Microsoft’s Windows Media Center never really enjoyed prime time because the user base was always too small. So small in fact, that the Microsoft decided it wasn’t worth continuing with in Windows 10. However, back in May, instead of letting whatever small number of users Media Center had hung in limbo, Microsoft promised that they’ll offer some sort of alternative that users can employ. That alternative has now been unveiled with the launch of Windows 10, in the form of Windows DVD Player app.
What’s interesting is that the entire Media Center is now just a DVD player app, but it isn’t really surprising. The small minority that actually used Media Center was using it just for DVD playback instead of its TV and other features, and so, Microsoft is addressing the usage issue instead of offering a full-blown program.
So, how will you get this coveted Windows DVD Player app? Well, if you are upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate, or if your installation of Windows 8/8.1 had the Media Center Pack or Pro Pack installed, the new app will be a part of your Windows 10 upgrade by default. Just check for updates in after you’re done upgrading, and the DVD Player app will be right there.
This is what it looks like:
There’s a big condition to this convenience, however. If you’re doing a clean Windows 10 installation, you won’t be getting this app. That’s because the system determines your eligibility for the free DVD Player app based on your prior Windows setup, which, naturally, cannot be established in case of a fresh install. Hence, if you are one of those few that really wanted the Media Center alternative, make sure you’re upgrading and not doing a clean install.
For those rare cases where you want both the Windows DVD Player and a fresh install, you will have the option to purchase the new app from the Windows Store later in the year. Exactly when and for how much? Microsoft hasn’t said yet, but it will not be free, that’s for sure.
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