Media Center is not XP Home


It’s not XP Pro either.  Media Center should now be thought of as another version of XP just like Home and Pro.  It’s closer to Pro than Home, the major difference is that Media Center 2005 does not support connecting to a domain.  The reason for this is that Extender devices use Fast User Switching technology to work and that functionality is not available on a domain.

If you already have Media Center 2004 connected to a domain, don’t worry, when you upgrade to 2005 you’ll keep the domain join functionality, but you won’t be able to use an Extender device.

Comments (21)

  1. If I remeber correctly you are not able to run IIS on XP home. Will you be able to run IIS on Media Edition ?

  2. Jeff Key says:

    When you say it’s more like Pro than Home to this audience, the first thing we (probably) think of is IIS. Does Media Center support it? (This came to mind after reading some reviews yesterday.)

  3. Edwin says:

    I am not a pro when it comes to Windows OS so excuse the question. Will I still be able to install and execute Visual Basic 2005 Express and Visual Web Dev 2005 Express. Thank you for your helpful answers.

  4. Yes, unless an requires that it is run on a PC connected to a domain (and I can’t think of any examples) then it will run on the Media Center Edition as well.

  5. Edwin says:

    thank you michael

  6. Adam says:

    Isn’t the real reason that MCE 2005 cannot connect to a domain because Microsoft are marketing the OEM version cheaper than XP Pro, and don’t want corporates to save money by buying MCE? Having no domain access in MCE means that I cannot purchase a MCE laptop, as I need to use it in the office as well as the home. I wish MS would offer a "Pro" version of MCE. I’d be happy to pay more for it, even if it didn’t support MCX.

  7. Couldn’t say, I have no idea what we charge OEMs for Media Center.

  8. Danee says:

    If the system has a network card that is recognised during the install of XP MCE 2005 the option to join a domain is available, but that’s the only time it’s possible when doing a clean install

  9. Etienne says:

    What exactly are examples of the "Extender devices" that are referred to in the text?

    (In my situation – I’m running a buisness from my home address – I have a SBS 2003 server on-line. Obviously, I would like to have a future MCE computer connected to my domain.)

  10. Etienne says:

    So, if I understand ‘Danee’ correctly: upgrading a MCE-2004 computer (that already is connected to a domain) to MCE-2005 is _not_ the only way to make a MCE-2005 computer join a domain. That’s very, very good news: it makes my upcoming MCE installation a lot easier.

    When during a clean 2005 install the computer has joined a domain, are these "extended", XP-Pro like network options permanently "unlocked"?

  11. John Diatte says:

    Just bought a HP media Center with 2005 pre installed. Has anybody figured out how to unlock the network options to join a domain?

  12. Chirag says:

    I have purchased a state of the art sony vaio pc for work and guess what? i comes pre-installed with mce 2005 and i can not connect it to our domain at work, my first impression was something went wrong in the installation and re-installed it 3 times!!! Microsoft needs to release a patch for this or else a lot of ppl will be disapointed with this version of os! not to forget that a lot of home users have servers with a shared drive to view music or movies on latest dvd players. What happens when you want to replace that dvd player to a pc like one made by Alienware which comes with MCE pre-installed? can they still view those movies? from experience what i have found this os lets you browse all shared drive on a server even if it’s not connect to the domain, weird isn’t it? no credentials nothing!