In an interesting support note that appeared alongside today’s announcement about the July 29 launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has spelled out which features from previous Windows versions it will remove or deprecate when you upgrade. There are some expected entries—Windows Media Center, for example—but also a few surprises.
Here’s the rundown of deprecated functionality.
Windows Media Center. Microsoft announced a month ago that it had killed Media Center and would not support it in Windows 10. So this one shouldn’t be surprising: 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.
DVD playback. “Watching DVDs requires separate playback software,” Microsoft notes. But I assume any existing DVD playback software will continue running. And in a separate FAQ, Microsoft says it is “providing a free DVD playback app in Windows 10 for Windows Media Center users.”
Desktop gadgets. Windows 7 desktop gadgets—a weird holdover from Windows Vista—will be removed when you upgrade to Windows 10.
Preinstalled games. The games that come pre-installed on Windows 7 (like Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts) will be removed when you upgrade to Windows 10 upgrade. New versions of Solitaire and Minesweeper (called the Microsoft Solitaire Collection and Microsoft Minesweeper, respectively) are available in Windows 10 instead.
Floppy drive support. If you have a USB floppy drive, you will need to download the latest driver from Windows Update or from the hardware maker’s web site to use it with Windows 10.
Windows Live Essentials (Windows Essentials). No, Essentials won’t be removed, thankfully. But the OneDrive application that came with Essentials will be removed and will be replaced with the “in-box version of OneDrive,” meaning the sync application. (A universal OneDrive app is coming later as well.)
Windows Updates. This is the most interesting one. In previous Windows versions, you could control how updates were installed. But those with Windows 10 Home will have updates from Windows Update made available automatically. Only Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise users will be able to defer updates.