In about a month, the next version of Windows 8 will be released as a beta to the public. This version is expected to include Windows Media Center, which was missing from previous iterations of the software.
With the new Metro UI, I am hoping Microsoft finally kills Media Center. Doing so would break down the development walls that surround Media Center. Right now, there is no compelling reason to develop software for the Media Center Platform in Windows 7. The Metro UI in Windows 8 could change that.
Microsoft should just provide tuner/DVR support in the Metro UI along with a television guide. Everything else should be filled in by third party developers. Take Media Browser, the great plugin for Windows Media Center that helps manage a movie collection. If a Metro version of Media Browser is released, who needs a plugin for Media Center?
The Metro UI seems like it could still work as a 10 foot interface. The Xbox 360 is a perfect example of this. The only question I have is how does the Metro-fied version of Xbox Live fit into the overall media center experience? It is not clear if the Xbox Live interface is actually the new Media Center interface. Once again though, tuner/DVR capabilities need to be added.
The Metro UI is clearly being developed as a tablet interface. Windows 8 is aiming to make Windows based tablets relevant. Television could actually end up being the killer app for tablets. No one, not even Apple, has perfected television on tablets. Windows 8 has that potential.