The software maker included Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Mail, and Windows Movie Maker as part of Vista, but later chose to offer separate downloadable Windows Live programs that essentially replaced those components with versions that could connect to online services from Microsoft and others.
In a follow-up interview on Monday, Windows Vista general manager Brian Hall said Microsoft made the decision to remove the tools from Windows for several reasons, including a desire to issue new operating system releases more quickly than it has in the past. The move also removes the confusion of offering and supporting two different programs that perform essentially similar functions.
"It makes it much cleaner," Hall said.
Two different applications for the same purpose is certainly an unneeded luxury and one can sympathize with the difficulty in getting multiple applications with different update frequencies to a coordinated Windows 7 launch date, but I can’t help but think that this shifts the pain to the end user. The consumer with a shiny new PC already has a lot of work to do to transfer files and applications to the new system and this just adds to the burden unless it is completely automatic.
Microsoft is coy about how streamlined the acquisition process for these applications will be, but the above news report from Ina Fried suggest that Microsoft fears antitrust scrutiny of making the process too automatic and suggests that they will instead work with partners "to enable really great experiences." I assume that partners means OEMs where, frankly, great experiences are usually in short supply.
Finally, while we are talking Windows 7, Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference 2008 is coming up in late October and Microsoft’s Denise Begley reminds us that there will be plenty of Windows 7 information including a Windows 7 keynote by head Windows honcho Steven Sinofsky. A list of all of the PDC08 sessions shows 22 of them on Windows 7.