
    share it with the OS.  It's recommended for them being shared for
    performance reasons.
     
    As for running WMC in a VM, I've never been able to play full screen
    video, it's too choppy.  You need RemoteFX and the client version of
    Hyper-V doesn't support that.  I'd stay with Windows 7 as the host for
    your WMC or you aren't going to be happy.
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:21 PM
  • I've tried everything I can think of to have it share the NIC, have full access to the intranet, *and* have Internet access.  The only way I was able to get Internet access to the VM was to set up Internet Connection Sharing between the virtual switch and the ethernet adapter, and then my PC can't access network resources. I could be missing something, though.

    I'm not planning on watching video in the VM, but using it to stream content to the 360 over the network, which IIRC, doesn't need good video playback graphics.


    • Edited by NateB1 Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:29 PM
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:28 PM
  • Bob, it took me an entire day to upgrade my house and set everything up and it's going to take another day to downgrade and configure everything.  And during all this I have no access to TV.

    It's not like WMC is under active development, so this is just a thoughtless move on their part.  And I see no reason to be "nice" about that.

    Do you know where I can send my complaints?

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:34 PM
  • Curious problem on the internet access, and probably hard to solve. 
    How's your PC connected to the internet without Hyper-V involved?
     
    Good idea about streaming to the 360 for TV!  That should work.
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:35 PM
  • Bad advice, Scipio.  Using old product keys invalidates your activation and creates nag screens. 

    If you're going to give advice, TEST YOUR SOLUTIONS FIRST.  Otherwise, you're just being irresponsible.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:38 PM
  • >It's not like WMC is under active development, so this is just
    > a thoughtless move on their part.  And I see no reason to
    >be "nice" about that.
     
    As for the nice part, you catch more flies with sugar or bulls* than
    something sour. <g>
     
    As for WMC, I have no idea why they did what they did, WMC really
    should have been kept a part of the OS, it gave Windows something extra
    that the competition doesn't really have.
     
    They also should have made it very clear that you couldn't use WMC
    until keys are available in their announcement that Windows 8 would be
    available.
     
    If your TV card has software of its own, separate from WMC, maybe you
    could use that.  I have a Hauppauge card that I can run WinTV from,
    rather than through WMC.  It's not as good as the WMC experience, but
    it may be a workaround.
     
    Or you could maybe set up your PC's to dual boot Win7 and Win8 so you
    wont be quite so much reinstalling when you get the WIn8 WMC key.
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:44 PM
  • I wonder what happens if you install WMC in the Release Preview and then upgrade to Pro RTM.  Is that even possible?

    I believe XBMC has some tuner support, but if you're doing CableCard you're screwed.  Have yet to hear if Sage works.

    On the why, although it did give something extra the competition lacks, most people never knew it was in there or used it.  The MCE community is a very small one of hardcore system builders and tinkerers.  Why should MS pay codec licensing fees on every copy when the minority that makes use of the feature is so minute?  I'll have no problem paying the 10 bucks or so for the feature.  I just want to do that now!
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:58 PM
  • Curious problem on the internet access, and probably hard to solve. 
    How's your PC connected to the internet without Hyper-V involved?
    Good idea about streaming to the 360 for TV!  That should work.

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine

    Standard home network situation - FiOS modem connects to wireless router, wireless router acts as a switch for all the connected PCs.  I assign DHCP and run a DNS server via a Windows Server 2008 R2 box, because the router was too slow and unreliable.


    • Edited by NateB1 Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:58 PM
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:58 PM
  • So the wireless router has a switch too and the PC's are connected to
    it via ethernet cables?

    I'll have to think about what may be wrong, that's pretty much the
    setup I use all the time.


    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 6:28 PM
  • Yep - I've scoured the Hyper-V docs, but they've been less than helpful in regards to my situation.  If I tell Hyper-V to use my NIC, it takes it over and prevents my main PC from being able to access the Internet or network resources.  The other options create various virtual NICS.
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 6:57 PM
  • Bob, you sound like a nice guy, but I respectfully disagree.  Take the Cisco controversy for example.  When the company decided to upgrade a bunch of people's routers without their consent, it was their OUTRAGE that caused the company to repent and change their policies.

    Squeaky wheel gets the grease.  People need to get pissed about Microsoft's handling of this or nothing will change.
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 7:17 PM
  • >Squeaky wheel gets the grease.  People need to get pissed about
    >Microsoft's handling of this or nothing will change.
     
    No problem, you gotta do what you think best.
     
    I was just saying what works better for me...
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 9:27 PM
  • "Yep - I've scoured the Hyper-V docs, but they've been less than
    helpful in regards to my situation.  If I tell Hyper-V to use my NIC,
    it takes it over and prevents my main PC from being able to access the
    Internet or network resources.  The other options create various
    virtual NICS."
     
    The virtual NIC's are how Hyper-V shares a NIC with the host, so that's
    normal.  I have my PC's get their addresses via DHCP so I don't worry
    about that and the virtual NIC's just work.  Do you assign your own
    static IP addresses?  It gets weird on assigning it with the virtual
    NIC's, but it's doable.
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 9:33 PM
  • I don't see Add features in Enterprise.  Anyone have the same issue?

    Jason

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 9:52 PM
  • Bob, you sound like a nice guy, but I respectfully disagree.  Take the Cisco controversy for example.  When the company decided to upgrade a bunch of people's routers without their consent, it was their OUTRAGE that caused the company to repent and change their policies.

    Squeaky wheel gets the grease.  People need to get pissed about Microsoft's handling of this or nothing will change.

    I had a similar problem with a Cisco cable modem but realized it was not capable/allowed to attach more than one device to it's Ethernet socket. The solution was to exclusively map the physical network adapter to a VM running NAT (in my case Windows Server 2012 RC RRAS, DNS and DHCP and maybe you want a domain/AD too), then add another "internal" adapter visible by both VMs and the host.

    I agree this is a timing and maybe communication mistake (did not RTFM the release notes yet with all the excitement), but at least we have the RTM now and not a delay hanging on (unfortunately) what is considered a low priority feature by MS, i.e. Media Center. At least there is a workaround until MS free-up the add-on keys or purchase mechanism. Putting Hyper-V into the base (workstation) OS was a smart move in contrast to the mistake removing Media Center, else we would be stuck...

    If you go for the Media Center (Windows 8 RP) in a VM (not the other way around), try DVB Logic's DVB Link "TV Source" to get around the lack of PCI sharing in Hyper-V. Of course with that you may need cable/satellite card decoding, then add USB Redirector from www.usb-redirector.com (Incentives Pro) to get around the lack of USB support in Hyper-V. In fact TV source may solve your other issues because they are integrating XBMC right now and already have DNLA and Web/Smartphone based viewing enabled. So maybe you don't need Media Center at all. That's the question MS probably asked themselves...

    With new FREE versions of Media Portal and cheap tools like TV Source enabling us to setup media servers all over the place, Media Center needs to get it's act in gear quickly. The best chance it has is the usability. It is much better and more stable than any of the others I tried. Actually I'm planning some development (products) in this area, so for me there is another annoyance of not having Media Center in the MSDN RTM, because I really want to develop with it not just watch TV :-(


    Key Artefacts



    • Edited by Code Chief Thursday, August 16, 2012 11:48 PM
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 11:44 PM
  • The only SKU that WMC is available for is Win8Pro.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8_editions#Comparison_Chart

    If you do not need RemoteFX, BranchCache, Win2Go, DirectAccess, or deploying internal Metro apps, you are probably better off with the Pro SKU.  It may be possible to get WMC onto the Enterprise SKU, but at least at this point there doesn't seem to be a supported way.

    Not that it seems to matter much at the moment, even with Pro you won't be able to get the Media Pack license.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 11:55 PM
  • Here is how... Keep in mind their servers are up and down so the errors are they are too busy.

    http://www.windows8core.com/how-to-get-and-install-windows-media-center-in-windows-8-pro-rtm/


    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country


    Not a solution.  When you run the wizard, it just craps out.
    Friday, August 17, 2012 2:02 AM
  • So we all know how to upgrade your windows 7 versions from "home" to "pro", just use Control Panel=>System=>upgrade your windows

    windows 8 "pro" and "pro with media centre" works the same way. while you click below link, 

    input your media centre key follow the instructions.

    If you don't have a media centre key, you can buy one in the next steps.

     


    Not a solution.  The wizard just craps out.
    Friday, August 17, 2012 2:03 AM
  • Not a solution.  Using that key, or any other public key, installs WMC then deactivates your copy of Windows, which leads to hourly blue nag screens and the reduction of functionality, including your scheduled recordings.

    Friday, August 17, 2012 2:04 AM
  • Everyone please VERIFY your solutions BEFORE you post them here.  Posting untested solutions and saying YEAH IT WORKS when NO IT ACTUALLY DOESN'T just wastes everyone's time and damages your credibility.

    And in case you couldn't tell, YES I'm pissed off that I have to DOWNGRADE 3 computers to the Release Preview so I can get Media Center back.  That's wasted time now and more wasted time in the future.  Thanks a frakkin bunch, Steven Sinofsky.



    • Edited by Waverunnr Friday, August 17, 2012 2:12 AM
    Friday, August 17, 2012 2:09 AM
  • dude, you gots to get your vmware on before you jump in the deep end.  i never touch the prod wmc box without verifying this stuff, especially if it's not officially out yet.
    Friday, August 17, 2012 2:14 AM
  • So you loaded a brand new OS, day one of availability on 3 computers which you rely on?
    On top of that you seem to have not even bothered about doing the most basic reading before hand.
    Check the pricing, they've actually removed the cost of Media Centre for those, the majority who don't use it, you're still paying less with it purchased.

    I'm just questioning who's acted like the BONEHEAD here, if the PC's were ones you rely on common sense says you'd test it on at least one other before you touched any of them?

    As for communication, its not generally available to home users, Microsoft probably assumes and Enterprise Tech, Dev or even numpty of a geeks would do some basic reading first?

    Friday, August 17, 2012 5:53 AM
  • The Windows Media Center package is not included on MSDN or TechNet subscription for Windows 8 RTM. In the RC Version was the Windows Media Center package included. I need the Media Center to develop applications. I Cannot find anything on MSDN and trying to buy the feature ends up in an error message!

    Friday, August 17, 2012 6:25 AM
  • So you loaded a brand new OS, day one of availability on 3 computers which you rely on?
    On top of that you seem to have not even bothered about doing the most basic reading before hand.
    Check the pricing, they've actually removed the cost of Media Centre for those, the majority who don't use it, you're still paying less with it purchased.

    I'm just questioning who's acted like the BONEHEAD here, if the PC's were ones you rely on common sense says you'd test it on at least one other before you touched any of them?

    As for communication, its not generally available to home users, Microsoft probably assumes and Enterprise Tech, Dev or even numpty of a geeks would do some basic reading first?


    What reading would that be? No one from Microsoft has addressed the issue.  It was a fair assumption that the product key for WMC was going to be included with our other keys.  Since WMC isn't in active development, there's no reason for it not to be available today.    Basically, MS just left us hanging.

    Nice attempt at trolling through. I've seen 3rd graders do better.
    • Edited by Waverunnr Friday, August 17, 2012 6:50 AM
    Friday, August 17, 2012 6:49 AM
  • So you loaded a brand new OS, day one of availability on 3 computers which you rely on?
    On top of that you seem to have not even bothered about doing the most basic reading before hand.
    Check the pricing, they've actually removed the cost of Media Centre for those, the majority who don't use it, you're still paying less with it purchased.

    I'm just questioning who's acted like the BONEHEAD here, if the PC's were ones you rely on common sense says you'd test it on at least one other before you touched any of them?

    As for communication, its not generally available to home users, Microsoft probably assumes and Enterprise Tech, Dev or even numpty of a geeks would do some basic reading first?

    What reading would that be? No one from Microsoft has addressed the issue.  It was a fair assumption that the product key for WMC was going to be included with our other keys.  Since WMC isn't in active development, there's no reason for it not to be available today.    Basically, MS just left us hanging.

    Nice attempt at trolling through. I've seen 3rd graders do better.

    To be fair, I did not automatically assume we as MSDN subscribers would be provided with a WMC key, just the reason why I changed most of my machines to Windows 8 except for my media center, which happily runs Win7. Having said that, I personally would appreciate if we ARE provided with a key to install it, or alternatively be allowed to purchase the extension now as opposed to october 26. It must be a burden for the few people that actually develop for WMC, as it stands now, the only way to test their applications is running unactivated, which in itself is annoying due to the three hour nag screen.

    Friday, August 17, 2012 7:47 AM
  • it seems that MS is not willing us to get Windows Media Center get for free right now.

    MS is going to charge us for getting Windows Media Center on our Windows 8 Pro Systems.

    And the price is not less than $12.79 as displayed on the below forum:

    http://www.windows8core.com/how-to-get-and-install-windows-media-center-in-windows-8-pro-rtm/

    So I hope you all might have got answer to your questions regarding the activation of Windows Media Center.

    And those who getting error while buying a new key...then it might be possible that either the servers are busy in your areas or the feature is not yet launched in your area. Wait for sometime then.


    • Edited by Aadarsh Bohara Friday, August 17, 2012 9:47 AM Got a proper source.
    Friday, August 17, 2012 9:41 AM
  • I use media center as well, and the HD Homerun. Until I can get media center back, I am running the Enterprise edition with the 90 day eval license, and using Easy HD DVR to record the few things I need, and watch them with XBMC. The xbox is down for this atm since I cant get playon working either.
    Friday, August 17, 2012 11:12 AM
  • You know, I wouldn't even mind paying for it, even though I have to agree with many posters before, it's just unbelievable that something I have already had in earlier Windows Versions and paid for now needs to be paid for again... The thing is though that I would need it RIGHT NOW... Not in two months from now. In my case it's not really about WMC, but with DVD playback not working in WMP this OS is just useless. And I am not going to install 3rd party software for a feature that should just damn work to begin with...
    Friday, August 17, 2012 1:30 PM
  • I also have this same issue and need resolution before I can complete my upgrades. I do not mind paying extra for Media Center but please take my money and let me use the product.
    Friday, August 17, 2012 1:43 PM
  • Likewise, I installed Windows 8 for the first time yesterday and was expecting to be able to trial Media Center. I'm happy to pay for it, but without it there's no point in continuing, so I'll have to revert back to Windows 7.

    Friday, August 17, 2012 4:35 PM
  • is Anybody else able to purchase the key required for WMC yet? I keep getting errors when I try to buy a key in Add Feature I Windows 8 upgrade que.

    Friday, August 17, 2012 6:28 PM
  • it seems that MS is not willing us to get Windows Media Center get for free right now.

    MS is going to charge us for getting Windows Media Center on our Windows 8 Pro Systems.

    And the price is not less than $12.79 as displayed on the below forum:

    http://www.windows8core.com/how-to-get-and-install-windows-media-center-in-windows-8-pro-rtm/

    So I hope you all might have got answer to your questions regarding the activation of Windows Media Center.

    And those who getting error while buying a new key...then it might be possible that either the servers are busy in your areas or the feature is not yet launched in your area. Wait for sometime then.



    In all likelihood, that screen was photoshopped.  I don't know a single person who has been able to get the upgrade to work.
    Friday, August 17, 2012 9:24 PM
  • Media Center Pack for Windows 8 WON'T be available until October 26, then it Will be free until January 31st. So plan accordingly.

    http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/07/02/upgrade-to-windows-8-pro-for-39-99.aspx

    Luis Daniel

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:40 AM
  • Hooooooooooly shi+. This is amazing! It seems every time I find something I don't like about Windows 8, something else pops up that makes it even worse. Microsoft's decision to ditch the media market is most likely why Apple is entering the set-top box market now. They want to distribute that content! So, let me add up what I've seen so far from MS. Accounting Pro 2009 = Dead. TMG 2010 (ISA) = Dead. Windows client = dead.

    What a shame. Their firewall product doesn't even have a competitor!!!! 

    The only way I'll ever use Win8 is if they patch the Start Menu back in, allow you to turn off the "Modern UI", allow transparency on UI components other than the task bar, and give me the proper keys to use the product in my Technet subscription. Until that day comes, they can suck it.

    Am I the only one who thinks this product is just a huge joke? Seriously! They said that transparency in the UI looks "cheezy and dated" yet they left the task bar transparent? So, only the windows look cheezy and the taskbar looks modern while transparent? That HAS TO be a joke. HAS TO!!


    • Edited by Crand Saturday, August 18, 2012 3:28 AM
    Saturday, August 18, 2012 3:27 AM
  • Media Center Pack for Windows 8 WON'T be available until October 26, then it Will be free until January 31st. So plan accordingly.

    http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/07/02/upgrade-to-windows-8-pro-for-39-99.aspx

    Luis Daniel

    The posts is over a month old, and, I think, not correct. As I now understand it, with the RTM available, ALL users will have to purchase the Media centre.

    fwiw. The hack, and key, mentioned in an earlier post should NOT be used. It unactivates Your Windows 8 and cancels the CD key.



    David Clarke

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 7:28 AM
  • I know this thread is all about Media Center but there appears to be an underlying issue that many people are experiencing related to the “add features” option. I am experiencing this same issue.

    There is a related event log error which I cannot find a resolution to and was hoping someone might have some ideas.

    Applications and service logs -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Anytime-Upgrade-Events -> Operational

    Event ID: 103 “WAU is unable to create shopping cart with commerce partner”

    Anyone??

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 1:03 PM
  • Start a new thread on this.
    Saturday, August 18, 2012 2:15 PM
  • Yikes, I installed Windows 8 on WMC machine as well.  I'm hoping the add features to buy a service pack will work soon because otherwise I have no TV to watch!
    Saturday, August 18, 2012 2:39 PM
  • I just don't get why Microsoft can't make the add-on pack available - surely there's no technical reason for it - WMC has barely been touched, if at all, from Windows 7.  It can't be that difficult.

    So far, I have managed to get the 360 partially working with WMC streaming from a Hyper-V Win8 RP VM - it works for everything but live TV.  I can "watch" TV (slow and jerky) inside the VM with the TV software that came with the Homerun, and WMC detects signals from inside the VM, but when I try to access it on the 360, it says there is no signal.  It plays fine with Recorded TV, although that took me forever to get working, due to a stupid bug where I have to enter the username/password of my NAS shared Recorded TV folder *on* the 360 in order for it to play the footage.

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 3:38 PM
  • I found this article trying to find an answer just like you, but I also understand I'm using a piece of software before general availability that is licensed to me for the purposes of evaluation -ONLY-. Assuming you're abiding by the terms and conditions set out when you subscribed at most you should be using the licenses to evaluate Windows 8 on your PCs before deciding whether or not to purchase a full license.

    To evaluate an operating system on a computer (let alone three computers), you rely on without dual booting or first making a backup of the previous operating system is most definitely 'boneheaded'.

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 4:01 PM
  • Sent to TechNet Customer Svc. today.  Will send formal letter by smailmail to division VP Monday.

    The old honey/vinegar thing.  Will post replies when I get them.

    You've probably already gotten a bunch of complaints and the Windows 8 TechNet forums are filled with (some fairly nasty) statements about Windows Media Center being currently unavailable to TechNet subscribers for Win 8 Pro.  This will be a nice one.

    I read someone's post that your telemetry has shown minimal use of MCE.  However, one of the niches that WMC still is used for, and is very good at, is recording and viewing DRM-protected TV using Ceton and Hauppauge CableCard-based devices.  Some of us earn a good bit of revenue supporting these systems, and as of right now we can't even tell our clients what's going on, either technically or with regard to WMC licensing.  There are varying conflicting statements on MS blogs and forums.

    My requests:

    1.)  Please give us TechNet subscribers a key to install WMC on Win 8 Pro ASAP; and

    2.)  Please make a formal announcement and alert us that tells us and our clients what's going on.

    Many thanks,

    Thomas A. (Tom) Jackson

    Managing Director

    groupPml

    Charlottesville, Virginia  22902

    434.260.xxxx

    jacksonta@xxx.com


    Tom

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 4:32 PM
  • I found this article trying to find an answer just like you, but I also understand I'm using a piece of software before general availability that is licensed to me for the purposes of evaluation -ONLY-. Assuming you're abiding by the terms and conditions set out when you subscribed at most you should be using the licenses to evaluate Windows 8 on your PCs before deciding whether or not to purchase a full license.

    To evaluate an operating system on a computer (let alone three computers), you rely on without dual booting or first making a backup of the previous operating system is most definitely 'boneheaded'.

    Media Center has been available since the Consumer Preview.  With the Release Preview they established the mechanism to enter the key and download the software.  So why isn't the new key available on MSDN? WMC isn't in active development.  So there's nothing stopping them from giving us a key to use.  Or buy.  But just make it available!

    Take your lectures and shove them.



    • Edited by Waverunnr Sunday, August 19, 2012 5:40 AM
    Sunday, August 19, 2012 5:38 AM
  • Why is this no longer marked as an active question?  The question has not been authoritatively answered nor has the problem been resolved.

    • Edited by Waverunnr Sunday, August 19, 2012 5:56 AM
    • Proposed as answer by Martrad Wednesday, August 22, 2012 7:21 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by Martrad Wednesday, August 22, 2012 7:21 AM
    Sunday, August 19, 2012 5:46 AM
  • Your answer was given above by Luis Daniel, who has Microsoft after his name.
     
    The key word is "starting."
     
    "Starting at general availability, if your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets. And if you want, you can add Windows Media Center for free through the �??add features�?� option within Windows 8 Pro after your upgrade."
     
    And the source is
     
     
    Once again "starting at general availability"...you can add Windows Media Center for free...
    --
    ______________
     
    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ______________
    Why is this no longer marked as an active question?  The question has not been authoritatively answered nor has the problem been resolved.


    BullDawg
    Sunday, August 19, 2012 8:10 AM
  • Your answer was given above by Luis Daniel, who has Microsoft after his name.
     
    The key word is "starting."
     
    "Starting at general availability, if your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets. And if you want, you can add Windows Media Center for free through the �??add features�?� option within Windows 8 Pro after your upgrade."
     
    And the source is
     
     
    Once again "starting at general availability"...you can add Windows Media Center for free...
    --
    ______________
     
    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ______________
    Why is this no longer marked as an active question?  The question has not been authoritatively answered nor has the problem been resolved.


    BullDawg

    Unacceptable.  If it's going to be free for users of Windows 8 Pro, then why make us wait until October to get a key?  Now I have to downgrade my machines to Windows 7 to get this fuctionality back, which is a waste of time.
    • Proposed as answer by Ibesnoopy Thursday, August 23, 2012 4:58 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Ibesnoopy Thursday, August 23, 2012 4:58 PM
    Sunday, August 19, 2012 1:45 PM
  • I didn't say the answer was acceptable, but it is an answer from an authoritative source.

    --
    ______________
     
    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ______________
    Your answer was given above by Luis Daniel, who has Microsoft after his name.
     
    The key word is "starting."
     
    "Starting at general availability, if your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets. And if you want, you can add Windows Media Center for free through the �??add features�?� option within Windows 8 Pro after your upgrade."
     
    And the source is
     
     
    Once again "starting at general availability"...you can add Windows Media Center for free...
    --
    ______________
     
    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ______________
    Why is this no longer marked as an active question?  The question has not been authoritatively answered nor has the problem been resolved.


    BullDawg

    Unacceptable.  If it's going to be free for users of Windows 8 Pro, then why make us wait until October to get a key?  Now I have to downgrade my machines to Windows 7 to get this fuctionality back, which is a waste of time.

    BullDawg
    Sunday, August 19, 2012 2:50 PM
  • Sent to TechNet Customer Svc. today.  Will send formal letter by smailmail to division VP Monday.

    The old honey/vinegar thing.  Will post replies when I get them.

    You've probably already gotten a bunch of complaints and the Windows 8 TechNet forums are filled with (some fairly nasty) statements about Windows Media Center being currently unavailable to TechNet subscribers for Win 8 Pro.  This will be a nice one.

    I read someone's post that your telemetry has shown minimal use of MCE.  However, one of the niches that WMC still is used for, and is very good at, is recording and viewing DRM-protected TV using Ceton and Hauppauge CableCard-based devices.  Some of us earn a good bit of revenue supporting these systems, and as of right now we can't even tell our clients what's going on, either technically or with regard to WMC licensing.  There are varying conflicting statements on MS blogs and forums.

    My requests:

    1.)  Please give us TechNet subscribers a key to install WMC on Win 8 Pro ASAP; and

    2.)  Please make a formal announcement and alert us that tells us and our clients what's going on.

    Many thanks,

    Thomas A. (Tom) Jackson

    Managing Director

    groupPml

    Charlottesville, Virginia  22902

    434.260.xxxx

    jacksonta@xxx.com


    Tom


    Thanks, Tom.  Let us know what they say.  Microsoft's entire handling of Windows Media Center has been disgraceful.  If they wanted to extract it from the OS and sell it, they should have converted it into a Metro app and sold it in their own store and upgrade it from time to time.
    Monday, August 20, 2012 11:19 AM
  • This is why I discontinued my partner and MAPS subscription.  I can't believe everything that is missing or broken from the RTM version: All the games content, the app store is flaky at best, the upgrade and add feature wizards crap out, and this business with Media Center being missing with no option to add it is the straw that broke this cammel's back.  What really irks me is the fact that there is no offical word from Microsoft on all this and the best we can do is find some month and a half old Windows Team Blog entry.  I used to think RTM meant final.  How the hell would a manufacturer test or implement this for release with important features missing and others not working?  I sure couldn't prepare any type of system build from this 'RTM' for my customers that I could feel comfortable standing behind.  I expect this stuff when downloading a beta or technology preview, but when it's G.D. RTM, it needs to be in its final form, and it needs to WORK!!  I'm not even going to look at Win8 again until October and this DVD I burned of the Win8 Pro ISO will serve as a great coaster for my beer as I load an OS that was tested and polished before release (Mountain Lion)!! 
    Monday, August 20, 2012 2:21 PM
  • Please remember that Technet and MSDN subscription installs are for testing. No one should be using these serials or installs as your primary machine. With that in mind however how am i supposed to test media center functionality (we use Media Center to show DVD presentations. i cant see if I need to redo the manuals for sales) I will assume it is similar if not identical to Win7 Media Center until either release or a workaround.

    Judson Hall

    Monday, August 20, 2012 7:42 PM
  • Please remember that Technet and MSDN subscription installs are for testing. No one should be using these serials or installs as your primary machine. With that in mind however how am i supposed to test media center functionality (we use Media Center to show DVD presentations. i cant see if I need to redo the manuals for sales) I will assume it is similar if not identical to Win7 Media Center until either release or a workaround.

    Judson Hall

    Judson,

    testing means using .... otherwise you and MS wasting their time .... so the best way to test an operating system is to install it in your working computer and accept some failures .... at least that what I understand as testing ....

    Using it as much as possible on your primary machine .....

    Cheers

    Sepp


    Thanks Sepp

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 2:17 AM
  • Further to my above comment ....

    I found a key which allowed me to install MCE ......BUT BUT ..

    now the original key is deemed incorrect .... Windows 8 wants me to supply a new CORRECT  key ....

    so I got a new one from TechNet ..... and surprise this "good" key is NOT accepted ...... WHY???????
    (I suppose that there is a SPECIAL key in the working)

    AND on top of it MCE is crashing as soon as I go into playing live TV .... the setup worked and I have plenty of channels ... on 2 (two) tuners ....

    This proves my point that testing HAS TO BE  on the final product ...as on the previous beta's (CP & RC) it worked fine ...

    So MS please fix this so we can test MCE as it should be ...

    Cheers

    Sepp


    Thanks Sepp

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 9:57 AM
  • how exactly do you test if you don't roll it out to your machines? whether people should have taken the jump to migrate their entire home pc estate without sandboxed testing at this stage is another question.

    I always follow the same path with new windows versions, I dual boot, from bios (not using the multi-boot options of windows) as i prefer to have no amalgamation of the os's and control it from the bios boot option. this makes things simpler when I transition to the new OS later.

    once my new OS is proven, i simply clone the drive to the master drive and make the partition bigger. This is what i'm doing now, if i need to watch tv, i'll have to switch back to win7 (as my main machine acts as a media centre too)

    Microsoft's current behaviour is really making me want to move elsewhere, but nothing compares for my needs, so i'm somewhat stuck between 7 & 8 and will be for some considerable time by the look of it.  stupid.


    • Edited by ceeteeuk Tuesday, August 21, 2012 3:14 PM
    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 3:13 PM
  • I have to stick with the Release Preview because I am depended on the Media Center TV Guide and Live TV over the air.
    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 10:16 PM
  • Download Start8 from Stardock.com.... start menu back.....then run msconfig and change from "Selective Startup" to "Normal Startup" this will bypass the Metro UI and straight into Desktop interface WITH Start menu.

    As for bloody Media Centre not being available...... Microsoft get your act together, we are the hardcore testers that help you get your products right, defend them, but removing MCE from Windows 8.... that is a huge mistake.... if we can not test the functionality.... how can we provide our customers (your future customers) with the information.

    Give TechNet Subscribers keys form Media Centre Addon ........ and confirm when it will be available for Download.

    This is my first post in 5 years of being a TechNet Member. This has really got me wound up...... time to move to a MAC?

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012 9:02 AM
  • are you sure that start8 + msconfig change works in RTM? didn't they block that?

    and no, it will never be time to move to a MAC... linux maybe, but never anything created by "them" :)

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012 9:53 AM
  • Media Center Pack for Windows 8 WON'T be available until October 26, then it Will be free until January 31st. So plan accordingly.

    http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/07/02/upgrade-to-windows-8-pro-for-39-99.aspx

    Luis Daniel


    Luis Daniel,

    Thanks for your reply.  I'd like to provide some feedback regarding Microsoft's handing of Windows Media Center.  I believe its under-performance and lack of attention by Microsoft is due to a number of factors that could have been prevented...

    1. It's poorly marketed.  Whenever I show my home setup to friends, they're shocked to learn that they already have the software to do what I do.  Microsoft could learn a thing or three from Apple about advertising individual features of their programs.  (Apple's FaceTime and Siri commercials come to mind)  I've never seen a single commercial from Microsoft that highlights all the great features of Windows Media Center and how it's DVR capabilities is something you can't get on any other OS.  The video on this page needs to be a commercial.  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/windows-media-center
    2. I don't disagree with removing the package from the OS.  In fact, I believe all the non-essential features of the OS should be removed and accessible from the Windows Store.  But requiring PRO version (the version with Domain Join, Encryption, and other BUSINESS features) for WMC makes ZERO sense.  It's clearly a HOME based product for HOME users.  I'd be surprised if your usage telemetry didn't conform this.
    3. Windows Media Center has been completely ignored this upgrade cycle when it should have been converted into a Metro/Modern app and sold in the Windows Store.  And if you take a look at the popular add-on programs "Media Center Master" and "Media Browser" you can get an idea of the kind of upgrades people are looking (and willing to PAY) for.  Yes, it's a great program, but it has a lot of room to grow.
    4. The reasoning behind requiring everyone to wait until Oct 26 to receive a free key escapes me.  Posting this key on MSDN now would allow your MSDN subscribers to use a fully functional product.  As of now, I'm forced to stay at Windows 7 to not lose functionality.

    In closing, Windows Media Center is one of the best consumer projects to come out of Microsoft.  It helps distinguish Windows from other operating systems, which currently have no equivalent.  It has a thriving hardware ecosystem.  There are several products on the market that tap in to WMC's unique capabilities.  And companies like Ceton are writing apps to extend the reach of WMC to mobile and tablets.

    The program and its users deserve better treatment than this.  I'd appreciate it if you would pass on this feedback to Steven Sinofsky since his email address is unavailable.

    Thanks,

    Todd




    • Edited by Waverunnr Wednesday, August 22, 2012 11:11 AM
    • Proposed as answer by Father1234Banned Sunday, October 28, 2012 12:00 AM
    Wednesday, August 22, 2012 10:50 AM
  • Download Start8 from Stardock.com.... start menu back.....then run msconfig and change from "Selective Startup" to "Normal Startup" this will bypass the Metro UI and straight into Desktop interface WITH Start menu.

    As for bloody Media Centre not being available...... Microsoft get your act together, we are the hardcore testers that help you get your products right, defend them, but removing MCE from Windows 8.... that is a huge mistake.... if we can not test the functionality.... how can we provide our customers (your future customers) with the information.

    Give TechNet Subscribers keys form Media Centre Addon ........ and confirm when it will be available for Download.

    This is my first post in 5 years of being a TechNet Member. This has really got me wound up...... time to move to a MAC?

    I think Microsoft is on the right track by leaving out all the non-essential bits for the following reasons:

    1. It makes Windows take up less drive space, less memory, and less resources, allowing it to run leaner, meaner, and more stable.
    2. Keeps them out of trouble with the EU.
    3. Allows people to configure Windows exactly they like it. (Linux fans know what I'm talking about.)

    However, I disagree with their decision to require the PRO version when it's a HOME product.  I also disagree with them waiting until the 26th to let us use it, unless they're working on an upgrade.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012 11:06 AM
  • I like the idea of WMC distribution via Win8 store rather than OS add-on. It would have been much better... easy to find with price control (free to start with) built-in to the store system and self-updating on a separate time schedule to the whole Windows stack (broadcast/IP TV is a volatile but expanding area, new services = money = MS should be updating frequently to keep-up).

    At least there is a chance for other vendors to make their Media Center like products available in the store (if MS doesn't lock them out). But I wonder if the whole Media Foundation API is still there without the WMC add-on if what they wanted to spare were the codec licenses. I will have to go and test that... But what I know already is that it's there in Windows Server 2012 RC. You can clearly see Media Foundation bundled with the base OS as a pre-loaded (but not installed) OS component you can just enable (via add/remove features, no separate product key rubbish). So if MS see media servers as a requirement then why ditch media clients? Why is Media Foundation still there as a component in Windows Server 2012 but not in Windows 8?

    Maybe we just have to wait for some big announcement linked to the demise of Zune and rise of XBOX Music/Video/TV/whatever. It could be that WMC is no longer required once a new "TV and media" app or apps are released. But it must be possible to control with a normal TV remote and launch in "TV/Media only" mode like a real black box, taking over the main menu/desktop and blocking pop-up dialogs so your wife and kids can use it like a normal TV.

    I'm annoyed too, but before being really mad at MS I will wait a bit and see what is released. If there is no good version of WMC by the new year then I guess I'll have to search for alternatives for my HTPC solution. That would be sad, because with the current market I guess that may not be something running on a Windows OS and certainly not geo-fenced IPTV services from XBOX. I hope Team Media Portal get their Media Portal 2 ready by this time (it's still in Alpha) because that was the second best to WMC in my view but the first edition is just too unstable for me.

    I had a load of development planned for WMC, some really great free tools and at least one whole product. But I'm shelving them now till something "impressive" happens here. I want to see a nice clean release of a new WMC with properly administered EPG and provider data. The lack of proper global provider and EPG content in the previous WMC versions was already an indicator they canned almost all development and support resources for the product.

    Actually I'd like to write my own WMC but if MS also don't give us Media Foundation then what are 3rd parties supposed to do? The goal of Media Foundation (as a standard streaming media platform for Windows 7 onwards) would be lost and vendors would just go and install lots of (maybe not so stable) codecs from all over the place or out of date DirectShow components to suit their own needs.

    Come on MS, show us the direction you are going with this (if any), an official roadmap both for WMC and media SDKs would be nice. You could still do this properly and announce a good WMC version with updated SDK and even an MS Logo test/certificate for ISVs and hardware vendors to want to achieve.


    Key Artefacts

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012 12:03 PM
  • Response I received from TechNet Subscription Support.  The posting I wrote is repeated below.  Suggest everyone write a similar email to them at: 

    tsubserv@microsoft.com

    Be nice!  It usually works better.

    Hello Thomas,

    Thank you for your continued interest in the Microsoft TechNet program and in the latest Microsoft technology this subscription offers.

    I understand and hear your frustration regarding the lack of Windows Media Center in the current Windows 8 product available for download on the TechNet subscriber website. The TechNet subscriptions provide the earliest access to Microsoft products for IT Professionals. The Windows 8 Professional product is not available to the general public until sometime in October.

    I have logged your comments, suggestions and feedback as a complaint. At this time, my understanding is that the Media Center will be included with the Windows 8 product, that there are engineering and business decisions that are being considered at this time, therefore there is not an exact date for future Windows 8 product announcement. Please see the below site for additional information:

    http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/09/03/windows-8-include-windows-media-center/

    Additionally, please post your questions and concerns in your Managed Forums as a Microsoft technician is guaranteed to answer the question within 48 hours. You can find your Managed Forum benefits in the “My Account” section of the subscription website.

    If there is anything else I can do for you, or you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. You can reply directly to this email or, for support by phone, please call 800-344-2121. My department is available Monday through Friday, from 5:30AM to 5:30PM PST.

    Thank you for choosing Microsoft.

    Kathryn
    Microsoft TechNet Subscriptions Team
    E-mail: Tsubserv@microsoft.com
    Phone: (800) 344-2121
    Fax: (661) 244-4993

    Original submission:

    From:

    To: tsubserv@microsoft.com

    Sent:  08/18/12 09:06:33

    Subject:  Windows 8 Pro Media Center

     

    You've probably already gotten a bunch of complaints and the Windows 8 TechNet forums are filled with (some fairly nasty) statements about Windows Media Center being currently unavailable to TechNet subscribers for Win 8 Pro. This will be a nice one.

    I read someone's post that your telemetry has shown minimal use of MCE. However, one of the niches that WMC still is used for, and is very good at, is recording and viewing DRM-protected TV using Ceton and Hauppauge CableCard-based devices. Some of us earn a good bit of revenue supporting these systems, and as of right now we can't even tell our clients what's going on, either technically or with regard to WMC licensing. There are varying conflicting statements on MS blogs and forums.

    My requests:

    1.) Please give us TechNet subscribers a key to install WMC on Win 8 Pro ASAP; and

    2.) Please make a formal announcement and alert us that tells us and our clients what's going on.

    Many thanks,

    Thomas A. (Tom) Jackson
    Managing Director
    groupPml
    Charlottesville, Virginia 22902


    Tom

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012 7:24 PM
  • you can't stream to the xbox..not with the standard player either..it see's there's a computer connection..but no computer :(
    Thursday, August 23, 2012 3:23 AM
  • In fact..the the windows media player doesn't even want to acknowledge ANY kind of media on my computer at all
    Thursday, August 23, 2012 3:24 AM
  • Why not just add a vhd with windows 7 and boot from that till October.  Then you don't have to rebuild again.  Just copy the vhd to the other machines and attach and boot from that.

    Thursday, August 23, 2012 5:02 PM
  • Media Center Pack for Windows 8 WON'T be available until October 26, then it Will be free until January 31st. So plan accordingly.

    http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/07/02/upgrade-to-windows-8-pro-for-39-99.aspx

    Luis Daniel


    Does this include MSDN, TechNet, and Dreamspark Subscribers, or do I have to accept the $40 offer?
    Thursday, August 23, 2012 6:25 PM
  • Why not just add a vhd with windows 7 and boot from that till October.  Then you don't have to rebuild again.  Just copy the vhd to the other machines and attach and boot from that.


    This is my thoughts exactly. Just use 7 or 8 RC in a VHD and dual boot it for now. Use the bcd tool from neowin.net.
    Thursday, August 23, 2012 10:00 PM
  • I just got hit with this also. I've been itching to test my Ceton setup with Windows 8 so that I can start pushing it quickly. The Windows 8 Modern Start has the potential to be an excellent 10' UI, and coupled with Media Center, this could blow away that Apple TV that is rumored to be getting a coax port.

    I would really appreciate a working product key, but the easiest fix may be to just set a reboot every two hours when you aren't using it. Then I could play with the scheduling tools and learn how to use them better.

    Friday, August 24, 2012 2:09 AM
  • There are a number of comments in this thread around many topics.  Todd's received 2 helpful votes.  It was also reasonable in tone.

    We've written extensively about the choices we made regarding WMC including the changes in the landscape around media consumption on PCs.  It goes without saying, but a great many people on the team and inside Microsoft would qualify as die hard WMC supporters and enthusiasts (myself included, including two different cablecard setups and network sharing across PCs of those).  As is often the case, the population of people like us happens to also be the same as the population that is active on forums.  This leads to the feeling that "everyone" shares a view.  We've also talked about the costs of this area that literally accrue to everyone, even though numerically we showed how the usage patterns have evolved and continue to evolve over time.

    The choice for distribution at this time is based on the rationale outlined in these posts.  In addition, as was previously noted, this forum is not about home use but about pre-release testing for business uses.  I recognize that some are pointing out the legitimate business uses (DVD playback) but we were not able to find a mechanism to offer this as an unmetered download prior to general availability. 

    I know I'm not going to convince anyone with that so I will leave it at that and our posts on the topic: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/03/making-windows-media-center-available-in-windows-8.aspx and http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/04/q-amp-a-dvd-playback-and-windows-media-center-in-windows-8.aspx.

    To the points made in this post, I previously commented on some of these points in the comments of these posts. 

    Media Center is actually one of the few features in the history of Windows that can point to a very specific and broad marketing program dedicated entirely to the feature, including a whole specific edition (XP Media Center) followed by broad inclusion in future editions of Windows.  During that timeframe there were not only specific PCs but specific marketing programs and widely stocked PCs featuring Media Center edition at retail outlets.  With Windows Vista we took this to a new level since we no longer had any specific hardware requirements (such as a tv tuner) and so you essentially saw every PC in stores with "Media Center" tents on the PC, posters in the store, end caps and more.  It is not an exaggeration to say that the campaign for Windows Vista was centered around raising awareness of Media Center as the key differentiator.  This level of awareness continued with Windows 7.  It is hard for us to point to any feature of a product where so much advertising was directed at a specific feature.  We did so few feature-specific television commercials (and when we did these are only in major markets) so that would not be a measure.  Across the globe at retail and in direct mail PCs, supported by partners and Microsoft you could see Media Center featured.  Whatever amount of money you think could be spent on an advertising campaign, I can promise you was spent specifically (and uniquely) promoting Media Center across XP, Vista, and Windows 7.  The lack of usage we see cannot be ascribed to a lack of effort on our part to raise awareness of the feature nor to the coolness of the feature :-)

    We specifically talked about the notion of WMC itself as a Windows 8 application.  The key thing we would not have been able to do is maintain compatibility with existing add-ins, customizations, and hardware (such as DVD library management, that I use).  Given that we know there is a very high correlation with active WMC usage and use of one or more add-ins, we simply would have failed at delivering anything satisfying.  One of the most popular add-ins that receives broad usage is the Netflix add-in for Media Center which is an app we were excited to show at the June Surface event.  We talked in the blog posts about the incredible rise in use of browser-based and streaming video consumption from Hulu to Youtube and Vimeo and more in addition to the relative (and well-documented) decline of local/recorded video, standard def DVDs and rise in BRD (which has a number of challenges in terms of legal usage in what are today common WMC scenarios for discs).  We already see dozens of new media-centric apps in the store and of course are working to see more.  This is the direction the industry is going, with media outlets creating and programming their app experience for their subscribers to the content they have the rights to distribute.

    We don't set out to improve every single feature of Windows every release.  We do look at how the landscape is changing and how we should spend our development energy.  I recognize that to people who use a particular part of the product a lot view those choices as "ignoring" what they view as the important part. 

    Our approach to this part of the product shows the unique commitment Microsoft does make, though you might not agree.  Rather than just remove the feature or fail to support it, despite the changes in the environment and marketplace, we did still commit to all the work to maintain, compatibility test, and deliver the feature.  This is a real effort from real folks on the team.  I do hope folks recognize this when they show the emotional side of their point of view, since ultimately the people that did the work that you can use feel that you don't even appreciate that effort (and commitment from Microsoft).  Competitive offerings were simply removed from those OSs without much ceremony and no support was provided for people who had made a commitment to the feature.  It just simply went away in a new release.

    I don't think there is any "news" in this comment, but did want to try to get the thread back on track in terms of tone and content.  It is clear everyone is very passionate.  We are too.  Maybe keep in mind that the people who work on the products also read these threads and when the passion turns to insults (especially personally directed ones) it isn't clear that is the best approach to drive dialog or even acknowledgment of the comments.

    --Steven


    Friday, August 24, 2012 3:52 AM
  • I've been a Windows beta tester since NT4 and am oh so rightly impressed will your level of transparency, so straight up, "Thank You Steven" for taking the time to respond directly here on the forums.

    As you rightly stated there really isn't much 'news' in what you wrote above, but you have ended the speculation and bought the topic back on topic.

    The only thing I do hope you did was give a +1 vote to Microsoft staff member 'Luis Daniel Soto Maldonado' above as he was pretty much spot on with his answer.

    Cheers,

    Stephen Edgar


    Cheers, Stephen Edgar

    Friday, August 24, 2012 8:32 AM
  • ...We specifically talked about the notion of WMC itself as a Windows 8 application.  The key thing we would not have been able to do is maintain compatibility with existing add-ins, customizations, and hardware (such as DVD library management, that I use)....

    --Steven


    It's good to see a post from such a high level in MS and I respect decisions have to be made, good or bad in the view of others... But maybe you could keep one point in the back of your mind...

    From the WMC add-in developer perspective, the API and SDK versions of Media Center were awfully outdated and severely limited. The new Metro platform push (Win/Phone/XBOX) would have been a great opportunity to wipe the slate clean with fresh new APIs and many more possibilities. That would have been heartily welcomed by developers, I can assure you!

    If you can confidently ditch all Windows Mobile and Phone 7.x users in favour of a better new platform, then ditching existing WMC add-ins is a no-brainer. I guess most existing add-ins are probably not seriously maintained either, what with the lack of consumer exposure to WMC. Further any new API would have surely been more backwards compatible in the future than the (sorry to say) mess of older terribly in-accessible technologies in the current SDK (need I mention external access to WMC database for metadata sync).

    How about this then...

    A new Media Center "Foundation" (API, SDK and collection of Metro applets) could have been based on well established web/cloud service standards, separating the GUI parts of Media Center from the back-end metadata and content delivery. Create and publish some "MS standard" contracts for the back-end services (WCF or OData/REST), allowing metadata or content itself to be provisioned both locally (e.g. from a video card or BDA wrapper product like TV Source, Media Portal) or directly from the web via the same "cloud" service.

    Create a gallery of these apps/modules/services in the Windows Store then the user has the WMC world at his fingertips, a HTPC and mobile entertainment dream! Just think of the possibilities... consuming the same great content services with a new fresh Metro integrated WMC or even from other WMC-like "GUI" apps to their preference, e.g. XBMC and Team Media Portal could migrate to a Metro app, their plug-ins and legacy WMC add-ins to service/metadata apps or GUI apps in their own right.

    And it'd all work with a remote control, touch or voice activated (phone/pc microphone/Kinect). Create a HW logo to help standardize the (difficult and limited) IR remote needs maybe even consider HDMI-CEC support built down into the system APIs (device drivers and HID input reference drivers provided by Windows) including macros like Event Ghost. Lookup Pulse-Eight's HDMI-CEC adapter/LibCEC to see where this is going.

    Just imagine Netflix or Sky being able to write simple interfaces to existing services (rather than having to maintain complete apps) with flexible hosting options available (Azure, 3rd parties or self-hosted) safe in the knowledge it's a standard foundation, technology and future proof. All the billing, branding, advertising and other business concerns could be supported out of the box (think MSDN App Hub, Store and Advertising SDK) with Metro based apps, or they can write their own entire front end (desktop/XAML apps) still if they really want to. I think most content owners already have service based "asset" delivery and management systems themselves, certainly already connected to MS competitor stores. So it could be just a formality to enable this for MS and compelling if it were clear the services were available to all Windows users (not just the WMC "app").

    In short, it's a real shame backwards compatibility was a factor in not doing something spectacular and more modern with WMC and related content delivery services. An overhaul is well overdue, the (standards based) local and remote cloud service possibilities are just amazing and certainly part of, if not the key to, the future of fun and flexible media consumption at home and on the move.

    But nobody will write such services until somebody like MS stamps out the foundation for them, else it's all just proprietary stuff that doesn't connect together very well. As we seen, if you have a solution with great potential but don't revamp and simplify it, somebody else will come along and "8pple" it for you :-/

    Fingers crossed, I really hope MS come up with something like this in the future.


    Key Artefacts

    Friday, August 24, 2012 9:42 AM
  • ...We specifically talked about the notion of WMC itself as a Windows 8 application.  The key thing we would not have been able to do is maintain compatibility with existing add-ins, customizations, and hardware (such as DVD library management, that I use)....

    --Steven


    It's good to see a post from such a high level in MS and I respect decisions have to be made, good or bad in the view of others... But maybe you could keep one point in the back of your mind...

    From the WMC add-in developer perspective, the API and SDK versions of Media Center were awfully outdated and severely limited. The new Metro platform push (Win/Phone/XBOX) would have been a great opportunity to wipe the slate clean with fresh new APIs and many more possibilities. That would have been heartily welcomed by developers, I can assure you!

    If you can confidently ditch all Windows Mobile and Phone 7.x users in favour of a better new platform, then ditching existing WMC add-ins is a no-brainer. I guess most existing add-ins are probably not seriously maintained either, what with the lack of consumer exposure to WMC. Further any new API would have surely been more backwards compatible in the future than the (sorry to say) mess of older terribly in-accessible technologies in the current SDK (need I mention external access to WMC database for metadata sync).

    How about this then...

    A new Media Center "Foundation" (API, SDK and collection of Metro applets) could have been based on well established web/cloud service standards, separating the GUI parts of Media Center from the back-end metadata and content delivery. Create and publish some "MS standard" contracts for the back-end services (WCF or OData/REST), allowing metadata or content itself to be provisioned both locally (e.g. from a video card or BDA wrapper product like TV Source, Media Portal) or directly from the web via the same "cloud" service.

    Create a gallery of these apps/modules/services in the Windows Store then the user has the WMC world at his fingertips, a HTPC and mobile entertainment dream! Just think of the possibilities... consuming the same great content services with a new fresh Metro integrated WMC or even from other WMC-like "GUI" apps to their preference, e.g. XBMC and Team Media Portal could migrate to a Metro app, their plug-ins and legacy WMC add-ins to service/metadata apps or GUI apps in their own right.

    And it'd all work with a remote control, touch or voice activated (phone/pc microphone/Kinect). Create a HW logo to help standardize the (difficult and limited) IR remote needs maybe even consider HDMI-CEC support built down into the system APIs (device drivers and HID input reference drivers provided by Windows) including macros like Event Ghost. Lookup Pulse-Eight's HDMI-CEC adapter/LibCEC to see where this is going.

    Just imagine Netflix or Sky being able to write simple interfaces to existing services (rather than having to maintain complete apps) with flexible hosting options available (Azure, 3rd parties or self-hosted) safe in the knowledge it's a standard foundation, technology and future proof. All the billing, branding, advertising and other business concerns could be supported out of the box (think MSDN App Hub, Store and Advertising SDK) with Metro based apps, or they can write their own entire front end (desktop/XAML apps) still if they really want to. I think most content owners already have service based "asset" delivery and management systems themselves, certainly already connected to MS competitor stores. So it could be just a formality to enable this for MS and compelling if it were clear the services were available to all Windows users (not just the WMC "app").

    In short, it's a real shame backwards compatibility was a factor in not doing something spectacular and more modern with WMC and related content delivery services. An overhaul is well overdue, the (standards based) local and remote cloud service possibilities are just amazing and certainly part of, if not the key to, the future of fun and flexible media consumption at home and on the move.

    But nobody will write such services until somebody like MS stamps out the foundation for them, else it's all just proprietary stuff that doesn't connect together very well. As we seen, if you have a solution with great potential but don't revamp and simplify it, somebody else will come along and "8pple" it for you :-/

    Fingers crossed, I really hope MS come up with something like this in the future.


    Key Artefacts 

    @Steven you should hire this guy he has some good ideas! 

    I appreciate Microsoft maintaining and supporting Windows Media Center in Windows 8, although I think it could have been handled a bit better, but I was happy to hear you consider yourself a "die hard WMC supporter and enthusiast" Has the problem with Movie covers in the Movie Guide (Live TV) been resolved? I still have many blank or missing covers on the movies that appear in my Movie Guide (UK DVB-T Freeview).

    I've not upgraded to Windows 8 as yet although I did try the Consumer Preview. Think I will hold off now until the Media Center installations issues have been resolved.

    Another question, are Microsoft not providing tools (Group Policy) for enterprise admins to disable the Metro start menu and have the classic start menu? I can't see corporate customers wanting Metro UI for their users?

    Hopefully we will see future development of the key features in Windows Media Center perhaps as Metro apps.

    Regards

    Stuart

    Windows Entertainment & Connected Home MVP

    Friday, August 24, 2012 11:38 AM
  • Thanks Steven for taking the time. It’s nice to know the forums have such visibility within MS.

    As I have followed this string I am reminded of all the changes and upgrade I have been thru at the different companies I have worked with. For the most part users are afraid of change. I have found that one of the hardest parts of transitioning to new apps and/or operating systems is user acceptance.

    It seems to me that even though we professionals and enthusiasts here on TechNet see ourselves as the technological leaders there still exists a bit of that reluctance to change.

    We all have our favorites, in this case Media Center, and admitting to ourselves that favorite will soon become a victim of technological advances can be a difficult thing. I saw much the same thing in the Windows Home Server forums, people bemoaning the loss.

    If we are to be the tech leaders that all our users, friends and family have come to depend upon then we have to lead by example. Embrace change and use the RTM to find the alternative you need before we have to actually deploy. If we hem and haw about change so will those that reply upon us. If we are excited about what is coming next everyone around us will be too.
    Friday, August 24, 2012 11:42 AM
  • There are a number of comments in this thread around many topics.  Todd's received 2 helpful votes.  It was also reasonable in tone.

    We've written extensively about the choices we made regarding WMC including the changes in the landscape around media consumption on PCs.  It goes without saying, but a great many people on the team and inside Microsoft would qualify as die hard WMC supporters and enthusiasts (myself included, including two different cablecard setups and network sharing across PCs of those).  As is often the case, the population of people like us happens to also be the same as the population that is active on forums.  This leads to the feeling that "everyone" shares a view.  We've also talked about the costs of this area that literally accrue to everyone, even though numerically we showed how the usage patterns have evolved and continue to evolve over time.

    The choice for distribution at this time is based on the rationale outlined in these posts.  In addition, as was previously noted, this forum is not about home use but about pre-release testing for business uses.  I recognize that some are pointing out the legitimate business uses (DVD playback) but we were not able to find a mechanism to offer this as an unmetered download prior to general availability. 

    I know I'm not going to convince anyone with that so I will leave it at that and our posts on the topic: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/03/making-windows-media-center-available-in-windows-8.aspx and http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/04/q-amp-a-dvd-playback-and-windows-media-center-in-windows-8.aspx.

    To the points made in this post, I previously commented on some of these points in the comments of these posts. 

    Media Center is actually one of the few features in the history of Windows that can point to a very specific and broad marketing program dedicated entirely to the feature, including a whole specific edition (XP Media Center) followed by broad inclusion in future editions of Windows.  During that timeframe there were not only specific PCs but specific marketing programs and widely stocked PCs featuring Media Center edition at retail outlets.  With Windows Vista we took this to a new level since we no longer had any specific hardware requirements (such as a tv tuner) and so you essentially saw every PC in stores with "Media Center" tents on the PC, posters in the store, end caps and more.  It is not an exaggeration to say that the campaign for Windows Vista was centered around raising awareness of Media Center as the key differentiator.  This level of awareness continued with Windows 7.  It is hard for us to point to any feature of a product where so much advertising was directed at a specific feature.  We did so few feature-specific television commercials (and when we did these are only in major markets) so that would not be a measure.  Across the globe at retail and in direct mail PCs, supported by partners and Microsoft you could see Media Center featured.  Whatever amount of money you think could be spent on an advertising campaign, I can promise you was spent specifically (and uniquely) promoting Media Center across XP, Vista, and Windows 7.  The lack of usage we see cannot be ascribed to a lack of effort on our part to raise awareness of the feature nor to the coolness of the feature :-)

    We specifically talked about the notion of WMC itself as a Windows 8 application.  The key thing we would not have been able to do is maintain compatibility with existing add-ins, customizations, and hardware (such as DVD library management, that I use).  Given that we know there is a very high correlation with active WMC usage and use of one or more add-ins, we simply would have failed at delivering anything satisfying.  One of the most popular add-ins that receives broad usage is the Netflix add-in for Media Center which is an app we were excited to show at the June Surface event.  We talked in the blog posts about the incredible rise in use of browser-based and streaming video consumption from Hulu to Youtube and Vimeo and more in addition to the relative (and well-documented) decline of local/recorded video, standard def DVDs and rise in BRD (which has a number of challenges in terms of legal usage in what are today common WMC scenarios for discs).  We already see dozens of new media-centric apps in the store and of course are working to see more.  This is the direction the industry is going, with media outlets creating and programming their app experience for their subscribers to the content they have the rights to distribute.

    We don't set out to improve every single feature of Windows every release.  We do look at how the landscape is changing and how we should spend our development energy.  I recognize that to people who use a particular part of the product a lot view those choices as "ignoring" what they view as the important part. 

    Our approach to this part of the product shows the unique commitment Microsoft does make, though you might not agree.  Rather than just remove the feature or fail to support it, despite the changes in the environment and marketplace, we did still commit to all the work to maintain, compatibility test, and deliver the feature.  This is a real effort from real folks on the team.  I do hope folks recognize this when they show the emotional side of their point of view, since ultimately the people that did the work that you can use feel that you don't even appreciate that effort (and commitment from Microsoft).  Competitive offerings were simply removed from those OSs without much ceremony and no support was provided for people who had made a commitment to the feature.  It just simply went away in a new release.

    I don't think there is any "news" in this comment, but did want to try to get the thread back on track in terms of tone and content.  It is clear everyone is very passionate.  We are too.  Maybe keep in mind that the people who work on the products also read these threads and when the passion turns to insults (especially personally directed ones) it isn't clear that is the best approach to drive dialog or even acknowledgment of the comments.

    --Steven


    Well, at least my second message was reasonable in tone. The first, notsomuch. ;)  (Sorry.)

    We're glad to hear that you're a diehard WMC supporter.  It's unfortunate that converting WMC to a Metro app would break compatibility with add-ins, but couldn't this be viewed as an opportunity to improve and grow the platform?  I'd imagine the authors of these add-ins would be willing to put forth the blood sweat and tears to rewrite their add-ins for Metro provided that Microsoft used this as an opportunity to improve on features.

    I realize that we're heading fast into an on-demand world, a world that makes the DVR as obsolete as the floppy-disk.  But we're not there yet.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.   I really like this "new" Microsoft.

    -- Todd

    Friday, August 24, 2012 12:45 PM
  • Steven, I think Microsoft is being perhaps a tad short-sighted in your Media Center strategy.  For years you were the only show in town (worth talking about, anyway), but I think us early adopters were the only ones who saw the potential.

    Now, Apple and Google have their eyes on the set-top box market, and there's a good chance what we saw in the phone market will be repeated in the media center market... i.e. Microsoft were the only show in town with Windows Mobile, but were left playing catchup when Apple and Google stepped in.

    I'm disappointed that Media Center hasn't really been touched since Windows 7.  I know your strategy is for the Xbox to be the media hub, but you had the opportunity to do something fresh and ready-for-the-future on Windows 8 Media Center... think metro (sorry, Modern UI ;) apps for each Media Center function, media on the desktop or cloud can be consumed on your tablet, your phone and your Xbox.  Not just recorded TV, but purchase/download a movie on one device and watch it on any other device.  The same streaming services available on all the machines in your ecosystem.  The same individual apps we'll see in the Windows Store for YouTube, Hulu, iPlayer, whatever, but in an integrated, nice, easy-to-use remote-control/Kinect/voice interface on the Xbox and the HTPC.

    I love what you're doing with Modern UI, I can see where it's going.  The same interface across everything with a screen - phone, tablet, pc, television.  I just don't want to see a good product left behind and have to use a rival's product which isn't as well integrated, then seeing Microsoft play catch-up again because they took their eye off the ball.

    As it is, essentially dropping any upgrades for Media Center to maintain backwards compatibility with add-ons will do much more to harm the community than breaking compatibility!  I would wager that the creators of My Music, DVBLink, or any other actively-developed add-on would be much happier having to do a bit of a rewrite if they knew there was a future in Media Center than the current situation where the entire community believes this is the end of Media Center (despite its inclusion in Windows 8).

    I really hope you have plans to modernise the product before the next iteration of Windows.


    Free Visual Studio LightSwitch extensions: Elyl's Extensions http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/bbe013bf-45b6-46c4-ba13-537cc23c5118

    Friday, August 24, 2012 7:12 PM
  • How do we add Windows Media Center to Windows 8 Pro RTM? (Build 9200)  

    All attempts at purchasing a key have failed.  Why hasn't the product key been posted on MSDN?
    The feature to add WMC should be available by Oct 26, 2012, right now system will say Key is not a working key.
    Friday, August 24, 2012 8:28 PM
  • So we all know how to upgrade your windows 7 versions from "home" to "pro", just use Control Panel=>System=>upgrade your windows

    windows 8 "pro" and "pro with media centre" works the same way. while you click below link, 

    input your media centre key follow the instructions.

    If you don't have a media centre key, you can buy one in the next steps.

     


    At least you "Get More Features with new edition of Windows" Link it missing on my Pro must be because it is a VLC Version
    Friday, August 24, 2012 10:31 PM
  • I actually have a support call open with Microsoft on this matter.  We've worked a couple days on it so far.  According to the support staff, this SHOULD work and he is going back to the team to try to figure out why it isn't.  My copy of Windows 8 Professional doesn't have the "Get more features..." option either.

    On another note, did Steven actually say when Microsoft would hand out WMC keys to TechNet subscribers so they could begin business-related development/testing?  Real people with real jobs that are their livelihood are depending on this key, not just home users.  Seems like they kind of blew those folks off because of a reason I don't understand.

    I wish I could understand why handing out the key WITH Windows 8 RTM would cause issues at Microsoft or with the end-users.  Was that explained and I missed something?

    Thanks!

    Jim

    Saturday, August 25, 2012 3:03 AM
  • At the end of the day it is a shame that a rock solid product such as Media Center has not received the praise it rightfully deserves. In a way this is one prime example of where Microsoft could and should improve it's marketing. There are similair products (such as XBMC) but all things considered it does NOT come close to WMC, especially not if you run any tv tuner. The ease of setup and the rock solid stability has my head scratching why WMC has never achieved broad usage.

    I understand and support it's removal from the main Windows SKU's, allthough I still don't understand why it is only an option to add it to the pro version, whereas it would have been logical to allow adding it to the core version as well.

    Sunday, August 26, 2012 1:18 PM
  • Steven,

    Your participation here -- not to mention highly helpful and professional communications -- is quite appreciated by everyone.

    As I hope you can clearly see, we're actually not as much "WMC" fans as "WMC functionality" fans.   I think what you're seeing is your WMC fan base thinking strategically -- and in alignment -- with Microsoft's grander goals.

    What we actually want is not WMC to be supported in Windows 8 (although it's quite appreciated nonetheless!).  What we really want is the foundation of what makes WMC work (i.e., the services, API's, etc.) available to the Start Menu apps.

    We want HTPC 2.0 -- where the Windows 8 Start Screen can, in effect, be our default HTPC user interface.  Doesn't this make a whole lot of sense in the scheme of Microsoft's grand vision for the operating system?  The Start Screen is your tablet interface, your desktop interface, and your TV interface (for power users).  Of course, the XBox Dashboard is another Start Screen for the more casual/mainstream TV content consumer.   Start Screen GUI's all around!

    The point is: All we really want is for devs to have access to the DVR, Guide and related proprietary services that exist within Windows so we can move everything out of the "walled garden" of a proprietary WMC environment into the new, future, Start Screen environment.  

    We just want our WMC apps to live alongside the new, connected content apps like Hulu, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, etc.  See attached image for a homegrown "vision comp."

    Of course, the master minds in MSFT already know all of this.  I won't pretend you don't.  But I still wanted to share.

    Cheers!

    Jon

    Sunday, August 26, 2012 6:17 PM
  • Steven,

    Your participation here -- not to mention highly helpful and professional communications -- is quite appreciated by everyone.

    As I hope you can clearly see, we're actually not as much "WMC" fans as "WMC functionality" fans.   I think what you're seeing is your WMC fan base thinking strategically -- and in alignment -- with Microsoft's grander goals.

    What we actually want is not WMC to be supported in Windows 8 (although it's quite appreciated nonetheless!).  What we really want is the foundation of what makes WMC work (i.e., the services, API's, etc.) available to the Start Menu apps.

    We want HTPC 2.0 -- where the Windows 8 Start Screen can, in effect, be our default HTPC user interface.  Doesn't this make a whole lot of sense in the scheme of Microsoft's grand vision for the operating system?  The Start Screen is your tablet interface, your desktop interface, and your TV interface (for power users).  Of course, the XBox Dashboard is another Start Screen for the more casual/mainstream TV content consumer.   Start Screen GUI's all around!

    The point is: All we really want is for devs to have access to the DVR, Guide and related proprietary services that exist within Windows so we can move everything out of the "walled garden" of a proprietary WMC environment into the new, future, Start Screen environment.  

    We just want our WMC apps to live alongside the new, connected content apps like Hulu, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, etc.  See attached image for a homegrown "vision comp."

    Of course, the master minds in MSFT already know all of this.  I won't pretend you don't.  But I still wanted to share.

    Cheers!

    Jon


    Nick mock up, Jon.  I'm guessing that much of the work of Windows 9 will be converting the rest of Windows 7 and 8 from Desktop to Metro.  Hopefully Windows Media Center will be on their list.  Does anyone think a petition would help?  I'd love to see WMC all metro-fied in the app store.
    Monday, August 27, 2012 10:45 AM
  • The servers for Windows 8 Media Center have been taken down
    and they aren’t expected to be made online until the launch of Windows 8 on October 26.
    So, its not possible to get the Media Center Pack right now. But, if you have the keys then,
    the Media Center can be activated in Windows 8 RTM.
    Monday, August 27, 2012 1:31 PM
  • The servers for Windows 8 Media Center have been taken down
    and they aren’t expected to be made online until the launch of Windows 8 on October 26.
    So, its not possible to get the Media Center Pack right now. But, if you have the keys then,
    the Media Center can be activated in Windows 8 RTM.
    Monday, August 27, 2012 1:32 PM
  • The servers for Windows 8 Media Center have been taken down
    and they aren’t expected to be made online until the launch of Windows 8 on October 26.
    So, its not possible to get the Media Center Pack right now. But, if you have the keys then,
    the Media Center can be activated in Windows 8 RTM.

    I don't think they were up in the first place.
    Monday, August 27, 2012 6:39 PM
  • Firstly I think it is absolutely amazing that there is a passionate WMC user base out there.  Secondly it is incredible that you have taken the time to address all these very confused customers.

    I love WMC--very excited about it--I have 1539 titles in the thing--mostly DVDs.  Basically it is my "poor man's" <cite>kaleidescape</cite>.  I think the folks in the platform are committed--in the sense that the content is baked in already--we've already spun the entire Disney Kid collection onto hard disk(s).  There's no going back.  If WMC has 25 million customers, or 6% of the installed user base for all Windows flavors as the one forum post suggested--those are very loyal Microsoft customers AND they are folks for whom the 12:00 doesn't blink on the VCR.  People who come to the house and see it are like "What the hell is that?...and why aren't I doing it?"  One of your active employees told us "I didn't know Vista could do that..."

    The point is the 6% of us--are stuck with Windows 7--it would seem.  I think that is unfortunate if only because these folks are pretty zealous about the OS and its capabilities.  Unfortunately there is no amount of telemetry data that tells you who your best unpaid product evangelists are.  I would be willing to suspect that they are people taking the OS further than most--Media Extender Guys, XBOX guys, guys with movies on a NAS device, whole-house integrators like me...like you... 

    The guys who run Windows because it came on the Dell as an OEM installation are fairly ambivalent about what OS they run.

    I'm worried for Microsoft's future in the sense that if the concept for Windows now is--build a core on which OTHERS can build applications--then at some point in the not too distant future the kernel itself becomes irrelevant.  The customer becomes OS agnostic.  We simply take the choice that whatever platform has seemingly the most fertile and active development community wins the day.  The thing that has differentiated Windows has always been an incredible amount under the hood--and MILLIONS more applications to be had.

    I like that you are taking the passion and the heat from these folks and responding in kindness.  Windows is worth preserving for a very long time.  This is a stable and predictable OS with a LOT of wonderful behaviors.  People love to bash this thing, but I'm sitting in front of Windows 7 on a Pentium 4 (with a tad of a memory upgrade) that's run FAST for over a year without a single crash.

    --Matt

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 1:55 AM
  • I'd like to know if the telemetry that Steven Sinofsky talked about was related to the "Help us to enhance Windows Media Center" question appearing at the first MC startup... Because if it's related, maybe the numbers could be higher if the entire community checked this... I've been using MC since WXP MCE and NEVER checked this case, and everywhere I installed it, never checked it. So maybe it could've helped ? Or could help now ?

    BTW, I've "sold" many Xboxes to use them MC as MC Extenders... My parents have 2 Xboxes (1 in the living room, the other in the kitchen) especially to watch TV and movies with Windows MC. It could be so great to make a MC in Metro, and to keep the MC Extender functionnality. It's just an awesome feature.

    But Steven, when you talk about marketing Media Center properly... I'm sorry, but when ? How ? Where ? OK there was some dedicated hardware, but it was NEVER marketed ! How can you hope a product to sell if nobody knows it ? It's not the product the problem, because like many other members told, when we show our setups to our friends and colleagues, the only comment is "Yeah that's great ! And you tell me I already have this on my PC ? I didn't know !". Almost nobody knows what is Media Center, and like your numbers tell you, when they launch it, they close it almost instantly because they just doesn't know what it is... The shame is that MC is probably the first Metro / ModernUI app MS has ever created, and maybe the first to be "killed". I really hope that it's just the MC we know now that will be killed, and a new "MC" will arise from this, more modern, more polished, just like  John Deutsch and Code Chief described. Oh and please, if this MC is coming, don't forget the "normal" TV support (DVB-T/C/S and others) because, I don't know about US, but in Europe, this is still the best way to watch TV (no Hulu, Netflix... nothing but lousy catchup TV websites, not ready at all to be viewed on big TV screens).

    To finish this post, I'll add that I really hope that MS will open the "add functions to windows" feature before GA, because once again, like others have said, it's not just people watching TV that needs it... IT professionnals needs to be able to test the DVD playing capability, to test the MC integration, to test new versions of plugins... In my company, we're planning to skip W7 and go from WXP directly to W8. But we can't even test all the final product in our environment because we just need MC and DVD playing capabilities... I don't ask for free keys or anything, but the ability (like others said "take my money") to test this piece of W8.

    Regards.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 1:22 PM
  • I'd like to "pile on" here a bit re: Steven's marketing assertions.  I'm sure Steven is telling the truth when he says that Microsoft invested a lot of time and money marketing WMC.  However, that truth is in my view colored by the notion that core Microsoft doesn't really understand -- or even participate in -- real consumer marketing.   I know Steven and company are shaking their heads at me right now, and that's fine.  But that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

    Outside of Xbox (a pure-play consumer device), Microsoft simply does not effectively market to consumers.  It is far more adept at the networked-marketing ways of B2B sales and service.  And since WMC has always been nailed to Windows (and not Xbox), it's lumped in with the core Windows business -- selling to other businesses.  Primarily OEMs. 

    So, there is the "reality" as Microsoft sees it, and then there's the "reality" that we as consumers see it.   You have no reason to trust me when I say this, but if you knew me, you'd trust me when I say this:  Windows Media Center was never effectively marketed to any kind of mainstream audience, ever.  There is probably less than 1% awareness in the general public.  In fact, if it were 1%, I'd be amazed.  

    So, MSFT can say what they want about the amount of money and effort put forth, but I fear that they're conflating money and effort with effectiveness.  

    There was simply no effective consumer marketing strategy or tactic implemented for Windows Media Center.   My assertion beyond this is that the best marketing strategy ever implemented was in 2005 when the special edition came out and was marketed heavily to the OEMs, and when HP created a real form factor Media Center PC based on MCE 2005.  However, that was before the technology was really ready for it to go mainstream, so it, alas, was also ineffective.

    I've written about this at length here, where I essentially assert that WMC could very well be the "home theater OS" for the professional-grade consumer.  The prosumer.  Whereas the Xbox Dashboard becomes the media OS for the mainstream consumer.  I would love to see two tracks formed at MSFT, because there are essentially two markets: 

      • The lower-margin, high-volume Xbox media consumer
      • The higher-margin, low-volume HTPC media consumer.

    The benefits of having the HTPC consumer as a target market is that we can "test drive" all the whacky ideas bubbling up in MSFT heaven and take them through their paces before MSFT rolls them out to the huddled masses via Xbox360.  After all, WinRT apps are essentially now going to be compatible across all platforms.  So, this would make a whole heck of a lot of sense for MSFT (and for us bleeding edge prosumers).

    Thanks for hearing me out. 

    Cheers.


    Jon Deutsch Principal & Founder Capital D Strategies http://capdstrategies.com



    • Edited by Jon Deutsch Tuesday, August 28, 2012 1:45 PM
    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 1:43 PM
  • I should add to the above comment that I don't think WMC -- even within Windows 7 -- is really fit for a mass consumer audience.  The setup and configuration is still too daunting for all but the most technically comfortable.  That said, a completely pre-configured HTPC by Dell or HP that had CableCard tuners built-in -- and shipped with CableCards already inserted might have been enough to get 100% more adoption than today's stats indicate... especially if marketed (ahem) as a less expensive alternative to the Cable Box (i.e., "Stop paying monthly fees for your ugly cable box, and start saving money and get more from a brand new cable box, brought to you by the geniuses at <insert OEM like Sony here>.")

    Jon Deutsch Principal & Founder Capital D Strategies http://capdstrategies.com

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:02 PM
  • I'd like to "pile on" here a bit re: Steven's marketing assertions.  I'm sure Steven is telling the truth when he says that Microsoft invested a lot of time and money marketing WMC.  However, that truth is in my view colored by the notion that core Microsoft doesn't really understand -- or even participate in -- real consumer marketing.   I know Steven and company are shaking their heads at me right now, and that's fine.  But that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

    Outside of Xbox (a pure-play consumer device), Microsoft simply does not effectively market to consumers.  It is far more adept at the networked-marketing ways of B2B sales and service.  And since WMC has always been nailed to Windows (and not Xbox), it's lumped in with the core Windows business -- selling to other businesses.  Primarily OEMs. 

    So, there is the "reality" as Microsoft sees it, and then there's the "reality" that we as consumers see it.   You have no reason to trust me when I say this, but if you knew me, you'd trust me when I say this:  Windows Media Center was never effectively marketed to any kind of mainstream audience, ever.  There is probably less than 1% awareness in the general public.  In fact, if it were 1%, I'd be amazed.  

    So, MSFT can say what they want about the amount of money and effort put forth, but I fear that they're conflating money and effort with effectiveness.  

    There was simply no effective consumer marketing strategy or tactic implemented for Windows Media Center.   My assertion beyond this is that the best marketing strategy ever implemented was in 2005 when the special edition came out and was marketed heavily to the OEMs, and when HP created a real form factor Media Center PC based on MCE 2005.  However, that was before the technology was really ready for it to go mainstream, so it, alas, was also ineffective.

    I've written about this at length here, where I essentially assert that WMC could very well be the "home theater OS" for the professional-grade consumer.  The prosumer.  Whereas the Xbox Dashboard becomes the media OS for the mainstream consumer.  I would love to see two tracks formed at MSFT, because there are essentially two markets: 

      • The lower-margin, high-volume Xbox media consumer
      • The higher-margin, low-volume HTPC media consumer.

    The benefits of having the HTPC consumer as a target market is that we can "test drive" all the whacky ideas bubbling up in MSFT heaven and take them through their paces before MSFT rolls them out to the huddled masses via Xbox360.  After all, WinRT apps are essentially now going to be compatible across all platforms.  So, this would make a whole heck of a lot of sense for MSFT (and for us bleeding edge prosumers).

    Thanks for hearing me out. 

    Cheers.


    Jon Deutsch Principal & Founder Capital D Strategies http://capdstrategies.com

    That's exactly was I was trying to point with my previous comment. In term of consumer marketing (ie : TV ads, magazine ads, radio ads...) there never was anything for Media Center. Hopefully, we will be able to say in a near future "Media Center is dead. Long live Media Center !".
    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:14 PM
  • so many decent posts in reply here that i don't feel I can add any value... only to add my support for what has been suggested already.

    I've been running my HTPC with media centre for years now. So many people that see the setup have no idea what media centre is, let alone that it's on their machines. Most get confused with media player, that's how bad "general knowledge" is in this area.

    I was really looking forward to seeing MCE evolve into the tiled metro interface, as soon as I saw that on the phone it seemed immediately obvious how good a fit it would be for a TV. live update panels listing news, weather, new shows etc. Combined with an armchair touch remote (which i'd expected would also be a logical companion) everything seemed to be falling into place. 

    I can only sympathise with the guys out there who use Media Centre in client solutions, it IS the only one that does what it does effectively, thanks to it rock solid core. To throw it away seems insane to say the least. It makes me wonder what MS is trying to do here, if you'd thought about it, you could have had 3rd party streaming apps linking into a brand new media centre core, so you could add services to the core experience... now, we're going to have x number of "apps" that do things in their own way and the unified experience is gone, just at the point that things could have got really exciting with the surface tablets on the armchair being able to control the media centre tv. Microsoft has seriously dropped the ball here IMHO. Steve, if you are still reading, there are a number of contributors in this thread that could well save the day for you. I'm not sure what metrics you are using to make this decision, but as others have pointed out, they appear to paint a pretty inaccurate picture of the Media Centre userbase.


    • Edited by ceeteeuk Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:42 PM
    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:39 PM
  • so many decent posts in reply here that i don't feel I can add any value... only to add my support for what has been suggested already.

    I've been running my HTPC with media centre for years now. So many people that see the setup have no idea what media centre is, let alone that it's on their machines. Most get confused with media player, that's how bad "general knowledge" is in this area.

    I was really looking forward to seeing MCE evolve into the tiled metro interface, as soon as I saw that on the phone it seemed immediately obvious how good a fit it would be for a TV. live update panels listing news, weather, new shows etc. Combined with an armchair touch remote (which i'd expected would also be a logical companion) everything seemed to be falling into place. 

    I can only sympathise with the guys out there who use Media Centre in client solutions, it IS the only one that does what it does effectively, thanks to it rock solid core. To throw it away seems insane to say the least. It makes me wonder what MS is trying to do here, if you'd thought about it, you could have had 3rd party streaming apps linking into a brand new media centre core, so you could add services to the core experience... now, we're going to have x number of "apps" that do things in their own way and the unified experience is gone, just at the point that things could have got really exciting with the surface tablets on the armchair being able to control the media centre tv. Microsoft has seriously dropped the ball here IMHO. Steve, if you are still reading, there are a number of contributors in this thread that could well save the day for you. I'm not sure what metrics you are using to make this decision, but as others have pointed out, they appear to paint a pretty inaccurate picture of the Media Centre userbase.


    Your post made me think about what you call "the unified experience"... Indeed, this unified experience, it's the "hub" idea in Windows Phone... Imagine a Media Hub (instead of Center) where you can play your videos, watch live TV from DVB cards or record it, stream VOD from your favorite provider (from an in-the-hub-app, and even (let's dream ;)) add your own streaming providers (for those with IPTV providers)...

    In fact a thing that could be Videos+Music on the Windows Phone, but could regroup all the apps linked to the multimedia environment (just like does the Xbox Live hub with the games on WP7/7.5). Then, do this app available on all your platforms (Windows 8/RT/Phone 8/Xbox) with sharing capabilities (not just from DLNA, cause it's still too resctricted) like Homegroups or standard SMB shares, and you've a winner : a true media center where you can play your media where ever you are.

    Now, we have solutions that are too differents...

    WP :

    - Music+Videos Hub : can only play media on the phone, that have been sync'ed with a PC (=> not great) or online files without having to download them first (=> great). Not other sources are allowed (that I know).

    - Pictures Hub : regroup all the "picture related" apps, your online pictures from Facebook, Flickr, Skydrive, and your offline ones, synced with your PC. That is an amazing piece of software.

    WP Conclusion : great picture experience, not so great music/video experience, but can be enhanced easily (read from DLNA servers, shares, homegroups,...) Then maybe, regroup music+video with pictures in a media hub ?

    Can't wait to see WP8 ;).

    W8/RT :

    - Videos : meh app (IMO), where you can play from libraries and shares, but cannot play TV from cards, neither play online files without having to download them completly first.

    - Pictures, where you can see your photos just like WP7's picture hub, but without the "hub" feature of regrouping your pictures apps.

    - Music app : the exact equivalent of the Videos app, but for music... Meh too.

    Conclusion for W8/RT : no grouping, no "hub" feature, not enough basic functions, and totally "everyone for himself" experience. Well, it's just like what you expect from an iPad or an iPhone : each app has a function, nothing more. Where is the great WP idea ? The design is here, but the philosophy seems to be gone.

    Xbox :

    - Videos, Pictures and Music on Xbox are a PAIN in the *** to use. Limited DLNA, no shares... Really bad experience.

    - Media Center Extender : not as rock solid as its PC brother, but awesome feature.

    Xbox conclusion : could be (will be with the next update release ?) the key center of your home, but now totally miss this target without Media Center.

    Then you have Media Center, which can play music/pictures/videos (instead of having to launch Music OR Pictures OR Videos on W8/RT) from your libraries, from shares, from internet (when IPTV channels have their media center apps (ie: canal+ in France) and from cards (DVB/cablecard). Call me dumb if you want, but isn't MC the "hub" experience Microsoft was all about in WP7 ?

    I really hope to see a MC replacement app coming from MS in a really near future. I don't think that all the persons here complaining about the lack of MC just want the MC we all know now. We just want an integrated experience, an effective way of playing our contents, flexible enough to be able to play what we want to play, and that can be used on every device we have.

    And you know we just want the best from MS because we like very much this company. We work with Ms products, we live with MS products, we buy MS products, we recommend MS products and we sell MS products. And we are proud to do so. So please, think about your fan base users/partners/professionnals that we are and give us the app we all want to use, and will replace MC in our heart.

    We may be only 1 percent of your marketshare, but 1 or 2 percent of more than a billion users are more than 10 million users ! And those 10 million users are the force that speak about your products in their entourage, give them advices and guide them to use your products. You know what is learned in marketing school : 1 satisfied user = 2 more potiential customers. 1 disatisfied user = 10 lost customers. We"re the 1 satisfied and we hope to ever be this one.

    Best regards.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 8:50 PM
  • I'm glad everyone is echoing my sentiments regarding the marketing issues regarding WMC.  As someone who works in the tech field and deals with a LOT of end users, I can't emphasize enough the lack of public awareness.  People simply don't know its there.  Or if they see it, they don't know what it's capable of.  Some days I think I should just start a business selling WMC solutions to people because the potential for market penetration is HUGE. 

    If Microsoft decides to cease development on WMC, have they considered selling the product to Ceton? It would be a perfect fit since they're already the main supplier for CableCard tuners and are about to release companion apps for Windows Phone, Android, and iOS.  Since their entire business rides on the platform, they would be financially motivated to make WMC the best product out there.  They could convert the app to Metro, sell it in the store, and Microsoft gets 30%.  Talk about win-win. 

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 10:49 PM
  • I think it is awesome that a top MS person has taken the time out of all the posts here to reply to the Media Center community and explain some things. I still really want access to install and test the Media Center portion of Windows 8 so I can help support it when it is released to the general public though. After being on numerous MS beta groups specifically for Media Center since the 2005 release and continuing through the Vista and Windows 7 releases, I have to say that the Media Center team, although sometimes neglected, has pushed and pushed to get improvements and compatibility inserted into the software (albeit with mixed success). I think that MS does need to support every part of their development community as much as possible and this includes all aspects of the operating system. While the Media Center feature may not be 'designed' for business users (though there are certainly those in the business segment that do use it), there certainly are a number of developers and IT support people who do design and support the home segment including Media Center functions, and to deny these people access to the software prior to general public availability goes against what have long been Microsoft principles in offering release software to developers and OEM's prior to the official public release. While it seems the 'final' answer on this is to wait until October 26th, I hope that MS will rethink their position on this.

    Microsoft has always had the power to shape the future of computer usage with how they present features, and while telemetry may show some things, what it doesn't show is what people want to use but don't for one reason or another. I think Media Center is one of these features. There are a lot of features within Windows that many people are completely unaware of, or if they do know of them they have little understanding of the capabilities of the features - Media Center is a prime example.

    I have always been an advocate for Microsoft Software, and have pushed the release of Vista and Windows 7 to both business and home users. Demonstration with seeing is believing in terms of features has always had the greatest effect and I am currently using a new Lenovo 27" HD touchscreen to demonstrate the awesome features of Window 8. Of course the system I have included a TV tuner, but I can't use it without the use of third party software in demonstrations  - that really hurts Steve! I want to showcase ALL of the features of Windows, and be able to develop solutions and provide support for Windows 8 from day 1. So please see if there is a way and mechanism that will work to release the full Windows 8 to developers and IT professionals prior to the public release.

    To the Media Center Team - keep pushing, the work you have done is appreciated and as you can see from this thread and others, there is certainly passion behind what you work so hard at!

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:13 PM
  • Steven,

    I've never posted here before, and I appreciate that you took time to reply.  I must add something from my perspective with regard to the marketing of Media Center.

    Back when XP Media Center Edition came out, I heard that it existed... but nothing ever told me what it could do for me.  I never saw or heard anything that said, "DVR".  And... at that time, I was getting into HD... and there were no good HD options for a PC at that time.

    When Vista came out, I read about OEM PC's that had a CableCARD tuner, but the pricing was way out of line.  And I never saw anything that mentioned Windows Media Center being the engine behind it.  I assumed that some other software would control the DVR functionality... and it was limited to one measly tuner, unless I spent another exorbitant sum of money for a second one!

    When Windows 7 came out with Media Center built-in and the ability for an individual to add a CableCARD tuner, I saw absolutely NO marketing from Microsoft about  it.

    I actually learned about Windows Media Center from my cable company, believe it or not.  They directed me toward Ceton, and Ceton's website explained Media Center in a way that made it sound like something I would like to use.

    Basically, your marketing has consisted of telling people that Media Center is included, but it never tells people what Media Center can do.  If Microsoft would advertise what Media Center can DO, then maybe John Q. Public will take notice.



    Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:23 PM
  • According to this page: http://www.windows8core.com/how-to-get-and-install-windows-media-center-in-windows-8-pro-rtm/

    Which someone posted above they have this written at the bottom:

    Update:

    The servers for Windows 8 Media Center have been taken and they aren’t expected to be made online until the launch of Windows 8 on October 26. So, its not possible to get the Media Center Pack right now. But, if you have the keys then, the Media Center can be activated in Windows 8 RTM using the above method.

    This is really bad as we need this to run WHQL on a Graphics Adapter.

    JB

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012 8:58 PM
  • According to this page: http://www.windows8core.com/how-to-get-and-install-windows-media-center-in-windows-8-pro-rtm/

    Which someone posted above they have this written at the bottom:

    Update:

    The servers for Windows 8 Media Center have been taken and they aren’t expected to be made online until the launch of Windows 8 on October 26. So, its not possible to get the Media Center Pack right now. But, if you have the keys then, the Media Center can be activated in Windows 8 RTM using the above method.

    This is really bad as we need this to run WHQL on a Graphics Adapter.

    JB


    How do we need Windows Media Center to run WHQL on a Graphics Adapter?
    Thursday, August 30, 2012 1:46 AM
  • These tests require a sku of media center to run:

    DXVA Video Decode - MPEG2
    DXVA Video Decode - MPEG2 Fuzz
    DXVA Video Decode - MPEG2 MultiInstance
    DXVA Video Decode - MPEG2 Quality
    DXVA Video Decode - MPEG2 Stress

    They will fail on a display adapter submission where media center is not installed with incorrect SKU.

    I am simply trying to certify a video card under windows 8 and have never needed media center in the past for all other operating system submissions.

    Thursday, August 30, 2012 5:11 PM
  • These tests require a sku of media center to run:

    DXVA Video Decode - MPEG2
    DXVA Video Decode - MPEG2 Fuzz
    DXVA Video Decode - MPEG2 MultiInstance
    DXVA Video Decode - MPEG2 Quality
    DXVA Video Decode - MPEG2 Stress

    They will fail on a display adapter submission where media center is not installed with incorrect SKU.

    I am simply trying to certify a video card under windows 8 and have never needed media center in the past for all other operating system submissions.

    That seems to be a valid argument to speed up the process to make MC available to professionnals...


    Friday, August 31, 2012 7:18 AM
  • In keeping with the prevailing theme, this is the email that I had sent to Microsoft (tsubserv@microsoft.com).  I hope that they understand that their decision will affect their bottom line and even though we get benefit from being early testers, we in turn benefit their bottom line by being on the front lines advocating their products.

    Good morning from Texas,
    
    I have been a TechNet subscriber for nearly two years and loyal customer since Windows 3.1 and this is the first time that I ran into a serious problem that will affect support I provide for my clients and friends. 
    
    When upgrading from Windows 7 Ultimate or Pro to Windows 8 Pro, the process removes the media center functionality.  Without getting the MCE functionality soon, it will be impossible to adequately test Windows 8 before the public release date of October 26th 2012.  Without substantial testing I cannot in good conscious recommend to my clients and friends that they purchase Windows 8 OS or any Windows 8 hardware, i.e. Surface.
    
    It was my understanding that MCE wasn't going to change much if any so why is it missing?  Will there be a work around that would permit me to test in advance of the October release date? I am a longtime advocate but without MCE support I probably won't be able to deploy a Windows 8 solution to my clients or friends until after the Holiday buying period and if I received a key yesterday it would still be pushing it to support a October release date.  If I receive it in October then prior commitments will prohibit me from testing until after the US holiday season.
    
    Any assistance or advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
    
    Regards,
    
    Steve, Loyal Customer and Tester

    Saturday, September 01, 2012 4:19 PM
  • Try the following product code:

    MBFBV-W3DP2-2MVKN-PJCQD-KKTF7

    It worked for me

    Sunday, September 02, 2012 12:03 AM
  • Try the following product code:

    MBFBV-W3DP2-2MVKN-PJCQD-KKTF7

    It worked for me

    it works only on RP build...
    Sunday, September 02, 2012 12:24 AM
  • A friend of mine was able to upgrade his Windows 7 Ultimate x64 to Windows 8 Pro RTM x64 and his Media Center did not disappear, anyone know how could this be?
    Sunday, September 02, 2012 6:53 PM
  • A friend of mine was able to upgrade his Windows 7 Ultimate x64 to Windows 8 Pro RTM x64 and his Media Center did not disappear, anyone know how could this be?

    Did he or she use the upgrade option or the fresh install? if so, can it be run?  I will test using Win7 Pro SP1 x64 to Win8 Pro RTM x64 and come back with the result.


    Sunday, September 02, 2012 9:28 PM
  • I look forward to the result of your test, although I would be going over Win7 Pro 32bit with Win8 Pro 64bit, hopefully that works... 
    Sunday, September 02, 2012 11:25 PM
  • I look forward to the result of your test, although I would be going over Win7 Pro 32bit with Win8 Pro 64bit, hopefully that works... 

    It didn't work.  I have the files from Windows Media center in \Windows.old\Windows\ehome\ but I got nothing.  I moved the files into \Windows\ehome but it did not work.  Maybe I should have backed up the registry that  might have allows it to run.
    Sunday, September 02, 2012 11:52 PM
  • A friend of mine was able to upgrade his Windows 7 Ultimate x64 to Windows 8 Pro RTM x64 and his Media Center did not disappear, anyone know how could this be?

    Did he or she use the upgrade option or the fresh install? if so, can it be run?  I will test using Win7 Pro SP1 x64 to Win8 Pro RTM x64 and come back with the result.


    He selected the upgrade option and yes it is working just like it was originally configured in its W7 incarnation, i.e. TV, DVD player, Picture/Music/Video Library.  This is making me sick. :(
    Sunday, September 02, 2012 11:58 PM
  • I look forward to the result of your test, although I would be going over Win7 Pro 32bit with Win8 Pro 64bit, hopefully that works... 


    It didn't work.  I have the files from Windows Media center in \Windows.old\Windows\ehome\ but I got nothing.  I moved the files into \Windows\ehome but it did not work.  Maybe I should have backed up the registry that  might have allows it to run.

    dang....thanks for the effort.

    So far I have tried the following:

    Deployed W7 Ultimate N with Media Pack image from WHS 2011, upgraded to W8 Pro (tech net license), MCE disappeared.

    Deployed W7 Pro image from WHS 2011, upgraded to W8 Pro (MSDNAA license), MCE disappeared.

    I am stumped until I hear from Microsoft I will remain in a holding pattern and recommend to my clients to stay with W7.

    • Edited by Big Steve P Monday, September 03, 2012 12:06 AM
    Monday, September 03, 2012 12:00 AM
  • I look forward to the result of your test, although I would be going over Win7 Pro 32bit with Win8 Pro 64bit, hopefully that works... 


    It didn't work.  I have the files from Windows Media center in \Windows.old\Windows\ehome\ but I got nothing.  I moved the files into \Windows\ehome but it did not work.  Maybe I should have backed up the registry that  might have allows it to run.

    dang....thanks for the effort.

    Did he use the setup.exe from the source of the Install files, or did he use the sources\setup.exe upbgrade?
    Monday, September 03, 2012 12:08 AM
  •  IgShnartRevengeOfTheImbleFly said:

    I look forward to the result of your test, although I would be going over Win7 Pro 32bit with Win8 Pro 64bit, hopefully that works... 

    The "upgrade" path is only allowed from an x86 version to an x86 version or from an x64 version to x64 version.  Upgrading from x86 to x64 is not allowed, a fresh install is required in that case.


    Monday, September 03, 2012 12:11 AM
  • The "upgrade" path is only allowed from an x86 version to an x86 version or from an x64 version to x64 version.  Upgrading from x86 to x64 is not allowed, a fresh install is required in that case.

    Who were you addressing this to?  If it is me, I wasn't referring to architectures.
    Monday, September 03, 2012 12:16 AM
  • OK, I got a key which allowed me to load MCE (working very nicely), but now I get a nag screen to use a new key for Windows 8 Pro ... none of the TechNet Keys work ...

    So how can I get rid of the nag screen .... why make it so complicated ...

    Cheers

    Sepp


    Thanks Sepp

    Monday, September 03, 2012 3:01 AM
  • The "upgrade" path is only allowed from an x86 version to an x86 version or from an x64 version to x64 version.  Upgrading from x86 to x64 is not allowed, a fresh install is required in that case.


    Who were you addressing this to?  If it is me, I wasn't referring to architectures.

    Sorry, I thought you were referring this to me.
    Monday, September 03, 2012 3:34 AM
  • I've had to go back to Windows 7 Pro on two PCs and I think I'm probably staying.  One of the two machines was a Dell laptop and I kept getting trapped in he Metro UI and the default photo viewer kept slamming me back into Metro.  Then I realized that in order to stay out of Metro I would have to set all default file associations to non-Metro apps. 

    At that point it seemed pointless to remain in W8 as I would be faking the W7 environment as best I could anyway.  Several friends mentioned that filecopy operations had been solidified and taskman.exe is better, but that's a bit of a stretch just to run a new OS.

    Ran W8 from August 16th to now.  The kids loved the W8 Rovio apps, so I have taken to showing them how to achieve that functionality by running Bluestacks under W7--this gives you full Android emulation under the W7 UI.  WMC7 is back and I couldn't be happier.  In W8 the gestures and swipes and laying the mouse cursor here or there never became comfortable for me when using either a mouse or the touchpad.  It will probably work great on the surface tablet when that device hits the street.

    A Windows 7 reload still relegated Windows 8 into the Windows.old folder and the NTFS versions seem fully compatible...AS I DID NOT reformat because I had 600GB of live data.  It was a fun experiment even though it only lasted two weeks or so.

    Monday, September 03, 2012 4:41 AM
  • Not sure if any executive in MSFT uses Windows MCE.  I started using XP MCE since 2003.  It is sad that very little improvement has happened since then.  It seems like another case similar to Windows phone where MSFT is way ahead of everyone else and then stops further investment and innovation until some one else just walks in with a better product and take over the segment.  Any executives in MSFT using Windows MCE?  If there is, I don't think MSFT would treat MCE as an after-thought but a central to their home computing strategy.  With PC form factor becoming smaller than game consoles, it would incredibly stupid for MSFT giving up this segment away to Apple and Google and then invest heavily to gain it back, as is the case for Windows phone.  Wake up Microsoft!  We are pulling for you but you seems to be making same mistakes over and over again ... Sigh ....
    Monday, September 03, 2012 4:53 AM
  • I look forward to the result of your test, although I would be going over Win7 Pro 32bit with Win8 Pro 64bit, hopefully that works... 


    It didn't work.  I have the files from Windows Media center in \Windows.old\Windows\ehome\ but I got nothing.  I moved the files into \Windows\ehome but it did not work.  Maybe I should have backed up the registry that  might have allows it to run.

    dang....thanks for the effort.


    Did he use the setup.exe from the source of the Install files, or did he use the sources\setup.exe upbgrade?
    I am not sure, I suppose that he used whatever method that installs via autoplaying the burned ISO.
    Monday, September 03, 2012 12:57 PM
  • OK, I got a key which allowed me to load MCE (working very nicely), but now I get a nag screen to use a new key for Windows 8 Pro ... none of the TechNet Keys work ...

    So how can I get rid of the nag screen .... why make it so complicated ...

    Cheers

    Sepp


    Thanks Sepp


    In the future, please read the ENTIRE thread before posting your question as this has been addressed in this thread...  several times.
    Monday, September 03, 2012 1:59 PM
  • I look forward to the result of your test, although I would be going over Win7 Pro 32bit with Win8 Pro 64bit, hopefully that works... 


    It didn't work.  I have the files from Windows Media center in \Windows.old\Windows\ehome\ but I got nothing.  I moved the files into \Windows\ehome but it did not work.  Maybe I should have backed up the registry that  might have allows it to run.

    dang....thanks for the effort.


    Did he use the setup.exe from the source of the Install files, or did he use the sources\setup.exe upbgrade?

    I am not sure, I suppose that he used whatever method that installs via autoplaying the burned ISO.

    I also used that method.  I think he ran an experiment by backing up certain registry keys that run Windows Media Center prior to install, and after the install, he migrated from Windows.old to Windows 8 and merged the registry keys.  I plan to test it out to see if that works.
    Monday, September 03, 2012 4:34 PM
  • Thanks, that's what I suspected, I'm just using the awful WinTV application with it's glorious out of sync subtitles and fiddly program guide until WMC comes online..
    Monday, September 03, 2012 6:43 PM
  • He was addressing me I beleive
    Monday, September 03, 2012 6:44 PM
  • If anybody wants to play dvds, might I suggest XBMC? it's free and you can configure (or hack) it to play Blue ray Discs.  The website is http://www.xbmc.org
    Monday, September 03, 2012 8:24 PM
  • If anybody wants to play dvds, might I suggest XBMC? it's free and you can configure (or hack) it to play Blue ray Discs.  The website is http://www.xbmc.org

    Unfortunately, WMC is the only solution that supports CableCard, which is required for access to pay channels like HBO.
    Tuesday, September 04, 2012 6:05 AM
  • If anybody wants to play dvds, might I suggest XBMC? it's free and you can configure (or hack) it to play Blue ray Discs.  The website is http://www.xbmc.org


    Unfortunately, WMC is the only solution that supports CableCard, which is required for access to pay channels like HBO.

    Can't you just watch HBO online?
    Tuesday, September 04, 2012 3:04 PM
  • If anybody wants to play dvds, might I suggest XBMC? it's free and you can configure (or hack) it to play Blue ray Discs.  The website is http://www.xbmc.org


    Unfortunately, WMC is the only solution that supports CableCard, which is required for access to pay channels like HBO.

    Actually XBMC is in the process of developing PVR support and luckily DVB Logic (a plug-in/card reader facilitator) are also working on support for that, so you could (with beta test versions) perhaps get it working with your cable encrypted channels:

    http://www.dvblogic.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=61&t=19703

    You just need a USB smart card reader compatible with the various plug-ins that will read it, e.g. OSCAM. That means something like an Infinity USB Smart from WB Electronics (cheap and used by a lot of people / working configuration examples):

    http://www.infinityusb.com/default.asp?show=productsdetail&ProductID=12

    The rest is done by TV Source and the XBMC plug-in I guess (I didn't use it yet).

    I may end up using that too, depending on what happens with WMC. One other benefit is XBMC are also the people who make the HDMI-CEC USB adapter, so you can use one remote control for your TV, PC and amp. They promised an Event Ghost plug-in (to enable it to work with WMC and Media Portal) but that has not materialized yet, was thinking of writing that myself but with WMC's unsure future I won't waste my time on it yet.


    Key Artefacts


    • Edited by Code Chief Tuesday, September 04, 2012 6:42 PM
    Tuesday, September 04, 2012 6:40 PM
  • If anybody wants to play dvds, might I suggest XBMC? it's free and you can configure (or hack) it to play Blue ray Discs.  The website is http://www.xbmc.org


    Unfortunately, WMC is the only solution that supports CableCard, which is required for access to pay channels like HBO.

    Actually XBMC is in the process of developing PVR support and luckily DVB Logic (a plug-in/card reader facilitator) are also working on support for that, so you could (with beta test versions) perhaps get it working with your cable encrypted channels:

    http://www.dvblogic.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=61&t=19703

    You just need a USB smart card reader compatible with the various plug-ins that will read it, e.g. OSCAM. That means something like an Infinity USB Smart from WB Electronics (cheap and used by a lot of people / working configuration examples):

    http://www.infinityusb.com/default.asp?show=productsdetail&ProductID=12

    The rest is done by TV Source and the XBMC plug-in I guess (I didn't use it yet).

    I may end up using that too, depending on what happens with WMC. One other benefit is XBMC are also the people who make the HDMI-CEC USB adapter, so you can use one remote control for your TV, PC and amp. They promised an Event Ghost plug-in (to enable it to work with WMC and Media Portal) but that has not materialized yet, was thinking of writing that myself but with WMC's unsure future I won't waste my time on it yet.


    Key Artefacts


    That's great, but the only product supporting MC Extender is... MC :)
    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 8:14 AM


  • I'm going to have to call you a liar on this.  The key you provided is just a default key and can't be used to activate this edition of Windows, as saith the Windows Activation Dialog.

    That's fine. Honestly you can call me whatever you want to, but for one I never once stated that the key would activate windows. I said the key would work to install windows media center which it does! If you have activated with the correct program you also will not have any nag screens to activate windows. All good though, My windows operates flawlessly and so does media center, and also I can personalize anything that I want. Sometimes it's better to be thought a fool, than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt. Case in point.

    Windows 8 Pro RTM 9200 with Media Center

    Fully Activated

    Passes Microsoft's Genuine Test

    No Blue Screens, No Issues, And Fully Personable.

    Sorry for your bad luck. Make a post and got kicked in the teeth, figure it out on your own. 

    Thursday, September 06, 2012 9:07 PM
  • Hey it works for me too! Great.

    EDIT: 1 hour later... damn waste of time!!!

    Now it's stuck with the Media Center installed but an invalid "Pro with Media Center" core OS product key... FAIL :-(

    @chaespapa how did you get this key and why are you sharing it with us. It's clearly your own personal key. Hopefully MS don't ban it for you now.

    Anyway good for you. But same old situation for the rest of us. Kind of rubs salt into the wound knowing SOME of us did get keys for the RTM. I doubt there will be another "unlock all" Media Center key as there was with the Release Preview.

    Addendum: Also I think it's a bug that the "Add features to Windows" wizard tells you "Your key works" before adding Media Center, then once you are stuck with it tells you it's invalid.


    Thursday, September 06, 2012 9:38 PM
  • Hey it works for me too! Great.

    I agree with chaespapa, if it doesn't work then it must be something to do with your subscription. My Windows 8 Pro license key was received via a "typical developer" MSDN with Visual Studio subscription, although at the "premium" level.

    But I really wonder, if this key exists and works for all subscribers at certain level, why MS didn't just email it to us in advance. Hopefully this won't be cancelled now or go inactive after too many activations :-/ Would be good to hear an "okay you can use that" from somebody at MS or an MVP in the know. Anyone?


    Key Artefacts

    Have you checked in Control Panel, System to see if your system is still activated?  After applying this my system went from "Windows is Activated" to "Windows isn't activated.  The product key didn't work.  Try a different key, or buy a new one."   This is after installing the key as you did above and getting the "Your key works" message when entering the key above.   

    Thursday, September 06, 2012 11:22 PM
  • Hey it works for me too! Great.

    I agree with chaespapa, if it doesn't work then it must be something to do with your subscription. My Windows 8 Pro license key was received via a "typical developer" MSDN with Visual Studio subscription, although at the "premium" level.

    But I really wonder, if this key exists and works for all subscribers at certain level, why MS didn't just email it to us in advance. Hopefully this won't be cancelled now or go inactive after too many activations :-/ Would be good to hear an "okay you can use that" from somebody at MS or an MVP in the know. Anyone?


    Key Artefacts

    Have you checked in Control Panel, System to see if your system is still activated?  After applying this my system went from "Windows is Activated" to "Windows isn't activated.  The product key didn't work.  Try a different key, or buy a new one."   This is after installing the key as you did above and getting the "Your key works" message when entering the key above.   

    Indeed, because the was a default key used to install Windows Media Center, but it can't be used to activate it.
    Thursday, September 06, 2012 11:33 PM
  • Indeed, because the was a default key used to install Windows Media Center, but it can't be used to activate it.

    Thanks for the clarification. Wasn't aware such keys exist. Guess it's for system builders (preload) or device driver tests then.

    EDIT: Actually it says blocked.

    Whatever, it doesn't work for normal use.


    • Edited by Code Chief Friday, September 07, 2012 12:58 AM
    Thursday, September 06, 2012 11:58 PM
  • Indeed, because the was a default key used to install Windows Media Center, but it can't be used to activate it.

    Thanks for the clarification. Wasn't aware such keys exist. Guess it's for system builders (preload) or device driver tests then.

    EDIT: Actually it says blocked.

    Whatever, it doesn't work for normal use.


    True, but when you go to put the key in, probably not seeing it was blocked because you didn't click the arrow before doing so, it says it is a default key after you to put it in and click the next button.

    Friday, September 07, 2012 1:47 AM
  • Any new news?
    Saturday, September 08, 2012 7:35 PM
  • Any new news?

    I can tell you what not to do.  :)

    After reading most of the entries online, I've been keeping up with email.  I should point out the email messages do not include the screen captures.  As a result, I didn't appreciate the problems associated with loading Win 8 Pro and then using the provided product key.  Yes, Win 8 Pro and WMC work fine together ... until you reboot.  At that time, you're informed of an activation conflict.  After Windows locks up on lack of activation, you have no choice but to reinstall Win 8 Pro (or Enterprise) ... without WMC.

    Saturday, September 08, 2012 8:18 PM
  • After Windows locks up on lack of activation, you have no choice but to reinstall Win 8 Pro (or Enterprise) ... without WMC.

    I wish you had posted this earlier. I used the WMC product key listed on this website as well and was successful in getting WMC installed but now I get the activation required nag screen. I didn't reboot my computer yet so I'm not locked out and can still use WMC. However, I want to do this the right way and tried using a license key provided with my MSDN account but it won't accept it. I guess I need to re-install too but for what it's worth, it was nice to see WMC in Windows 8:

    Sunday, September 09, 2012 12:06 AM
  • Would it not have been possible to release the following apps for Windows 8... instead of a full fledged Media Centre?:

    1) Live TV

    2) Recorded TV

    3) EPG (Centralised & Powered by Sky Drive)

    The rest of the apps and functionality will already be included in Windows 8 (Xbox Music/Videos/Netflix/Youtube/Vimeo/etc)

    Sunday, September 09, 2012 12:55 AM
  • After Windows locks up on lack of activation, you have no choice but to reinstall Win 8 Pro (or Enterprise) ... without WMC.

    I wish you had posted this earlier. I used the WMC product key listed on this website as well and was successful in getting WMC installed but now I get the activation required nag screen. I didn't reboot my computer yet so I'm not locked out and can still use WMC. However, I want to do this the right way and tried using a license key provided with my MSDN account but it won't accept it. I guess I need to re-install too but for what it's worth, it was nice to see WMC in Windows 8:

    Take a look here if you are stuck with MCE and want to go back to (PRO):  http://www.tech-stew.com/post/2012/09/07/How-to-downgrade-from-Windows-8-MCE-to-Windows-8-Pro.aspx

    I was able to do some experimentation and have succeeded at reversing the process fairly painlessly.  At first it seemed the only option was to wipe the whole drive and start clean, but not the case at least going back to Pro.



    Tech, the Universe, Everything: http://tech-stew.com


    • Edited by techfun89 Sunday, September 09, 2012 5:17 AM
    Sunday, September 09, 2012 5:16 AM
  • Here's something which does work for normal use, RTM'ed and fully supported...

    http://dvblogic.com/NewsN/63

    XMBC with TV Source (and any CAM card readers you need) are now released!

    Remember also, that XBMC also pioneered common HDMI-CEC support for PCs. So no external tools required for all-in-one HTPC with one remote!

    Have to test this, maybe some bugs in the first version but looks much more promising than the WMC story :-/

    By the way, didn't XBMC also have a solution for XBOX extenders, wasn't that the reason it was called XBOX Media Center in the first place?

    Now I'm open to a whole load of other solutions. XBMC runs on anything Windows, including servers I guess. So that means I could have a 2012 RTM with direct TV support via XBMC AND also run some Hyper-V VMs with full RemoteFX graphics hardware support (only available in 2012 Server Hyper-V not in Windows 8 Pro Hyper-V) for another Windows 7 (or 8 but that doesn't matter anymore - it's the "same old same old") with Media Center and TV Source (it can share the cards you see, that is what TV source does - virutalize the TV card drivers and share them).

    For me, this is my final solution (if it works). I am not interested in WMC anymore. Maybe I develop some store app replacement components, but it's not on my top of things to do if XBMC PVR is anywhere as good as Team Media Portal.

    Here is the current ranking from my perspective:

    1) XBMC - actively developing with specific state-of-the-art hardware support.

    2) Team Media Portal - slowly developing (seem to have resource problems), current version a bit unstable and future looks like it will never be released. But still worth watching.

    3) WMC - Dead in the water, but as long as MS still produce it (same old) then it will just do what it did before (and nothing else, so needs tons of hours of customization, e.g. to get proper EPG, etc...). Don't waste too much time on this. See what the XBOX 720 and/or next year's 360 dashboard updates bring.


    Key Artefacts

    Sunday, September 09, 2012 2:21 PM
  • XBMC is brilliant for Movies... but IMO, Windows Media Centre is leagues ahead as a PVR/DVR - Which is why it would've been great is Microsoft released seperate LiveTV/RecordedTV/EPG Apps.

    Rumours have it that the new Xbox 720 will be using the same kernel as Windows Phone/Windows Phone 8/Windows RT...If MS were to have produced the separate apps, then they would have been available on all the platforms and especially on the TV... where it matters.

    Sunday, September 09, 2012 11:15 PM
  • XBMC is brilliant for Movies... but IMO, Windows Media Centre is leagues ahead as a PVR/DVR - Which is why it would've been great is Microsoft released seperate LiveTV/RecordedTV/EPG Apps.

    Rumours have it that the new Xbox 720 will be using the same kernel as Windows Phone/Windows Phone 8/Windows RT...If MS were to have produced the separate apps, then they would have been available on all the platforms and especially on the TV... where it matters.

    I agree there are many comparable media options for the windows environment but nothing is even close to windows 7 and hopefully windows 8 live tv functionality.
    Monday, September 10, 2012 3:13 AM
  • nothing is even close to windows 7 and hopefully windows 8 live tv functionality.

    I'm a Windows fan and WANT to use WMC but the sad news is you will see absolutely NOTHING NEW in Windows Media Center 8. It's just a quick recompile of the old one.

    It appears the only major re-work on the code base was to upgrade from DirectShow to Media Foundation in Windows 7. But even that didn't bring any major new visible features (just works the same way - shows video, but via a different framework) except internet TV which was useless if you live in another country (geo-fenced).

    On that point, if MS were serious about TV boxes we would have seen news like them doing what Apple did with ISPs to achieve flat-rate internet as a "norm" which was key to the birth of the iPhone. MS could have used their muscle against content providers/movie firms in the same way to end geo-fencing "DVD region cartels" and lobby for standard EPG publishing rights.

    The EPG Guide in WMC8 is as bad as it was in Windows XP, at least for European users it is 100% clear it doesn't work or is rubbish. Just search on forums about EPG and WMC and guess how many 1000s of hours people waste trying to get it working the way it should with Windows. We must be crazy to continue with this effort when the manufacturer clearly isn't bothered.

    If it couldn't get any worse, it is... Windows Media Center 8 has LESS FUNCTIONALITY than WMC in Windows 7! Now, you can't even have it auto-start at logon. They have removed that option from the general settings because it didn't work since they switched from a desktop to Metro start screen. And nobody out of the 1000s of programmers at MS was paid to program a replacement auto-start feature!

    Kind of puts the whole TV solution in the bin if you can't switch it on and have it boot quickly to the main (TV) menu.

    With the history and feature set in mind, it seems the best version of WMC with the most capability is surprisingly that in the ill faited Windows Vista OS version. It still used DirectShow which had tons of available extensions for subtitle and ad removal post-processing (which is what PEOPLE want but broadcasters don't) and hasn't had any essential features chopped.

    I know "Internet TV" was a new feature in recent Media Centers, but it didn't amount to much anyway because it was replaced by providers own direct streaming web sites or apps. I see no parts of WMC which have a future, except the media and DirectX APIs and the general idea. Maybe that is why MS gave up on it.

    However this could also be a mistake, like Creative Labs not really bothering after poor "MP3 Player" sales. TV is in every home and what you switch on when you get home or want to be entertained. Not a games console.

    With the amount of time wasted on WMC and desperate searches for other "cool" HTPC solutions, I would pay 100 maybe 200 euro for a real fully supported all-in always up-to-date TV solution. This money would be saved 100s of times over in the time and family happiness sacrificed messing about with faulty software, lack of EPG and lost TV recordings.

    By the way, yes XBMC is not currently "known" as a live TV and PVR solution. But that is new, and was the point of the solution with TV Source... it opens up an entire new product which is already established as a great media library presenter, now as a great TV center too.

    I still have to try that but if it is anything like Meda Portal when it works, it was much better overall than WMC. I think it is not true to say nothing touches WMC, only when comparing reliability. Sometimes you have to take a step back and check your favourite solution. In this case WMC; sadly for many years now falling then just way behind.

    If MS still read this forum, please ask yourselves, how many developers are actively working on WMC and how many features are being produced? Then what happened in the last 5-10 years? Was it all a big party or did you just sack everyone (because they didn't produce anything tangible)? The users are bewildered but strangely still loyal (for a while).

    I'd jump on the top of new WMC development if a new SDK was published (with new features not just the old cr8p) and there was a clear message from MS that there was some kind of coordinated future here with muscle behind it.


    Key Artefacts

    Monday, September 10, 2012 5:10 PM
  • nothing is even close to windows 7 and hopefully windows 8 live tv functionality.

    I'm a Windows fan and WANT to use WMC but the sad news is you will see absolutely NOTHING NEW in Windows Media Center 8. It's just a quick recompile of the old one.

    It appears the only major re-work on the code base was to upgrade from DirectShow to Media Foundation in Windows 7. But even that didn't bring any major new visible features (just works the same way - shows video, but via a different framework) except internet TV which was useless if you live in another country (geo-fenced).

    On that point, if MS were serious about TV boxes we would have seen news like them doing what Apple did with ISPs to achieve flat-rate internet as a "norm" which was key to the birth of the iPhone. MS could have used their muscle against content providers/movie firms in the same way to end geo-fencing "DVD region cartels" and lobby for standard EPG publishing rights.

    The EPG Guide in WMC8 is as bad as it was in Windows XP, at least for European users it is 100% clear it doesn't work or is rubbish. Just search on forums about EPG and WMC and guess how many 1000s of hours people waste trying to get it working the way it should with Windows. We must be crazy to continue with this effort when the manufacturer clearly isn't bothered.

    If it couldn't get any worse, it is... Windows Media Center 8 has LESS FUNCTIONALITY than WMC in Windows 7! Now, you can't even have it auto-start at logon. They have removed that option from the general settings because it didn't work since they switched from a desktop to Metro start screen. And nobody out of the 1000s of programmers at MS was paid to program a replacement auto-start feature!

    Kind of puts the whole TV solution in the bin if you can't switch it on and have it boot quickly to the main (TV) menu.

    With the history and feature set in mind, it seems the best version of WMC with the most capability is surprisingly that in the ill faited Windows Vista OS version. It still used DirectShow which had tons of available extensions for subtitle and ad removal post-processing (which is what PEOPLE want but broadcasters don't) and hasn't had any essential features chopped.

    I know "Internet TV" was a new feature in recent Media Centers, but it didn't amount to much anyway because it was replaced by providers own direct streaming web sites or apps. I see no parts of WMC which have a future, except the media and DirectX APIs and the general idea. Maybe that is why MS gave up on it.

    However this could also be a mistake, like Creative Labs not really bothering after poor "MP3 Player" sales. TV is in every home and what you switch on when you get home or want to be entertained. Not a games console.

    With the amount of time wasted on WMC and desperate searches for other "cool" HTPC solutions, I would pay 100 maybe 200 euro for a real fully supported all-in always up-to-date TV solution. This money would be saved 100s of times over in the time and family happiness sacrificed messing about with faulty software, lack of EPG and lost TV recordings.

    By the way, yes XBMC is not currently "known" as a live TV and PVR solution. But that is new, and was the point of the solution with TV Source... it opens up an entire new product which is already established as a great media library presenter, now as a great TV center too.

    I still have to try that but if it is anything like Meda Portal when it works, it was much better overall than WMC. I think it is not true to say nothing touches WMC, only when comparing reliability. Sometimes you have to take a step back and check your favourite solution. In this case WMC; sadly for many years now falling then just way behind.

    If MS still read this forum, please ask yourselves, how many developers are actively working on WMC and how many features are being produced? Then what happened in the last 5-10 years? Was it all a big party or did you just sack everyone (because they didn't produce anything tangible)? The users are bewildered but strangely still loyal (for a while).

    I'd jump on the top of new WMC development if a new SDK was published (with new features not just the old cr8p) and there was a clear message from MS that there was some kind of coordinated future here with muscle behind it.


    Key Artefacts

    I am in the USA and I repeat there isn't anything that is close to WMC live TV.  Does media portal or XBMC have a cable card solution?  What about a extender option?  You said a lot without saying a lot.  I have 6 pcs and 3 xboxes and WMC live tv works flawlessly.  Can you provide a similar example?


    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 3:00 PM
  • I am in the USA and I repeat there isn't anything that is close to WMC live TV.  Does media portal or XBMC have a cable card solution?  What about a extender option?  You said a lot without saying a lot.  I have 6 pcs and 3 xboxes and WMC live tv works flawlessly.  Can you provide a similar example?

    That sounds like a cool setup. As I said I want to use WMC. The only negative point is the lack of development. Good for you if you have no problems. But many do, e.g. satellite TV in Europe.

    By the way CAM support is the same if your TV card has a BDA driver (and it should do). And better if your TV card doesn't natively support MDAPI (which many don't). Software CAMs are just cheaper and more flexible. You don't have to use them if you already paid for CAM hardware.

    On a positive side, HDMI-CEC support is coming for WMC... I'm beta testing a new driver from Pulse Eight right now which looks promising.


    Key Artefacts

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 5:25 PM
  • I am in the USA and I repeat there isn't anything that is close to WMC live TV.  Does media portal or XBMC have a cable card solution?  What about a extender option?  You said a lot without saying a lot.  I have 6 pcs and 3 xboxes and WMC live tv works flawlessly.  Can you provide a similar example?

    That sounds like a cool setup. As I said I want to use WMC. The only negative point is the lack of development. Good for you if you have no problems. But many do, e.g. satellite TV in Europe.

    By the way CAM support is the same if your TV card has a BDA driver (and it should do). And better if your TV card doesn't natively support MDAPI (which many don't). Software CAMs are just cheaper and more flexible. You don't have to use them if you already paid for CAM hardware.

    On a positive side, HDMI-CEC support is coming for WMC... I'm beta testing a new driver from Pulse Eight right now which looks promising.


    Key Artefacts

    I feel your pain regarding Sat support that is why I gave up on my dreambox.  Great news regarding HDMI-CEC support, thanks for the information!
    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 8:45 PM
  • What would happen if you took the ehome folder (where WMC lives) from a Windows 7 machine and installed all the registry settings from the same machine pertaining to WMC on a Windows 8 RTM machine.

    Better still.......what if you did the same thing but instead did that from a Windows 8 Consumer Preview machine to a Windows 8 RTM machine.

    Just wondering.......

    OK so I wouldn't like to do that but I am guessing it won't be long before someone does and it shouldn;t be too difficult.

    HP MediaSmart Live TV and MediaPortal work on Windows 8 Enterprise I've been told as alternatives.

    I can fully understand why people are annoyed although. I really can't blame them for that either.

    Who should we blame?

    Anyway was just wondering.......

    • Edited by secondsight Thursday, September 13, 2012 11:06 PM
    Thursday, September 13, 2012 10:59 PM
  • Can some one install this key then remove media center then try to reactivate with your original key. If this works then I think we could all use media center with the public key, till we get our free key in OCT.
    Friday, September 14, 2012 12:15 AM
  • Can some one install this key then remove media center then try to reactivate with your original key. If this works then I think we could all use media center with the public key, till we get our free key in OCT.

    Yeah, I was able to do so, at least going back to pro.. did so on many test machines...

     http://www.tech-stew.com/post/2012/09/07/How-to-downgrade-from-Windows-8-MCE-to-Windows-8-Pro.aspx




    Tech, the Universe, Everything: http://tech-stew.com

    Friday, September 14, 2012 4:31 AM
  • I tried to just remove media center but widows still had the OS Version with MC so that didn't work im sure the reg key would.

    But Im pretty sure if you can put up with some nag screens till you get your own key you could use the key listed and just change it later and all would be well, So no more waiting

    Friday, September 14, 2012 7:15 PM
  • I tried to just remove media center but widows still had the OS Version with MC so that didn't work im sure the reg key would.

    But Im pretty sure if you can put up with some nag screens till you get your own key you could use the key listed and just change it later and all would be well, So no more waiting

    Same outcome here.  This is really frustrating. :(  Microsoft makes it really difficult to be a loyal customer.  Apple would not have had nearly all of the love if Microsoft did not give them the opening.

    I think Windows 8 will be great but being late to the party makes it difficult to gain traction.  I have 12 people that I want to deploy W8 to but I can't until I get this resolved.  I can't grow my business beyond those 12 until I get this resolved.

    Saturday, September 15, 2012 4:49 PM
  • I went Ahead and installed It on my htpc. Just hoping I get a MCE key soon cause im already tired of the activate screen every 12 hours
    Sunday, September 16, 2012 5:59 PM
  • I guess we are all in wait and see mode.
    Sunday, September 23, 2012 6:26 PM
  • I must whole heartily and 'politely' agree that removing WMC from the only trial version available for the average user was the most bum-headed decision ever made by anyone at MS - now the impolite part = whoever made this decision: fire them and their crew - now - each and every one!

    Swan


    • Edited by Swan_NH Wednesday, September 26, 2012 11:38 PM
    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 11:37 PM
  • If you look on the web there are programs that allow you to restore your activation. . If you fear losing your activation, backup your activation. Once you add media center and your machine is once again not activated, you can use this to restore your activation. I have had to to use several times for other reasons and it has worked without fail. Just anFYI as I haven't seen any posts that have mentioned this. You do have to backup it first, so if you are without activation now it won't help as it is not a crack,loader or an activator. It's essentially System Restore for activation.
    Friday, September 28, 2012 10:39 PM
  • If you look on the web there are programs that allow you to restore your activation. . If you fear losing your activation, backup your activation. Once you add media center and your machine is once again not activated, you can use this to restore your activation. I have had to to use several times for other reasons and it has worked without fail. Just anFYI as I haven't seen any posts that have mentioned this. You do have to backup it first, so if you are without activation now it won't help as it is not a crack,loader or an activator. It's essentially System Restore for activation.
    So will this allow you to keep media center after reactivation is restored?  How often will you have to do this?
    Saturday, September 29, 2012 4:37 PM
  • bump
    Monday, October 08, 2012 11:22 PM
  • If you look on the web there are programs that allow you to restore your activation. . If you fear losing your activation, backup your activation. Once you add media center and your machine is once again not activated, you can use this to restore your activation. I have had to to use several times for other reasons and it has worked without fail. Just anFYI as I haven't seen any posts that have mentioned this. You do have to backup it first, so if you are without activation now it won't help as it is not a crack,loader or an activator. It's essentially System Restore for activation.

    So will this allow you to keep media center after reactivation is restored?  How often will you have to do this?

    I'm still running with nag screens. Actually it's not too bad. Already trained the wife how to do it :-) Pops-up about ever 4-12 hours, can't say exactly. Hopefully it doesn't shutdown altogether before I can buy a full key.

    I think the other guy was talking about backup, that you can go back to BEFORE you added the Media Center feature. I think a system/drive image would be more effective and quicker to restore, if you have enough spare disk space. So you don't need a tool for this in my opinion.

    Anyway there are just a few weeks left now, less than the amount of time I have "successfully" been running in "nag screen" mode. So I can guess you could activate the test key today and you will still be running in nag mode at the point when you could buy a full key (October 26th-29th hopefully). I hope I'm not locked out before the release date, maybe I'm already too near the limit. I wanted to refresh my PC anyway so I'm not too bothered right now, just disappointed as the others were.

    Anyway as I said before, why on earth would anyone want to install Windows 8 Media Center after what we know from people who have tried it? It has LESS features, not even auto-start which kills the whole dedicated TV thing. There are absolutely no improvements for media extenders either, so you will see no difference. You will only give yourself a load of hassle trying to get any 3rd party software working with it like before. I'd stay on Windows 7 if I didn't need Hyper-V on the same box.

    The desktop start-up program folder is no more on Windows 8, and MSDN tells developers they should use scheduled tasks. Some registry keys appear to work but only for device drivers installs and special desktop apps (e.g. notification icons). Browsing what little documentation there is in the Windows 7 Dev Center about this gives the impression there is a strict disapproval of any apps trying to auto start, especially metro. So get to know task scheduler you will need it :-)

    From a design standpoint, I can agree with the use of task scheduler to control start-up. it's much more secure and can be controlled by administrative policy in companies. But I after that decision I think it's crazy not simply rewrite (rather than remove) the small piece of code which configures the start-up option in Media Center.

    I only hope MS are still working on Media Center and that's why they didn't give out any RTM keys, so there are no official RTM reviews of Media Center in the press yet. We already heard they are not too interested in it's future. If they don't even make an auto-start update before official release the product will get seriously negative press.


    Key Artefacts

    Monday, October 08, 2012 11:55 PM
  • Media Center Pack for Windows 8 WON'T be available until October 26, then it Will be free until January 31st. So plan accordingly.

    http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/07/02/upgrade-to-windows-8-pro-for-39-99.aspx

    Luis Daniel


    What a bunch of .....honestly MS most of the ppl with the RTM are the ones who are going to helping you sell your product to the market...A few of them might even use WMC on their XBOX...this is a slap in the face for us....you guys need to step up the game if you don't want to loose it!!! :(

    Geoff Fane

    Tuesday, October 09, 2012 6:10 PM
  • Media Center Pack for Windows 8 WON'T be available until October 26, then it Will be free until January 31st. So plan accordingly.

    http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/07/02/upgrade-to-windows-8-pro-for-39-99.aspx

    Luis Daniel


    What a bunch of .....honestly MS most of the ppl with the RTM are the ones who are going to helping you sell your product to the market...A few of them might even use WMC on their XBOX...this is a slap in the face for us....you guys need to step up the game if you don't want to loose it!!! :(

    Geoff Fane

    Very true!
    Wednesday, October 10, 2012 12:14 AM
  • Media Center Pack for Windows 8 WON'T be available until October 26, then it Will be free until January 31st. So plan accordingly.

    http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/07/02/upgrade-to-windows-8-pro-for-39-99.aspx

    Luis Daniel

    Today WMC Pack is available but I still don't understand who can get it for free. 
    Thursday, October 25, 2012 11:53 AM

  • For me, Windows 8 Media Center PAck has appeared in 'Add Features'. It can be purchased for €9.99

    Alternatively, try here to get a serial mailed to you;

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/feature-packs

    • Proposed as answer by tmorgan4 Thursday, October 25, 2012 1:45 PM
    Thursday, October 25, 2012 1:26 PM
  • thanks for that, no key email as yet though
    Thursday, October 25, 2012 1:30 PM
  • Thanks Meep72. I am in Australia and was shown $9.99 when doing it via the old System Panel.

    The fine print at the end of you link explains it all... but the last part... I sure hope if we ever rebuild our system we can reuse our key.

    ** Windows 8 Media Center Pack is available at no charge for a limited time only through this promotional page on Windows.com.  If you obtain Windows 8 Media Center Pack through any other location fees might apply. Offer valid from October 26, 2012, until January 31, 2013, and is limited to one product key per email address. You qualify for this promotion if your PC is running Windows 8 Pro.  Additional hardware may be required to watch and record live TV. You must provide a valid email address to receive your Windows 8 Media Center Pack product key. Your product key must be activated no later than January 31, 2013. Microsoft will only contact you at the email address you provide to send you your product key and to remind you when the activation period for your product key is ending.

    Thursday, October 25, 2012 1:45 PM
  • It is now available via the 'Add Features' Windows 8 tool, I could have waited for the 'free' key via the link @Meep72 listed above but I have waited long enough...

    Shut up and take my money... $9.99 Done.


    What's New? Whats Changed? Nothing, identical to Windows 7 as far as I can tell, no surprise 'Modern UI' features/additions etc



    Cheers, Stephen Edgar

    Thursday, October 25, 2012 2:36 PM

  • For me, Windows 8 Media Center PAck has appeared in 'Add Features'. It can be purchased for €9.99

    Alternatively, try here to get a serial mailed to you;

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/feature-packs

    thx, I'm waiting for my key.
    Thursday, October 25, 2012 4:10 PM
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