What's Not Included?

Windows Vista offers a great number of new features, but it's also missing some key features that you might have heard whispered about. It's also missing several older features that have been around for awhile. First, let's look at some of the much-ballyhooed new technologies that didn't make it into the final Vista OS. Then, we'll look at some of the Windows XP features that are missing. The new technologies that won't be in Vista include

  • WinFS—A relational database built on top of NTFS, WinFS was originally planned to be a part of Vista, but Microsoft cut it during the early Vista development cycle. It's now planned as a Web release in 2007.
  • Windows PowerShell—Microsoft's new scripting technology, PowerShell was formerly code-named Monad. PowerShell includes a new scripting language and command shell. Microsoft now plans to release it as a Web download toward the end of 2006.
  • Windows OneCare—Vista includes the Windows Defender antispyware feature, but it doesn't include Windows OneCare, Microsoft's antivirus software. Windows OneCare is a separately purchased product.
  • Extensible Firmware Interface—The Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) is an Intel technology that is intended to replace the PC BIOS system, which has become a bit long in the tooth. The BIOS provides the interface between the OS and the hardware. EFI would enable the creation of hardware-independent device drivers. Microsoft still plans to support EFI in its Longhorn Server release.

Some XP features that have gone missing in action from Vista include

  • NetMeeting—The new Windows Collaboration feature has replaced the old NetMeeting collaboration tool.
  • Hardware profiles—Hardware profiles were seldom used in XP, so Microsoft has removed them from Vista.
  • MSN Explorer—Here's another superfluous XP feature that Microsoft removed from Vista. Use Internet Explorer (IE) instead.
  • The My prefix—This feature is gone and not missed. Microsoft has also removed the ever-present My prefix from personal folders. For example, My Computer has changed to Computer, and My Documents has become simply Documents.