You may or may not know this, but Windows 8 does not come with Windows Media Center.  But you can get it free from Microsoft, for a limited time.

How, you might ask?  This way:

  1. Buy a computer with Windows 8 Professional, or upgrade an existing computer to Windows 8 Professional.  You can also upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro for a nominal cost, if needed.
  2. Get on the Internet from that computer and proceed to
    10-26-2012 5-00-22 PM
  3. Follow the instructions.
    10-26-2012 5-00-43 PM

About a day later, you will get an email with your WMC product key.

10-26-2012 4-38-55 PM

Open the Control Panel and click on the “Add features to Windows 8” option.


Enter your product key,

10-26-2012 4-42-45 PM

tick the appropriate check box, make note of the message, and

10-26-2012 4-42-58 PM

let the download and installation begin.  This particular process takes some time, so be patient.

10-26-2012 4-43-09 PM

Once completed, and the computer restarts, you will find this message on the desktop,

10-26-2012 4-48-59 PM

a new version blip on the desktop,

10-26-2012 4-49-35 PM

and a new tile on the Windows 8 Start screen.


Click on the tile to bring up Windows Media Center, throw a DVD into your optical drive,

10-26-2012 4-49-25 PM

and enjoy a movie (once again) in Windows 8.

10-26-2012 4-59-22 PM

I definitely missed WMC, particularly as a DVR, and I am quite happy to have access to it again.  This is a free upgrade to Windows 8 Pro through January 31st, 2013.  After that, it will cost you a whopping 10 bucks, which is still quite cheap for what WMC gives you.