We also know what Windows Media Center is going to be included in Windows 8 at some point in the future but not in the current previews, however you do have to question Microsoft long term plans for Media Center, in fact I suspect Windows 8 will see the sun set on Windows Media Center. Today former Windows Media Center Program Manager and old friend of TDL Charlie Owen tweeted that its time to move on:
For addins like the great new Recipe app for Windows Media Center I can see that Charlie is probably right, a developer can target a much wider audience and have the application work on tablets, slates, desktops and the TV, yes I know Media Center already runs on all these form factors but its low adoption means 3rd party apps do not get that much exposure.
However I do not want to go back to a world where TV tuner manufactures develop PVR applications independently of Windows, I remember the horrible clunky user interfaces made by the tuner manufactures and I would not want them anywhere near my TV so abandoning the Media Center model would be a step back. When I tweeted this to Charlie he said:
@isdixon Agree. There is a difference between the Windows Media Center feature (product) and developer platform.
I would like to see the core TV components of Media Center be moved over to native Windows 8 apps, so that the TV tuner and DVR features would be native apps and tuner manufactures could just work on the drivers as they do now. Other Media Center features like music and pictures should be in Windows 8 anyway.
So as far as 3rd party Windows Media Center development goes it is probably time to move on and start targeting Windows 8, I expect the UI tools will be more extensive that the Windows Media Center UI development tools were in the past and having a Windows app store will mean there is more chance for developers to get their apps out there.
I would be interested to hear from other Windows Media Center developers, do you agree?