With it looking like Windows 7 is just days away from being completed. I thought it might be an idea to go over the applications and features that are absent from Windows 7, a lot of stuff is missing, and it will no doubt surprise people how much stuff has been stripped out compared with Windows Vista.
Windows Mail - gone
The most backward step in my opinion is the removal of Windows Mail formally Outlook Express. In seemingly utter stupidity we now have a mainstream operating system that doesn't include an e-mail client, nor a newsgroup client. The last operating system I used which didn't have an e-mail client built in was RISC OS 3.5. People expect to be able to hit their POP3 and IMAP servers with Windows. People are now expected to download the Windows Live Essentials pack to get Windows Live Mail.
Windows Photo Gallery - gone
One of the best new features of Windows Vista was the included photo gallery application. It was, frankly stunning and had all the features you'd expect, cropping, colour correction the works, and best of all its tagging features were second to none. But its gone. The leftovers can be seen in Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 7 which is an image viewer, and that's it. People are now expected to download the Windows Live Essentials pack to get Windows Live Photo Gallery.
Windows Movie Maker - gone
Windows Movie Maker was often dismissed as junk, of course by people that were spending hundreds of pounds on Adobe software. For almost all users Windows Movie Maker was ideal for putting together home videos, it was easy to use and had enough advanced features to satisfy most people's needs. People are now expected to download the Windows Live Essentials pack to get Windows Live Movie Maker.
Web Filtering and Activity Reports from Parental Controls - gone
Windows 7 still includes parental controls, but they lack any web filtering, and the really awesome activity reports are gone. Unlike the above applications, the Family Safety pack from the Windows Live Essentials suite doesn't plug into this at all and fill this hole, if it did it wouldn't be so bad. But it doesn't, it does its own thing completely seperately, which can only be described as /facepalm.
Advanced Tag Editor from Windows Media Player - gone
Windows Media Player has seen some welcome changes, but its also seen some dumb changes. Like the removal of the Advanced Tag Editor which was a godsend for people who edit a lot of song information. It's gone, if you want to edit songs now you'll have to do it from within Explorer or the Library page (with limited scope).
Mini player toolbar from Windows Media Player - gone
The mini player toolbar sat in the old taskbar and provided the basic play controls for Windows Media Player. With the new taskbar its been removed, instead we get a more limited controls in the preview display, which are back, next and play/pause, there's no slider like there was before. Annoying for music listeners.
Quick Launch from the Taskbar - gone
The new taskbar merges the Quick Launch toolbar with the regular part of the taskbar. This has several downsides including it being more work to launch a second instance of a program, and requires and additional mouse click, others include the extra space required, even with small icons if you pin programs to the taskbar they take up considerably more space.
Internet Explorer - gone in the European Union
If current plans go through the European Union will be saddled with an 'E' edition of Windows 7, and unlike the 'N' versions we had to put up with, we won't have the option of buying the proper version of Windows. Instead system builders will have the extra hassle of installing Internet Explorer separately, wasting a good 15 minutes on every machine. This is insane, 2009 and we're getting an operating system that doesn't include a web browser.
As I think of more things missing I'll update this post.