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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 Add / Remove Windows Programs has been replaced by "Features", which you Turn on or Turn off.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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