What’s Missing From Windows 8?

Chris Hoffman 27-06-2012

missing from windows 8Windows 8 has seen the removal of many features that have been key to Windows over the years, including the Start button, Start menu, and Windows Aero. We tend to focus on the new features added in new versions of software like Windows 8, but the removal of features can be equally important – if not more so.


This list isn’t exhaustive, as many less-important features are also missing from Windows 8 (goodbye, Windows Briefcase). What’s more, Microsoft is still removing features as big as Windows Aero, so there’s no knowing what other features will be pulled before Windows 8 ends up on store shelves.

Traditional Start Button & Start Menu

The Start button and Start menu have been key Windows features since Windows 95, but are now gone. Windows 8 has no Start button, nor does it have the traditional Start menu. Instead, you mouse over the bottom-left corner of the screen to reveal the hidden Start button.

missing from windows 8

The Metro start screen A Brief Guide To The Secrets Of The Windows 8 User Interface For most users, Windows 8 will come as something of a surprise when it is released, thanks to the unusual implementation of the Metro UI. If you’re not inclined to make use of whatever methods... Read More is your new, full-screen Start menu. You can still start typing an application’s name to search for and launch it, although the transition can be jarring and confusing for Windows users accustomed to the traditional Start menu and desktop. Unfortunately, the search results on the Metro start screen aren’t unified – Windows only searches applications by default. To launch a file or control panel applet, you’ll have to type its name and select a different category on the search screen.

You’ll also be at this screen when you log in – there’s no boot-to-desktop option. There are some tricks – you can put a Show Desktop shortcut in your startup programs, but you’ll still see this screen before the desktop loads.


whats missing in windows 8

Windows Aero, Transparent Glass, & Flip 3D

Windows Aero How To Enable & Troubleshoot Aero Effects In Windows 7 Read More , the graphical centerpiece of Windows Vista and Windows 7, is being completely removed. All preview versions of Windows 8 contain Windows Aero – but it’s been removed internally and won’t appear in the final version. If you’re not sure what Windows Aero is, here’s how Microsoft explains it:

“Windows Aero is the premium visual experience of Windows Vista. It features a translucent glass design with subtle window animations and new window colors.” (Source)

Evidently, Microsoft no longer considers Aero a premium visual experience. All those animations and transparent glass effects are going away and we’ll be seeing flat colors on the desktop. This also means that the gaudy Flip 3D will be going away – if you’re using a Windows 7 or Vista computer to read this, you can press WinKey+Tab 25 Cool Windows 7 Keyboard Tricks That Will Impress Your Friends Read More to view Flip 3D right now.

Flip 3D was always a glorified tech demo that looked cool the first time you saw it, but was used by almost no one because it was less useful than the traditional Alt-Tab program switcher.


whats missing in windows 8

DVD Playback & Windows Media Center

Many Windows 8 computers will come without DVD drives – which are being used less with the rise of Netflix Is Netflix The Solution to Video Piracy? [Opinion] Netflix recently launched in the UK - and I wrote up a full and shining review of the service last time. It offers an affordable way to get high quality on-demand movies and TV straight... Read More and other media-streaming services 6 of the Best Streaming Media Services Compared Streaming media has become the way of the future for many consumers, and as a result there’s no shortage of services to pick from. Let’s compare five of the best streaming media services to see... Read More – and including DVD playback costs money, so Microsoft will be removing the integrated DVD playback support from Windows 8. If you buy a computer with a DVD drive, it’s up to the computer’s manufacturer to include licensed DVD software (and many already do). You can always use VLC 6 Cool VLC Tips & Tricks You Might Not Know About VideoLan's VLC media player is a real box of tricks and is just as effective on a Windows operating system as it is on Mac or Linux. Those of you who are already using VLC... Read More to play DVDs, anyway. Unsurprisingly, Windows DVD Maker 5 Easy Ways to Remove Windows Bloat on Your PC It’s a fact of life for most Windows users that as the weeks go by with a PC in regular use, things just start to accumulate, the OS becomes more bloated and everything just seems... Read More is also being removed.

Windows Media Center The Best PVR: Windows Media Center! Despite the perceived image of Microsoft as a lumbering beast with bloated software that ships full of bugs, they have actually produced some fine software over the years. Today I’d like to highlight Windows Media... Read More is also being removed from every Windows version (even the Pro one), since it’s used by so few people. You can give Microsoft a few dollars using the Add Features to Windows 8 panel to activate Windows Media Center, if you like – this covers the cost of the codecs Windows Media Center includes.

whats missing in windows 8


Previous Versions & Windows Backup and Restore

The Previous Versions How To Recover Deleted Files Using Windows 7's Restore Previous Versions Tool We all know the importance of backups. If we've it heard once, we've heard it a million times. Always have backups, always save after every change, always use Dropbox (or something similar) to save previous... Read More feature, activated in Windows 7 The Windows 7: Ultimate Guide If you are afraid to upgrade from Vista or XP because you feel it is completely different to what you are used to, you should read this new guide. Read More by default, has been removed. It allows you to restore previous versions of files from their Properties window. Windows Backup and Restore How To Set Up & Use Windows 7 Backup & Restore Feature It's hardly a secret when I tell you that sooner or later you will need a backup of your personal data. Do you have one right now? What keeps most people from preparing regular backups... Read More is also being deprecated.

The new File History feature replaces both Previous Versions and Windows Backup and Restore. Unlike Previous Versions, File History isn’t enabled by default. File History is also designed to work with files in your libraries and on your desktop – as well as your contacts and favorites. It’s much more limited than the Previous Versions feature, which worked for any file in and folder.

missing from windows 8

Windows Update Desktop Notifications

Do you have Windows set to ask you before downloading or installing updates? On current versions of Windows, Windows Update 3 Reasons Why You Should Be Running The Latest Windows Security Patches & Updates The code that makes up the Windows operating system contains security loop holes, errors, incompatibilities, or outdated software elements. In short, Windows isn't perfect, we all know that. Security patches and updates fix the vulnerabilities... Read More appears as a system tray icon and a notification balloon informs you that updates are available. On Windows 8, you can still tell Windows to notify you before downloading updates – but these update notifications no longer appear on the desktop. All Windows-Update-related notifications appear on the login and lock screens – so you might not even see them if you automatically log into your computer.



Will you miss these features or have you noticed another significant feature that’s missing from Windows 8? Leave a comment and let us know.

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  1. EndermanMC
    August 16, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    This is WORST OS EVER

  2. abram730
    December 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    What is missing from Windows 8? Freedom. That is what is missing.
    A personal computer is personal, as in it belongs to me.. If I wanted a Mac, I'd buy one. But my IQ is more then 4x my age, and that precludes me from being an Apple customer. I'm not one of those i-diots, nor will I be precluding some massive head injury.
    If the desktop is "legacy" and the wall garden is the future, conciser me a legacy customer. I will go to Linux, wow that makes me feel a bit sick saying that as I've been using Microsoft products since I was a kid. I remember when hard disks were the new thing with their 1.4mb storage.. But apparently I'm not in the "trustzone". That is I'm not trusted to say what my PC can and can not do, nor am I able to gain full access to API's or give such access to programs I choose to install.

    I am going to read up on Linux, I hear it's free.

  3. Larry
    December 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    no color in notification area..

  4. Rahid
    December 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    This sucks and I upgraded to it good thing I didn't buy it so now I'll downgrade it and plus download those applications for notifications and all like that , even mac surpasses windows 8 so damn Microsoft I'm starting to hate it.

  5. Leifur
    November 17, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Same Old Windows 7 Backup is STILL there in Windows 8. This report is in error. I am using FILE HISTORY and Old Backup now on the same drive along with putting my Page file on that running drive to cut down on Fragging files.

    It is called Window 7 File Recovery in Control Panel. Same program. I found it by click on my old Windows Backup shortcut.

    I went and got Paragon 3rd party backup up but now going back to the Windows Backup because it works while Windows is running to make an Image Clone of my 1.2 TB installation and the others require a reboot and is done is DOS ..sometimes in the past this type action ruined both my Windows and the Backup screwing me.

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Wow, thanks for the tip. My mistake! (Was that there in the prerelease versions? I remember reading Microsoft blog posts saying that feature was being removed and replaced.)

      Windows 8 does indeed contain the Windows 7 backup feature, but it seems like it's more for recovering files from older backup. Microsoft says it's been "deprecated" and replaced by the latest version, so I wouldn't count on it.

    • GMP
      December 23, 2012 at 4:17 am

      There is indead a Windows 7 File Recovery. And it does look the same. But it is not.
      On my Windows 7 systems I used Windows 7 backup utility and had a NAS for backup location.
      This no longer works with the Windows 8 version.
      It does work when I backup to a local drive, but not anymore to the NAS.
      To bad.

  6. Dixit
    November 5, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Among all a very good thing done by Microsoft is that Microsoft has removed the updating feature. This feature was so ridiculous and so irritating. Thanks to Microsoft for this.

    In my opinion Microsoft should not has to remove the Windows Aero feature it was good.

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      The update changes are actually pretty amazing. Of course, they're just reversing a change.

  7. blue
    October 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Wow, you still have to restart for updates!

    My 10 year old ubuntu laptop can still do better than that.

    Really the only things you need to restart for are system-core updated

    • Chris Hoffman
      October 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      Yup, to be fair, kernel updates and such on Ubuntu work the same way (Although there's actually a way to update the kernel and swap to new kernel without rebooting, amazingly enough: It's called Ksplice.)

      Hopefully Windows 8 will require less restarts, but we'll see.

  8. Eserpess Eserpess
    October 11, 2012 at 12:56 am

    The video is apsalutly horible...HORIBLE! even though im opening it as a file from my hardrive its acting although i'm streaming a youtube video whilst im capped. I gre up with a windows start button all the wat back to Windows 94 and it like theve ripped an importaint part of my childhood out of their program. I want my Windows Seven Enterprise Back.

  9. Edmar Diego
    September 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    damn i really miss that windows scroll shortcut

    • Tony
      September 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      The biggest mistake Microsoft has ever made another operating system flip flop i can see a utter destruction this operating system will fail big time.

  10. Brandon Trout
    August 20, 2012 at 4:08 am

    I think Windows 8 will have a classic view option with a start menu. How can they not after this big of an uproar? It would then make it easier for people who dont have touch screens to use. I actually have my computer hooked up to my big screen and my mouse and keyboard on the coffee table so navigating windows 8 will be nothing but a pain. I used to have a Zune so I used the software for it and its home screen is similar to Metro UI. It looked kinda cool at first but then finding anything was a pain because of the way it was set up. Overall the only reason I see why you would upgrade is if you had a touch screen. Other than that I dont see a huge difference as far as actual function goes although the app store does sound kind of nice with everything in one place but thats something they can add to windows 7.

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 25, 2012 at 1:41 am

      I have used the final version of Windows 8 (the RTM or "release to manufacturers" version) and I can confirm it does not have a classic mode. It works as described above.

      Maybe they'll add a classic mode in the future if the reaction is bad enough. All the more reason to be negative about Windows 8 for now.

      It's a shame, there really is some good stuff in there.

  11. Subhom Mitra
    July 18, 2012 at 8:04 am

    IMHO, Windows 8 clunk tiles and "Live Tiles" lend itself best to tablets. Even mobile phones will feel a bit cramped. But desktop space is an absolute no-no. With the end-user used to a mouse, the revamped UI doesn't help at all and feels like too much trouble and the need to continuously move the cursor to the corners to see "Charms" is a novelty that wears off quite soon.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 20, 2012 at 4:48 am

      Yeah, Metro feels too much like a concession to tablets to me. Seems like a great interface for a tablet. For my desktop PC or laptop -- I can't imagine using Metro all day on my PC any time soon. The apps have to become way more mature, for example.

  12. John
    July 13, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Windows 8 Consumer Preview

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 18, 2012 at 3:25 am

      That link appears dead now.

  13. Peter F
    July 11, 2012 at 5:10 am

    I remember years ago Norton and another company produced add-on UI shells with extra functionality for Windows 3.1 (or was it Windows 95). I can see a new after-market software industry selling applications and utilities just to make Windows 8 what it should have been. Maybe someone will come up with a mouse utility that simulates fingers moving across a touch screen, with all the nice tablet effects. Perhaps Microsoft will relent at the last minute and allow a "Classic View" option in the installation process. Knowing MS as I do, I guess Windows 9 will come out sooner rather than later at extra expense for users who are fed up with Windows 8.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 18, 2012 at 3:26 am

      Yup, it's already happening with the third-party start menus -- word is Microsoft is working on disabling them as much as possible, so we'll see what happens.

  14. seru ibra
    July 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Chris Hoffman, whats ur facebook username? ur posts are so important to me..thanx

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 18, 2012 at 3:24 am

      I don't use Facebook regularly, but I do have both Google+ and Twitter set up -- see my author bio above, below the article, for that.

  15. Ray
    July 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Well I see no reason to go to Metro on my desktop or laptop. None at all.

    Seems like this is almost a political discussion sometimes. Chris gives a thought out POV of what he thinks is important, and holy cow, golly gee wiz some others think other things are more important.

    Chris, I appreciated your POV. I understand there are others and compliment you on not biting back at some of those who were in your face.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 9, 2012 at 4:46 am

      The Metro vs. No Metro discussion does seem really hostile at times, doesn't it? I think people are upset about being forced to use Metro on new versions of Windows and it's raising the temperature level.

      Thanks for the kind words though, Ray. I've had much worse comments than I've gotten here; such as the nature of the web -- but discussions around Windows 8 and Metro always seem pretty heated.

  16. Alexander
    July 5, 2012 at 5:55 am

    I just don't understand why Microsoft keeps ignoring the overwhelmingly negative user feedback and just keeps going on developing this train wreck without giving any leeway. Why can't we have our Start button, Microsoft?!

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 6, 2012 at 1:37 am

      Yeah -- they really do appear to be ignoring feedback. It's very frustrating. All we want is choice!

      • Anonymous
        October 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

        Though there advantages to the new system, as mentioned. MS probably just think these advantages outweigh the costs....

  17. Andrew
    July 5, 2012 at 3:00 am

    This is exciting. If Windows 8 is a massive failure here are two situations I see coming:

    1. Windows 7 continues to outsell Windows 8, and Microsoft makes a smart move and drops Windows 8 in favor of a new OS flowing from the more classic Win 7 enviroment

    2. Microsoft screws up and doesn't know when to give up and re-asses their move, and we see the rise of Linux based computers being bought by companies and end users alike in favor of the overly tablety Windows 8

    I personally would like #2 to happen. I don't believe in IP, so I would like to see the failure of Microsoft which is built almost exclusively on state-granted intellectual "property" monopolies.

    IP = government granted monopoly

    For this reason, Microsoft is NOT an example of capitalism but rather protectionism and corporatism.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 6, 2012 at 1:36 am

      I hope so! This is what everyone said about Vista back in the day, though -- the failure of Vista would be Linux's opportunity. It didn't happen that way, but maybe the conditions are riper now -- especially with Microsoft's Surface tablet/laptop hybrid stepping on PC manufacturer's toes.

      We really do need more competition on the desktop/laptop PC front in terms of operating systems. Microsoft has too much of a monopoly

  18. lei
    July 4, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I ran the windows 8 preview for about twenty minutes and it is so hideously plain and angular and just awkward to navigate around that i immediately dumped it. Chris, your comment that "I don’t want that future of computing where a big corporation tells me what i can and can’t run on my own system" is exactly why i have moved across exclusively to Linux. I now get to choose my OS and to choose what software to put on it. I also get to choose my desktop. It seems from the reviews of Windows 8 that increasingly that's not going to be an option.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 6, 2012 at 1:35 am

      I know how you feel. I used Linux almost exclusively for years and I definitely am feeling the urge to go back, although I still dabble.

      I thought Microsoft was getting back to what made Windows solid with Windows 7, but they're going off in another direction again.

  19. Terafall
    July 3, 2012 at 5:48 am

    To me,it doesn't matter what is removed or added but the freedom to remove or add feature or apps.
    But since Microsoft has started to restrict this freedom,for example the start button,I won't be using Windows 8.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 3, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      I agree completely. Bear in mind that Metro apps can only be installed from the app store -- this means that you can only install Microsoft-approved Metro apps.

      And, because Windows RT only supports third-party Metro apps, it means that you can only install Microsoft-approved software on Windows RT.

      I don't want that future of computing where a big corporation tells me what i can and can't run on my own system. That's why I don't have an iPhone or iPad.

  20. Rutul
    July 2, 2012 at 5:32 am

    I'll certainly not miss these features, it'll also make Windows boot up faster. As less start up items will be loaded, resuming and boot up times will be considerably reduced. And by disabling Aero and some useless eye candies, Windows will perform faster too. When the DirectX 11.1 graphics get easily available, we'll see the real potential of Windows 8. All in all, I love the fact that MS is inventing again, they've a new perception and while the war between iOS vs. Android is getting boring, MS has something fresh, quite useful Windows 8 and Windows Phone in their kitty. Only thing they need is a good marketing and advertising.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 2, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Microsoft is certainly taking a risk and trying something new with Windows 8. Whatever anyone thinks of Windows 8, we have to give them credit for at least trying something new -- Microsoft doesn't seem like they're asleep at the switch anymore.

      Are they headed in the right direction, though? Tough to say. I suppose we'll see.

      • liner
        July 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm

        But not only Microsoft tries out new things on users... and with perhaps poor effects - meaning those new solutions won't stay with us for much too long. And what about the new default Unity shell in Ubuntu 12.04? As for a user accustomed to using Gnome, the switch to Unity made me (sadly) stay closer to older versions (8.xx/10.xx) rather than updating to the newest one. I even started to look for distros based on 12.04 with the ability to make the desktop experience more WindowsXP/7-alike. That's sad but I get the impression that all new UIs are going in the wrong direction.
        As for new Windows 8 interface I agree that Metro would probably do just fine with a touch-screen in tablet/smartphone - if I only needed such device (you don't wanna know how old is my cell phone :P) - but with a desktop OS, keyboard and (not necessarily) mouse? No, thank you. I'll pass.
        The same thing about getting rid of the CD/DVD/BR support - I know that now it's a latest fashion to move most of our digital content online, into cloud and virtualize it 'n' stuff :) - but for a backup sake, let's not throw away technologies that are proven to be working, reliable and most of all convenient and with good prospects for improvement (as some of them were only recently developed e.g. BluRay). Is gathering your private and precious data on-line e.g. in the so called "cloud" really so safe? Don't you feel like giving away a part of your life to a less dependable authorities and as Darren mentioned at the beginning - don't you feel kinda like stopping yourself from actually owning a content?
        Enough with this propaganda :) Changes are generally good, but with Windows 8 in my opininon they are for worse.

        • Chris Hoffman
          July 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm

          I feel the same way, generally! I'm not sure how the average person feels, though.

          Windows 8 does feel similar to Ubuntu's Unity and also GNOME 3 -- everyone is radically replacing mature UIs these days...

  21. Kenice Noel
    July 2, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Honestly, I won' t miss most of the features, save Aero.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 2, 2012 at 12:57 am

      Aero seems to be love/hate. What's interesting to me is how Microsoft pushed Aero as "the future" but is so quickly discarding it and going back to a Windows XP-style, non-composited GUI. I suppose it helps battery life, at least.

      • Kenice Noel
        July 2, 2012 at 1:08 am

        Guess the battery life is probably it.. or maybe they just want the metro-plain look to stick. In any case, it makes you wonder what's going on in the heads of the design team.

        • Chris Hoffman
          July 2, 2012 at 1:12 am

          I think it's a bit of both, especially battery life with the focus on mobile devices and long-battery-life ultrabooks that compete with the Macbook Air.

          The fact that it helps the desktop blend in with Metro better doesn't hurt, either.

        • Anonymous
          October 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm

          Well, the auto color switch might make up for some of it no?

  22. James
    July 1, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Some of your information may be outdated or you may have just chose to leave certain things out.

    Like the Media Center and DVD may be out by default but the Media Player is still included with Win8 and Win8 Pro.

    Also in the latest Release Candidate there is a desktop notification for Windows updates...

    Rather in your face but they're still not quite done tweaking for the RTM and they may still put it with the Toast Notifications later.

    You also failed to mention the reason Aero is being removed is because it's part of MS addressing those who complained that the transition back and forth between Metro and the Desktop is too jarring. So removal of Aero was one of the changes to address that issue.

    While not everyone shares your opinion of the Backup and Restore changes. For example...

    Really, being able to do things like optionally restore the system without having to re-install all our apps can be considered a advancement over what options we had before.

    You should also probably check this youtube video for a markedly different opinion about Windows 8 desktop usefulness with only a keyboard and mouse...

    You should probably note that most of the complaints are coming from people who are already used to Windows instead of new users. While also not necessarily using computers optimal for Windows 8.

    Like for laptops not everyone has touch pads that fully support Windows 8 gestures and when not everything works as intended then of course it gives a worse than intended experience.

    Even the Release Preview is still a preview and thus still has problems like the occasional buggy behavior, crash, etc.

    While some of these complaints go back to the Developers Release, when Windows 8 was little more than Windows 7 with Metro thrown on top. So don't take into considerations that some things have been improved and changed since then.

    What we have so far is only about say 90% or so finished product. So some concerns will remain valid till release but we won't know for sure until final release and MS may still make some more last minute changes.

    While one thing I do agree is MS needs to make some good intro instruction videos.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 2, 2012 at 1:07 am

      Thanks for the great comment! I really appreciate the perspective. And yup, I certainly did choose to leave certain things out -- if I was doing an exhaustive list, this post could have been 5000+ words.

      That desktop notification is very interesting though, thanks! I didn't see it when playing with WIndows 8 and other people have said that desktop notifications are gone. TO be fair, they are kind of gone -- that's just Metro intruding on the desktop, which people are complaining about.

      File History may indeed be an improvement in some ways, but it's sad that it is no longer on by default. Now most Windows users won't realize it's not on until they need it, I fear.

      Microsoft is changing things so fast that it's tough to stay on top of things. Generally, a "release candidate" is supposed to be what it says it is -- a candidate for release if no bugs are found. Most companies don't release a "Release Candidate" and then proceed to change a huge amount of things before release, but it appears Microsoft is.

      It's interesting that you say "most of the complaints are coming from people who are already used to Windows instead of new users." Most people using computers are all used to Windows; Windows 8 will have very few "new users" that are completely new to computers. I still don't buy that I'll want it on my desktop PC (which doesn't even have a touch pad, much less one optimized for Windows 8), but I still admit that it will be compelling on a tablet or tablet/laptop hybrid.

      • James
        July 2, 2012 at 1:19 am

        Well, one thing to clarify is MS isn't releasing any Release Candidates this time like they did with Windows 7.

        All we've actually received was incomplete preview samples. Though the last Release Preview is about 90% done there's still a lot of things they're still working on and they're going straight to RTM instead of continuing with actual Release Candidates.

        While as to new users, there are always new users with each new generation and I think you're forgetting there's also an untapped number of new users who've never considered using Windows on tablets before. So more than just the consideration of traditional users. Along with people who may migrate from other OS solutions.

        • Chris Hoffman
          July 2, 2012 at 1:36 am

          Fair enough. Still, I think we can agree that the vast majority of people that will use Windows 8 have used Windows in the past and are familiar with it.

        • James
          July 2, 2012 at 2:00 am

          Yes, especially with majority of PC users being Windows users.

          However, there's not telling how many would really have a issue with relearning how to use a new OS or how many would find the new UI either more to their liking or less.

          Even among traditional Windows users there's a reason why there are so many custom themes and 3rd party UI modifiers.

          So we shouldn't over estimate how many people are actually okay with the default Windows experience and thus overly invested in certain ways of doing things.

          Especially before anyone can even try to develop their own themes and 3rd party UI modifiers for Windows 8.

          Similarly, even for Linux users, there's a reason why they have over 600 distros and no single distro has ever really got that much of a majority backing.

          So what a lot of people consider common and logical, is actually only true for a certain percentage of the population and people's preferences can differ quite significantly.

        • Chris Hoffman
          July 2, 2012 at 9:30 pm

          True enough. I'm really not sure how the majority of people will take Windows 8. All we can do is wait and see.

          It should be interesting to watch, though.

  23. xpclient
    June 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm
    • Chris Hoffman
      June 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      I have not seen your blog before now. Many other people have written about removed features, and in fact I've played with Windows 8 a lot myself. I don't appreciate being accused of plagiarism.

      That said, that's a really good blog post you have there. It has a lot more in-depth information that I didn't touch on here, as I wanted to give a higher-level, more easily digestible survey for average readers.

      If anyone wants more detailed information, they should definitely check out your post. But I didn't plagiarize it.

      • xpclient
        July 1, 2012 at 3:59 am

        Okay. Thanks. No accusations.

  24. Cat McGowan
    June 28, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    What’s missing from Windows 8? Common sense.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      Brilliant response!

      That or a tablet bundled with every copy. It'd make sense on a tablet.

  25. nadia
    June 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    This is crazy they really think that people like change in huge chunks, the truth is they did not slowly give or take anything away. It is going to be hard and from what i noticed it is just being stripped down of it's parts to fit on a tablet device and what the heck is up with the no CD/DVD burner that is crazy those have been around for years and no one else has gotten rid of them. If anything external sales are going to through the roof due to the fact, that if you do not have internet access windows 8 will not even run. What about business data, I am sure someone would be very happy if it was hacked and they got all the information on the cloud. I am glad someone else shares the thought that this is crazy. Also, how hard is it now going to be to fix things?

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm

      Ultrabooks (and the Macbook Air) are ditching physical drives, so we're moving in that direction. You can always get external CD/DVD drives that connect via USB, anyway.

      They really are forcing a lot of change on the average user, though. Most people just haven't noticed yet, since Windows 8 isn't out quite yet.

  26. Don
    June 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I sure hope Windows 8 isn't like that abortion "Vista" which I thought was outright theft by Microsoft.

    If one doesn't upgrade ones operating system in 'x' number of years, the operating system is dropped from the supported list. Who said Microsoft wasn't a den of thieves?

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      Honestly, Microsoft does a good job of supporting OSes. Windows 7 will be supported until 2020 -- that's 8 more years, and it's already been out for a few years. Very few other companies will support their software so long -- there has to be an end date, they can't support Windows 7 until 2100.

      The problem is just that Microsoft needs to release new versions people actually want to upgrade to.

  27. Dany Bouffard
    June 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I won't be switching for a while, and that probably means until I don't have a choice and then I hope some other version of more traditionnal windows come up. I was with Windows Xp and skipped Vista until Windows 7 came, looks like I might have to do the same with Windows 8.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 29, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Yup -- people say you should skip every second version of Windows (98 was decent, ME was terrible, XP was good, Vista was bad, 7 was good, 8 will be......)

      • Glen
        October 15, 2012 at 8:13 am

        Hi Chris, thx 4 d nice informative article! Du knw how long MS will b supporting XP??? I still have Win XP along with Win 7 Ultimate as a dual boot system on my HD n i hav absolutely no wish 2 let go of either of them! As i see it, Windows 7 may well be the best version of Windows Microsoft ever releases, given the downward trend that has begun with Win 8, the future of the Windows OS looks dismal 4 the average user! Unless they bring back the more traditional features of Windows in future iterations, im NEVER gonna upgrade my WIndows again! And i hav a blu ray burner on my PC n i need 2 burn off large amounts of files on blu ray disks as i hav loads n loads of data on my PC n lappie! So the no disk support trend truly sux big time! As sm1 rightly pointed out, Ballmer has apparently lost his b*lls n also his common sense! Pooh!

        • Chris Hoffman
          October 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm

          Windows XP will be supported until April 2014, when security updates will end.

  28. Joe Schneider
    June 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I've been playing with Windows 8 for a couple of months and the more I use it, the more I don't like it. Simple stuff like right-clicking to e-mail a photo.. can't do it. Have to go into mail and attach. Incompatible videos seem prevalent and won't play. They'll play only if you go to Windows Player. Chrome crashes constantly. Multi-tasking is difficult. And maybe I'm just used to the old system but trying to find a file is a chore. Need to go to the right-hand corner, bring up search, find the computer icon, and then can look for a file. Geez, that's like four extra steps. More and more often, if I really need to do something, I just go to the second lap top and go with the Windows 7.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 29, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      I agree completely. I tried to be open-minded but I quickly soured on it. Give me Metro on a tablet and I might disagree, but not on a desktop PC.

  29. Ben
    June 28, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I'll miss Aero / Glass, but if I really want it back, I'm sure I can get it back via 3rd party software. But I'm still pretty upset about being forced to use a "fullscreen start menu." And the inability to boot directly to the desktop without going through the start screen first.

    From what I've used of W8, it feels like two separate OS's. Half meant for mouse-and-keyboard systems, and half meant for tablets. I'm usually an early adopter of new Windows OS's, but with Metro UI, I'm not completely sold on this one. It's great on my Windows 7.5 phone, but not on my main system.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 29, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      Yup, I agree. On a tablet with a touch screen that can become a full PC -- like Microsoft Surface -- it makes tons of sense.

      I don't think it makes sense on my desktop. My desktop will not be transforming into a touch-screen tablet, so it shouldn't be forced to use Metro.

  30. Thegreatvinay
    June 28, 2012 at 5:01 am

    i will move to windows 8 only if any third party program enables the traditional start button.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 28, 2012 at 5:42 am

      You can install third-party start buttons at the moment (third-party start buttons -- what a ridiculous idea. Should not be needed).

      That said, apparently Microsoft is trying to strip out legacy code that allows them to work -- program shortcuts, I guess.

  31. leo
    June 28, 2012 at 4:28 am

    i see......

  32. MikuMikuCookie
    June 28, 2012 at 1:56 am

    'Merica: Not only is the gov't messing up our lives, but now Microsoft is too! D:

    I think I shall stay with Windows 7. The start button is too sexy to get rid of. ?_?

  33. Jon Smith
    June 28, 2012 at 1:25 am

    move onto windows 9! Metro is ridiculous

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 28, 2012 at 5:41 am

      Luckily Microsoft is supporting Windows 7 until 2020.

      • The 24a
        June 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm

        True, but how long will they continue to sell Windows 7 for?
        For some people, it could be worth it to buy an additional license in preparation for an computers they may buy in the future. Unless they see fit to wait for Windows 9.

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm

          Yup, another writer I know was saying it's time to stock up on Windows 7 licenses.

          It sounds like a joke, but the sad thing is that it may be true.

        • Saiber77
          December 22, 2012 at 7:26 am

          It could be a Triple play, attempt to get a corner in the tablet\smartphone market while simultaneously boosting Windows 7 sales among non-touchscreen customers, and gaining popularity among youth and new computer users who haven't used a decent GUI before.
          I'm sure the demographic wasn't far off from that... lol.

  34. Keith Brooks
    June 27, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Windows Update can be put on the desktopprovided you already have Windows Vista or Windows 7 and a 2nd hard drive/partition. All you need to do is drag Windows Update somewhere on the 2nd hard drive/partition and select Copy here and then in Windows 8 drag that shortcut onto the desktop and copy it there. The only thing that changed in Windows 8 is how the Windows Update looks. Windows Media Center is a addon only if you purchase Windows 8 Pro. This one's stupid as it and Windows Media Player are both the same versions that Windows 7 has. Thus they should be included for free in Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, The Start menu will probably have to be put back in Windows 8 Service Pack 1, as alot of people are going to complain and refuse to buy Windows 8. Personally if you have a desktop or notebook pc without any touch capabilities, Windows 8 won't be worth upgrading to. The so-called o.s. restore feature that restores your pc, isn't worth it, as if you make regulare backups/system images you won't truly need that feature. Als they need to make a way to get into Safe Mode easily in Windows 8 for malware scan's and troubleshooting. They also need to add a way to get Check Disk to scan your whole disk. I'm sorry but, Windows 8's 1 minute or less Check Disk isn't scanning the whole hard drive/ssd. Until these changes are made Windows 8 is going to flop big time.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 28, 2012 at 5:41 am

      Sure, you can put a Windows Update icon on your desktop -- but I don't think you'll get system tray notifications. You can probably install a third-party app for that, just like you can install a third-party Start menu.

      Windows 8 just doesn't make sense on a typical desktop or laptop to me. Give that laptop a touch screen -- or look at hybrid tablets like Microsoft Surface -- and Windows 8 starts to make sense.

      That doesn't change the fact that it's out of place on a non-touchscreen PC, though.

      • Charan
        September 26, 2012 at 10:20 am

        Yeah....surface or surface pro does not yield anything as it (windows RT
        )can't run all third party software's which worked in windows 7/xp/windows 8

        and why make and download tweaks and alternatives for windows 8??

        better make tweaks in windows 7 ,which runs additional features of windows 8 in windows 7

        • Chris Hoffman
          September 30, 2012 at 3:14 am

          Well, Surface Pro will have Windows 8 x86, so it will have desktops apps. Won't be released until well after Surface RT though (I don't understand why people are excited about Surface RT -- the Windows app store doesn't have many exciting apps at the moment, and that's all you can use on it.)

  35. Darren
    June 27, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Looks Horrible, the move to online streaming is yet just another way to try and stop people actually owning any content and have everything on the cloud.

    Well sorry call me old fashioned but I like an actual product that I can resell after, since it is the consumers right to resell.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 28, 2012 at 5:39 am

      Yup, Microsoft is definitely jumping on the bandwagon. They're deathly afraid of getting left behind.

  36. Gideon Waxfarb
    June 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    What about universal spell checking? More than one clipboard? Taskbars on multiple monitors? A file manager with tab support? Oh no, let's just build in a tablet shell, instead of putting in useful features that people might actually use :P

    Of course, you can get a lot of these features with 3rd party apps, but when you're in a locked-down corporate environment, you're pretty much stuck with whatever is built into the OS :(

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 28, 2012 at 5:38 am

      Yeah, I really wish Microsoft would work more on desktop stuff. The desktop has seen some work -- the new task manager is pretty nice and Windows Explorer has some cool features like built-in ISO mounting. Everything seems to perform faster, too.

      Still, I have this sense that the new interface will hurt my productivity and it won't help me get work done faster. This may be different for different people -- someone that just uses their computer for Facebook and YouTube may love Metro.

      • HLJonnalagadda
        September 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm

        Exactly! I use 2 24'' monitors and Im guessing the UI, with its solid color scheme, is not going to go well at all..