I live in the middle of Softieland Although I am not a member of the club per se ,I just have many, many friends who work at the place. Quite a lot of them are audio/video enthusiast and own the Ceton Tuner cards and use them often. I also have a friend who is at the highest level of the XBox team and all will verify WMC stopped receiving practically any funding a number of years ago, The WHS fiasco and subsequent move to the Server group further destroyed the whole home conquering plan Windows originally envisioned with WMC and WHS. Then we got Home Mesh net to further hose it all up.
During all this time, X-Box kept growing, winning market share and most importantly "monetizing" the XBox experience for Microsoft. WMC failed miserably to do this. So, what is my point. The victors in the living room are the X-Box team. They have little intention of opening up the X-Box to competiitors. They intend to continue to get paid for content on the box. There is no internal second opinion to do otherwise from a valid succesful internal team. Look to see a new X-Box lite that may well offer WME functionality. Expect more services and fees from X-Box Live. As a score card, my friend on the X-Box team by far has the nicest, house, car, toys of any of the other guys I know who work their. He won the living room. Windows team lost!!!
I have several friends who worked on Microsoft's pre I-Phone touch tablet computing platform. They thought it would change the world. About the time Apple came storming into touch mobile devices they disbanded all these teams. Now, guess what, touch Win 8 is all the rage. Microsoft has a culture of competing internally with each other. Great concepts get crushed, weak but profitable stuff often gets a green light. It is a known cultural weakness of the firm. Internal competition does not always lead to the best ideas succeeding; just the loudest and money making.
So, Ceton is working with what it's got (An internal team at MSFT that is losing). The final chapter is never written at Microsoft and I too share all these concerns. For me, I am rebuilding my primary HTPC with all new guts and all based on Win 7. I am using a ton of Linksys WME's and will not change for now. My primary HTPC is getting a new Core I7, 32GB of RAM, Ramdisk for some rendering, a new SATA III Hard Drive and 12 TB of Raid. It is on the test bench now..
In the future, my guess is we may all own little X-Box lites if we choose to stick with an WMC type platform. OTH if Ceton does fire up a central tuner box, I might just go that route some day.
Stay happy and I will continue to monitor this thread for improvements.