Media Center Now Available for Windows 8 for Free
For those who installed Windows 8 when it was first released to manufacturing, you’ve probably been getting a little inpatient wondering when Windows Media Center would finally be made available to you. We’re pleased to announce that the wait is over! We’re also pleased to confirm that as we had previously reported, Windows Media Center in Windows 8 is available for free. The free promotion is limited though, and you’ll need to take a couple of extra steps to take advantage of it, but it’s not much work.
There is one important note to remember though. Windows 8 Media Center can only be added to Windows 8 Pro installations. If you’re running the base version of Window 8 you’ll also need to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, which is not free. You will be able to follow the instructions below to install Windows 8 Pro with Media Center all at once, but it will cost $69.99. This price is also promotional, so after January 31, 2013 the price will most likely increase for the Windows 8 Pro Pack.
If you already have Windows 8 Pro installed, then head over to the Windows 8 Feature Packs site. There you’ll be able to enter your email address and have a product key for Windows Media Center emailed to you. You’ll need that key later in the process. Note that for many people outside of the United States this page isn’t working yet. It will sure be available soon though.
From your Windows 8 Start screen simply start typing “Add Features”. It will bring up the search screen. Alternatively you could enter search from the Charms bar. No apps will be found from the search, but it will find two settings. So click on the “Settings” button below the search box. Then on the left you’ll see an option titled “Add features to Windows 8″. Click on that, and it will launch a desktop app.
If you already have Windows 8 Pro and had a product key emailed to you for Media Center, select the “I already have a product key” option on the screen below. If you need to purchase the Windows 8 Pro Pack, then select the option labeled “I want to buy a product key online”.
If you already have Windows 8 Pro installed, and you click the option to purchase a key you’ll see that it would cost $9.99 to add Media Center had you not already requested your free key.
If you had Windows 8 Pro already, and have received your key, then you should click the “I already have a product key” option. After that you’ll see the following screen. Here you just need to enter the product key you’ve received via email. Then just follow the wizard. You’ll need to reboot your machine, but once you’ve done that you’ll have Windows 8 Pro with Media Center!
Enjoy watching and recording television on your PC!