Microsoft is Deprecating and Removing Legacy Features in the Fall Creators Update

Posted on July 23, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 83 Comments

A Microsoft support document notes which legacy features are being deprecated or removed from Windows 10 with the Fall Creators Update. There are no big surprises here, but I wish the firm would stop screwing around with Paint.

Note: Thanks to Neowin for tipping me off to this support document. –Paul

“This list is intended to help customers consider these removals and deprecations for their own planning,” the support document explains. “The list is subject to change and may not include every deprecated feature or functionality.”

Microsoft lists these features in a matrix, but here I will break them down into two lists, one for deprecated features—features that are still available for those who really want them—and those that are being removed. Most striking to me, honestly, is the tameness of these lists. That is, Microsoft is not aggressively removing anything from here, and few will be offended by any one item, save perhaps Paint.

These lists are partial by design because I’ve added my own commentary to the items I feel are important or interesting. You can refer to the Microsoft page for the complete list if you’d like.

Deprecated features

Microsoft Paint. Microsoft continues its efforts to kill off Microsoft Paint, and it’s listing here suggests that it will, in a future update, try to remove it entirely. I have some thoughts about a better approach for this and other utilities in Windows 10, but I’ll share those in a future editorial.

Sync Your Settings. This one is very interesting. According to Microsoft, the current sync process is being deprecated because a future release of Windows 10 (not the Fall Creators Update) will use “the same cloud storage system” to sync settings both Enterprise State Roaming users and all other users. Yes, they use different systems now.

System Image Backup (SIB). This one has been deprecated for quite a while, but here’s the most interesting bit: Microsoft explicitly recommends that users who need system image backups should use a solution from a third-party vendor. This indicates that Microsoft will never offer a more modern system image solution in Windows. That will be controversial to some, but I think it makes sense: We don’t really need such a thing, and users should be replicating their important documents and other files to the cloud and using Windows 10’s built-in recovery tools to wipe out their PCs when needed, and then bring them back up in a factory-fresh state.

Removed features

3D Builder app. This app is superfluous because Paint 3D and Print 3D are now included in Windows 10. However, you can still download 3D Builder from the Windows Store if you’d like.

Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET). This utility is blocked in the Fall Creators Update because its functionality has been rolled into Windows Defender Exploit Guard.

Outlook Express. That there is still “non-functional legacy code” for Outlook Express inside of Windows 10 is somewhat amazing, and a great example of the type of thing that makes this legacy platform unsustainable from a support perspective in the modern world.

Reader app. Now that Microsoft Edge has been transformed into a reader app in its own right—it lets you read websites, PDF files, EPUB documents, and proprietary e-books now—the Reader app is superfluous.

Reading List. This previously separate app is likewise no longer needed because its functionality has been integrated into Microsoft Edge where it belongs.

So there you go.


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