Windows XP Media Center Edition
Screenshot of Windows Media Center, the exclusive component of Windows XP Media Center Edition
DeveloperMicrosoft
OS familyMicrosoft Windows
Source model
Released to
manufacturing
September 3, 2002; 21 years ago (2002-09-03)[1]
General
availability
October 29, 2002; 21 years ago (2002-10-29)[2]
Latest release2005 Update Rollup 2 (5.1.2715.3011) / October 14, 2005; 18 years ago (2005-10-14)
Kernel typeHybrid kernel (Windows NT)
Default
user interface
Graphical user interface
LicenseProprietary commercial software
Succeeded by
  • Windows Vista (only Home Premium and Ultimate included Media Center)
Official websitemicrosoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter (Archive site)
Support status
  • Support started on October 28, 2002; 21 years ago (2002-10-28)[3]
  • Mainstream support ended on April 14, 2009; 14 years ago (2009-04-14)[3]
  • Extended support ended on April 8, 2014; 9 years ago (2014-04-08).[3]

Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) is a version of the Windows XP operating system which was the first version of Windows to include Windows Media Center, designed to serve as a home-entertainment hub. The last version, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2, was released on October 14, 2005. After that, Windows Media Center was included in certain editions of later Windows versions. It was an optional, paid addition to Windows 8[4] and then discontinued in Windows 10.[5] Windows XP Media Center Edition reached end of support on April 8, 2014, along with most other Windows XP editions.

Versions

Windows XP Media Center Edition has had the following releases, all based on Windows XP Professional with all features enabled except domain-joining ability disabled in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and Terminal Services in the original release.

To determine the underlying edition of Windows XP on which a particular revision of MCE is based, the System Properties Control Panel applet can be used. To determine the revision of MCE that is being used, select the About Media Center option from the General -> Settings area inside MCE.

Exclusive features

Main article: Windows Media Center

Windows XP Media Center Edition is distinguished with its exclusive component, Media Center, a media player that supports watching and recording TV programs, as well as playing DVD-Video, photo slideshows, and music. Media Center sports a user interface that is optimized for use from a distance with large fonts and icons.

Unlike competing commercial DVR products, Microsoft does not charge a monthly subscription fee for its Media Center TV guide service.

Due to its strict hardware requirements, Microsoft opted not to supply Media Center as an independent retail version. Microsoft only distributed it to MSDN subscribers and original equipment manufacturers in certain countries.[which?] Consumers purchase Media Center preinstalled on a new computer, set-top box or embedded device.

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005

New features

Windows XP Media Center Edition's desktop, when Media Center is not running. This edition uses Royale (Energy Blue) as its default theme.

Removed features

Hardware requirements

The Software Version screen showing MCE running on an Intel Core 2 Duo computer

Media Center has higher hardware requirements than other editions of Windows XP. MCE 2005 requires at least a 1.6 GHz processor, DirectX 9.0 hardware-accelerated GPU (ATI Radeon 9 series or nVidia GeForce FX Series or higher), and 256 MB of System RAM. Some functionality, such as Media Center Extender support, use of multiple tuners, or HDTV playback/recording carries higher system requirements.

Media Center is much more restricted in the range of hardware that it supports than most other software DVR solutions. Media Center tuners must have a standardized driver interface, and they must have hardware MPEG-2 encoders (this was changed as companies such as ATI wrote drivers to support MCE 2005 with their All-In-Wonder cards and HDTV Wonder cards), closed caption support, and a number of other features. Media Center remote controls are standardized in terms of button labels and functionality, and, to a degree, general layout.

Upgradeability (before April 8, 2014)

Windows XP Media Center Edition could be directly upgraded to Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate.[17]

Support for Windows XP Media Center Edition under Microsoft's consumer product lifecycle policy was planned to end on April 13, 2010,[3] however, in July 2009,[18] Microsoft extended the support window to July 12, 2011.[19] This date would be then extended again on December 31, 2010[18] to a final end of support date of April 8, 2014,[20] citing support volumes in emerging markets as the reason for the extension.[19]

Windows XP Media Center Edition retail availability ended as planned on April 14, 2009.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Windows XP Media Center Edition Released to Manufacturing In Time for Holiday 2002". News Center. Microsoft. September 2, 2002. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "The Wait Is Over! Windows XP Media Center Edition Ushers in New Era of Entertainment on the PC". News Center. Microsoft. October 28, 2002. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Microsoft Product Lifecycle: Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Archived from the original on December 13, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  4. ^ Sinofsky, Steven (May 3, 2012). "Making Windows Media Center available in Windows 8". Building Windows 8. Microsoft. Archived from the original on February 24, 2016.
  5. ^ "Upgrade to Windows 10: FAQ". Microsoft Support Website. Microsoft. November 14, 2018. Archived from the original on April 21, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  6. ^ Thurrott, Paul (May 1, 2002). "Windows XP Media Center Edition ("Freestyle") Preview". SuperSite for Windows. Penton. Archived from the original on June 7, 2002.
  7. ^ a b "Microsoft Unveils Windows XP Media Center Edition, Previously Code-Named "Freestyle"". News Center. Microsoft. July 16, 2002. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
  8. ^ Howard, Bill (September 30, 2003). "Second-Generation Media Center Edition: Worth the Wait". PC Magazine. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  9. ^ "Microsoft Redefines PC Entertainment With Launch Of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004". News Center. Microsoft. September 30, 2003. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
  10. ^ Evers, Joris (October 12, 2004). "Microsoft aims high with Media Center update". PC Advisor. IDG.
  11. ^ "Microsoft and Industry Partners Deliver on Digital Entertainment Anywhere Vision With Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005". News Center. Microsoft. October 12, 2004. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
  12. ^ Owen, Charlie (October 14, 2005). "Emerald Is Finally Here". Charlie Owen blog. Archived from the original on August 5, 2007.
  13. ^ "Software Update for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Enables High-Fidelity Access to PC Digital Entertainment via Xbox 360". News Center. Microsoft. October 14, 2005. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  14. ^ "Installing and Configuring Away Mode in Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005". MSDN. Microsoft. 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  15. ^ "You cannot join your computer to a domain in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005". Support. Microsoft. November 19, 2004. Archived from the original on November 1, 2005.
  16. ^ "Joining a domain with Windows Media Center 2005". Retrieved April 7, 2011.[dead link]
  17. ^ "Upgrade to Windows Vista from Windows XP". Computing. ExtremeTech. January 16, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  18. ^ a b "Windows XP Media Center Edition 2002 Lifecycle". Support. Microsoft. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
  19. ^ a b "Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 Lifecycle". Support. Microsoft. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  20. ^ "Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Lifecycle". Support. Microsoft. Retrieved January 4, 2012.