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desertdweller
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Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:42 am

I am here to protest the unfair or perhaps illegal decision by Microsoft to discontinue Windows 8.1 pro with Media Center Guide support in January of 2020. I received a notice within the Media Center Window to that effect and can't understand how Microsoft can sell me an upgrade to Windows 8.1 pro (which is supported until Jan, 2023) and then turn around and drop support for the Media Center add-on 3 years before the operating system itself is no longer supported.

When I found out that Windows 10 would no longer have a TV/DVR app as good as Media Center I went out and bought 3 retail copies of Windows 8.1 and 3 copies of the Media Center add-on for Windows 8.1 at considerable expense to insure I would have a Media Center compatible O.S. for several more years! Ha! They should NOT sell an add-on for their operating system and then turn around and quit supporting the add-on 3 years before target operating system support ends. I can understand them dropping Media Center Guide support for Window 7 since it will lose all support in Jan, 2020 but the people in charge at Microsoft should stand behind their products or they will be on the road to losing their faithful followers in the future.

I know they are going to say that Windows Media Center is no longer wanted or hardly used by anyone........that's too bad.....I mean who caused that. They are putting their desire for higher profits from Windows 10 ahead of supporting products they have already sold. What are they going to do to people who have bought or built Windows 10 computers in the future.....change the operating system so much that the hardware won't even run the operating system any longer and then just tell them " tough luck" just buy a new computer when the consumer doesn't even like or want the bulk of the "improvements" to the operating system!

Anyone else going to be affected by this decision by Microsoft?
 
Usacomp2k3
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:15 am

desertdweller wrote:
Anyone else going to be affected by this decision by Microsoft?

I gave up on MC when it was largely ignored in WIn7.
 
Waco
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:16 am

"Not supported" isn't the same as "doesn't work any more".
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just brew it!
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:39 pm

Unless they explicitly stated that the add-on was also supported until 2023 I don't think there's a case for saying what they're doing is illegal. Annoying? Sure! But annoying a (probably small) subset of their users isn't against the law.

I get it - you're pissed off at the "considerable expense" you incurred buying extra copies which will now be unsupported. But Windows 8.1 was released 6 years ago, and it wasn't exactly a secret that its days were numbered once Windows 10 debuted, nor was it a secret that Media Center was something Microsoft no longer really cared about. I could see buying 1 extra copy... but 3? That was your choice.

Maybe you could recoup some of the expense by flipping them on eBay or something.
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desertdweller
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:03 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Unless they explicitly stated that the add-on was also supported until 2023 I don't think there's a case for saying what they're doing is illegal. Annoying? Sure! But annoying a (probably small) subset of their users isn't against the law.

I get it - you're pissed off at the "considerable expense" you incurred buying extra copies which will now be unsupported. But Windows 8.1 was released 6 years ago, and it wasn't exactly a secret that its days were numbered once Windows 10 debuted, nor was it a secret that Media Center was something Microsoft no longer really cared about. I could see buying 1 extra copy... but 3? That was your choice.

Maybe you could recoup some of the expense by flipping them on eBay or something.


Where did you come up with the idea that I bought "extra" copies? I built 3 computers and used all 3 copies.....one in the living room (Intel NUCpc), one in the family room(Silverstone HTPC with 4 Hard drives and 1 in the master bedroom(NUCpc). All work beautifully for their intended use: as Home Theater PCs......but until Jan 2020 if Microsoft gets their way! When I built these HTPCs, I carefullly checked to see what features were included in the operating system and found that I could add the Media Center feature and create what Microsoft then called Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center operating system. Microsoft was willing to take my money for the product but now are no longer willing to provide what was originally included....a free guide that enables using the pcs as DVRs. I feel I was correct to expect that guide to be provided until the "end of extended support" in Jan., 2023 just as Windows 7 purchasers expected support until "end of extended support" in Jan., 2020. AND the Windows 7 users are getting just that! Why wouldn't owners of Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center be entitled to the same....we paid for the product to be added to Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 got Media Center free. I may be old-fashioned but I feel like Microsoft is not keeping up their side of the transaction......a fully usable operating system with all the features that came with it. They shouldn't be changing the features included before their published "end of extended support date.
 
just brew it!
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:14 pm

desertdweller wrote:
Where did you come up with the idea that I bought "extra" copies? I built 3 computers and used all 3 copies.....

Ah, sorry... my bad. I mis-interpreted your original post. The "When I found out that Windows 10 would no longer have a TV/DVR app as good as Media Center I went out and bought 3 retail copies of Windows 8.1 and 3 copies of the Media Center add-on for Windows 8.1 at considerable expense to insure I would have a Media Center compatible O.S. for several more years!" made it sound like you were trying to make sure you had copies for future builds. At least that was how I interpreted it.

Still stand by my assertion that while it may be annoying/scummy, I don't think MS did anything illegal here unless there was some explicit promise to support Media Center add-on for the life of the OS.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
desertdweller
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:54 pm

just brew it! wrote:
desertdweller wrote:
Where did you come up with the idea that I bought "extra" copies? I built 3 computers and used all 3 copies.....

Ah, sorry... my bad. I mis-interpreted your original post. The "When I found out that Windows 10 would no longer have a TV/DVR app as good as Media Center I went out and bought 3 retail copies of Windows 8.1 and 3 copies of the Media Center add-on for Windows 8.1 at considerable expense to insure I would have a Media Center compatible O.S. for several more years!" made it sound like you were trying to make sure you had copies for future builds. At least that was how I interpreted it.

Still stand by my assertion that while it may be annoying/scummy, I don't think MS did anything illegal here unless there was some explicit promise to support Media Center add-on for the life of the OS.

Their own online help department states the following:

"How is a component supported under Microsoft's Lifecycle Policy?"
"A component receives the same support as its parent product or platform. When a
parent product or platform is Mainstream or or Extended Support, so is the
component. When a parent product or platform reaches the end of support, so does
the component.
For example: If a component is licensed for Microsoft Windows, support ends for the
component on the same date that support ends for Windows"

And the end of support is listed as Jan., 2023.....not Jan., 2020
 
bthylafh
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:38 pm

desertdweller wrote:
I am here to protest the unfair or perhaps illegal decision by Microsoft to discontinue Windows 8.1 pro with Media Center Guide support in January of 2020.


Why are you operating under the misapprehension that Microsoft has a staffer monitoring TR with enough pull to fix this? For us they wouldn't even bother with the script monkeys who "answer" questions on their help sites.
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K-L-Waster
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:09 am

As Waco mentioned above:

"Not supported" isn't the same as "doesn't work any more".


The software won't get remotely shut down when support ends -- all that will happen is if you ask MS to help you with issues they'll tell you it's no longer supported.
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desertdweller
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:38 am

bthylafh wrote:
desertdweller wrote:
I am here to protest the unfair or perhaps illegal decision by Microsoft to discontinue Windows 8.1 pro with Media Center Guide support in January of 2020.


Why are you operating under the misapprehension that Microsoft has a staffer monitoring TR with enough pull to fix this? For us they wouldn't even bother with the script monkeys who "answer" questions on their help sites.


What makes you think Microsoft doesn't check Google or Bing to see what is posted online about their products? They almost certainly are aware if there are widespread comments objecting to their actions and have had to reverse their decisions many times in the not too distant past. I posted my complaint here and on other online forums in the hope that it might help my cause. What else can I do to protect myself against a giant tech company like Microsoft. I thought maybe some of the tech sites I posted on might even publish a story about "another Microsoft blunder". If they do, it is likely other tech sites would publish a story and then maybe I might have influenced Microsoft to think it over.
When you buy a product (license) you are told what wonderful features you get when you make your purchase. No company big or small should be able to quit providing those features after they take your money.
As I mentioned already, Microsoft's own Lifecycle rules state that "components of Windows have the samelength of support as the operating system". They supported Media Center guide in Windows 7 until end of extended support in Jan, 2020 and I feel Windows 8.1 pro with Media Center purchasers are entitled to full use of the features in it until end of extended support in Jan, 2023. How would you feel if Microsoft decided you didn't need to be able to continue using one of YOUR favorite features built in to Windows and announced they were crippling that software in a way making it useless for it's expected use?
A person has to wonder if their decision to drop guide support was to save money or just a brute force method to move people into Windows 10 so they can make more money. I mean Windows 10 is making them so much money their still giving it away years after the "free offer" ended. Surely they aren't selling our user data culled from the telemetry they needed to provide the best possible operating system?
 
K-L-Waster
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:43 am

Dr. Fish wrote a good article about dealing with the EOL of Media Center last year.

https://techreport.com/review/34058/the-death-of-windows-media-center-and-the-five-stages-of-htpc-grief/
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desertdweller
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:51 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
desertdweller wrote:
Anyone else going to be affected by this decision by Microsoft?

I gave up on MC when it was largely ignored in WIn7.


And I didn't and have had years of use of the best Media Center program ever devised and it is still working beautifully.
I've tried all the other possible Media Center software and none of it works as well. Plex was getting there but I think it has now given up on DVR.
 
ludi
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:12 am

desertdweller wrote:
What else can I do to protect myself against a giant tech company like Microsoft. I thought maybe some of the tech sites I posted on might even publish a story about "another Microsoft blunder". If they do, it is likely other tech sites would publish a story and then maybe I might have influenced Microsoft to think it over.
When you buy a product (license) you are told what wonderful features you get when you make your purchase. No company big or small should be able to quit providing those features after they take your money.

We get why you're upset, the thing is: most of us here have seen and/or been burned by Microsoft's corporate ADHD enough times that we no longer count on anything they provide to be around even three years later unless it's a core component of Windows, Office, or Xbox. They've been particularly flighty on anything related to audio/video and the mobile device market, and there's a 20+ year long trail of bones they've left behind as a result: Zune, PlaysForSure, Windows Media Center, WindowsPhone, Nokia, DVD playback support in Windows...
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desertdweller
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:31 am

ludi wrote:
desertdweller wrote:
What else can I do to protect myself against a giant tech company like Microsoft. I thought maybe some of the tech sites I posted on might even publish a story about "another Microsoft blunder". If they do, it is likely other tech sites would publish a story and then maybe I might have influenced Microsoft to think it over.
When you buy a product (license) you are told what wonderful features you get when you make your purchase. No company big or small should be able to quit providing those features after they take your money.

We get why you're upset, the thing is: most of us here have seen and/or been burned by Microsoft's corporate ADHD enough times that we no longer count on anything they provide to be around even three years later unless it's a core component of Windows, Office, or Xbox. They've been particularly flighty on anything related to audio/video and the mobile device market, and there's a 20+ year long trail of bones they've left behind as a result: Zune, PlaysForSure, Windows Media Center, WindowsPhone, Nokia, DVD playback support in Windows...

I'm 77 y.o. and have only been using Windows since 1995, but having built, programmed and used Windows computers for those 24 years, I don't remember them ever dropping or crippling a component before the announced "end of extended support date".....until now. If a component was in the operating system when you bought it, it continued working years later.
 
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:33 am

ludi wrote:
They've been particularly flighty on anything related to audio/video and the mobile device market, and there's a 20+ year long trail of bones they've left behind as a result: Zune

I still use my Zune HD 64 when flying and also believe that of all the portable music players, the Zune team really tried to focus on audio quality. The in-ears that came with the first-gen Zunes were miles above anything Apple ever shipped. Zune is why I'll turn my existing Win8.1 install into a VM before I upgrade.
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The Egg
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:46 am

Have you considered an Xbox One S for a little over $200? While I haven't personally tested or looked much into it, I seem to remember them being given many of the media center features, including an HDMI input port (which can control cableboxes and such) and DVR functionality. You can add external USB hard drives of any size for storage.
 
desertdweller
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:49 am

K-L-Waster wrote:
Dr. Fish wrote a good article about dealing with the EOL of Media Center last year.

https://techreport.com/review/34058/the-death-of-windows-media-center-and-the-five-stages-of-htpc-grief/


Interesting article, thanks. I am using HD Homerun DVR on my 2 Windows 10 computers but find that my Windows 8.1pro w/Media Center PCs are far superior and more user friendly. I had thought when I built those Win8.1 pcs they would work until 2023 and that would probably be the rest of my life. I'm very discouraged by Microsoft's decision to "retire" the EPG and thus pretty much cripple my 3 Media Center PCs.
 
desertdweller
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Re: Microsoft dropping guide in Windows 8.1 pro w/ Media Center

Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:08 pm

The Egg wrote:
Have you considered an Xbox One S for a little over $200? While I haven't personally tested or looked much into it, I seem to remember them being given many of the media center features, including an HDMI input port (which can control cableboxes and such) and DVR functionality. You can add external USB hard drives of any size for storage.

Thanks for the info. I heard a little about the Xbox One S but at my age, I've invested all I intend to and if the Media Center Guide is no longer available until end of extended support in Jan., 2023 I'll convert all 3 pcs to Linux Mint or Ubuntu and use VLC to view previously recorded movies and tv series. I can hook up my new Windows 10 main PC to my HD TV and use HD Homerun DVR for watching and recording future OTA tv programs but it is no where as good as Windows Media Center.
All 3 of my Windows 8.1 pro w/MC PCs have a Windows 10 pro digital license so I could install that but due to the twice a year major upgrades required with Windows 10 I don't think the hardware will be supported for too many upgrades and then I would lose security support. I might as well change them over to Linux if Windows Media Center guide is dropped.

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