Windows 10 Marks Official Death Of Media Center

Since we began covering Windows 10, we've pored over a lot on what it's going to bring to the table, and also what's going to make it potentially the best Windows OS since 7. We're talking Project Spartan - ahem, Edge - Cortana, Continuum, system-wide app updates, and last, but not least, a much-improved Start menu.

With all this talk of what's coming to Windows 10, though, it's easy to overlook what could actually be removed. Take Windows Media Center, for example. Did you have any idea up to this point that it wouldn't be included in Windows 10? I didn't, but I admit it might be because I didn't even realize it was installed in Windows 8! Maybe that feeds into the reason Microsoft decided to pull the plug - with all of the competition out there, most people stopped using it long ago.

Windows Media Center

It's hard to blame Microsoft for this move, because its own media solutions have always lacked the all-around codec support that other solutions have, such as XBMC's successor, Kodi. There are simply more options than ever for this kind of thing, and it's only getting better. Today, you can even buy dedicated (and relatively inexpensive) hardware solutions, like Chromecast, or even Intel's Compute Stick (check our review).

If folks are looking to migrate a dedicated media PC away from Windows Media Center, I'd recommend going the Linux route at this point, as it's become easier than ever to set up a robust solution. In particular, any Kodi on Linux install is going to suit most people's needs - it works well, and offers a lot of flexibility.

I'm not sure I'd personally call it sad that Microsoft has decided to shelve a subpar media center solution, but it does have a bit of history. It first appeared in 2002 via the special Windows XP edition called Media Center Edition. Later Windows versions were never treated to a dedicated version like this, but Microsoft did continue to update the software.