Every time Microsoft releases a new Windows 10 update, the company shares a list of features that have been removed or that are no longer in development. The just-released November 2019 update is no exception, despite being a fairly minor release compared to the May 2019 Update.
If you check the Windows 10 features lifecycle page today, you’ll see that only two features have been removed in the November 2019 Update, Roaming of taskbar settings and support for the Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRP) cloud service. The list of deprecated features is slightly longer with 5 items, and there’s just one really important thing to note: the My People feature that made its debut with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709) is no longer being developed, and Microsoft notes that it “may be removed in a future update.”
With My People, Microsoft allowed Windows 10 users to ping their favorite contacts to the taskbar, making it easier to send them emails or Skype contacts. Unfortunately, Microsoft never managed Facebook, WhatsApp, or other apps to integrate their Windows 10 apps with My People, and the feature still remains in a sorry state after all this time.
Once again, My People started from a good idea, but it was really up to app developers to make it really useful. Unfortunately, Windows 10 apps seem to a very low priority for app developers, as we’ve seen again this week with the Disney+ app launching on Xbox One, but not on Windows The same can probably be said about Timeline, which still very few Windows apps currently support.
Windows 8 and its new Start Menu showed that Windows users are pretty reluctant to change, and Microsoft should keep this in mind when trying to improve the Windows Shell. My People, Timeline, or Cortana probably aren’t the most beloved features on Windows 10, and we have yet to hear about the return of Windows Sets, an experiment that allowed Windows 10 users to open multiple apps in the same window.
With Windows 10X launching next year, Microsoft is probably more focused on this new version of Windows these days. As we’ve seen on the first demos of the dual-screen Surface Neo last month, Windows 10X will be a brand new Windows that will get rid of legacy components, including Live Tiles on the Start Menu. The OS should be a great opportunity for Microsoft to experiment with new UI and UX elements, something that’s not really possible to do on a desktop OS that millions of people mostly use for work-related tasks.