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I am an unwilling and unhappy user of Windows 8. I'm watching a series of course lectures as mp4 files, and the default video player is Xbox. It's fine, and a decent video player, but I need to switch back and forth between lecture and compiler, and often, the Xbox process will vanish from the Alt-tab list. Sometimes this happens a few seconds after switching away, sometimes I can go 20 minutes without it happening.

I could switch to WMP, but it's even worse. I'd like to get the Xbox video to work - it might make it feel like Win8 is not a complete and utter disaster. (Just an utter disaster ;)

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Try VLC or BS player. – Ben Franchuk May 2 '13 at 3:40
    
I'm trying to get the software I have to work, not find alternative software, but thanks! – orbfish May 2 '13 at 3:41

This is by-design. Windows 8 keeps track of 'Windows Store apps' that go into the background and are automatically suspended after 5 seconds of losing focus (some exceptions exist, but I digress). Windows automatically terminates the background app if resources are required for foreground tasks. This is why the XBox video app automatically vanishes from the 'alt-tab' list.

The workaround in your case would be to either add more resources to your system (increase RAM perhaps) so the system is not easily starved for resources or alternatively use a 'classic desktop' application like WMP that is not under the control of the new Process-Lifecycle-Manager in Windows 8.

Is there a reason WMP will not work in your scenario?

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