Following the exciting news that Windows will be free for everyone currently on Windows 7 or 8.1, providing they upgrade within the first year, users should also be aware of a few features that will no longer work with Windows 10 after that upgrade.
The features that will no longer work are taken from the official specifications page on Microsoft's Windows website, and reproduced below. The good news is that in some cases alternatives are available.
- If you have Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 Pro with Media Center, or Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center and you install Windows 10, Windows Media Center will be removed.
- Watching DVDs requires separate playback software
- Windows 7 desktop gadgets will be removed as part of installing Windows 10.
- Windows 10 Home users will have updates from Windows Update automatically available. Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise users will have the ability to defer updates.
- Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts Games that come pre-installed on Windows 7 will be removed as part of installing the Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft has released our version of Solitaire and Minesweeper called the “Microsoft Solitaire Collection” and “Microsoft Minesweeper.”
- If you have a USB floppy drive, you will need to download the latest driver from Windows Update or from the manufacturer's website.
- If you have Windows Live Essentials installed on your system, the OneDrive application is removed and replaced with the inbox version of OneDrive.
With DVD playback removed from Windows 10, VLC Media Player, or Media Player Classic (MPC) are great free alternatives that restore the functionality. In addition, for those that cannot live without Desktop Gadgets, there's a version that works with Windows 8.1 and 10 here. We've written about the loss of this feature before, and there's still hope that Microsoft may allow the pinning of Live Tiles on the desktop, but that feature will probably not ship with the first version of Windows 10. Though, maybe we can expect it with Redstone.
Live Essentials, which included Windows Live Messenger was discontinued in 2013, but there are still programs available such as Messenger Reviver 2 that allows you to continue using Messenger (version 2012). This service has largely moved over to Skype, with desktop and Windows Store apps that are freely available.
The loss of the features mentioned above is probably not going to be a deal breaker for most people, with Windows 10 being free kind of sweetening the deal somewhat. Plus, if you look around, there are alternatives for most of the features mentioned above, and you can share yours in the comments below!