If you despair of the amount of cruft that comes bundled with Windows these days, and would much rather choose your own e-mail and photo editing packages, rejoice: the news is that Windows 7 will be bereft of such extras.
According to an article over on CNet
, Microsoft is planning to drop the Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Mail, and Windows Movie Maker extras – last seen in Vista – from its default OS install. Instead, users who want the packages will have to make do with the cloud-based Windows Live versions instead, and even that will only be made available as an optional – free, gladly – download.
The general manager of Windows Live at Microsoft, Brian Hall, told CNet that the aim was to make the system “much cleaner
”, and to improve the speed at which the company is able to roll out new operating system releases.
It also, handily, pushes users towards the Windows Live versions of said apps: it's clearly no accident that as Microsoft invests heavily in cloud-based computing and rolls out Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Mail, and Windows Live Movie Maker the old, 'dead' versions of said applications vanish from Windows. According to Hall, this is to remove the requirement to support two separate versions of programs that perform the same function – which certainly sounds like a good idea from the perspective of bugfixes and security updates.
Speaking as a relative tech-head who chooses his own mail client
and photo editor
, I applaud Microsoft's decision to pare down the operating system – but I can't help but feel that there may well be some confused users in Windows 7's future, especially if they're upgrading from a prior version.
Do you like the fact that Windows XP and Vista provided you with commonly needed tools straight out of the box, or will you feel happier when your OS is just an OS? Share your thoughts over in the forums