Monday, June 28, 2010

Microsoft Windows 8 Preview – Moving Away from TV Tuners?

Paul Thurrott has a short “preview” of sorts for the next version of Windows – Windows 8.  It seems like Windows 7 has barely been around long enough to get acquainted, but there’s no question Microsoft already has it’s teams working on the next version of their flagship OS.  One thing that might surprise or even disturb some Media Center fans is this little tidbit from the article:

“One of the big trends involves PC-based TV tuner support. Microsoft has been steadily evolving TV tuner support in Windows since the initial XP Media Center release in 2002, but the thinking now is that future "TV" experiences on the PC will be web-based. If this works out as believed, future media PCs will not need TV tuners or the complicated software required to make them work. To this end, Windows 8 will likely be the start of the move away from traditional TV tuners in Windows.”

Now anyone paying attention the last year or so probably won’t be that surprised by this conclusion made by Thurrott.  Microsoft’s focus on Media Center going forward has been rumored to be pretty “light” so-to-speak.  And the future of TV might eventually be non-tuner based with the internet taking much of the TV content some day.  Its hard to not be disappointed by this direction though if its true.  Microsoft has a great product in Media Center and has actually taken great strides in the right direction with the improvements in Windows 7 Media Center.  But I’ve heard from multiple persons supposedly “in the know” that Microsoft doesn’t see Media Center as we know it more than a “maintenance” project in the next version which to me means very little changes.

What do you think?  Is Microsoft working behind the scenes with a next generation Media Center or are they pushing it aside like the calculator “app” for Windows?

Read more at Paul Thurott’s Supersite for Windows