Once upon a time, the thinking was that the PC was going to serve as the entertainment hub in consumer households. We’d hook them up to big monitors or TVs, archive gobs of movies, music, and TV shows on massive hard drives, and control it all with a computer-connected remote.
Windows Media Center was the embodiment of this idea, launched as a special edition of Windows XP as the OS for then-hot media-centric PCs. With a TV tuner, media center computers could even pause and rewind live TV, a la Tivo.
The only problem: No one wanted to watch TV at their desk, and no one wanted to put a PC in the living room. By 2009, Microsoft stopped developing Media Center, though it limped along in stasis for another half-decade. By Windows 10’s release, with streaming video hitting full stride, Microsoft formally killed WMC altogether—and no longer even bundles a free DVD player with Windows, yet another harbinger of the death of physical media.