Windows Media Player is on the way out after over a decade. In its place, Microsoft has the daring new ‘Media Player for Windows.’
Yes, that is the actual name.
However, it seems the silly name is really the only similarity between the Windows Media Player and the Media Player for Windows.
You know, aside from the fact that they both play media. Media Player for Windows will replace both Windows Media Player and the Groove Music Player, which has basically been on its way out since Microsoft killed the Groove Music Service years ago. Fun fact, Groove was based in Montreal before Microsoft acquired it in 2016.
For what it’s worth, I never used Groove Music on purpose. While some out there may have relied on Groove since it was the default music player for local files in Windows 10, I doubt Groove ever became popular.
Anyway, back to Media Player for Windows. Microsoft has the new media player out for testing in the Windows 11 Insiders Dev Channel build and will eventually make its way to stable Windows 11. It sports a new, modern interface that borrows a few elements from Groove. The app will handle both music and video files and can automatically scan the Music and Video folders on your PC and pull content out of them.
There’s also a fancy new mini-player and Microsoft says it optimized the Media Player for Windows for accessibility with improved keyboard shortcuts and more.
And if, after all this time, you still can’t give up on Windows Media Player, it will remain a part of Windows. Microsoft will relegate Windows Media Player to ‘Windows Tools,’ a semi-hidden section of Windows 11 for legacy apps. You can find it fairly easily by pressing the Windows key and searching ‘Windows Tools.’