October 26, 2009
If you have ever complained about the standard Windows operating system applets and certain features – they were too cumbersome or just did not work well – this is for you. It would not be too much of a generalization to say that this has certainly been encountered by every system administrator working with Windows systems. Well, since you most likely belong to this group, you will be happy with the changes in Windows 7 which allow several of these applets and features to be turned off or will not be included with the OS at all. It will make life easier for many of us.
The first areas of concern are the features which are no longer a part of the Windows 7 operating system. You will no longer have to contend with Movie Maker, Windows Mail, Windows Photo Gallery or Windows Calendar. You can still install them, but you must go through Windows Live to do so. This is a very positive step as few people made use of these since they often installed applications like Windows Office, which already had one or two of these features; and they were often much better than these default features which have now been removed. Microsoft must be listening to their customers.
Within Windows XP’s Control Panel, you could go to Add/Remove Programs and open the Windows Component Wizard to disable some features of the OS. In Windows Vista, the location of this feature was moved to Windows Features and there were more options, but most of the additional removable features were new ones to the Vista OS. Along comes Windows 7 and we now have a huge number of features which can be disabled.
The big change is that you can actually turn off Internet Explorer! If you prefer another browser and you want to use it exclusively, you can now do so. (I wonder if the anti-trust suits helped this along a bit?) You can also disable the Windows DVD Maker and use another DVD burning software. Even Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center can be axed leaving you to use whichever media platform you prefer. Even those pesky Gadgets can be disabled forever. No more Windows Search…The choices are amazingly thorough.
Now, to be clear, these features are ‘turned off’ but they are not uninstalled. They are still present on the drive – the executables, the drivers, the libraries – so that you can enable them again if you need to do so. And, some of the features are still present in Windows 7; Notepad, WordPad, Calculator and Paint are still around for our convenience.
Microsoft has released and OS which may just please many people who were very upset with the beast that was Windows Vista. Windows 7 may even win over the XP acolytes who want to have more flexibility, speed, and some control.
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