MICROSOFT IS disabling Windows Media Player on machines running Windows 7.
Despite the fact that Windows 10 finally overtook the number one operating system title from Windows 7 last month, according to multiple sources (way to take two-and-a-half years, guys), Windows 7 remains hugely popular, especially in work places.
The latest version of Windows 7, carries with it a nasty payload, however, as the company finds more exciting ways to screw over loyal customers (and remember this is in the days before Windows-as-a-Service - these people paid for Windows).
Window 7 is now in its final year of life and it seems that Microsoft wants to sweeten the deal for upgrading - Windows 10 will still allow Windows Media Player, scotching the idea that it has been abandoned altogether.
Windows Latest found a support page that tells the whole story - specifically that Microsoft is crippling the metadata lookup service on all versions of Windows Media Center and all versions of Windows Media Player. Except Windows 10, which has only just had its functionality fixed.
Hmmm. According to Microsoft the decision was down to us, the little people:
"After looking at customer feedback and usage data, Microsoft decided to discontinue this service. This means that new metadata won't be updated on media players that are installed on your Windows device. However, any information that's already been downloaded will still be available."
To extend that logic, that means that clearly usage and feedback in Windows 10 has been better. We somehow doubt that as Microsoft aggressively pushes more recent UWP alternatives, which would theoretically produce even lower usage.
"This change doesn't affect any major media player functionality such as playback, navigating collections, media streaming, and so forth. Only secondary features that require downloading of new metadata are potentially affected." it continues.
Spiffing. So that means that all your CD purchases (if that's your thing still) will now have "Unknown Artist" and "Track 01" etc on the rips.
The only reason we can think of to do this would be to make Windows 7 less attractive.
Thing is, with so many of the remaining Windows 7 installations being in businesses, the demand for WMP is bound to be low. But borking it isn't likely to cause a huge rush to upgrade either, it's hardly core to most businesses.
All in all, it feels a bit of a misfire, especially as with loads of great alternatives like MediaMonkey, Plex and of course iT*nes out there, all it's really going to do is drag people away from Windows Media Player.
And maybe that's the point. μ
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