When I look at my pictures on the memory chip, a helpful window will pop up asking me what to do.
I run Windows 7 Ultimate on this laptop. I would think that "Ultimate" means that I should be able to have things happen automatically. I'd expect the machine to just fire up the chip's directory and then go off to make some coffee, maybe bake some bread for dinner and all will be well.
You seem to remember that this was how it happened on Windows XP, right?
You'd put the USB Stick/Chip/whatever into the little socket in the side of the machine or your laptop and you'd get the directory-I'm-sorry-folder view in Explorer automatically.
We don't do that any more.
You can get some external programs to do that or make some deep changes "under the hood" of your computer, but we're talking about the defaults here.
The reason is simple, viruses. There are individuals that get their jollies out of turning your prized computer into a place that serves out spam messages for whatever purpose. If you had that "Autorun" function working, it would look for a file called autorun.inf in the root folder of the device and happily go and run it.
I was scratching my head when I went to grab a picture to post here. Why wasn't it giving me the option. I turn a lot of things off but since I use that port so frequently why not. Just give me a directory, please. Ok, Folder. I get it.
But no, the "Default Behavior" is done that way to keep you safe. If you REALLY want to change things so that when you plug that chip in the drive or your DVD automatically plays, it means firing off "gpedit.msc" or digging around within your registry. It is done this way so the "Average Computer User" doesn't "Get Into Trouble".
Just thank Microsoft this time. Sure you're taking an extra step, but the default behavior is there to keep you safe.