Many Windows users immediately ask about features they liked in Windows 7 that have gone missing when they upgraded to Windows 10. It’s not that difficult to find substitutes for many of these, often at no cost.
The “Aero” transparency feature was a big hit with Windows Vista, ending its life in Windows 7 as Aero Glass. The style of Aero Glass goes against the minimal, “flat” design that’s currently preferred for Windows, so it’s unlikely to return in full force in future versions of Windows. In a recent update, Microsoft added a switch to bring this back for the Start Menu, Taskbar and Action Center panel, but not for the title bars of application windows.
The feature that I miss the most in Windows 10, is Gadgets. I love the idea of seeing at a glance how my hardware is coping, or what the weather is doing. The answer for Windows 10 is 8GadgetPack, which installs the original Microsoft files of the Gadget platform and tweaks registry settings to make it work on Windows 10. The app comes with several gadgets in addition to nine Microsoft ones that originally came with Windows 7.
Microsoft considers Windows Media Center to be “incompatible” with Windows 10. You can forcibly install it in Windows 10, but recording TV transmissions may not work due to your system’s particular TV decoding hardware. A good replacement to consider is MediaPortal, a program that runs on Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10.
In Windows 7, Media Centre included the ability to play back DVDs, but for Windows 10 you will have to buy a Windows DVD Player from the Windows Store. Sadly, it will cost you $14.99, unless you are upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate, or from Windows 8/8.1 Pro, and these versions had Windows Media Center installed on it. The other good option is free: VLC. This application can play nearly any audio and video file format you load into it, including DVD movies. And, just think: You can hang onto it regardless of whatever Windows version Microsoft comes up with next!
It seems not all is lost – you can still have those Windows 7 features right inside your latest operating system.