For a limited time, Microsoft will be offering a free copy of the Windows 8 Media Center Pack for Windows 8 Pro. The offer will run from October 26, 2012 through January 31, 2012 for consumers who are purchasing or upgrading to Windows 8 Pro. The actual Windows 8 Pro (Pack) upgrade is also selling for $39.99 ($69.99 for disc version) until January 31 as well.
Microsoft revealed back in May that Media Center would not be provided in the standard edition of Windows 8. The company said this was due to "the changing landscape, the cost of decoder licensing, and the importance of a straight forward edition plan." Thus, consumers with the standard version of Windows 8 would have to purchase the Windows 8 Pro Pack, which upgrades the OS in addition to adding Media Center. Windows 8 Pro consumers merely have to acquire the Media Center Pack which is currently free for a limited time.
"This ensures that customers who are interested in Media Center have a convenient way to get it. Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support, said Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky. "For optical discs playback on new Windows 8 devices, we are going to rely on the many quality solutions on the market, which provide great experiences for both DVD and Blu-ray."
Critics have pointed out that the lack of DVD support will drive up costs for the consumer. Not only will they be required to upgrade to Pro, but purchase the Media Player Pack as well. There's also fear that manufacturers will increase the number of "crapware" installs on their new Windows 8 PCs to make up for the lack of features. That said, consumers with Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro should take advantage of the deal before time runs out and the prices go up.
To receive a product key for Windows Media Center, Windows 8 Pro customers merely need to provide a valid email address. "Once you receive your free product key through the email address you provided, follow the instructions for adding Windows 8 Media Center Pack that appear later on this page," the site states.
To get your copy of Windows Media Center, head here. Windows 8 Pro goes on sale at 12:01am on October 26, 2012, costing a mere $39.99 for the digital upgrade until January31 – a physical disc version will cost $69.99 until January.
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The offer will run from October 26, 2012 through January 31, 2012 for consumers who are purchasing or upgrading to Windows 8 Pro.
So does this deal run for 24 hours or negative 9 months? As is usual for this site, no details or useful further explanations.
Why in the heck would I ever pay for that Media Center Garbage? There are free alternatives that blow it out of the water.Reply
Personally I prefer using different programs for different tasks. Pavtube to rip Blu-rays and DVDs I bought to folders, Arcsoft Totalmedia Theater to play them and iTunes for my music library. Although I do wish Apple would make a separate music only iTunes, like it used to be, that is all I use it for.
Yeah Arcsoft is paid. Apparently VLC and DAPlayer can do Blu Ray. I already own Totalmedia though.
No Media Center by default? I consider that a selling point!Reply
I do prefer Media Center for one reason, Xbox 360 controller 100% support. XBMC for example doesn't support 360 controllers natively you have to hodge podge something together and even then the controller support is garbage.Reply
Really confusing buying options from Amazon. Really, I can get Win8 Pro for $68.88 (http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-3UR-00001-Windows-8-Pro/dp/B008H3SW4I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351231294&sr=8-1&keywords=Windows+8+pro) or pay $30-$60 more for a system builders version? I don't get it. The link posted doesn't seem to be an "Upgrade" and if it is, it's misleading.Reply
Would it be too hard for MS to allow users to just do a complete custom install in what they do and do not want on their system. i mean why can't i have a choice to not want IE on my system. They get rid of media center and make you pay for DVD playback yet you have no option to get rid of IE?Reply
This is simply a backwards step in competing from Microsoft, and one that they will reverse.Reply
But honestly, This could not be better for the likes of VLC, or Media Player Classic.
So I can get the necessary codecs for media file playback for free, what exactly are microsoft talking about!
velocityg4Why in the heck would I ever pay for that Media Center Garbage? There are free alternatives that blow it out of the water.Personally I prefer using different programs for different tasks. Pavtube to rip Blu-rays and DVDs I bought to folders, Arcsoft Totalmedia Theater to play them and iTunes for my music library. Although I do wish Apple would make a separate music only iTunes, like it used to be, that is all I use it for.Yeah Arcsoft is paid. Apparently VLC and DAPlayer can do Blu Ray. I already own Totalmedia though.Reply
I thought that before I setup my HTPC in the living room. It works very well, IMO, an it easy passes the "wife test". Granted, I'm just using over-the-air TV (from an antenna I built in the attic), but it's still a pretty slick system (DVR, plays DVDs I ripped, handles music just fine, etc.) that's easy to navigate using a remote control (or a wireless keyboard I use from time-to-time) from the couch. Outside of an HTPC application, though, I agree that Media Center doesn't offer much, and I've never used it on my laptop.
I will get this just to have it for *free* but really 100% of my video playback is on VLC - can't compete (no XBox here)Reply
I bought a physical copy for $48.72 from a store that was a 2 minute from my office. Much better than the $70 that MS and every other store want.Reply