website hit counter Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center - Chris Lanier

Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

Long Zheng just posted about a recently updated version of Microsoft.com, 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 homepage.  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 keyboard.”

Published Sat, Oct 25 2008 19:45 by chrisl

Comments

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

No Surprise, they forgot about long time Media Center users a long time ago...

Sunday, October 26, 2008 2:56 AM by Matt P

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

I didn't have a problem finding it.

www.microsoft.com/.../media-center.aspx

Seemed like a logical place to me....

Sunday, October 26, 2008 9:17 AM by Glenn Blinckmann

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

So Glenn, you remembered off the top of your head the www.microsoft.com/ 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.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 9:54 AM by chrisl

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

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.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 2:36 PM by CoupleOfPoints

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

SageTV ftw

Sunday, October 26, 2008 6:08 PM by MitchSchaft

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

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).

Sunday, October 26, 2008 8:11 PM by Glenn Blinckmann

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

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.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 8:25 PM by chrisl

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

Yeah, now I see.

I'd expect to find VMC here:

www.microsoft.com/.../default.mspx

If not at top of the "at home" section, at least on the "more fun" page:

www.microsoft.com/.../default.mspx

Sunday, October 26, 2008 9:15 PM by Glenn Blinckmann

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

Yep, nothing new. I wish Microsoft would promote Media Center more.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 10:46 PM by DavidinCT

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

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.

Monday, October 27, 2008 4:14 AM by Christopher Price

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

"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.

Monday, October 27, 2008 6:39 AM by chrisl

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

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!

Monday, October 27, 2008 7:55 AM by metalloud

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

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.

Monday, October 27, 2008 8:21 AM by Bill

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 7:48 AM by Yogi

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

Your right, they are not listed under "All Products", they are listed right off the main "Windows" category.  Read into that.  :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 8:35 AM by chrisl

# Win 7 and MC

Here's a comment about Win 7 and Media Center:

Media Center has been tweaked as well -- it looks a lot more like the Zune interface. There's also a new Mini Guide when watching video, and a new Music Wall album artwork screensaver that kicks in when you're playing music.

www.engadget.com/.../windows-7-details-galore-interface-tweaks-netbook-builds-medi

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 1:38 PM by Harry D

# re: Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

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 <i>this</i> blog...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 1:57 PM by Christopher Price