Media Center yanked from Windows 8 Release Preview, here's how to re-enable it

By on June 1, 2012, 12:30 PM

Microsoft has already said that Windows Media Center will be available to Windows 8 users as a separate, paid for add-on, rather than being integrated into the OS as was the case with the last two releases of Windows. Although it was still present in the Consumer Preview, if you’ve already installed the new Release Preview build you may have noticed that the media center software is nowhere to be found.

Fortunately, there is a way to enable Media Center in Windows 8 Release Preview for free so users can continue testing it in the interim. Also, if you want to play DVDs on Windows 8, Media Center or a third-party app are required, as Microsoft decided not to include DVD and Blu-ray playback by default anymore.

Here are the instructions as detailed on a Microsoft Windows 8 Release Preview FAQ:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.)
  2. Enter add features in the search box, and then tap or click Add features to Windows 8.
  3. Tap or click I already have a product key.
  4. Enter this product key: MBFBV-W3DP2-2MVKN-PJCQD-KKTF7 and then click Next.
  5. Select the checkbox to accept the license terms and then click Add features.
  6. Your PC will restart and the Windows Media Center tile will be pinned to the Start screen.

This is the same procedure users will need to follow when adding Media Center to the final version of Windows 8 — save for the fact that you’ll need to pay for the license key. Microsoft hasn’t revealed exactly how much the upgrade will cost yet, besides saying that "it will be in line with marginal costs".

User Comments: 15

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Guest said:

or just use windows 7 Home Premium :)

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

What Guest said. It's ridiculous to have to pay extra for what anyone would consider a basic necessity in an operating system.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

<p>What Guest said. It's ridiculous to have to pay extra for what anyone would consider a basic necessity in an operating system.</p>

Well, since they finally reduced the number of versions being released (and the coinciding confusion and potential upgrade revenue), they have to make their extra money somewhere. Typical Microsoft - one step forward, two steps back.

EEatGDL said:

<p>Typical Microsoft - one step forward, two steps back.</p>

Well, at least they make somehow steps forward :P

m4a4 m4a4 said:

In the end it doesn't matter. If people really want optical playback they will obtain some software that allows it, or just won't bother upgrading to Win8.

I don't know about some of you guys, but I only touched the Media Center for my 360, and then left it for years... don't really need it. Heck, it might even be a few bucks cheaper cause of this :P

killeriii said:

I would bet this is tied in with future xbox sales.

Guest said:

It doesn't work. There is no mention of "add features" in the search and if I type it in, it says it can't be found. This is in the latest 64-bit download that I just installed a few min. ago.

Unless I'm doing something wrong

m4a4 m4a4 said:

<p>There is no mention of "add features" in the search and if I type it in, it says it can't be found.</p>

You were searching through apps. You have to choose the right category (I got 0 hits for apps, 3 hits for system whatever, and 0 hits for another category...)

phillai said:

What if I was upgrading from Windows 7 Home Premium?

Does that mean I need to buy Windows Media Centre again even though I have it already??

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Just a complete shambles on Microsoft's part...

Guest said:

Right edge click search choose the settings option type add features, then product key from above then walla!

Guest said:

Good move by Microsoft with so many stand

alone media boxes on the market one can only

assume there is going to be software compatibility


From my experience and having read quite a number

of blogs on other sites more people used Windows

Media Player anyway, for basic audio and visual


Quite frankly I would prefer to have choice particularly

when money is involved. It will be good to start with

a blank slate and do the research.

Guest said:

Another nail in Windows Media Center's coffin.

WMC is a fantastic bit of software - especially when tied to some extenders around the home (or 360's). IMHO its still the best PC TiVO software out there and I've tried em all. But they have advertised and promoted it so poorly over the years that it was doomed to fail. Nobody makes entenders for it anymore and no wonder.

I feel for the engineers who put this software together.

penn919 said:

I'll definitely be skipping out on Windows 8. I'm not sold on the tablet craze and there's Windows 7 gets the job just fine.

Guest said:

I really like WMC a lot, been waiting and waiting for improvements but nothing!, Big bummer as my only interest in Windows 8 was the hope they improved Media Center!

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