Windows 10 is just around the corner. Microsoft has confirmed it's arriving July 29, it's a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 users (Windows 8 users will need to upgrade to 8.1 first) and you can reserve your copy today if you want.
It's no secret I'm excited about Windows 10's features, including the return of the Start Menu, a replacement browser for Internet Explorer and more. However, as you'd expect there are going to be some trade-offs.
It turns out Windows 10 is actually going to remove some features that exist in current versions of Windows. Before you go ahead with the upgrade, you should know what these are so you don't suddenly lose something important.
Let's take a look at Microsoft's list and I'll tell you how to find replacements for these features.
According to Microsoft's Windows 10 website under the "Feature deprecation section," it says:
- 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.
Let's take these in order.
Media Center is a Windows program that lets you watch and record TV using TV third-party tuner cards in your computer. It's also a nice way to manage and interact with your videos, music and other media. You can replace this with a free program like Kodi, but test out the new program before you upgrade to make sure it does everything you want.
Windows 10 is taking out DVD playback. You can still watch DVDs with a free program like VLC.
Windows already ditched desktop gadgets, such as the clock, calendar, CPU meter and others, in Windows 8, but Windows 7 users might still want them. Several companies like Winaero make third-party gadget programs that bring these back.
The line about Windows 10 Home updating automatically is a little vague, but it likely means that new updates are downloaded and installed automatically no matter what. This is good for people who have the wrong update settings or don't update when they should. Unfortunately, it might also mean you can't stop a bad update from installing. We'll have to wait for Microsoft to give more details.
When it comes to games, you'll need to go to the Microsoft App Store to download the familiar Solitaire and Minesweeper. It sounds like Hearts is gone for now, but you can find plenty of free versions to install. When we get closer to Windows 10, I'll put some up in my Downloads section.
Those with USB floppy drives will need to reinstall the driver. I'm betting this won't be a big problem.
Windows Live Essentials is an older set of programs Microsoft discontinued in 2013, but many people still have it. It sounds like the OneDrive program is getting tweaked, but the rest of them should stay intact if you have them.
So what do you think? Are any of these deal breakers for your plans to upgrade to Windows 10? Let me know in the comments.