The Windows 11 release is only a couple of days away, but scuttlebutt and rumors continue to trickle in as PC users await “the most significant” Windows upgrade in 10 years. The latest gossip comes from a webcast Microsoft held for Windows Insiders (a free program Windows users can join to explore Windows 11 beta).
Senior Program Manager Frank Chen introduced a new feature called Focus Sessions to viewers, but instead of providing a live demo, he used a video app to showcase the novel perk. Interestingly, hawk-eyed users spotted that the name of the video platform is “Media Player,” but it doesn’t look anything like the light-blue Windows Media Player app we’re familiar with (via Windows Latest).
Microsoft could have simply applied a new skin to the existing Media Player app, but there’s a good chance Windows 11 could get a new, updated platform for playing audio and videos.
There’s another theory, according to DigitalTrends. Microsoft could be planning to merge all three media apps — Windows Media Player, Groove Music and Movies & TV — into one hub called “Media Player.”
“It could combine the functionality of each into a more robust app that would allow you to listen to your Spotify playlist while being able to rent movies and TV shows,” DigitalTrends said.
It would be worth a shot. I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t know anyone who regularly uses Windows Media Player and the Movies & TV app. On top of that, Groove Music has been an unsuccessful venture for Microsoft. The Redmond-based tech giant tried to get into the music-streaming world via the Groove Music app (i.e. Groove Music Pass), but the company discontinued the service in 2018 and decided to partner with Spotify instead.
If it’s just a reskin, the new Media Player looks pretty slick, dropping the light-blue theme for a darker motif with a swanky, newly designed play button. Similar to the current media player, the alleged new one seems to have repeat and shuffle buttons. The most standout difference between the webcast’s media player and the current one is that the former lets you rewind in 10-second increments and skip ahead in 30-second increments.
Of course, this is all speculation. We’ll simply have to wait for an official announcement from Microsoft to see if a new Media Player is in the cards.