When Windows 8 was first released I was very happy, but after using this operating system, I found that, Microsoft removed lots of cool features and even some of these are fairly useful and widely used. The perfect examples of these include useful things like DVD playback and start menu and rarely used features like windows media center.
Most of these features were not indispensable but you may find them so if you were used to using them on a regular basis. But do not despair, since Windows 8 hasn’t yet been locked down. You can get these features back and here is how you do it.
1. Start Menu, Unified Search & Boot to Desktop
Windows 8 has done away with the traditional start menu and button and has provided a start screen. Which means booting directly to the desktop or using unified search for finding settings, files and programs is not possible. Now you can get these features back by putting in a 3rd Party start menu, like Start8 or traditional Classicshell. This will delay the viewing of the desktop as you log in but that is a small price to pay.
2. DVD Playback
The option for playing DVD out of the box is no longer there, there is a costly option as a substitute. You can skip all that by simply installing the free of cost VLC media player which can then be used to play DVDs on the Windows 8. Of course if you have bought a new PC then it could have a DVD drive fitted in which makes all this redundant.
3. Windows Media Center
Instead of upgrading to the professional and much pricier version of Media Center Pack you can attempt to use a different media center application; XMBC for instance.
4. Solitaire, Minesweeper & Other games
These games were much beloved of people who wanted to take a much needed break from the stress of working in an office. Windows 8 does not have these; your options are either to install desktop versions or install the latest versions of the Windows store.
5. Windows Desktop Gadgets
This has been eliminated by Windows 8 as it seems they seem a little unsure about this program as it can change your system like any program can. You can easily overcome this hurdle by putting in the desktop gadget support into Windows 8 using 8gadgetPack.
6. Parental Controls
This one could be found in earlier versions now no longer available. But you could use the Microsoft Family Safety which is part of accounts in Mircrsoft. This enables you to administer and keep tabs on the internet usage of the young ones in your family. This also many new and useful features.
7. Windows Aero Glass
This lovely almost see through theme has also become a casualty. Do not bother to get it back using tools like Aero8Tuner as the blurred looking effect has made it look not so slick. It looks like much thought and work has gone into the elimination of this theme.
8. Windows Classic Theme
You can have something approximately the same by getting User Created Windows Classic theme, but you will find that it is not quite the same. This theme is basically a simply changed version of the theme that used to be called High Contrast theme but still it is not just the same.
9. Command Bar
The Windows Explore which is also known as a great feature of Windows 7 got a sea-change. The command bar is removed in Windows 8 and replaced with a cool ribbon UI. It is now called as FIle Explorer.
10. Games Explorer
If you’ve a habit of searching games in Windows 7 using Game Explorer? Unfortunately you will not find this feature in Windows 8. The reason is that Microsoft’s only want to concentrate on apps, so they decided to remove it.
11. Shadow Copies / Previous Versions
Files history feature is now replaced with Shadow Copies / Previous Versions and due to this feature Window Restore and Backup feature much more powerful.
12. Windows Cardspace
If you miss Windows CardSpace feature? It’s ok, but Microsoft’s didn’t think you miss it. Basically, it’s a technology in. NET Framework 3.0 which improve and simplify safety of accessing resources and sharing personal information on the Internet.
13. Scary Blue Screen
Now Scary Blue Screen is replaced with more friendly looking Blue Screen which shows minimal information, sad emoticon and sometimes error codes.
14. Windows Update Icon
Now you will not able to see Windows Update icon in the taskbar. In Windows 7 you make the setting and system inform you whenever you have a new update. But now you will a notification at bottom right corner of the login screen.
You can try and get some of the features that you were so used to and loved so much by following these simple and basic steps. A better way still would be to let go and move forward and get used to the new version.