After just a little bit of exploring, I found out (I think I knew this already, but was surprised nonetheless) that Parental Controls has been neutered. The single biggest feature, the web filtering, is missing. You must now download a provider for this. Why? Justice Department crap? This makes little sense to me. I don’t have an issue with allowing other providers, but is there, really, a problem with leaving what WAS already there and working perfectly in place? Seriously?
Also, as had already been announced, Movie Maker is gone, along with the more robust photo gallery. Of course, the LIVE Essentials version of Photo Gallery is better, why not at least put the damn link on the desktop to download it? And Mail? Sigh. Something that has been included since, what, 3.1? I know, we knew this was coming. But, really?
One other minor annoyance I have found is that the ‘my’ is back: My Documents, My Music, My Pictures and My Videos…all back. Sigh. I had just gotten used to-and LIKED-those folders without the ‘My’ prefix. Oh well, a minor nit…but a nit nonetheless. This might fix the problem with Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 though. So that is something.
I’ve played around with the taskbar a bit. I don’t find the default settings as annoying as others (Paul Thurrot, I’m pointing at you!) but I do find it a bit displeasing: there does not seem to be a way to change the spacing of the icons. One thing I DO like: for grouped icons, it shows a little ‘stack’ of them. Hover over the stack and you get a nice live preview, similar to Vista, but you see all open windows at once and you can control them from this preview. Nice.
I’m going to dive back in. I’ll post other findings later.