Features quietly go M.I.A. from Windows 7


Windows 7 is packed with new features some practical some stylistic. However along the development road it has also lost a few. We take a look at what has fallen by the wayside:

Dreamscene – Enjoyed only by the small user base of Windows Vista Ultimate Dreamscene was a feature that added video or animated scene playback in the desktop background. While a nice idea it has been done better by third parties like Stardock with DreamScapes and is never something that will appeal to a wide user base.

Sidebar – This seemed a logical addition for Vista given the popularity of Google’s Yahoo’s and many other outfits freebie desktop extensions. Again the trouble seems to be that most users found it a distraction or that other products would do the job better. Instead of dropping it completely Microsoft has retained the gadgets in Gadget Gallery but now allows them to be located wherever you like on the desktop.

Movie Maker – With the advent of video-capable mobile phones many users suddenly had the need for a simple piece of editing software at no cost. Windows Movie Maker fitted that bill (version 2.10 or higher at any rate the earlier ones were somewhat limited) and came as part of Service Pack 2 for XP and in Vista. It has vanished from Windows 7 but a similarly named but slightly different product is available as a free Windows Live download. Other programs to have taken this route off the OS and onto the Live product range are Photo Gallery and Outlook Express (More recently Windows Mail now just Mail).

Windows Live now plays host to many programs removed from Windows 7

There are lots of little features that have also shuffled off the interface or been changed slightly. Most won’t make much difference but the one that grates slightly is Windows Media Player’s recent refusal to let you paste in artwork for your albums. We know for a fact that older rare or indie albums often don’t appear on the online databases that help fill in the album art and listings – and this is a useful way around it that cutting makes little sense.