How to install Windows Media Center on the Windows 8 Release Preview

The removal of Windows Media Center from Windows 8 has caused quite a stir among the application’s small but loyal fan base. Windows Media Center no longer comes pre-installed on Windows, but if you have the Windows 8 Release Preview (which was made available for download earlier today), it’s possible to bring it back. Here’s how to do it.

To install Windows Media Center, search for “add features to Windows 8” on the start screen. Make sure to select the settings category, as it won’t show up under apps. Click on the “Add features to Windows 8” icon to pull up the wizard on the desktop. Select “I already have a product key” and enter the one provided by Microsoft on the Windows 8 FAQ: MBFBV-W3DP2-2MVKN-PJCQD-KKTF7. Finally, accept the license terms and choose “Add features.” Windows 8 will then automatically download and install Windows Media Center. It’s that simple.

This same process will be used to install Windows Media Center on the final version of Windows 8, which is set for release this fall. There are, however, a few caveats. In order to install Windows Media Center, you’ll need to acquire (e.g. purchase) either the Windows 8 Media Center Pack or the Windows 8 Pro Pack. The former is a simple add-on for the Windows 8 Pro SKU, while the latter actually upgrades the basic Windows 8 SKU to the Pro version. Installing Windows Media Center (or another third-party program) will also enable DVD playback on Windows 8.

[Windows 8 FAQ]
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William Devereux

William Devereux is the former Microsoft editor at Pocketables, as well as a Microsoft MVP and SkyDrive/Outlook.com Insider. As his title implies, he wrote about all things from Redmond, including Windows 8 and Windows Phone. He is currently carrying a Windows Phone 8X by HTC and a Microsoft Surface with Windows RT tablet.