Windows Media Center (WMC) is an all-around media solution developed by Microsoft meant to bridge the living room media environment to the PC experience. Through WMC, users are able to watch and record live TV shows and play music and other media saved on the hard drive or other attached storage devices. It was included in the high-end version of Windows Vista and Windows 7 but existed as early as Windows XP Media Center Edition.
Windows Media Center was introduced in Windows XP Media Center Edition under the code name "Freestyle." When Windows Vista was released, a new version of WMC was included in the Vista Home Premium and Ultimate editions, sporting a redesigned user interface to cater to the new 16:9 aspect ratio standard that was becoming more prolific with monitors and HDTVs. WMC was further updated in a feature pack called "TV Pack 2008," and much of the functionality of this update was carried over to the WMC release for Windows 7, which was available for most versions except Starter and Home Basic. It was also made available for Windows 8 Pro and as an add-on for Windows 8.1 Pro. Microsoft has stated that it will no longer be including WMC with Windows, which probably means that it will be discontinued.
The main feature of WMC is playing media of any type on any connected storage device or from any available location in one convenient place, essentially a center for media. One of its major features apart from the aforementioned ones is the ability to watch and record live television on the PC and to act as a DVR. It is also able to stream television programs and movies through supported streaming services such as Netflix and even YouTube and similar platforms through third-party plug-ins.