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I am thinking of upgrading from XP, but I heard they removed lots of features. What have they removed?

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There are complete Wiki articles on it, a bit too much to paste here:

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+1 for the links – alex Sep 25 '09 at 5:46

Whatever they removed, considering this is Microsoft, it's probably been thought long and hard before it was actually removed. They have great concern for backwards compatibility and removing applications somewhat falls into this category.

You will have far more benefits from upgrading to Vista or 7 than you would have if you'd stay with XP. I've been using Vista for 2 years now and I have not missed any removed features.

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+1 Same goes for me... – Hemant Sep 25 '09 at 13:52
FWIW, my experience differs. I miss the old Windows Explorer, my (less powerful) XP machine was more responsive, and we're having weird problems with programmatic screen capture under Vista that we didn't with XP. – David Thornley Sep 25 '09 at 14:57

We missed some things.

First, the XP Windows Explorer could take user-defined columns, which was excellent for applications like TortoiseSVN. That no longer works in Vista, and the last I checked the TortoiseSVN folks their recommendation was TotalCommander.

Second, we've been having some odd issues with our programs doing screen captures in Vista. It's intermittent, and I haven't found any way to predict it. What I know is that it happens an annoying number of times in Vista, and not at all in XP. I don't know if this counts as a removed feature, but it did work in XP and doesn't reliably in Vista.

There have been some more annoyances, but these are the issues where we'd definitely be better off with XP.

We also found that no version of Visual Studio before 2005 was supported under Vista, and there was a long list of VS2005 problems, but VS2008 became very usable with Service Pack 1 and we just upgraded, so that turned out to be no problem.

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Hyperterm missing is a pain, not the greatest terminal emulator but very useful if you sell equipement that uses a serial port and need to fix it on site.

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In my experience, BSODs...

I had a series of BSODs with a faulty GFX in Vista x64, but nothing in Win 7 so far. XP involved a rebuild every 6 months.

Yeah, I know it's cool diss Vista (and to a lesser extent Win 7), but the reality is that they are both far superior products to XP providing your hardware post-dates 2005. The fact is they are both more secure (though not totally secure), more stable and more capable than XP.

That said, still plenty more to improve on (UAC for example).

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Well, more secure, that's probably true. – CarlF Oct 4 '09 at 6:07

Two removed features that come to mind are Outlook Express & NetMeeting. Movie Maker was also removed but only from Windows 7. You have it in Windows Vista.

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Movie Maker's now part of Live Essentials -- – Roger Lipscombe Sep 30 '09 at 14:06
Outlook Express was replaced by Windows Mail (and then by Windows Live Mail); Netmeeting was replaced by Windows Meeting Space. Far superior products. – CJM Oct 4 '09 at 0:31
those weren't features, those were bugs... – quack quixote Oct 4 '09 at 1:23

The ability to select Wave Out Mix as a recording source seems to be missing in the 7100 build (RC), does not show up, even if if you show disabled devices, as in Vista. Googling around indicates it was in earlier builds, but unless it's been put back in later builds, you can't record whatever is running through the sound output as it stands, eg. radio streams. (or does anyone know of another way?)

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file this under "patching the analog hole"... – quack quixote Oct 4 '09 at 1:22
-1 This depends on your audio drivers. – kinokijuf Nov 18 '12 at 17:42

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