Media Center, the multimedia player present in the Windows operating system, will be present in Windows 8, although it appears that it may not be as widely used as thought.
The Windows 8 operating system will come with two coexisting interfaces allowing users to decide which environment best suits their needs. One of these environments is for tactile devices, allowing for better immersion with the Metro style interface seen in Windows Phone 7, while the other will be more desktop oriented. It has been announced that the desktop environment has been improved from that seen in Windows 7.
This desktop will also be one of the indications that existing applications work correctly with Windows 8. In terms of improvements, some announcements have already indicated that the Ribbon will appear in Windows Explorer.
The more classical interface will be reassuring for Windows users, especially since this was so successful in Windows 7, so it is out of the question to put this heritage in the bin. This "reassurance" has now been extended by Microsoft with the announcement that Media Center will also be present in Windows 8.
This precision has been made after Media Center was absent from the first pre-release version of Windows 8 which was made available for testing. Along with this, other items that were missing were games, the creation of the Windows DVD, express and DotNet 3.5.
Although not widely used The Media Center will not be completely removed in favour of an online service though, something which could have been imagined after its absence was noted. To what point it will be integrated in the future is something which has still not been clarified – could it be as an application from the Windows 8 App Store? While still unknown, Microsoft does want to avoid any eventual user frustrations.
Having said this, the figures related to the popularity of Media Center which has been fed back by Windows 7 users indicate that maybe it isn’t quite as popular as thought.
Microsoft indicates that Media Center is run by only 6% of Windows 7 users in the world, with it most widely used in Russia, Mexico and Brazil with it being adapted as a television. Of these 6%, only 25% of users use Windows Media Center more than 10 minutes per session. For 59%, the activity is almost negligible, with use of less than two minutes per session.