Microsoft shows off new Windows 11 Media Player, then hides it
Over the past few weeks, Microsoft has slowly been showing off and releasing new apps designed for Windows 11. From the Snipping Tool to Paint – which was rolled out to Insiders in the Dev channel just yesterday – many Windows apps have been refreshed for Windows 11. Microsoft seems to have accidentally shown off another one in yesterday’s Windows Insider webcast, which has since been taken offline. Spotted by Windows Latest, there seems to be a new Windows 11 app simply called Media Player.
The app was shown off during the webcast playing a video, suggesting this may be a replacement for the Movies & TV app we currently have in Windows 10. However, it might also be more than that. In the screenshot grabbed by Windows Latest, we see the option to shuffle the current playlist or skip tracks, options that aren’t used all that frequently for video. And with the more generic Media Player name, this could indicate that Microsoft is unifying the video and music player apps in Windows 11.
The app also features new UI elements that align with Windows 11. The play/pause button is large and uses a gradient color, and other elements like icons and the seek bar use the Windows 11 design language, too. Some controls that were previously in the bottom left corner were also moved to the right side of the app window.
It’s also interesting to note the use of the name Media Player, seeing as Windows Media Player used to be the go-to solution for playing video and audio on Windows. In fact, it’s still included with Windows 11, but it hasn’t received any notable updates since Windows 7. Xbox Music and Xbox Video were the default media apps in Windows 8, and then both were replaced with Groove Music and Movies & TV, respectively.
It’s particularly interesting because we’ve seen Microsoft embrace more of its legacy apps and modernize them for Windows 11, instead of trying to create wholly new brands and experiences. The new Snipping Tool replaces the Snip & Sketch app from Windows 10, and Paint is getting a facelift after Microsoft tried to popularize Paint 3D. Bringing back the Media Player name seems to make perfect sense given Microsoft’s current approach to Windows 11 apps.
We’ve seen very little of this new Media Player app for Windows 11, and with Microsoft seemingly trying to hide it by taking down the Windows Insider webcast video, it’s likely that a “grander” reveal is planned for the near future. Almost all the big new apps we’ve seen in Windows 11 were initially teased by Panos Panay on Twitter, so we may get a similar glimpse at it before it rolls out.