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How to replace the six features missing from Windows 10

David Ludlow
25 Jul 2015
Windows Media Center
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During the upgrade to Windows 10, you could lose up to six of the features you're used to from Windows 7 and 8. Here's how to replace them

As good as it is being able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, in the process you’ll lose a few features from versions 7 and 8. This is simply a case of Microsoft no longer wishing to support some of its older operating systems' new features. Although this won’t make a lot of difference to some people, for others it could be a real deal-breaker. Here we'll show you the six features that you could lose in the upgrade, and how to replace them. Check out our summary table for a brief overview of what’s missing.

Application or featureOS originally available on
Windows Media CenterWindows 7, Windows 8 (optional upgrade)
DVD PlaybackWindows 7
Desktop GadgetsWindows 7
Hearts, Minesweeper and SolitaireWindows 7
USB Floppy Drive SupportWindows 7, Windows 8
Windows Live Essentials OneDriveWindows 7, Windows 8

Windows Media Center

 Windows Media Center is one of the biggest features to bite the dust. Part of Windows 7 by default and available on Windows 8 as an optional paid-for upgrade, Media Center turned your computer into a fully-fledged TV PVR and media playback system.

Microsoft's version was one of the best Media Center applications available, thanks to its slick interface and excellent PVR. If you’re running a Media Center PC our advice is simple: don’t upgrade to Windows 10, as you’ll just be creating hassle for yourself.

If you have upgraded to Windows 10 and fancy turning it into a media centre, there are a couple of alternatives you could try: Kodi or MediaPortal. Both are free and have roughly the same features as Windows Media Center, but are slightly rough around the edges and are best suited to hobbyists.

Windows Media Center

 DVD Playback

Windows 8 didn’t support DVD playback (unless you upgraded and installed Media Center), so the lack of support in Windows 10 will only come as a shock to Windows 7 users. Fortunately, this is an easy feature to replace. If you don’t want to pay any money, VLC is an excellent free player. If you want an application with a few more features and Blu-ray playback you’ll need some commercial software, such as PowerDVD 15 Pro (£60).

VLC

Hearts, Minesweeper and Solitaire

Windows 7 had all these games built in, while Windows 8 users had to download them from the Store. Under Windows 10, all these games are available, but it’s up to you how you want to install or run them.

All Microsoft's card games are now available through the Microsoft Solitaire Collection, which is a single app that’s installed by default. Minesweeper is a slightly different story, as you have to download it from the Microsoft Store. There’s a free version that’s ad-supported, and you can pay £1.19 a month for £7.69 a year to remove the ads. In addition, the new version adds some new challenge modes. We’re not big fans of the new version, as it looks ugly and is a whopping 195MB download. Instead, just download and install the free Minez Minesweeper clone.

Microsoft Solitaire Collection

USB Floppy Drive Support

If you’re still using floppy drives, it’s time to copy all your data off them and save your files onto a hard disk, as Windows 10 will no longer support USB floppy drives. If you really need to use yours, then all is not lost: you’ll just need to download a driver from your floppy drive’s manufacturer.

Windows Live Essentials OneDrive App

If you have Windows Live Essentials installed on Windows 7 or 8 and upgrade to Windows 10, the OneDrive App will be replaced by the OneDrive Inbox, which combines email and OneDrive storage automatically. For everyone else, Windows 10 has a default email application built in, and OneDrive file access is integrated into Windows Explorer, automatically synchronising any files you copy to the folder to your free cloud storage account. 

OneDrive Windows 10 Explorer integration

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