You may or may not know this, but Windows 8 does not come with Windows Media Center. But you can get it free from Microsoft, for a limited time.
How, you might ask? This way:
- Buy a computer with Windows 8 Professional, or upgrade an existing computer to Windows 8 Professional. You can also upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro for a nominal cost, if needed.
- Get on the Internet from that computer and proceed to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/feature-packs.
- Follow the instructions.
About a day later, you will get an email with your WMC product key.
Open the Control Panel and click on the “Add features to Windows 8” option.
Enter your product key,
tick the appropriate check box, make note of the message, and
let the download and installation begin. This particular process takes some time, so be patient.
Once completed, and the computer restarts, you will find this message on the desktop,
a new version blip on the desktop,
and a new tile on the Windows 8 Start screen.
Click on the tile to bring up Windows Media Center, throw a DVD into your optical drive,
and enjoy a movie (once again) in Windows 8.
I definitely missed WMC, particularly as a DVR, and I am quite happy to have access to it again. This is a free upgrade to Windows 8 Pro through January 31st, 2013. After that, it will cost you a whopping 10 bucks, which is still quite cheap for what WMC gives you.