Microsoft's secret weapon in Windows 7 is not what features the operating system has, but instead what features it doesn't have. Microsoft is stripping Windows 7 of some of Windows' best built-in applications, and it's making them available only as downloads on its Windows Live site.
When Windows 7 comes out, it won't include Windows Mail, Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker, which are some of Vista's most useful applications. Windows Movie Maker is a surprisingly sophisticated piece of software for creating videos and DVDs, and it's worthy of being sold as stand-alone software. Windows Photo Gallery is a well-done, elegant way to manage digital photos. And Windows Mail is the successor to Outlook Express, with a very big installed base. Expect users to howl in protest when they find those applications gone, particularly Windows Mail.