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In Windows 95 and Nt 4.0 and earlier, there were audio meters that represented the loudness of the playing audio (for wave and synth), but it was removed in Windows 98 and NT 5.0. Then, it was re-added in Windows Vista and later. Why were the volume meters temporarily removed between Windows 98 and XP?

EDIT: In earlier Windows the meters were colorful; red at the top, yellow in the middle, and green at the bottom, but in later Windows it's just green.

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    The Microsoft Program Managers in charge of UI for Windows are always fiddling with things, trying to "improve" them (for whatever definition of "improve" they are using at the time). Sometimes "improve" means "simplify" and so something useful goes away. Then later they get feedback like "who the he** took my volume meters away and why??" so sometimes things come back. Or vice versa. They always claim they're doing things based on user feedback and "what the user really wants" but ... their track record is mixed ... In those days, making it easy for "grandma" was big ... therefore ...
    – davidbak
    Jun 10 at 23:48
  • I’m sorry that I accidentally voted to close this question. I have cast a reopen vote now. Jun 11 at 5:39
  • @Someone_who_likes_SE You didn’t. You’re not on the list of closing users. Jun 11 at 5:53
  • Microsoft’s long time developer Larry Osterman occasionally covered audio support in Windows in his (now dormant) blog. You might find your answer there. I don’t know why it was removed; Osterman says they discovered that Windows got the physics of volume wrong until XP SP2 but that wouldn’t explain a change in Win 98. Whatever the reason, the Windows audio engine/mixer and UI underwent a major rebuild during Vista (also covered in the blog), which is probably why it was (could be) re-added. Jun 11 at 13:37

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