4 Things Windows 8.1 Has Done Away With For Good

Almost everything that Microsoft has released over the years has received criticism. The company has a long-standing reputation of doing controversial things, which runs it the risk of doing things that don’t always make sense. All in all, everything Microsoft did was worth it to many people, who saw a good cost/benefit ratio. However, when Microsoft unveiled Windows 8.1 (a.k.a. Windows “Blue”), tempers started flaring with good reason. It received a lot of bad press. Aside from this, there are also other things I’m sure some people won’t be happy with in Windows 8.1. Depending on who you are, though, these things may be good news.

This is a bit of a downer, but perhaps not really that bad of an ordeal for those who don’t want to take another look at downgrading their systems to Windows 7. You cannot create the old-style backups that Windows 7 had in its control panel. Microsoft decided to do away with the whole old system. Windows 8.1 still allows you to import Windows 7 images, but it won’t let you create new ones. The new Windows 8 backup utility now dominates.

This might not be horrible news for you, but it just means you’ll have to bear with the learning curve of using Windows 8.1′s backup utility.

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While W8.1 doesn’t do away completely with the “Libraries” feature, Microsoft has certainly decided to no longer display it by default in Windows Explorer. The “Libraries” feature behind Windows 7′s semi-awkward browsing system is now hidden and can be revealed again from the navigation pane button on the “View” ribbon in Windows Explorer.

Libraries are a good way to quickly get to your documents, your internet downloads, and other media you store on your computer. However, the feature didn’t take off very well. People really weren’t using it very much.

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Yep, they’ve done away with that, too. While it may have given you an idea of how your computer performs, it was only relative and didn’t really do anything except waste your time. Every time you added hardware to your computer, you had to repeat the whole process all over again. It just wasn’t worth it. If you purchase and install hardware, chances are you know how good it is and don’t need a reminder of that every few minutes.

Granted, some people found it useful, since they wanted to know what Microsoft thought about what they bought. It had its uses, but Windows 8.1 basically swept it under the rug. The Windows Experience Index is one of the many relics of Windows that don’t really have a place anymore in the modern computing world.

The basic photos app in Windows 8 really didn’t leave much to be desired. It had a pretty cool mix of your Facebook and SkyDrive images, but it really wasn’t the practical nitty-gritty tool that MS Paint always was. Ironically, MS Paint remained in Windows 8, but you had to search for it. Nothing similar was added to the whole Metro/Modern interface. Windows 8.1 seems to have an answer to that: replacing Windows 8′s Photos app and putting one of its own in its place.

The new Photos app will not show you pictures from Facebook or anything outside your computer. I know this will be a major downer for some, but others would consider what I’m about to say a big plus: The new app at least gives you a basic photo editing interface.

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All in all, this may seem like a good trade-off. Some may not think so, but that’s why I’m mentioning it. Personally, I’ll just stick to MS Paint.

While I might consider Windows 8.1 in general an overall disappointment, it has presented a few useful trade-offs. Of all the things it could have done, though, removing Libraries might have been a bit premature. The real question here, though, is: Do you consider these changes bad? Tell us what you think in the comments below!