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Vista Features Removed from Windows 7

Guy Thomas

Guy Thomas is the writer and editor of Computer Performance, a site dedicated to computer hardware and software maintenance and troubleshooting since 1996. He currently resides in England.

Deprecate is a strange word; the only context I have seen for this term is when a new computer system removes previous features.  Also note that the verb deprecate should not be confused with its cousin depreciate, which is what seems to be happening to my house price!

Introduction to Deprecated Features in Windows 7

This week I have selected some of the items in Vista that you won't find in Windows 7.  What I find is that deprecating features confuses us old-timers because we keep looking for them!  Deprecating utilities or applets also irritates those who can remember Microsoft boasting that you could do everything on a new Windows operating system that you could do on its ancestors.  I guess that Microsoft's backwards compatibility promise was broken when XP was launched, and has been conveniently forgotten in Windows 7.

It's probably a sign of my aging, rather than any dramatic change in society, but one of my biggest disappointments is when supermarkets, banks and computer programs change things that don't need changing, especially when the "new" version is worse.  Fair play to the RFC (request for comments), their numbers never change, a practice that should be applied to TechNet articles, and extended to setting in stone the URL of webpages.

Vista Features Deprecated in Windows 7

  1. What many of us hanker after most is choice for our computer settings.  In contrast it seems that Microsoft now wants to restrict our ability to customize toolbars in general, and that Vista Quick Launch bar in particular.
  2. I also wonder why Microsoft removed that lovely 'glowing' effect when the XP network icon was connected.  On the positive side, joining a wireless network seems easier in Windows 7 than it was in Vista.
  3. I am hoping that the latest re-organization of the Control Panel will be the last for some time.  For example, the Printers folder is now in Hardware and Sound.  Maybe there is a Classic XP style Start Menu, but I cannot find it.  One item that I don't miss is the recent items list on the Start Menu, and I have quite taken to the "Jump Lists'".
  4. Add / Remove Windows Programs has been replaced by "Features", which you Turn on or Turn off.  Fair enough, a Windows 7 change that makes sense.
  5. PowerShell is one of my favorite programs.  I confess to a 'senior moment' when I visited a colleagues Windows 7 machine.  I could not "Turn on Feature" for PowerShell as you do in Vista.  In fact I could not find any way to install it, so in desperation I typed PowerShell in the Search dialog box, much to my embarrassment there was PowerShell, installed by default in Windows 7.  Not all new ways are bad.
  6. Outlook Express is replaced by Windows Mail, which together with Photo Gallery, you can get as an add-on from Windows Live.
  7. It's probably no big deal that the Ultimate edition of Windows 7 no longer has DreamScene or games like Hold'em.  Indeed, for many the killer reason to spend the extra money on Ultimate is the need for BitLocker security.  However, for me it was peace of mind that I am not missing something that caused me to pay the premium for Ultimate.  For example, some XP users get excited by the prospect of Windows 7 offering XP emulation, only for their hopes dashed because Windows Home Premium does not support XP Mode, for that they need Ultimate.
  8. I have also been reviewing my Vista registry tweaks and am surprised that some of my old tricks no longer work in Windows 7.  N.B. Thanks to Stephen B correcting my mistake, I must no revisit my registry hacks. For example, my party-piece renaming the Computer Icon on the desktop to reflect the username of whoever is logged on, does work.
  9. In this short review about features deprecated in Windows 7, I admit to suffering from version blindness, by that I mean if you are coming from XP, I forget which features were deprecated in Vista, and which in Windows 7.  Most of all, I just wanted to alert you that while Vista and Windows 7 are similar, if you cannot find a feature in 7, it might have been removed.  For an extended list of deprecated features see here

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  • mdbrotha03
    For XP mode you need Windows 7 Professional or higher. Ultimate is not a requirement
  • BlueCat57
    I appreciate senior moments, I've had many during my process of learning Windows 7.

    I followed your link to other deprecated features. Note that Movie Maker is a Live feature/application available to Windows 7 users. I've never used it but need to, so I'm glad I found it.

    You forget that the photo app that came with Vista was deprecated and moved to Live as well. It appears that other features may have been moved to the "cloud" as well.

    I had a problem with notifications flashing up from the Notification Area and disappearing before I could respond. I just shut off a bunch of the notifications and that "fixed" the problem. Hopefully they weren't telling me my system is infected or something like that.

    The biggest problem is not with deprecation but with renaming a feature or moving them. Your tip about using the search feature to find a feature is useful. I've used it several times.

    Overall 7 is WAY BETTER than Vista or XP. Even my wife the Mac user has switched from Snow Leopard to 7. So far so good. Great job Microsoft.
  • Technically on #7 you can get Professional and do the XP Mode as well.
  • BlueCat57
    Here's an article from Wikipedia that lists features removed:

    Also found a forum thread about Hold'em on the Windows support site:

    I followed the link and the download wasn't there. But I expect that if you had Vista Ultimate that there is a way to make Hold'em work under 7.
  • donaldduck
    Uhm, ok, on the whole this is a nice column (I find it difficult to call it an article), however there are a few "strange" things, such as addressing the article to total beginners (otherwise I cannot explain the very basic list of deprecated features) and then publishing "advertisement" to commercial (and expensive), complex, troubleshooting/admin software. I kinda missing the connection of the "recommendations" in relation to the deprecated features.
    There are also quite a few open source alternatives to the software "recommended".
  • bydesign
    Ok they broke the search tool, that was very nice in Vista and is useless to the point that I use a 3rd party tool. IE 8 is required, are there any sites it doesn't have an issue with, replaced. At best it's slightly better than Vista, really. The virtual PC was faster in Vista and acceptible the one in W7 is all but useless so much for the BS windows mode. VMware is your best bet now.

    Also windows 7 lags for no reason at all, that never happened in Vista, and it doesn't on all 3 of the pc I run 7 on. Oh and BSODs are back with 7
  • BlueCat57
    Search has sucked for several versions. I just trust luck to find my files. Don't understand what you mean about IE8. IE8 runs MUCH better than with Vista. Not using virtual PC, using a BootCamp partition so running pure Windows on the Intel Mac.
  • drksilenc
    the printers change was done so you had 1 central place to find all your addons like mice keyboard bluetooth and everything of that nature
    as to the thing about add remove programs? i have a snapin call programs for that i dont know why you dont.
    and you are completely missing the classic mode for your control panel theres a little blue dropdown that gives a tile mode i beleve and that makes it just like a classic control panel

    does ne1 actually use outlook express? ok i know they did but come on theres much better free alternatives than live mail... thunderbird comes to mind

  • steiner666
    You can change the taskbar to the old view by right-clicking it and going into properties and then tell it to either never combine or combine only when taskbar is full, or something along those lines and then check the box to use small icons and there you go.

    You can make the control panel less of a pain to navigate by changing the view from category to small/large icons in the pull-down menu on the top right corner in control panel view. Now, for example, printers will be in the "Printers and Devices" section, which is also listed on the start menu, at least on mine. Add/remove programs will be "programs and features" which makes a lot more sense than just "features", that's stupid. it's like they want ppl to be dumber by unlearning what to refer to a software program as and just grouping it in one vague "features" term. I hate when they make changes like that.

    anyways, there are other ways to resolve other items on the list, but i cant remember how off hand
  • 2zao
    it says that for XP mode you need ultimate... not true... while it is not in the home version as stated, you only need profesional