Forgets About Media Center

Zheng just posted about a recently updated version of
, so I went
to check out the changes and realized a few things.  First, I think it has been well over a year
since I actually felt the need to checkout Microsoft’s
.  Second, I realized that Media
Center is nowhere to be found on Microsoft’s homepage.  About the closest you get is Windows Media
Player or Media
Center Peripherals
which apparently is another wording for “mouse and

17 thoughts on “ Forgets About Media Center

  1. So Glenn, you remembered off the top of your head the windows/ windows-vista/ features/ media-center.aspx? That’s logical to you?

    What’s logical to most is find a link off a homepage that lists every other major product, but maybe I’m old fashion like that. Of course, with the market Microsoft is aiming for (which is basically undecided), I’m sure it is logical for them to go search for it randomly when they might not know the name of the product or that it exists at all.

  2. The problem seems to be that Microsoft can’t figure out what they want to do with Media Center.

    Making Media Center part of Vista Home Premium was a great idea. It brought Media Center to just about every household that owns a computer running Vista (I don’t know of anyone who has Vista Home Basic).

    However, being part of Vista Home Premium, Media Center is now just another “feature” in the Vista OS. Previously, with the separate SKU of Windows XP Media Center Edition, there was a whole OS just dedicated to Media Center, which was good and bad.

    Personally, I like having Media Center be a standard part of the Vista OS.

    Problem is, that’s where Microsoft dropped the ball. They only came 75% of the way to actually making Media Center part of the “whole home” experience. I have many friends/family that own new computers running Vista Home Premium that never realized that all they had to do was add a tuner to their computer and connect a Media Center Extender to their TV to get all the Media Center functionality in their living room.

    Why isn’t Microsoft making sure this message gets out?

    I suspect that part of the answer lies in that 25% that Microsoft has chosen to “ignore”. Like, why is it so difficult to just simply get a CAbleCArd tuner and connect digital cable to any Vista Home Premium computer? Why does one have to purchase a new computer just to use CableCard tuners? Ridiculous. And for those Microsoft apologists out there, I don’t want to hear about how poor-old-Microsoft is at the mercy of CableLabs. BS. If Microsoft really wanted to make this work, they would use their position in the industry to simply “strong arm” CableLabs into giving them a usable solution (like they do for just about every other “resistant” technology they _really_ want integrated into their products).

    As to why Microsoft seem to be “hiding” the fact that Media Center is a part of Vista, I don’t know. This kind of silence seems to happen in two cases, either the technology is in for a _major_ upgrade, and they are “laying low” to afford time to get all done, or, they are in the process of “end of life” for the technology.

    I certainly hope its the former, but given the latest TV Pack fiasco, I have little confidence that Microsoft can do right by Media Center.

  3. Ah, I see what you mean, Chris. Yes, it was logical to me since I was thinking that VMC was a feature of Vista, so I knew right where to look. If I was thinking of it as a product, I’d be lost.

    I did go right to Vista and looked at the features. Vista is off the home page and Media Center was listed as a feature of the Home Premium version.

    If I were looking or Windows Movie Maker or Windows Media Player, I’d look in Vista’s features, too. I’d not expect either of those programs to have a link of the homepage since they are not separate products.

    I’ll bet that Windows Media Center 7 doesn’t get a link off the homepage, either. I’d expect it to be listed as a feature of Windows 7 Home Premium (assuming that’s what they call it).

  4. Glenn I’m sure you can see my problem then, because Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer are both features of Vista that have their own link off the Microsoft homepage.

  5. WMP and IE are both profitable features for Microsoft. WMP is profitable so that people will stop using iTunes. There is no competition to Media Center from Apple.

    IE is for different reasons… one, Microsoft wants to win the latest generation of Browser Wars. And, two, because like WMP… it’s available in all versions of Windows.

    Still, you have a point… Microsoft has done a bad job of advertising Media Center. But, as others have pointed to… that’s really more due to them poorly advertising Windows Vista. I have yet to see a Vista ad (or a more-generic “Windows ad”) that hits home the ease of Media Center.

    I think it would hit a home run, if they made a 30 second ad, showing a consumer buy a TV tuner, plug it into their computer, and turn it into an HDTV.

  6. “WMP is profitable so that people will stop using iTunes.”

    That’s the most interesting definition I’ve ever heard for profitable. Something isn’t profitable because it has competition in the market. Something is profitable when it makes money minus your investment. How exactly WMP makes money, I have no idea. It is a free application, the music stores within the application are pretty much now non-existent, and to top it off Microsoft is moving to Zune for their application of choice for music.

  7. I wonder if the slack at MS in regards to VMC is due to all the content that is becoming directly accessible on the ‘net thru sites like Hulu. I’ve been slowly building an HTPC (still waiting for the hauppage 2250), but in the meantime I seem to be getting more and more from Hulu, in pseudo HD even. Why bother with LIVE Marketplace (VMC or XBox) when it’s just right there out in the open?

    That’s probably why there’s no web browser on the xbox!

  8. Yes, it was really hard for me to Media Center information on the Microsoft website. I was looking for a VMC remote and could not find ANY specific product information. I find the Microsoft web presence to be one of the hardest sites to navigate.

  9. Chris, if you go to the All Products link, neither Internet Explorer nor Windows Media Player are listed. They are features of Windows, the same as Media Center. While I agree that Microsoft’s marketing sucks, I wouldn’t read too much into this in particular.

  10. Your right, they are not listed under “All Products”, they are listed right off the main “Windows” category.  Read into that.  🙂

  11. Old post, I know, but I would like to point out that while my some may question my definitions… Microsoft did take my advice. The latest wave of Windows Mojave ads prominently show Media Center in Windows Vista.

    At least Microsoft reads my comments on this blog…

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