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.