Microsoft rolls out smaller Windows 10 updates fairly regularly, saving its larger batches of fixes, tweaks, and features for a twice-annual release. We just had one, in fact—the big November update, otherwise known as Windows 10 version 1909. And with that comes the axe for some Windows 10 features that Microsoft doesn’t want to work on anymore.
We regret to inform you that the latest Windows 10 updates continue to be downright pests. This time, there are reports of some users receiving the rightfully ominous-sounding, Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) after updating. Here's what you should do.
If negative news ruins your day, we’ve written about the few features you can play with in Windows 10 (1909). It’s not a very jam-packed update for new things to do, sadly.
What’s just as interesting to me in moments like these—really, any major Windows 10 update—is Microsoft’s graveyard, otherwise known as the grand list of features the company has no intention of developing. In fact, its website that tracks these things is called exactly that: “Windows 10 features we’re no longer developing.” Bookmark that site and check back whenever Microsoft releases a big Windows 10 update to see what no longer interests Microsoft (or what might soon go missing in Windows 10).
For example, as part of the November update, Microsoft has decided to kill (or change) these five features:
Hyper-V vSwitch on LBFO: In a future release, the Hyper-V vSwitch will no longer have the capability to be bound to an LBFO team. Instead, it can be bound via Switch Embedded Teaming (SET).1909
Language Community tab in Feedback Hub: The Language Community tab will be removed from the Feedback Hub. The standard feedback process: Feedback Hub - Feedback is the recommended way to provide translation feedback.1909
My People / People in the Shell: My People is no longer being developed. It may be removed in a future update.1909
TFS1/TFS2 IME: TSF1 and TSF2 IME will be replaced by TSF3 IME in a future release. Text Services Framework (TFS) enables language technologies. TSF IME are Windows components that you can add to enable typing text for Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean languages. 1909
Package State Roaming (PSR): PSR will be removed in a future update. PSR allows non-Microsoft developers to access roaming data on devices, enabling developers of UWP applications to write data to Windows and synchronise it to other instantiations of Windows for that user.
Only one, maybe two of these applies to your everyday Windows 10 life—goodbye, My People—but that’s not to say that this list doesn’t occasionally have some gems. For Windows 10's July update (version 1903), you could have learned that Microsoft will soon prevent you from connecting to networks “secured” by antiquated wifi encryption:
“Since the 1903 release, a warning message has appeared when connecting to Wi-Fi networks secured with WEP or TKIP (which are not as secure as those using WPA2 or WPA3). In a future release, any connection to a Wi-Fi network using these old ciphers will be disallowed. Wi-Fi routers should be updated to use AES ciphers, available with WPA2 or WPA3.”
And back around the time of the Windows 10 1809 update (November of 2018), you would have learned that Microsoft, cruelly, was planning to ditch one of my most-used utilities:
“The Snipping Tool is an application included in Windows 10 that is used to capture screenshots, either the full screen or a smaller, custom “snip” of the screen. In Windows 10, version 1809, we’re introducing a new universal app, Snip & Sketch, that provides the same screen snipping abilities, as well as additional features. You can launch Snip & Sketch directly and start a snip from there, or just press WIN + Shift + S. Snip & Sketch can also be launched from the “Screen snip” button in the Action Centre. We’re no longer developing the Snipping Tool as a separate app but are instead consolidating its functionality into Snip & Sketch.”
The next time you’re waiting for a big Windows 10 update to download and install, take a few moments to peek at what Microsoft isn’t doing as part of the update. You might be surprised, you might be bored, but you’ll typically find at least one interesting tidbit hidden away.
While we all like to think we're reasonably vigilant with security on our devices, we tend to be lulled into a false sense of security if we haven't been affected for a while. So here's something that should snap you back to attentive: A new cyberworm, called BlueKeep, is shaping up to be one of the worst mass cyber attacks since WannaCry. Yikes.