Windows 8 upcoming release is buzzed a lot on the Internet. The key enhancements like Metro design, Windows Store, fast boot are now well known even to Mac and Linux users! So let’s leave them in peace. In fact, Windows 8 is remarkable not only for its new features, but for the removal of some old options which have been a flagship of Windows OS for years. Important or not so, these features are no longer available. So if you really miss them, think twice before upgrading to Windows 8.
1. Start Button
The Start button which first appeared in Windows 95 and persisted in each new Windows version will be gone soon. Instead, there’s a hot bottom-left corner of the screen to reveal the hidden Start button.
2. Start Menu
The Start menu has also been removed in favor of a full screen interface called the Start screen that uses dynamic tiles instead of static computer icons. It’s accessible as a hotspot in the lower left corner of the screen, via the Windows key, and on the charms bar.
3. Aero Glass
The Aero Glass theme, the graphical centerpiece of Windows Vista and Windows 7, has been completely removed from Windows 8 in favor of a Metro-style theme.
4. Flip 3D
Together with Aero theme, Microsoft abandons Flip 3D windows switching (WinKey+Tab). This wasn’t actually the popular feature among Windows users, still it looked cool and stylish. In Windows 8, Flip 3D is replaced with a Modern UI app switcher, accessible by moving mouse up from the bottom-left corner or down from the upper-left corner. This cannot be used for desktop apps, only to switch to the desktop.
5. DVD Playback
Since DVD discs are used less with the rise of Netflix and other media-streaming services, Microsoft will be removing the integrated DVD playback support from Windows 8. Many new Windows 8 computers will come without DVD drives and Windows Media Player will no longer include codecs to play DVDs. Still if you buy a computer with a DVD drive, it’s up to the manufacturer to include licensed DVD software. Or you can use third-party DVD players, anyway.
6. Windows Desktop Gadgets
Popular desktop widgets like Calendar, Clock, Contacts, Currency Conversion, Feed Headlines, Notes, Stocks, Weather, etc. will be no longer available as a part of Windows sidebar. Though most of these widgets will appear in Start Screen.
7. Update Notifications
On current Windows versions, we are informed about updates through a system tray icon and notification balloons. On Windows 8, these update notifications will no longer appear on the desktop. All Windows-Update-related messages will be shown on the login and lock screens, so you might not even see them if you automatically log into your PC.
8. Windows Media Center
Windows Media Center won’t be included by default in any version of Windows 8, since it’s used by so few people. Still the Media Center will be available as a paid add-on to Windows 8 Pro.
9. Recent Documents
There is no place for Recent Documents menu in the new Start screen. So use Search in Charms bar to find any documents on your Windows 8 PC.
10. Windows Backup and Restore
The Backup and Restore feature that allows users to create system and files backups and restore from them has been replaced by a new feature called File History. Still this new option will provide only file-based backup, since system backup is underused in currant Windows versions.
As it’s clear from the list, most Windows 7 features described above don’t completely disappear in Windows 8, they are just replaced by the new modified ones.
I hope that these changes are well thought out and caused by new technology standards.
Good luck, Windows 8!
But, I will continue to use Windows 7.