For some odd reason, Microsoft decided to leave Windows Media Center out of Windows 8. The company is planning on offering Windows Media Center as an optional add-on for $9.99. Better yet, save ten bucks by downloading it for free with Microsoft's special offer.
Two things you need to know: You'll need to have Windows 8 Pro and the offer expires January 31, 2013. If you haven't upgraded to Windows 8 yet, but are considering it, you can still grab the product key from Microsoft now and use it later after you've upgraded or bought a new Windows 8 computer.
So here are the steps to get Windows Media Center for free:
- Visit Microsoft's offer page and enter your email address
- After you get the email from Microsoft with the product key, hit Win+W to go to the Settings page.
- Type in "add features" in the search box, then select "Add features to Windows 8"
- Choose "I already have a product key" and enter it, then click Next
- Finally, accept the license terms and click "Add features"
It's a pretty painless process. If you find, as I did, that the product key email from Microsoft never comes in, return to the site and enter your email address again. You should get the product key within a day.