Well, it's gone -- mostly. The System Assessment Tool is still running, and you can see your score by opening the
<date time> Format.Assessment (Initial/Recent).WinSAT.xmlfile at
C:\Windows\Performance\WinSAT\DataStore. But the GUI presentation has disappeared in Windows 8.1.
Despite what you may have read, libraries aren't missing in Windows 8.1. But they are hidden, so most users will think they're missing. Part of the reason for the change: Microsoft is trying to get you to save your stuff to SkyDrive, not to your local Pictures and Documents libraries. If you want to see your libraries in File Explorer, go to the View ribbon, click the Navigation pane, and select Show Libraries.
Another elusive feature in Windows 8.1 is the set of Windows 7 Backup and System Image Recovery tools. These were still available in Windows 8, along with the new File History tool. But in Windows 8.1, you may have a hard time finding those recovery tools. Rest assured, however, there are still tools for restore points, recycling the PC, refreshing the PC, and troubleshooting the system should it fail to boot. To get to them, open the File History tool and look in the lower-left corner for the System Image Backup option.
Hub apps are indeed gone in Windows 8.1. These apps in Windows 8 were designed to play nice with others, such as the Messaging app that worked with both Live Messenger and Facebook. Messaging is gone because Microsoft wants you to use Skype instead, and it now works with Facebook.
Other apps have lost features but still exist. One is the Photos app, which no longer lets you alter photos from Facebook, Flickr, and SkyDrive. Maybe that makes sense because once you publish an image, you don't usually want to tweak it. Instead, you'd tweak first, and the new Photos app has new editing tools to play with.
The Calendar app has also been tweaked, apparently shedding Google sync support in the process. This may not matter for long, given the rumor that the Calendar and Mail apps will be replaced by the Outlook app, which is now available on Windows 8.1 RT tablets.
It's nice to see the Windows OS evolve, even if clear reasons aren't presented for some changes. Still, I don't think any of these items are deal-breakers -- I doubt anyone is going to avoid Windows 8.1 because they cannot easily view their WEI score.
This story, "Solving the mystery of Windows 8.1's missing features," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.