What’s Missing in Windows 7?
For those of you who are using Windows 7, you may have notice that it’s a vast improvement over Windows Vista. I wholeheartedly recommend Windows 7 to my clients and students and just about everyone who uses Windows. Microsoft should be commended for doing a great job with Windows 7. People are often quick to criticize Microsoft when they see a lack of quality or security in Microsoft’s products so I believe people should also be quick to praise Microsoft when they do a good job.
Overall, I am very impressed with Windows 7 operating system (OS). I can go on with all the great things in Windows 7 but in this post I am going to focus on what I believe is missing in Windows 7. Here’s a short list.
Windows 7 does not allow you to make a copy of your CDs or DVDs. You can burn (i.e. copy) music, pictures and videos to a DVD but you cannot make a copy of your own data, pictures or video CDs/DVDs. Your option: Use a third-party tool.
Unlike Windows XP, Microsoft no longer provides a newsreader in its new operating systems. Your option: Use a third-party tool, like Mozilla’s Thunderbird.
Technically, Sound Recorder is not missing but Microsoft has significantly downgraded the Sound Recorder utility in Windows 7. Unlike Windows XP, which contains a fully-functional Sound Recorder utility that lets you edit, mix files, and includes several special effects, the Windows 7 Sound Recorder utility looks like it was created by a 5 year-old during his lunch break at the daycare. The only thing you can do is record the sound and save the file. That’s about it. People are still trying to figure out Microsoft’s logic behind their decision. They couldn’t enhance the Sound Recorder tool so they decided they will make it worse than before and offer a stripped-down version instead. Why? No one knows. If it wasn’t important then why not remove it from the OS all together? Your option: Use a third-party tool.
Support for Microsoft Virtual PC 2007
Unlike Windows XP, Microsoft does not offer support for Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 in Windows 7. This raises numerous virtualization issues, some of which I have documented in this blog.
By not providing support for Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 and to make things even worse…..not offering support for running x64 guest operating systems in Virtual PC 2007 or Virtual Server 2005, Microsoft is encouraging Windows 7 users to look for alternate solutions, such as VMware Server. I am hoping Microsoft will revise this bad marketing decision because these days 64-bit hardware and software is very common and Microsoft really needs to rethink it’s strategy. Your option: Use a third-party tool.
Windows 7 doesn’t include any anti-virus software. You can, however, install Microsoft Security Essentials, which is free and protects your PC against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, Your option: Either use a third-party tool such as AVGFree, or install Microsoft Security Essentials.
In the past joining Microsoft SpyNet was optional (e.g. in Windows Defender) but with Microsoft Security Essentials you are only given two choices.
Choice #1: You must agree to have information automatically collected and sent to Microsoft, including your personal information.
Choice #2: You must agree to have information automatically collected and sent to Microsoft, including your personal information.
That’s right. Those are the only two choices. You can either send “some” information to Microsoft or you can send “a lot” of information to Microsoft. So what’s your pleasure?
Basic Membership: You agree to send some information to Microsoft.
Advanced Membership: You agree to send a lot of information to Microsoft.
In either case Microsoft warns you that you might be risking your privacy because your personal information might be unintentionally sent to Microsoft. Do you have the option to not send personal information to Microsoft? Absolutely not! If you want to use Microsoft Security Essentials you have no choice but to agree to risk your privacy.
The Recovery Console in earlier versions of Windows is no longer available in Windows 7. Recovery Console was awesome because it easily allowed you to managed services and drivers by enabling or disabling them. It also allowed you to fix the boot sector and master boot record, etc. Starting with Windows Vista, the Recovery Console has been replaced by several tools that are located in the System Recovery Options menu. What this means is that you now have to go through a bunch of steps and recovery of the system is not as simple in some cases as it used to be in the previous versions.
I may update this post and add more items to the list of things that are missing in Windows 7 in the future as I discover them. The purpose of this post is to let Microsoft know what’s missing in Windows 7 so they can hopefully add these components either with optional Windows Updates, service packs or in the next OS. I think it would be great if Microsoft could provide some explanation to the consumers when they leave things out of the OS. Frankly, there might be some very good explanations or reasoning behind the decisions but if the consumers don’t know then it causes confusion. For instance, to avoid confusion, Microsoft could say we couldn’t get a 64-bit version of the newsreader in time so we left it out of the OS and will add it at a later date.
I believe most people will be able to live with some of what’s missing in Windows 7 but the lack of support for 64-bit virtualization and the inability to duplicate CDs/DVDs are something that deserves a lot of press……along with all the cool stuff included in Windows 7.
Copyright ©2010 Zubair Alexander. All rights reserved.