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Features and options removed in Windows 8


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#1
xpclient

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Hello to everyone at MSFN. I have been here for a long time (since the Unattended MSFN days) but never took part in the forums. Dunno why. I will now. MSFN is a friendly place for me. I am also part of Classic Shell development - I do the testing, UI design feedback and overall UX and new feature ideas - how stuff should work, helping Ivo out (the developer of Classic Shell).

I have made a list of features removed, missing or absent options in Windows 8 compared to Windows 7:

● Start Menu.
Built-in (Microsoft provided) DVD playback in Windows Media Player will not be available on the Windows 8 platform, even with addition of the Media Center Pack.
● Device Manager no longer shows Non-Plug and Play Drivers or hidden devices. The "Devmgr_Show_NonPresent_Devices=1' environment variable has no effect: Image
● Applications can no longer programmatically configure, change or query file associations or set themselves during installation as the default for a file type or protocol!
● Many commands are missing on the Ribbon which were there on Explorer command bar like Compatibility Files, View Remote Printers etc and others for special folders and namespace extensions. They just forgot to add these to these commands!
● The "Compatibility" tab for an application's properties no longer includes 'Windows 2000' and 'Windows NT 4.0' modes. You will be forced to use Application Compatibility Toolkit to set these OS modes.
● The menu bar and command bar (toolbar) in Windows Explorer have been removed and replaced with the Ribbon interface. Keyboard usability IMHO of the Ribbon is poor because in a menu, the first letter of any menu command or Alt+keyboard combination key is easier to read sequentially as it is placed in a row either horizontally or vertically. Mouse usability of the Ribbon and discoverability of commands is also poor, because unlike in a menu, where you can switch from one menu to another without clicking again, the Ribbon tabs do not activate unless you click again. The File menu also showed context menu commands but the File button on the Ribbon does not show these. Commands in the menu can be static (always available) irrespective of the location you are at in Explorer or they can be dynamic like the File menu. In contrast, commands on the Ribbon are all contextual meaning you have to navigate to a certain location to use that Ribbon command. The Ribbon is not customizable, only the Quick Access Toolbar is customizable but its usability is poor because it uses tiny 16 x 16 icons! (So much for a touch-friendly OS).
● The ability to boot directly to the desktop and not load the Metro components in memory is not there. Items in various startup locations (Registry, startup folder etc) are all loaded with a delay of few seconds with no way to load them instantly.
● The Lock screen is the place where you can now display custom background instead of the Logon screen, but unlike the Logon screen, there seems to be no way to programmatically change or cycle through a group of images for the Lock screen background. It must be set manually by the user from PC settings on the Start screen.
● Running Internet Explorer purely in 64-bit mode is not possible unless Enhanced Protected Mode is enabled which disables all addons not compatible with EPM. Otherwise, 64-bit IE10 opens 32-bit tabs.
● Search option to use natural language search has been removed.
● File operations like Rename, Delete can no longer be undone for UAC-protected locations
● Security Essentials settings for configuring default actions or real-time protection have been removed. (Security Essentials is now built-in as Windows Defender)
● In a dual boot scenario, the ability to directly boot into another OS besides Windows 8 is slowed down because the new Windows 8 boot shell/loader reboots to load the other operating system.
● Windows Update settings for showing notifications and allowing all users to install updates have been removed. Windows Update no longer notifies with a balloon notification that there are new updates available.
Sound events for 'Exit Windows', 'Windows Logon' and 'Windows Logoff' are removed
People Near Me P2P API is removed
WinHelp has been completely discontinued. No download will be available.
● MSConfig's Startup tab has been killed and replaced by the Task Manager's Startup tab that doesn't have the 'Location' column which was useful for example to know if the process started from HKCU or HKLM.
Previous Versions for Shadow Copies is removed. The half-baked replacement is the File History feature which is only for certain file types (documents, music, videos and pictures) in Libraries, desktop and browser favorites. Previous Versions worked for any generic file type in any folder. File History does not even support EFS-encrypted files! File History is supposed to replace both "Previous Versions for Shadow Copies" as well as "Windows Backup and Restore" and it doesn't do 100% of either of the features it replaces!
Advanced Appearance settings which let you adjust colors, sizes and fonts are removed
● Explorer status bar removes the ability to show important details. It is now a private undocumented control (DirectUI) so it also doesn't allow Explorer addons like Classic Shell to show information like free disk space, total size of items without selection, computer zone, infotip information as it could on a standard status bar control.
● Explorer: Ability to enable both Details pane and Preview pane simultaneously in Explorer for display of file metadata as well as preview, or, Details pane to be always shown and only the Preview pane toggled is gone
Flip 3D is gone
● Chkdsk when run at startup does not display any information about file system repairs besides % complete. This screen with scanning and correction details is gone when Chkdsk runs at startup and replaced by just a % complete.
● Pen, Ink and Touch Input Desktop features, including the The Tablet Input Panel (TIP) are no longer included. Some buttons ('num', 'sym' and 'web) are removed from the Handwriting input panel and UI changes to it require more clicks for example to switch from handwriting to keyboard, or access the editing commands (join, split, delete). It is now touch-friendly but no longer stylus-friendly. Desktop tablet features are replaced by a "simplified" touch keyboard.
Network Map feature and some network profile management UI (setting a network as Private, Public, customizing the network name and icon etc) from Network and Sharing Center is missing
Memory addresses and other technical information has been removed from the Windows 8 bug check screen (BSOD)
● The new Task Manager is missing many features of the old one: http://social.techne...c8-c39833aff90e
View Available Networks (VAN) UI has been crippled with access to the most important dialog: the Network's Status window removed. The VAN UI now covers the notification area icons unnecessarily and the Metro look is out of place on the Aero desktop.
● The AutoPlay dialog removes the option to always open a particular program based on the file type
● The Open With dialog breaks the NoInternetOpenWith and NoFileAssociate Group Policies and browsing for a program with the redesigned Open With dialog requires three clicks instead of just one.
● The Windows Error Reporting dialog for reporting/debugging crashes does not save the state of "View details"
Windows CardSpace is not installed even after installing .NET 3.0/3.5
● The keyboard shortcut for Windows Mobility Center has been removed. Previously, Win+X brought it up, now it brings up the power user context menu.
Some remoting apps that use mirror drivers or some features of mirror drivers for remoting scenarios, accessibility, or desktop duplication may no longer be supported due to the changes required to be made to Desktop Window Manager.
● Some Audio Compression Manager (ACM) components are broken resulting in Sound Recorder being unable to do format conversion.
● Subsystem for UNIX-based applications is completely removed

If you notice more features missing, removed or broken, you are welcome to notify me. Haven't discovered all the ways in which Microsoft has secretly damaged the OS yet.

Some examples of Metro encroaching on the Aero desktop:
User interfaces for View Available Networks (VAN) and AutoPlay
User interfaces for Open With, Windows Update restart prompt and Error Reporting
Reset and Refresh - a great new feature but what is this monstrosity doing on the Aero desktop?
DisplaySwitch - seriously what is this mixing of Metro style on the Aero desktop?
BitLocker unlock drive dialog


Previous lists I made:

Features removed in Windows 7
Features removed in Windows Vista

Windows 7 will be my last Windows. :( Debian + LXDE, here I come.


Updated the list for Release preview. However, the list of my blog (which I won't link to, to avoid shameless promoting it) is the list of issues I am really concerned of. Some of the items in this list are "meh", they are there just for sake of completeness, they don't bother me so much. Some features like Unblock button to remove the Alternate Data Stream or the folder conflict dialog are back.

Edited by xpclient, 01 August 2012 - 11:48 AM.

Impossible to run NT6 without third party fixes.



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#2
tomasz86

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Awesome list :w00t:


● In a dual boot scenario, the ability to directly boot into another OS besides Windows 8 is slowed down because the new Windows 8 boot shell/loader reboots to load the other operating system

I don't know how it works in case of Vista/7 but if you use ntldr you can just use the bcdedit.exe to set {ntldr} as default and then you can easily choose between the two without waiting & rebooting. I've tested it with Windows 2000 & 8 using the same boot partition and it's way better then waiting for Win8 boot loader to bring up the menu (it's pretty slow...) & rebooting in order to boot the older Windows. There is no need to wait for reboot if you want to boot Win8 when ntldr is set as default.

Edited by tomasz86, 01 May 2012 - 02:04 AM.

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#3
xpclient

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In case of Windows 8 too, the behavior I mentioned above is only true for the ugly looking Metro boot shell. If you do any change to the BCD using bcdedit.exe, or just install EasyBCD, you get the older Vista/7 text-based boot loader. But it's possible in a future release, MS may remove the text-based boot loader. That's why I feel it's important to give feedback to Microsoft to not restart to boot into another OS. I also found another interesting thing: If you hold down Shift while pressing Restart (Shift+Restart), it exits Windows 8 and takes you back to the Metro-style boot shell.

Impossible to run NT6 without third party fixes.


#4
CoffeeFiend

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Nice list :thumbup

For me the main feature that's been removed is having a Metro-free experience.

Use the Send Feedback Tool in Windows 8 to send feedback to Microsoft reinstate these removed/broken features

What's gone won't be back and you know it.
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#5
xpclient

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Of these the things I managed to "get back" on Windows 8 are:

● Start Menu (courtesy of our Classic Shell of course)
● Managed to disable the Ribbon thanks to a tweak I found on AskVG.com (not really recommended though because it involves modifying a system DLL)
● Mouse control panel option to not change mouse pointers when changing themes is still supported through Group Policy.
● WinHelp can made to work for apps whose help files are stuck in .HLP format
● The old MSconfig from Windows 7 works on Windows 8 to restore the Startup tab's functionality (which the Task Manager doesn't have)
● All Desktop games by wrapping a licensing API-related function from Slc.dll and placing that file in the Games folder can be made to work
● DVD Maker and Briefcase can be made to work

Edited by xpclient, 01 May 2012 - 06:25 AM.

Impossible to run NT6 without third party fixes.


#6
Tripredacus

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WinHelp has been completely discontinued. No download will be available.


I'd think that HLP was deprecated when CHM became used. And now CHM will soon be deprecated since Win8 help can be built in XHTML and CSS. I am not seeing how this is a big deal unless you are still wanting to run legacy applications that still have .HLP files. But maybe someone will make a Metro app that lets you read them? :w00t:

Security Essentials settings for configuring default actions or real-time protection have been removed. (Security Essentials is now built-in as Windows Defender)


You can be sure that the final release version of Windows 8 will allow for third-party anti-virus software. That being said, I am sure the anti-virus engine (or Windows Defender) will have some better options in GA.

Windows Boot logo is removed


The Beta fish is the boot logo. I wonder what the GA logo will be? :unsure:

My Wireless NIC (Broadcom chipset) no longer has in-box drivers for hosted/virtual Wi-Fi whose virtual adapter used to be automatically enabled on Windows 7


I would expect a lot more driver support in the finished product. Besides, how old is this NIC of yours? Even my sound card had no in-box drivers for Windows 7 when it came out.

Some Audio Compression Manager (ACM) components are broken resulting in Sound Recorder being unable to do format conversion.


This might be a licensing thing. I wouldn't expect MS to pay licensing fees for Codecs or other inclusions to a beta product.
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#7
CoffeeFiend

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Of these the things I managed to "get back" on Windows 8

"Get back" as workarounds, using 3rd party tools and messing with the binaries.

What I meant is more like "You know that MS won't give it back to you, not in Win8 at least.
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#8
xpclient

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What I meant is more like "You know that MS won't give it back to you, not in Win8 at least.


I know and I agree. :) I have no plans to upgrade to Windows 8 anyways, not unless I am forced to use it or its derivatives some day. There's always Apple products which even if I don't prefer I will get just to annoy and stay away from Microsoft products like Windows 8 which I dislike even more.

Impossible to run NT6 without third party fixes.


#9
CoffeeFiend

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I have no plans to upgrade to Windows 8 anyways, not unless I am forced to use it or its derivatives some day. There's always Apple products which even if I don't prefer I will get just to annoy and stay away from Microsoft products like Windows 8 which I dislike even more.

That's exactly what I'm thinking too. I don't really like Macs all that much, but they're certainly nicer than win8.
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#10
puntoMX

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Apple is more exiting and you will sleep worse at night knowing it's full of security holes, but who likes a boring, sleep better at night, and safer life? :lol:

Some Audio Compression Manager (ACM) components are broken resulting in Sound Recorder being unable to do format conversion.


This might be a licensing thing. I wouldn't expect MS to pay licensing fees for Codecs or other inclusions to a beta product.

Well, it seems that MPEG 2 is an opcional codec in Windows 8 as well, so it could be that the ACM would be "sold" the same way. Seems that Microsoft doesn't like the crazy high fees for DVD playback. Win8 does support out of the box h.264, mp4, wma, mp3 and mpeg 1.

#11
xpclient

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ACM is not a codec.ACM=Audio Compression Manager, it is the legacy encoding framework. Almost antique. Read about it here: Audio Compression Manager It's been deprecated like forever but always present for backward compatibility. Old apps like the good old Windows Sound Recorder, VirtualDub depend on ACM for encoding and PCM format conversion. ACM itself isn't removed in Windows 8, it's still there. What's gone is the compatibility for **some apps** like the legacy Sound Recorder which did format conversion. The encoding still works for VirtualDub etc. It's a very minor feature, 99.9 except people like me who want the last bit of compatibility won't be affected by it. That's why I placed it last. It's not a big deal.

Edited by xpclient, 04 May 2012 - 09:51 PM.

Impossible to run NT6 without third party fixes.


#12
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● In a dual boot scenario, the ability to directly boot into another OS besides Windows 8 is slowed down because the new Windows 8 boot shell/loader reboots to load the other operating system


That one annoys the heck out of me. Seriously. I now have to essentially boot into Windows 8 only to tell it to reboot into Windows 2000. It takes sooooo looonngggg.

The other thing I will never understand is just exactly why Microsoft choses to incessantly remove features from its operating systems that - and correct me if I'm wrong - are actually extremely useful, or else are things that end users might want to use and which are, for all intents and purposes, doing absolutely no harm by still being there. Things like personalisation options: desktop theme customisations and the ability to add/remove buttons in Explorer (thanks, Vista/7). Geez, I think back to the good old days of my Windows 98 computer where I had an entire selection of desktop themes including wallpapers, screensavers, sounds, cursors, icons...now all gone. I remember I was mightily annoyed when I discovered Vista had removed the Classic theme recolours - so much so that I actually booted into my Windows 98 virtual machine and copied all of the recolour registry keys from 98 and pasted them into Vista. And now we don't even get the Classic theme. But anyway, I digress...

Do love a good moan. I keep trying to suppress the want to restore my Windows 7 system image.
 

Edited by Skywatcher, 07 May 2012 - 09:01 PM.

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#13
Aloha

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Very interesting list. Quite a few things are missing but I haven't noticed until now. Thanks for posting it.

As for the removed games on the desktop, I think Solitaire on the Metro Screen is just fine. I play it from time to time. There are other games but I remove all, keep Solitaire only!

#14
MagicAndre1981

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Previous lists I made:

Features removed in Windows 7

Windows Explorer

Running Explorer as administrator is not possible in Windows 7 because of a DCOM restriction.


I posted here a trick how to do this:

http://www.msfn.org/...xplorer-window/
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#15
xpclient

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Previous lists I made:
Features removed in Windows 7
Windows Explorer

Running Explorer as administrator is not possible in Windows 7 because of a DCOM restriction.


I posted here a trick how to do this:

http://www.msfn.org/...xplorer-window/


Yup I noticed your solution on http://social.techne...98-0bc715e7f641. Thanks so much. :)

Impossible to run NT6 without third party fixes.


#16
JorgeA

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xpclient,

This is a fantastic list, thanks for posting it!!

I was going to suggest your putting it up on Wikipedia, till I saw that you're the author of the corresponding lists for Vista and Win7. :)

There are so many things that bother me about Windows 8, but from the UX standpoint the ribbon concept is one of the most irksome:

● The menu bar and command bar (toolbar) in Windows Explorer have been removed and replaced with the Ribbon interface. Keyboard usability IMHO of the Ribbon is poor because in a menu, the first letter of any menu command or Alt+keyboard combination key is easier to read sequentially as it is placed in a row either horizontally or vertically. Mouse usability of the Ribbon and discoverability of commands is also poor, because unlike in a menu, where you can switch from one menu to another without clicking again, the Ribbon tabs do not activate unless you click again. The File menu also showed context menu commands but the File button on the Ribbon does not show these. Commands in the menu can be static (always available) irrespective of the location you are at in Explorer or they can be dynamic like the File menu. In contrast, commands on the Ribbon are all contextual meaning you have to navigate to a certain location to use that Ribbon command. The Ribbon is not customizable, only the Quick Access Toolbar is customizable but its usability is poor because it uses tiny 16 x 16 icons! (So much for a touch-friendly OS).

I used MS Office 2000 for six years on my Windows 98 tower. The menus were logically organized, and I got to the point where work flowed smoothly from one operation to the next.

Then I got a new computer and Office 2007 with the ribbon. Three and a half years later, I'm still hunting and pecking for commands in the ribbon. It just doesn't make sense to me. One of the most annoying "features" is the one where you can use the mouse wheel to scroll from one ribbon tab to the next. I like to leave my mouse pointer near the top of the screen, out of the way of the document I'm working on. In Word 2000 you can put the mouse pointer anywhere on the screen and still scroll around the document with the wheel. In Word 2007, I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to scroll up or down in a document, say to change the font or typesize, and ended up moving several tabs away from the one I needed to be in. :angry:

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 19 May 2012 - 09:18 AM.


#17
xpclient

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I use Office 2003 apps wherever possible and have no intention of ever upgrading from it. Support expiring is a very minor issue for Office for me. But if you are stuck with a Ribbon based Office, you can try two addons to boost your productivity:
1. UbitMenu: Restores your menus and toolbars (although not their customizability). For custom commands, you can use the Quick Access Toolbar at the top.
2. Search Commands for Office: Enables you to search any feature inside Office apps <= This is exceedingly cool.

Edited by xpclient, 22 May 2012 - 12:43 AM.

Impossible to run NT6 without third party fixes.


#18
MagicAndre1981

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Now we can add Aero Glass to the list :( :realmad:
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#19
xpclient

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Yes indeed. What exactly were they thinking? "Let's take the most gorgeous thing that makes desktop Windows look so cool and make it ugly". Btw I update the list on my blog only now but to link to it would be a shameless plug, so you can see it in my MSFN profile. Although I am not sure Windows 7 users would agree with the kind of thoughts on my blog. :)

I hope Microsoft learns something from this failure. Maybe it's time for two distinct lines of Windows again: Professional version with zero dumbing down and full backward compatibility of previous features and Dumb/gimmicky version for dumb users.

Edited by xpclient, 20 May 2012 - 05:23 AM.

Impossible to run NT6 without third party fixes.


#20
JorgeA

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I use Office 2003 apps wherever possible and have no intention of ever upgrading from it. Support expiring is a very minor issue for Office for me. But if you are stuck with a Ribbon based Office, you can try two addons to boost your productivity:
1. UbitMenu: Restores your menus and toolbars (although not their customizability). For custom commands, you can use the Quick Access Toolbar at the top.
2. Search Commands for Office: Enables you to search any feature inside Office apps! <= This is exceedingly cool.

xpclient,

Thanks a bunch for the links. I've been giving the Ribbon an extended (three-year!) tryout, in the hope that it'll get easier to use, but so far it's just not working out.

Meanwhile, you may want to weigh in on this discussion where your post was mentioned. ;)

--JorgeA

#21
xpclient

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Meanwhile, you may want to weigh in on this discussion where your post was mentioned. ;)

--JorgeA


I would have weighed in but the people there (except you) seem to be dismissive of my list and don't seem to behave intelligently with any valid objective opinion - just because it doesn't affect them, they have a "who cares" attitude.

Impossible to run NT6 without third party fixes.


#22
JorgeA

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Meanwhile, you may want to weigh in on this discussion where your post was mentioned. ;)

--JorgeA


I would have weighed in but the people there (except you) seem to be dismissive of my list and don't seem to behave intelligently with any valid objective opinion - just because it doesn't affect them, they have a "who cares" attitude.

Yeah, that's my sense of it, too. I was hoping that you might be able to offer a better technical argument than I can, but if you feel that there's no hope for the intended audience, then I guess we'll have to pass.

--JorgeA

#23
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Applications can no longer programmatically configure, change or query file associations or set themselves during installation as the default for a file type or protocol!


Can the file association be done after the application installation, or is it overall disabled? I wonder what dreams did the Microsoft engineers see before starting the Windows 8 construction..... :huh:

#24
xpclient

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Applications can no longer programmatically configure, change or query file associations or set themselves during installation as the default for a file type or protocol!


Can the file association be done after the application installation, or is it overall disabled? I wonder what dreams did the Microsoft engineers see before starting the Windows 8 construction..... :huh:


With Vista, Microsoft introduced Default Programs with which apps are supposed to associate. After installation of each program, it should open Default Programs so user may choose his associations. But prior to Windows 8, Microsoft still supported the older method of apps directly associating with file types, bypassing Default Programs. Now in Windows 8, if the user wants to change the associations, he will have to go to the Default Programs Control Panel and change them. The ability for apps or their installers to associate programmatically (or if the user tells the app to associate with all supported file types by clicking a button *from within the app*) is removed. E.g. You install VLC. The installer asks for file types you want to open in VLC. It's broken, it won't work any more. You will have to go to Default Programs and pick the associations supported by VLC. If no file type extension is associated with any program, then those are automatically assigned to the program that tells Default Programs, "hey I can handle this file type". But if you already have some file types associated with certain programs, installing another program which tries to set it as default programmatically will fail. You will have to do it manually from Default Programs Control Panel.

Default Programs is like the middleman. For legacy apps that aren't updated any more (for Default Programs), it means it's broken forever. For apps that register with Default Programs, you will have to set them, it can't be done automatically. They did this so "user is in control" of file types but IMHO it's just inconvenient as you have to set the associations manually. The installer or app did it automatically for the user earlier but MS felt that apps were abusing this power and each app was trying to set itself as the default (which isn't true obviously. If you told the app not to associate, it wouldn't take over the associations forcibly). It's not a big deal, just an added inconvenience of going to Default Programs Control Panel.

Another thing, such a feature is there since XP (or even Windows 2000) but it doesn't use the Default Programs model (uses another registry key called "UserChoice"). If from the Open With dialog, you told "Always use this program to open this file type", apps couldn't associate automatically and override that user choice. So they have just inconvenienced users IMHO by breaking installers and apps that are trying to associate.

Edited by xpclient, 23 May 2012 - 04:05 AM.

Impossible to run NT6 without third party fixes.


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Tripredacus

Tripredacus

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But prior to Windows 8, Microsoft still supported the older method of apps directly associating with file types, bypassing Default Programs. Now in Windows 8, if the user wants to change the associations, he will have to go to the Default Programs Control Panel and change them. The ability for apps or their installers to associate programmatically (or if the user tells the app to associate with all supported file types by clicking a button *from within the app*) is removed.


There are so many little utilities that were written for previous OSes that I still use (or will call upon) that looks like it would be a pain to use on Win8.
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