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Windows Microsoft Entertainment Games

What Might Have Happened To Windows Media Center 198

Phopojijo writes: Microsoft has officially dropped Windows Media Center but, for a time, it looked like Microsoft was designing both Windows and the Xbox around it. That changed when Vista imploded and the new leadership took Windows in a different direction. Meanwhile, Valve Software and others appear to be tiptoeing into the space that Microsoft sprinted away from.
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What Might Have Happened To Windows Media Center

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Kodi [kodi.tv] started life as XBMC. Full-featured, open source, free, what's not to love?

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      How can I use Kodi to record CableCard content not marked as Copy Freely, like you can do with HDHR + WMC?

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Boycott such channels. Instead, change the channel to one marked Copy Freely.

        • by DaHat ( 247651 )

          Sometimes its not ser by the channel, but by the cable provider.

          Up here near Seattle a few years back Frontier Communications acquired the Verizon FIOS they changed a few things, including the DRM settings for ALL channels they carried except for the must carry ones to the point that could only view a recording on the same PC that recorded it... So boycotting the channel isn't always feasible.

          I don't know if this is still the case as a short time later I moved and now have the joy that is Comcast *rolls eye

          • [Frontier's pay-TV offering] changed a few things, including the DRM settings for ALL channels they carried except for the must carry ones

            Then record only must-carry channels. Call Frontier support and ask why none of your favorite channels are set to "copy freely". If they feed you a line of baloney, ask to be transferred to the retention department because you're dropping pay TV from your package.

        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          Boycott such channels. Instead, change the channel to one marked Copy Freely.

          Desirable content is occasionally or frequently marked Copy Once, and I have no desire to Boycott content. Anything that can't record it like WMC can is not really a proper DVR in the first place.

      • Exactly this. There is NO replacement for anyone who has a cablecard system. Until someone else gets an approved recording system, or someone outside the US breaks the encryption, we are all stuck with WMC.
  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @05:25AM (#49652625)

    First, I think many GUIs should be provided by MS and should be optional for users.

    For example, if you want the traditional XP type desktop, I think MS should permit that for the foreseeable future. I'm not saying it should be butt ugly but the same buttons should be in the same places that do the same things. You can update the look of those buttons or add animations but the same buttons in the same places.

    Also have a tablet interface for people that have touch screens etc.

    Also have a tv remote type interface.

    Also, a purely text based interface is good.

    If I missed something, then just assume I suggested it. Just put them all in there.

    Second, there is no good reason for the Xbox to be incompatible with the PC and the PC incompatible with the xbox. Xbox games shoul run natively on a windows machine. They are intentionally made to not work that way and that's a dumb move. Why do that? To push your console? But the console doesn't make money. The GAMES make money. Not the console. The console actually loses money initially and it takes years for the company to so much as break even on the initial console costs.

    Now, a possible compromise here is that MS could say "we will permit any Xbox game to run on any windows machine but we will only permit MS approved products to run on the Xbox. And then you make part of that approval process that the company agrees to give a percentage of game sales to MS. I believe this is how Xbox games work. So MS would lose NOTHING by doing this. They'd actually start getting a cut of licensing money for PC games effectively. And porting games back and forth wouldn't be required because they'd effectively be inter-compatible systems.

    Another fun thing they could do with Xboxes is permit them to work as totally normal PCs. Again, I basically think the Xbox should just run windows with TV centric GUI. But if I want to surf websites, do my taxes, or check my email on my xbox, it should be something that works basically the same way as on the PC. Why not? That would if anything improve the value of the xbox.

    MS could annihilate Sony with something like this... bridging the gap between the console and the PC so that they're the same system. That would mean

    Third, I'd like to see more tablets and even phones running desktop operating systems with fully accessible memory. I'd like the firmware chip for example to just be a micro SD card hiding under the battery. So if something goes wrong you can pull the stupid chip, pop it into another machine, sort out whatever went wrong, and then put it back into the phone.

    here people are going to point out "but the gui on a desktop is wrong for a phone"... No shit? What is the title of my comment? My point is that you can have many GUIs for the same operating system. I'd like to see MS really grasp that and possibly during installation query the user to choose which GUI they want the system to default to on boot. It should be something that can be hot switchable without having to log off first or something.

    Basically what we're talking about here are different versions of Explorer.exe. Have explorer be the old school GUI and then have a different version for whatever other variation you're interested in.

    MS could instantly have more apps on their phone than any of their competitors because all the windows apps would run on one of their phones. Now sure, most of the GUIs for most of those programs are going to be inappropriate. However, just as MS can make multiple GUIs for Windows, so too can you make multiple GUIs for those programs. Ideally, MS would pave the way there by having different GUIs for their Office Suite etc.

    Now see this in operation in the corporate world... imagine if corporations could put desktop apps on your phone?

    Here people are going to point out the whole x86/arm thing about the various CPUs not being inter-compatible etc. I am aware. I don't credit the notion that you can't put an x86 CPU in a phone or tablet. The only thing that would be r

    • Maintaining multiple UIs is messy, and the overwhelming majority of users will remain with the defaults. If you've found a way to make something better (preferably verified with some user experience designers), changing the defaults makes sense. If only a small portion of your users change the defaults (even with things like Ubuntu I suspect the number of people actually bothering to customise Unity is quite small) then it doesn't make a lot of business sense to focus resources on them when you could focus

      • As to messy UIs, MS is a big enough company to handle it. Especially since most of the coding etc is not going to change that much.

        I also think it isn't unreasonable if certain features are locked to a give UI. For example, if you're modifying the registry, I don't think you need a touch GUI version of regedit etc. Also when you deal with say the TV interface, you really don't need to maintain the GUI as TV friendly for more than what you would on the TV. So again, deep system settings could be desktop stan

        • As to consistent hardware, you're saying this like this is hard or special or something. PC game makers do just fine with variable hardware. Yes, consoles have consistent hardware but that doesn't mean much. That just means you have one version of the operating system with one set of drivers that are slightly better debugged than what the PC people deal with. So what.

          No, really, the memory hierarchy is a crippling difference and the game has to be reworked anyway - though DirectX 12 makes that easier.
          As an example, Playstation 2 has been a bitch to emulate, because there's some extremely fast eDRAM in there for the GPU to use, and stupidly high fillrate to brute-force graphical effects in wasteful and interesting ways (later hardware such as Radeon 9700 pro and PS3 used pixel shaders instead). Only with recent and high end GPUs can we do the same shit (we'll talking hun

          • Can you cite the speed of the edram? I'm unconvinced that modern gaming PCs are slower than last generation consoles.

            as to bandwidth:

            ""PCI Express 4.0

            On November 29, 2011, PCI-SIG announced PCI Express 4.0,[36] providing a 16 GT/s bit rate that doubles the bandwidth provided by PCI Express 3.0, while maintaining backward and forward compatibility in both software support and used mechanical interface. Additionally, active and idle power optimizations are to be investigated. Final specifications are expected

            • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

              4 MB Embedded DRAM video memory bandwidth at 48 gigabytes per second

              PS2 main RAM is 32MB of RAMBUS RAM.

              You know how some PC centric developers complained about the small caches on the PS2? Well the PS2 is not a PC, who needs huge cache when you have bandwidth to burn..
              http://arstechnica.com/feature... [arstechnica.com]

              http://archive.arstechnica.com... [arstechnica.com]

              The PS3 also has massive bandwidth. The PS4 is more conventional from a PC devs perspective but also uses GDDR5 as main RAM. So yes, the PS2

              • First 32 MB of ram is very low actually. My video card has more than a gigabyte and that is just my video ram. I have another 8 gigabytes of conventional ram.

                Second, what you're saying is that there might be performance issues in the emulation and while I think that might be so initially due to poor optimization or currently insuffiecent hardware... I think you'll find that machines 4 years after initial console release are so much faster that there really isn't much of an excuse.

                I'm wondering what stats yo

        • by Ramze ( 640788 )

          I think there's more to it that you seem to be glossing over.

          Console gameplay is inherently different than PC gameplay because of the standard inputs: keyboard + mouse vs controller. Games have been redesigned to suit those I/O methods so that the PC version of a game is very different than the console version. Even with network play, Xbox will separate PC gamers from console players so that the PC gamers don't have an unfair advantage. Specifically, some games, you can highlight multiple units with a m

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            If anything, I think [Microsoft would] prefer your PC die by the wayside and everyone own an XBox, a Windows Phone, and a Surface instead -- all DRM locked down, controlled by MS and sync'ed to your Microsoft Account online.

            Then what would high school students use to type their homework? Surface Pro and Surface 3 are PCs. And on which device would applications for Xbox, Windows Phone, and Surface be developed?

          • Slashdot is doing that stupid thing where it is randomly saying a totally legitimate post is violating their "lameness filter".

            Fucking thing is broken. Anyway, I can't figure out what it is complaining about so I posted my post to pastebin and am providing the link below.

            Oh well:
            http://pastebin.com/dWcHmQUp [pastebin.com]

            • by Ramze ( 640788 )

              I wasn't aware SD had a lameness filter... In any case, I don't think your post was lame at all imho. :-) You make some very good points. I also have emulators on my PC and use a controller for them. Yay!

              I didn't mean to imply that the PC was going away - simply that MS would prefer you buy their Surface line of products in conjunction with their Xbox and Windows Phone which they could lock down through DRM and tie to an online account they can control rather than have myriad hardware configurations of

              • as to corporate and consumer being different... yes and no. One of the big strengths of MS is that they largely blend the two which profits business in that their labor force is less useless and profits consumers in that they fuck around with a similar machine at work.

                I grant that some business major twits think it makes sense to get monopolies and exclusive contracts but that is short sighted. MS didn't build its empire on that and its not growing with it and it won't hold on to market share with it.

                We are

                • by Ramze ( 640788 )

                  I had a big, long, TL;DR reply for this, but Slashdot killed it. lol. Probably for the best as I tend to ramble on long posts.

                  Basically, Intel is already feeling the effects of diminishing returns from Moore's Law. They hit the max of 4 GHz over 10 years ago and have switched to focusing on system-on-a-chip things and multicore to make up for it... but, not a lot of software uses multi-core very well. I recently recycled a 12 year old laptop with a single core Pentium 4 - not because of the CPU exactly,

                  • The premise of my post was that Intel would shift to a different technology. Not silicon wafers. One that I've seen them talk about is optical computing. That is you fire a laser into a 3d brick with all the inputs and outputs being supplied by lasers instead of electrons.

                    You avoid several things with this:
                    1. It won't heat up... either at all or much less readily.
                    2. At the microscopic scale you don't have to worry about magnetic fields generated by one circuit screwing up what another one is doing.
                    3. You mi

        • Yes, consoles have consistent hardware but that doesn't mean much. That just means you have one version of the operating system with one set of drivers that are slightly better debugged than what the PC people deal with. So what.

          Some things differ between video card manufacturers. NVIDIA GPUs are more efficient at some things, AMD at others. This is why Bitcoin miners preferred AMD [extremetech.com] before mining switched to FPGAs and ASICs: AMD's shader instruction set was more efficient at SHA-1 than NVIDIA's. And different video cards support different forms of texture compression. A console guarantees a shader ABI and a texture format, so you can ship precompiled shaders and compressed textures on disc. Console operating systems also tend to be

        • This is what happened with Vista and Windows 8. Windows 7 by and large was MS putting the steering wheel back.

          I was with you till this bit. If you think that the GUI had been scaled back to days of old between Vista and Windows 7 I invite you to actually take a look at Vista again. About the only difference was style of the start button.

          Then going on from your earlier comment Windows 8 was Microsoft's attempt to do precisely what you asked: Drive towards Ubiquitous computing.

          Your problem is your comparison to the steering wheel for a static use of a car. I on the other hand would fully support removing or changing

          • I am a PC gamer of many years, I am almost never inconvenienced by such errors. The only consistent problem I have is dealing with really old games as the backward compatibility sometimes is not fantastic.

            As to saying that Vista didn't change much, I remember that UI changes were the biggest issue.

            As to Windows 7 and 8... I use programs like Classic Shell to put things back so I sometimes forget what MS is doing.

            As to tablet interfaces being required in the brave new world. They matter for people using touc

            • As to saying that Vista didn't change much, I remember that UI changes were the biggest issue.

              I wasn't clear enough. Vista was a step change for UI design. I was calling you out on your comment that Windows 7 made it all better. There was no appreciable change in the UI between windows Vista and Windows 7, in fact if you use small task bar icons in Windows 7 most people will think you're running Vista.

              As to tablet interfaces being required in the brave new world. They matter for people using touch interfaces and I think for THEM they should have that inferface. However, the interface is poor for keyboard/mouse users. MS is being foolish if they can have one GUI in all contexts.

              Except they don't. The context switches. The only problem really in windows 8 was that each context was not complete (i.e. can't shutdown the computer without going through Metro, can't manage the comp

              • On the issue of lightstep, it is quite good for setting up kiosks and even pretty good at restricting what employees can do on company machines. I have set up a lot of workstations and I am actually a huge fan of custom user interfaces for people that do repetitive things with machines they don't own.

                Think of the interface on most bank ATM machines... I think windows XP is actually at the heart of a lot of those systems which horrifies some people. But technically it shouldn't be a problem so long as you ma

                • You seem to like metro.

                  I don't. But I'm also not one of the people who believe that change is for change's sake or that the decision that drive towards the metro interface were the result of some idiot who has never used a computer. I'm not an advocate for metro, but I'm an advocate for a change because I realise that I don't use a computer the same was I did a few years ago.

                  When it comes to GUIs, I think one thing MS could do is make the GUI much more moddable.

                  Just to tie this into your earlier comment about ATMs, they share something in common; dedicated support. There's a tough balance between providing people s

                  • No one is saying that all change is for change sake. However you would and must agree that some change is for change sake.

                    MS has a product they want to sell. Assuming they made a perfect operating system at TIME X at X+1 they'd release a variation on it simply because they need to sell a new version with their existing business model. Because in this example the initial OS was literally perfect, the replacement would likely be imperfect in some respect.

                    What I think has to be addressed here is that dominant

                    • No one is saying that all change is for change sake. However you would and must agree that some change is for change sake.

                      Well no one in this thread. But really most people are saying that.

                      MS has a product they want to sell. Assuming they made a perfect operating system at TIME X at X+1 they'd release a variation on it simply because they need to sell a new version with their existing business model. Because in this example the initial OS was literally perfect, the replacement would likely be imperfect in some respect.

                      Not necessarily. Perfection is linked to a frame of reference. If Windows 7 was absolutely perfect it wouldn't be perfect now because technologies and the way people use computers changes. Just like the horse was the perfect form of transport back in the day given the restrictions.

                      What I think has to be addressed here is that dominant operating systems are not just products and corporations like MS can't treat them that way. They're standards. Its like a fuel standard. You can change the chemistry of the fuel so long as doing so doesn't fuck up the engines. And if you do want to change the fuel so that it an incompatibility is introduced, it is important that that fuel be optional and that the consumer be made aware of what is happening.

                      It is irresponsible for MS to presume that they can change the look and nature of the OS to any great extent without preserving backward compatibility and persevering the GUI nature of the previous edition as an option.

                      If you as a corporation have various imperatives that require you to introduce new features that impact these requirements then you need to present those in parallel with each other. If you lack the resources to do that then questions of competence become increasingly relevant.

                      That is one of the best analogies I've heard so far. I couldn't agree more. But it's always a balancing act. If we compare the steering wheel of a car then familia

                    • As to no one in this thread but someone somewhere else... no. I reject your premise and even if it were valid, which it isn't, it is not relevant to what we are talking about here by your own admission.

                      Get on topic or prove that EVERYONE is talking about that or otherwise demonstrate that my argument should in any way take what is effectively a strawman lying down.

                      You don't get to tell me what my argument is... I regret that you've prepared for an argument no one is having with you but it is not my obligati

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          As to consistent hardware, you're saying this like this is hard or special or something. PC game makers do just fine with variable hardware. Yes, consoles have consistent hardware but that doesn't mean much. That just means you have one version of the operating system with one set of drivers that are slightly better debugged than what the PC people deal with. So what.

          It does generally make a big deal because the few AAA games around often break on "different" hardware which can involve merely owning an AMD

          • It is actually very rare that you can't play a game because it is ATI or nVidia. Typically you just have hardware specific bugs at worst and they are generally patched out in a couple weeks after release.

            So... whatever.

            As to the number of AAA games on PCs declining, not really. The PC market is not shrinking and while we are often subjected to console port trash, the reality is that the market is significantly more vibrant than anything the consoles have going for them.

            As to piracy, it is an issue on the PC

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      First off I think Microsoft made a path for Windows 8 based on crisis management. When the iPad was released Microsoft was in a terrible position because it lacked no real path to a good tablet. I personally think Microsoft lost interest in tablets and so they never believed that tablets were wanted in the Windows community.
      So when the iPad had major success Microsoft got worried and pushed through a hurried Windows version that would be tablet friendly. That of course was Windows 8. The problem Steve Sinof

    • there is no good reason for the Xbox to be incompatible with the PC and the PC incompatible with the xbox.

      Other than that Intel was unwilling to cut costs on PC components to hit the price target that Microsoft sought. This didn't change much until the eighth generation (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One), when AMD offered its "Jaguar" laptop chipset to Sony and Microsoft at console prices.

      we will permit any Xbox game to run on any windows machine but we will only permit MS approved products to run on the Xbox.

      Let's say Microsoft makes Xbox games work on Windows. If end users buy Xbox games and play them on a gaming PC running Windows, they have no incentive to buy more Xbox games when other Windows games are available to them. But if use

      • As to costs, as you pointed out AMD was willing to sell their chips at a price console makers currently find acceptable.

        So while that might have been relevant at one point it isn't anymore.

        Your game comment didn't address that the console itself doesn't make money but rather the licensing agreements that game makers have with console makers. Console users pay more for games. Typically around 60 dollars per game while PC players tend to pay substantially less. The majority of that price difference goes to th

        • Your game comment didn't address that the console itself doesn't make money but rather the licensing agreements that game makers have with console makers. Console users pay more for games. Typically around 60 dollars per game while PC players tend to pay substantially less. The majority of that price difference goes to the console makers and constitutes their actual profits.

          Let me rephrase: If console-compatible games are not console-exclusive, then people aren't going to buy a console to play its games. This opens a possibility that people will buy a PC instead of a console with a launcher to cover some (but not all) of the convenience issues. Thus console makers won't get their cut of game sales because people are going to buy PC-exclusive games for their PC instead of the more expensive console-compatible games.

          Further consider that there are projects like Project Aria

          I was initially confused. "Aria" means other things, such as th

          • As to people not buying consoles if it isn't console exclusive, that contradicts what console users keep telling me.. that they like the console experience.

            if the console enjoys no advantage over the PC but exclusive content then those users are either deluded or lying. I suspect they're neither.

            what is more, the console platform would remain a simplier streamlined gaming machine. It would have desktop OS under its GUI but the nature of it would be largely unchanged from what it is now. Many users like not

            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              I personally feel gaming PCs work better for me because I only include the price difference between a gaming PC and regular PC. I'm going to buy a regular PC regardless.

              But how are you going to fit two to four people around a PC monitor? Or would you prefer to carry the PC tower back and forth between the living room and the computer desk?

              It is a single player game. I make the rules.

              If a video game platform has an online achievement system, single-player games become in effect multiplayer games.

              • ... all modern TVs plug into computers... either natively through VGA, DVI, or DisplayPort, or via HDMI... possibly with a cheap 5 dollar DVI to HDMI converter.

                My gaming PC is a laptop. It was 1200 dollars at date of purchase and were I to have bought just a laptop that might have been about 800 dollar. Definitely not less because I like a fast machine regardless.

                With Desktops you can run into some problems here because it isn't convenient to move them around. But that isn't a huge problem really. How many

                • With Desktops you can run into some problems here because it isn't convenient to move them around. But that isn't a huge problem really. How many PC gamers go to lan parties on occasion and you're not just moving your computer from one room to the other but taking it to a friend's house.

                  A LAN party is something that one plans in advance, not something your kids can just up and do after school.

                  If you want to fuck over console users and make it harder for developers to reach as many players as possible... then keep it how it is... It serves no justifiable purpose in the existing market with the existing technology.

                  The North American video game market went into a recession in 1983-1984 [wikipedia.org]. This was in part caused by a loss of consumer confidence due to a flood of bad games for the Atari 2600 console. People who wanted a good new game could not find a good new game. If console makers were to stop "mak[ing] it harder for developers to reach as many players as possible", they too would be flooded with crap, as I expla

                  • As to lan parties, what planning is required to pick a box up and then put it down in another room?

                    Do you want me to draw you a picture?

                    You're again offering a lack of choices as a feature. Never mind that the consoles all have downloadable little games on them that are often not very good.

                    And you're also ignoring that the PC gaming industry is fucking massive.

                    We're done. You're wasting my time.

                    • by tepples ( 727027 )

                      As to lan parties, what planning is required to pick a box up and then put it down in another room?

                      Ensuring that someone at home doesn't need to use the box at the same time. Ensuring that the kids can be trusted to move the box back and forth between the living room and the computer desk without breaking anything, either physically or file-system-wise.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday May 09, 2015 @07:10AM (#49652807) Homepage Journal

    Valve is not tiptoeing into anything, they got a boot in and they're coming in after it.

    Microsoft, as ever, decided to play the hardass with users and lost. If they had embraced both Xbox and the PC solution then it would be "Steam what? Valve, they're the Half-Life guys, right?" And maybe, just maybe, we wouldn't even have to suffer uplay or origin.

    Too much is being made of the Media Center connection here. Games for Windows(tm) also puts the games into the games explorer. That's a genuinely cool feature that I actually use, and I wish more games would play along. If you're going to bother doing a game for windows, you might as well make it as much like a Game for Windows(tm) as you can, so long as it's not expensive or difficult. That part is probably pretty easy.

    • Am I trolling because I said nice things about Valve or because I said mean things about Valve or because I said nice things about Microsoft or because I said mean things about origin or uplay?

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @07:33AM (#49652861) Journal
    One of the most ambitious projects Microsoft undertook was to thwart the "audio-video pirates". Its logic was this: "If we deliver a platform where it is impossible to pirate audio and video content delivered to the users, MPAA and RIAA will line up behind us, all the songs/videos will be released for our platform and we will be rolling in dough".

    The high fidelity way to steal content was to write an audio/video driver that installs itself between the code and the device forming a T. Then silently record the stream before delivering it to the audio/video cards. So they went ahead and created the "protected audio/video path" concepts, signed drivers, accepted possible incompatibility with all the existing devices as the price to pay. ??AA did not like Apple's dominance and being forced sell tracks dollar a pop with Apple getting 30 cents commission. iTunes was allowing people who bought songs to make CDs (yes, CDs were quite dominant at that time) etc. So the logic of Microsoft was quite sound, and it makes sense among the suits.

    But they forgot the crucial "IF" that formed the foundation of the logic. Can anyone thwart the alleged pirates? Even if the protected signed drivers stopped this method, there was always the analog hole. One can record with reasonable fidelity audio out. Similarly, with more difficulty, the video out too.

    The entire concept of Vista was to take command of the living room entertainment center the way MS-Office took command of the corporate desktops. They could not deliver ??AA what they wanted and were promised: a piracy-proof entertainment platform. But it complicated the OS to such an extent it was very unstable. This on top the par-for-the-course bungling of MS suits. Certifying under powered machines as vista capable to play favorites with intel over AMD, that sort of thing.

    The damage lingers on to this day. There is a service that runs on all Windows platform that watches all the code crashes and pop up the dialog "I saw something crash? Do you want to try it in WinXP compatibility mode?" That service collects data all day and phones home at night. Our company consolidated three locations into one new building. Some 1500 computers phoned home using the same gateway at the same time. Random crashes on machines that used to run for weeks without rebooting. Traced it to this damned thing. Somehow 500 phone-homes per gateway was ok, at 1500 it crashed randomly. There are hundreds of such things buried deep inside OS due to Vista fiasco.

    • Media Center began in XP Media Center Edition 2004. It was improved and made more stable in XP MCE 2005. Vista was the result of MS trying to tack SQL onto NTFS. Longhorn took over ten times longer to boot because of it and was eventually killed. Vista, while slow to boot was an improvement. Media Center continued in Vista. Since Media Center was already several years old when Vista was released, I don't think it's "entire concept" was to become an entertainment center. That was simply a feature that was co
      • Media center started with XP. But at the time of Vista design spec stage, the fight was for the entertainment market. Apple was reading the riot act to the *AA demanding the albums be unbundled and sold at buck a track, without any DRM. Microsoft took the *AA's side and wanted to deliver a "piracy proof" platform and establish itself as the entertainment OS. Look at the infrastructure built into Media center to collect and consolidate "licenses" for media, the DRM support built into it etc.
    • Nice conspiracy. The bit about the reason for implosion I mean, the rest of your post including the phoning home bit is right on the money.

      But really there's an easier answer. Vista imploded because the driver model had changed considerably and not just as a result of the protected path (which I personally think was more to do with malware than MS's attempt at becoming an AV company but we'll leave that aside), but the entire push to 64bit too.

      We have a system that changed everything in a world where backwa

    • You reminded me of when a forced http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org] update broke my media player. Thanks Microsoft.

    • MS started breaking WMC long before Vista came around. I used WMC a lot. I've had Vista. WMC has been falling apart for many years. Mostly because as you described for one reason or another they made the decision to value corporate interests over their consumers. I've been tinkering with WMP and WMC for years using codecs and the like to try and get things to work. The best I get is that most things work. However no matter what I do, there will be stuff that just isn't compatible. About the only reason I us

  • by TheRealQuestor ( 1750940 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @08:51AM (#49653131)
    The first replacement that comes out that works 1/10th as well as my media center will get my money. So far nothing works with my cable card because 100% of the channels are drm'd and the need for a tuning adapter to all the channels that I don't really watch anyway.

    There are some things in MCE that just flat out rock as well, the excellent guide, ease of recording, just everything. [Well except for the time it forgets to record your favorite show for no apparent reason]

    So it looks like I'm going to keep it running 7 until something changes and peeps are allowed to connect to the cable card with little to no hindrance.
    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu and friends all make your cable provider moot. They provide the same interface as what you can cobble together with a Tivo and a really large hard drive.

      Tivo and everything else like it was really just a stopgap measure between conventional TV and a full on-demand experience.

  • I have IP TV provided by my Telco.

    The PVR UI has a very "Microsofty" feel about it - Wouldn't surprise me if Cisco / Atlanta Scientific licensed it from MS.
  • I find lack of interest in Media center hard to believe despite intentional action on Microsoft's behalf to kill it. The media extender market collapsed because MS simply made it impossible for extenders to exist. What if there was a cheap HDMI dongle that could stream from media center? None of this would be an issue and they could have existed if MS didn't continuously fuck over multiple companies producing hardware for media center.

    I've had a TIVO for a while and in the last month they pushed an updat

    • cable big fail of cable card helped kill it. satellite tuners as well dish and directv where working with M$ on usb tunes for windows pc and they did not come out.

      Also there is satellite ci cards but dish / directv will push hard to NOT let people use them just give out a smart card to use with them.

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. -- Thomas Edison

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