Microsoft started rolling out Windows 10 version 2004 this week, also known as the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. And while there are a bunch of new features, Microsoft is also killing off a bunch of older features.
The company has posted a list of Windows 10 features and functionality that have been removed from version 2004, as well as a list of Windows 10 features that are no longer actively being developed (which means they’re still around, but maybe not for long).
Thees are some of the highlights (or maybe low-lights).
Microsoft is making it easier to interact with its Cortana digital assistant in the May 2020 Update, thanks to support for text-based conversations and support for moving the Cortana window around your screen. But the company is also killing off some Cortana skills… actually make that, a lot of them.
As announced earlier this year, third-party skills, music playback, and smart home/connected home features are no longer available. Microsoft says this is part of an effort to improve security by tightening access so that users that login with a school or work account aren’t exposing their data to third parties. But Cortana sure seems a lot less useful these days.
The Windows To Go feature that debuted in 2011 allowing Enterprise and Education users to boot Windows from a USB flash drive (like a Linux LiveUSB) is also officially dead. And Microsoft says that its Mobile Plans and Messaging apps aren’t exactly dead, but they’ll now be distributed by OEMs who choose to make them available. They won’t be included in system images for PCs that don’t have cellular capabilities anymore.
While the features listed above are officially dead, these features are no longer being developed and likely to be removed from future versions of Windows 10. So they’re kind of zombies at this point.
The legacy version of the Microsoft Edge web browser that uses the company’s EdgeHTML rendering engine is now deprecated. It’s still included in Windows 10, but the company is putting all its efforts into the new Chromium-based version of Edge, which began rolling out to the general public earlier this year (after spending a year in beta).
Microsoft is also deprecating the Companion Device Framework, which had been an API for use by developers that wanted to make Windows Hello-compatible hardware that would work even without biometric security such as cameras or fingerprint sensors. It’s being phased out.
The Dynamic Disks feature is also no longer under development, and is scheduled to be replaced by Storage Spaces in a future Windows 10 release.
You can now download Chrome from a preinstalled version of Chrome!
Chromium, not chrome. And Edge Chromium is superior to chrome in a lot of ways.
You can download Firefox, there’s no need to download chrome once Edge Chromium starts shipping built in
Internet Explorer is dead. Microsoft Edge is dead. Microsoft lost the browser wars.
To be hones they lost it a very long time ago, but they kept sticking a dead zombie-platform into every OS they sold. Also, the remains of that war are still among us, government and industrial applications that refuse to run in anything but IE6, and are being used to this very day…
Microsoft got what they wanted. They control which browser ships with their OS. Apple and Google do the same thing. All 3 also get to ignore standards set be W3C and get to set their own. Basing their browser off Chromium is less work than maintaining all of that on their own.
After IE killed off Netscape Navigator, innovation slowed to a crawl because MS had zero competition and they rested on their laurels, like Intel did a decade ago, only worse. Only after Firefox and then Chrome came along did they start investing in the platform again, but it was already too late. They only have themselves to blame.
With edge dead, even less variety in browser engines. I think its not good trend for innovation for browser engine software convergence, is there a good reason for this?
The fewer browsers, the easier it is to ensure your website is going to look right to the client. Innovation happens on the server side and is hampered, not enhanced, by needing to build-in compatibility for outdated browsers.
The problem with that is that through Chrome we’ve given Google de facto control of web standards. The last thing we need is such a powerful entity becoming more powerful. It sets us up for another situation like in the early 2000s, when Microsoft got to run everything and mostly for its own benefit.
The software industry is very different today, though. There’s a lot more emphasis on collaboration and open industry standards than there was when IE ruled the browser market, and Microsoft has become one of the leading contributors to open source software, and that puts it in a good position to be a major player in future decisions regarding web standards and technology.
That’s not to say that Google isn’t sitting pretty, or that they don’t bear watching, but the odds of Google pulling off the same stunts Microsoft did 20 years ago when they dominated with IE, are low.
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