Microsoft Delays Windows 10 Timeline Feature, Won’t Ship with Fall Creators Update

Posted on July 3, 2017 by Brad Sams in Windows 10 with 68 Comments

When Microsoft showed off the Fall Creators Update, one of the key updates coming to the platform is called TimeLine. This feature, as the name suggests, allows you to quickly jump to previous sessions of Windows and makes it easy to go “backwards” in time to items you were previously working on.

For those of you who have been running the latest builds of Windows 10 shipped to Insiders, you will have noticed that this feature is not yet available. With the company wrapping up development of this iteration of Windows 10 in the next few weeks, it’s not a surprise to learn that Timeline has been delayed.

Joe Belfiore chimed on Twitter today to say that this feature will not be arriving with the Fall Creators Update that will ship in a couple of months. Knowing that Microsoft will release an update in the spring, you can expect Timeline to arrive around March instead of September.

With Microsoft moving to rapid release and working under tight deadlines to release features inside a shipping window that provides enough time for complete testing, the risk is that they will have public delays like this one. On the other hand, if they are willing to show off new features for an upcoming release, they need to get into a better rhythm of making sure that large features such as this one are shown off when they are confident they can make their public deadlines.

Of course, this isn’t the first time this has happened as several features announced for the Creators update did not ship with that release either; Groove Music Maker and My People were delayed. Additionally, we still haven’t seen the ‘cloud clipboard’ feature either…here’s to hoping that hasn’t been delayed too.

Microsoft’s Fall Creators Update website does list the Timeline feature as coming in the update but does carry the footnote that timing may change. That being said, at Build, it is presented as if it would ship with the upcoming release which is contrary to what was announced today.

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Comments (68)

68 responses to “Microsoft Delays Windows 10 Timeline Feature, Won’t Ship with Fall Creators Update”

  1. Boris Zakharin

    This isn't a recent issue. IMO Vista was so badly received because of all the features it dropped (that and the long shipping delays). Some of those promised features never materialized at all.

    • Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to bzakharin:

      Yeah, purchasers of the "Ultimate" edition likely felt especially hosed, as that version promised extras. Yeah, people got a few extra games, but that was hardly worth the cost of entry. I had a copy, though thankfully I did not pay anywhere near retail for it.

    • Waethorn

      In reply to bzakharin:

      Vista was an important release because it revolutionized deployment and mainstreamed 64-bit computing.

    • Waethorn

      In reply to bzakharin:

      ...oh, and UAC, which every other OS already had.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to Waethorn:

        Re UAC. in Linux there's a sudo group. User IDs added to that group can elevate to root (admin) privileges, but they do so entering THEIR OWN passwords. Windows's benighted approach has users enter an Administrator ID's password. The Windows approach makes sense?

        • SvenJ

          In reply to hrlngrv: I think it does. I can spend my time on a machine as a regular user and any compromise that occurs during that period only obtains regular user privileges. If administrative tasks are required, that admin profile can be set to minimize external access while being used, helping to prevent inadvertent infection. When admin tasks are done, the Admin can log out and back in as a regular user. The admin user name and PW can be made more obscure, and better protected. In Linux, if I manage to snag your user name/PW, and you are in the admin group, I'm in. By no means are either perfect, but they do make sense.

        • Waethorn

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          See, Windows is the same. You have users in the Administrators group, and users are run at low-privilege by default until they need privilege escalation. UAC prompts them for their password. If they're not an admin user, it prompts for an admin to use their password.

          The only difference is that Windows has a sliding scale of how "annoying/secure" UAC can be. The default in Windows 7 on up is to not prompt when a user initiates a command that requires privilege escalation themselves, making it less secure than Windows Vista, which prompts all the time (or basically like *nix).

  2. dstrauss

    So, what else is new...

  3. nbplopes

    There is a new epedemy of vaporware in overehelming proportions. Some people may call it transparency but that is not transarency.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to nbplopes:

      I guess the down votes may mean that most people have a very narrow view over what vaporware means.

      Maybe a refresh is due:

      I would say it is becoming endemic to the way some companies pursue business, from product development to the shelves if ever. The massive campaign towards to this practice is leading even users and technical experts to accept this as totally natural, understandable and desirable even. lolol.

      Just because one has not set a date, it does not mean that it is not pitching for a product, rising expectation that such thing will be here soon and as such competing using an "unfair" tactic creating a tunnel vision with absolutely no begin or end. Quite often with MS latelythe stuff pitched is not here in less than a year, sometimes not in two, sometime in not in 3, sometimes maybe in the next 5 to 10 years.

      Vaporware does not mean one does not intend to deliver on the product or feature ... But the intention is also also in leading the public to at least consider something that does not exist yet when purchasing ... hence the prefix ... vapor. Giving a vapor edge over the competition, a sense of advancement by intention, not necessarly delivery. In fact some user are keen to argue in favor of this approach in such way that delivery is secondary ...

      Much like politics. Trump much?

  4. Bart

    At least Edge is in the Store now. Oh wait....

  5. brettscoast

    this really is underwhelming and disappointing to say the least. Microsoft need to stop making announcements about what is coming where and when and get their shit together because this is a bad look. Clearly articulate (god help us) with your user base when these features are ready for prime time and not before because the excuses are incredibly lame with credibility out the window.

  6. chaad_losan

    Double face palm. I is done.

  7. jimchamplin

    They could continue to do their asinine fake demos without pissing people off by simply not saying when the thing is coming. Just announce that it’s coming to Windows within a particular timeframe, and give an extra six months. If it’s going to take six, claim a year. If it will be done in a year, tell people 18 months!

    Honestly the Insider Fast builds need to be more of a rolling release, while making the slow ring the one which tests the next release.

    They need a rolling release model for the whole damn thing, but asking Microsoft to do the right thing is like asking a scorpion not to sting you.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      The RIGHT thing would be rehiring a proper QA department.

      I think MSFT people, at least those with a say, rather enjoy the Insider guinea pig program just the way it is.

      • Waethorn

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        They had one, and Satay Nutella gave them the axe in favour of using the unpaid interns in the Windows Insider Programme.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to Waethorn:

          Indeed, which is why any Insider not running Insider builds in VMs is insane, but that means the real problems with real hardware may not be caught by Insiders but need to be discovered by those lucky Windows 10 users who get the first updates to mainstream builds.

          • Waethorn

            In reply to hrlngrv:

            I really think Microsoft has their sights on a long-term goal to ditch the hardware ecosystem on Windows in favour of SomethingElse(TM).

            If it's not Linux, I hope it's something that at least is open source and/or contributes back to community development. The hardware support stuff in Linux is getting far better in recent years - hardware support is being built right into the kernel. Drivers are the #1 cause of stability issues in Windows, and it doesn't look to be getting any better. Class drivers are still built on old driver technology that has the same issues. Hardware OEM's that have to write drivers for multiple operating systems just doesn't make any sense in today's computing industry, so hardware enablement needs to be revolutionized. Engaging in a single open-source hardware enablement kernel makes the most sense.

  8. michaelmartinez

    This delay doesn't bother me too much. It's an interesting concept, one I'm hoping they spend more time to get right rather than shipping a broken feature. I can wait.

  9. MikeGalos

    Oh well.

    The cost of transparency is seeing feature slips as they happen. And they always happen to every product from every company.

  10. TheJoeFin

    When the demo at Build was a video instead of an actual product I think we all knew this would happen.

  11. tboggs13

    The biggest difference now is that if a feature slips, it is probably must slipping 6 months. In the old days it would be delayed three years or more, if ever.

    They do need to deliver what they promise. They have shown off so many features over the years that turned into vaporware.

  12. will

    I would like to see Microsoft STOP the 2 major releases a year and just do one. I would propose: announce the new version at Build, ship in the fall. In the fall announce feature update, ship in the spring. The feature update is improvements to what is there now, nothing new. Also I would shift Office to be major update in the spring, announce at Ignite, feature update in the fall. This works with both Build and Ignite. One major and one minor update per year for each platform. Thats it!

  13. warren

    Why do companies insist on presenting their "concepts" so early, anyways? A company that has confidence in what they're creating should be able to get it largely finished before presenting it to the public.

    It's not just Microsoft, the game industry does this all the time as well. No Man's Sky is a particularly egregious recent example, as is Mighty No. 9.

  14. Waethorn

    Maybe they should only commit to things they can actually accomplish, like putting out new features once, at the beginning of the year, and offering a fit-and-finish update later on.

  15. skane2600

    IMO, they should ship when they have a set of new features that logically belong together and have been reasonably tested. They should not time those releases based on the calendar. There's not much point in releasing a weak update early or delaying a worthy update to fit some arbitrary schedule.

  16. Detective Polarphant

    Does this mean the universal clipboard feature won't ship either ? It seems to be linked to the Timeline Feature ?

  17. david.thunderbird

    My timeline is 85% Linux on two stations now, maybe 100% 45 stations by fall, Then I kill thurrott,com...

  18. Win74ever

    Two years in and still no groundbreaking features. They announced the Timeline to get hype and end up getting backlash for delaying stuff again. I wonder how many years of low market share and useless features it'll take for them scrap everything and start over with Windows 7 SP1.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to Win74ever:

      Eight years in and Windows 7 still looks like a bad Linux theme. See? I can do this too!

    • rameshthanikodi

      In reply to Win74ever:

      "No groundbreaking features"

      Windows is a mature product, unrealistic to expect groundbreaking new features all the time. But don't kid yourself, Windows 10 has plenty of nice features that Windows 7 doesn't have. Microsoft could ship Timeline yesterday and people like you "Win74ever" still will find excuses to bash Windows 10.

      • Win74ever

        In reply to FalseAgent:

        "Windows 10 has plenty of nice features that Windows 7 doesn't have."

        Such as? No one cares. 49% remains using their rock solid Windows 7 unbothered. The "Windows 7 forever" thing is more about what Windows 7 represents: control over your OS and a finished product.

        In reply to jimchamplin:

        Eight years in and Windows 7 remains the most used OS with a cohesive UI.

        • rameshthanikodi

          In reply to Win74ever:

          improved task manager? task view? improved window snapping? touch support? fast boot? improved file explorer? pause file copy? DX12? Notification center? Night light? Better battery life? A built-in mail app that actually works? Revamped calculator with unit and currency conversion features? Better high DPI support? There are many new features. Just because you ignore them doesn't mean no improvements have been made. These are all useful features that people do care about unlike what you think.

          Windows 7's UI isn't even cohesive. And what's the point of a cohesive UI if it looks like crap anyway on a modern high res screen? At least give credit where it's due instead of making people spell it out for you.

          • Win74ever

            In reply to FalseAgent:

            The improved Task Manager came with Windows 8(.0). Windows snapping is not a big deal since Windows 7 have similar feature. Windows 7 has touch support. Get a SSD. The current File Explorer also came with Windows 8. Pause file copy also came with Windows 8. There's not much games using DX12. Only apps uses the notification center and people barely uses Windows 10 apps. There's better alternatives for the built in Night Light. This is 2017, open your e-mail in a new tab. Chrome even supports notifications. The calculator is awful, takes too long to open while the Win32 one opens instantly. They could fix the DPI problems with Windows 7. They could also improve battery life in Windows 7.

            "Windows 7's UI isn't even cohesive."

            You know very well this is a lie. Windows 7 UI is cohesive, while Windows 10 is a mix of Metro, Aero and older UIs. Now they're adding the new Material Language to the mix.

            Windows 8 would be a great Windows 7 successor without the Metro crap.

            • rameshthanikodi

              In reply to Win74ever:
              They could fix the DPI problems with Windows 7.
              They could also improve battery life in Windows 7.

              They did. It's called Windows 10. Sacrificing Windows Aero was part of the decision to improve battery life and to create a more scalable UI.

              Windows 7 has touch support.
              Get a SSD.

              "get a SSD" is not a solution to an OS that boots slow. With a SSD Windows 10 boots even faster so I don't know why you still continue making excuses for yourself. I didn't even mention the fact that Windows 10 has actual UEFI boot support unlike Windows 7. And yes, many of those features were introduced in Windows 8, but of course, you aren't using Windows 8 either. Will you actually use Windows 8? I really doubt it - especially since it has a UI even worse than Windows 10. But I will say this again, it doesn't matter that Windows 7 has a more "consistent" ui, for many laptops today, having poor display scaling makes Windows 7 a non-starter.

              And Windows 7 touch support....really? There's no point taking you seriously anymore.

              Just admit it, do us all a favor, you are a irrational Windows 7 fanboy.

              • Win74ever

                In reply to FalseAgent:

                Windows 10 is amazing, when it's not taking control over your PC. Yes, after Windows 7 loses support I'm using Windows 8 on my desktop. It's too late for my laptop, it came with Windows 10 and because of that I have to care about what's going on with future releases so I won't have any surprises. Windows 8 is better than 10. Very easy to ignore the Metro stuff and use the Desktop only. As I said I stand for what Windows 7 represents: control over your fucking computer.

                Don't be a brainwashed Windows 10 fanboy. Because of people like you, we'll all (the 25% ones bothering in using Windows 10) wake up to a new Windows 10 update one day saying we can only use the few UWP apps from the store. No fucking way. I'm not downgrading my PC to a fucking Android/iPhone because MS wants to make money from an App Store just like Google and Apple. No. Open a goddamn Win32 Store and I'm not complaining.

                • rameshthanikodi

                  In reply to Win74ever:

                  how dense do you have to be to not realize that the Store has win32 apps? And people have been crying about Microsoft locking down Windows since XP, but obviously it hasn't happened. I'm not a fanboy because I know better to not fall for baseless conspiracy theories that have been around for decades.

              • Waethorn

                In reply to FalseAgent:

                Sorry, but you're wrong. Windows 7 64-bit fully supports native UEFI. You don't know what you're talking about.

                • rameshthanikodi

                  In reply to Waethorn:

                  my mistake then. But Win7 does still boot slower.

                • Waethorn

                  In reply to FalseAgent:

                  Windows 8 and 10 supports hybrid sleep, just like Mac OS X has had for years. Turn that feature off and it takes just as long.

                  Hybrid sleep is where the kernel session is saved as a hibernate file. The user session is closed completely, so apps have to be reloaded. It's just booting up, but loading a Suspend-to-Disk memory dump file for the kernel and services instead of loading each file separately.

                • Waethorn

                  In reply to FalseAgent:

                  Also, UEFI doesn't improve bootup speed. It's up to the firmware implementation to load up quickly. UEFI is not inherently faster than legacy BIOS.

                • Waethorn

                  In reply to FalseAgent:

                  Not really, no. I've tested this on numerous machines. When you turn Hybrid Sleep off on Windows 8/10, it boots up just as slow as Windows 7. Hybrid Sleep is the function that accelerates bootup. Without it, bootup time really isn't any better than older versions of Windows.

    • Steve78

      In reply to Win74ever:

      Windows 7 is obsolete & went out of mainstream support 2.5 years ago. If you want to carry on using something that was abandoned years ago then you carry on.

      • skane2600

        In reply to Steve78:

        Abandoned by MS is the same as abandoned by users. As far as being obsolete, what major application can run on Windows 10 that can't run on Windows 7? Windows 8/8.1/10 has been mostly about promoting MS's mobile and Metro/UWP aspirations and not really about improving the experience for legacy customers.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to Win74ever:

      I digress. I think Windows 10 is full of groundbreaking features within the Windows context. But over all it is just a better Windows.

      There is a sense in the market that for general productivity and entertainment a cheaper and better product with less compromises is wanted and at reach. The question is ... who will come up with it?

      A Surface Pro like with Windows 10 its too complex along yet very flexibility but needs high performance and that is a problem. Cheaper products compromise performance too much.

      The iPad Pro is yet too simplistic probably maybe even with iOS 11. But it has the performace and the apps.

      Chromebooks for education is doing ok and they seam to have stroke some key features. Yet still unbalanced if we consider Android app diversity.

      Who will strike the balance?

      I honestely do not know. There is some blocking stuff to be said about all of them.

    • anchovylover

      In reply to Win74ever:

      Low market share? While W10 adoption isn't as healthy as MS wanted to describe it as " Low " is ridiculous. W10 leads W7 in the U.S, Australia, Great Britain and most other places in market share. It is Asia that harms the overall share and the reasons for that should be obvious. Educate yourself and Google W10 market share by area.

  19. SvenJ

    In reply to hringrv's premium comment. I run Insider builds on actual hardware and I don't believe I'm insane. I just have specific machines I do that on which are not 'production' machines. I have had to rebuild some of them, but that's part of the fun. (Maybe I am insane) I don't shy away from doing actual work on the test devices, but important stuff doesn't stay on them very long. Sometimes I fear that not using a production machine, or just a VM, really limits how much 'real life' stuff gets tested. Kudos to those that subject themselves to that. Real hardware also allows experience testing on things like 8" tablets, with and without pen support. Hard to evaluate those sorts of UI aspects on a VM.