In addition a lot of folks said “everyone I know uses it.” As I said, we’re completely committed to delivering Media Center in Windows 8, but I wanted to share some of the usage data. This data in no way influenced not delivering it as part of the first pre-release build—we are as committed as ever to Media Center.

Our opt-in usage telemetry shows that in July, Windows Media Center was launched by 6% of Windows 7 users globally with the heaviest usage in Russia, Mexico, and Brazil (frequency and time). However, most people are just looking around; only one quarter (25% of 6%) of these people used it for more than 10 minutes per session (individual averages), and in 59% of Media Center sessions (by these 6% of users) we see almost no activity (less than a minute or two of usage). TV was the most common scenario we observed, and not surprisingly, traditional media (DVD and CD) are less common (and declining over time) than streaming and file-based content. By comparison, Media Player (66% of Windows users in July) and IE (88%) are popular rendering engines for all types of media content, including an increased volume of “premium” and streaming content. This is another place we’re reminded of the tremendous diversity of Windows activity.

So while it will be included in Windows 8, it won’t be in the initial pre-release builds.  The data about usage is interesting: only 6% of Windows 7 users run it, and then only a small fraction of those users run it for any amount of time.  So good news that Microsoft is including it, even though usage numbers are small.

Sinofsky Blog Post