REMEMBER Windows Media Center?
The alternative shell from Vista and Windows 7 was abandoned in Windows 8 (though it was still available as an optional extra before being completely removed in Windows 10) not least because it was offering a competitor to Xbox functionality, a far more lucrative market for Microsoft.
However, it has been returned for posterity this week, as Charlie Owen, a former program manager who was part of the team behind Windows Media Center (WMC), posted the Software Development Kit (SDK) for the most recent version to GitHub for all to tinker with.
Microsoft has long since removed the download link for WMC from its website, and Owen felt that he would be "preserving a bit of history for the diaspora that created Windows Media Center".
The idea of Windows Media Center was pretty sound - put a PC under your telly, add a remote, sit back, watch and listen.
However, DLNA, streaming and a range of more ‘out of the box' products like Roku meant that WMC was never that popular.
Nevertheless, a cult of fans has kept the memory of WMC alive and there are already tweaked versions for Windows 10 - hugely important to fans as we move within months of the end-of-life date for Windows 7.
The addition of the source code to GitHub isn't officially sanctioned by Microsoft, though we don't think anyone will be that fussed but will provide a welcome route for those wanting to keep the memory of WMC alive, because they don't fancy a more modern, feature-rich solution like Plex or Kodi (nee XBMC).
For most of us, a NAS and a smart TV or dongle are quite enough, but if you're really keen to have that little bit more control (ie complexity) then it's time to drink Bacardi like it's yo' birthday. μ
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