Microsoft's Gabe Aul has confirmed what many Windows users had feared: Windows 10, the company's next-generation operating system, will not include Windows Media Centre functionality in any form.
Introduced with Windows XP Media Centre Edition, Windows Media Centre offered the company's first truly integrated home entertainment system. When installed, it connected to TV tuners to offer PVR functionality and live viewing, had the ability to play local content, and also to stream media to and from Media Centre-compatible 'extenders' including the Xbox console family. The higher-end version of Windows Vista brought a new build of WMC, as did all but the Starter and Home Basic versions of Windows 7. Windows 8, however, saw a shift in Microsoft's positioning of the software: while it was available as an added-charge extra for Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro, it did not come installed by default.
Now, Windows Media Centre is officially being put out to pasture. Following hints from the company that Windows 10 would, like Windows 8, not include Windows Media Centre by default, Microsoft's Gabe Aul has confirmed that the upcoming OS will not include the option for Windows Media Centre at all. 'We can confirm that due to decreased usage, Windows Media Center will not be part of Windows 10,
' Aul claimed in a post to Twitter
this week. 'If you have WMC now, we’ll have a DVD [playback] option for you in an update [to Windows 10] later this year,
' he added - which will come as little comfort to those who use the TV tuner functionality of the software.
Windows 10, formerly known as Windows Threshold and part of Microsoft's shift to a more rapid release cycle, is due to launch this summer for PCs, tablets and smartphones, as well as in an Internet of Things (IoT) variant for embedded devices - including, for the first time, the ARM-based Raspberry Pi 2. For the first year after launch, Windows users will be offered a free upgrade - at the cost of Windows Media Centre functionality, naturally.