Internet Explorer 7 and Windows MediaPlayer 11 are twins in as much as both have lost some functionality present in earlier versions. At the same time, both have features not present in earlier versions.
First on the block - IE7.. I will say here and now that it works well for me. I had no problems installing it or running it in XP. The 'tab' feature has replaced the 'stacking' of open browser windows on the OS task bar, and gives more meaningful names to each. The layout is fine for me, and I have no problem looking at or entering URL's one line above where the address bar used to be.
Priinting web pages has improved beyond all recognition, the onus for how it all gets onto a regular 'potrait' likeness being taken away from printer drivers that couldn't do it anyway without being forced to landscape printing.
I also like the way that favourites and history are handled. The popout box is way more convenient than having either pinned to the side (still possible, by the way). For people who have MSN or similar home pages set, pinning fills up the nasty empty spaces that would otherwise be there in any resolution higher than 640 x 480. My ISP is Sympatico, and I have a customised home page that fits very nicely thank you. Pinned history and favourites columns were not welcome on my home page, and the new 'way' works very well for me.
For a utility that has settings most likely to be kept as default, I can't see why anybody mourns the loss of the taskbar or its positioning. It is still possible to have it showing, but what is the point? The Tools button, 'ere users should care to look, does it all.
IE6 did not always display pages well, and sometimes not at all. If IE7 fails to display something, I put it down to '403/4' just as I did with IE6 and then look for alternatives. It is no big deal for the most part, unless, of course, one's own website does not show. C'est la guerre.
Windows MediaPlayer 11, as far as I can see, is not able to produce a simple list of media contained on any hard drive. Then again, I don't remember being able to do that with WMP 10 either. Again no big problem. I had already changed my modus operandii to initiating WMP from files rather than opening WMP and selecting from the less than useful and really quite irritating listing. It works for me, saving me having to store 'genre' info re. stuff I listen to or watch. For me, WMP 11 is like Windows Picture and Fax Viewer. As long as it plays and shows, do I really care?
I am of the belief that WMP 11 consumes more reources than ever before, and this would not be a problem but for the fact that Vista file movements seem to take precedence over my health and temper, rendering music to jittery at best, and completely lost at worst.
If either of these programs have any other underlying faults, then I am blissfully unaware of them. I find that with most things, a slight change in approach overcomes annoyances.