MICROSOFT BEGAN inviting users to 'reserve' their free copy of Windows 10 yesterday, and it was noticeable that a number of key features have been removed from the spec list. Unless you have eagle eyes like wot we have got, you might not have noticed.
As we move to the era of Windows-as-a-service, the first thing you'll notice is that there will be no control over your updates. Patch Tuesday is toast, and updates will come 24/7 silently in the background. The only control you'll have is to disconnect the internet.
It hasn't been a huge secret that it's the end of the line for Windows Media Centre. The suite was already an optional add-on for Windows 8 for an extra £6.99, but it will be gone completely in Windows 10.
Also a surprise for Windows 7 users will be the end of Desktop Gadgets, first introduced in a sidebar in Windows Vista before being set free across the desktop in the next edition. We don't know anyone who still uses them, but if you do Rainmeter makes an alternative version.
If you like playing Hearts in your downtime (either your real downtime or when you think you can get away with it) prepare for a shock, as that's going too, although Windows 8 users who have missed Minesweeper and Solitaire will be pleased to know that both make a triumphant return.
The obvious alternative to Hearts is the arrival of Candy Crush Saga which will be preinstalled in Windows 10, but if only Hearts will scratch that itch, you can play it online here.
Floppy disk user? What, really? OK, well here's a warning, you will need some drivers for your drives as they won't be bundled. Fortunately, existing ones should work, as Microsoft will not want to make the same mistakes as it did with Vista.
More surprisingly perhaps is that DVD playback goes back to being an added extra, probably for licensing reasons, so we'd recommend good old faithful VLC Player for that.
Try not to mourn what you never had, but you won't get Cortana outside the US, UK, China, France, Germany, Italy and Spain for the foreseeable future. Google Now should, however, work for you.
We're not going to tell you how to circumvent region restrictions, but you'll have some of those to deal with too. And speaking of security, biometric security (aka Windows Hello) is going to be a limited markets launch too.
On the whole, these aren't going to be big losses to most people. But losses they are, nonetheless, and while none of them are going to cause the fuss of the Start Menu debacle in Windows 8, expect to see a few grumpy exclamations before we're done. It's called 'progress'. µ
So that's why she's smiling…
How many Zuckbucks to the pound?
Alexa, is this exploitation?