Microsoft Details Deprecated and Removed Features in Windows 10 Version 21H1

Posted on May 19, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 45 Comments

With each new version of Windows 10, Microsoft removes certain legacy features. With version 21H1, the cuts are few, but some are important.

“Each version of Windows 10 adds new features and functionality,” Microsoft notes on its humorously-titled Windows 10 features we’re no longer developing page. “Occasionally we also remove features and functionality, often because we’ve added a better option.”

With that in mind, the following features were removed in Windows 10 version 21H1, which was just released to the public yesterday:

Microsoft Edge. The legacy version of Microsoft Edge is no longer supported and is not included in Windows 10 version 21H1.

XDDM-based remote display driver. Microsoft has removed support for Windows 2000-era remote display drivers in this release. “Independent Software Vendors that use an XDDM-based remote display driver should plan a migration to the [newer] WDDM driver model,” Microsoft notes.

And the following features are now deprecated in Windows 10 version 21H1, meaning that they are no longer being actively updated and will likely be removed in a future release:

Personalization roaming. Roaming of Personalization settings—like wallpaper, slideshow, accent colors, and lock screen images—is no longer being developed and might be removed in a future release, Microsoft says. That seems rather incredible to me, but it’s this feature, which I think of as settings sync, was never really built out and is perhaps used by few people.

Windows Management Instrumentation Command Line (WMIC) tool. The WMIC tool has been superseded by Windows PowerShell for WMI. But this deprecation only applies to the command-line management tool, as WMI itself is not affected, Microsoft says.

 

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Comments (45)

45 responses to “Microsoft Details Deprecated and Removed Features in Windows 10 Version 21H1”

  1. Avatar

    crunchyfrog

    No big deal here but the personalized roaming bit I have and do use but it's not critical. Most of this is trash collection.

    • Avatar

      christianwilson

      I agree. This is the necessary spring cleaning of the Windows 10 house.


      I like Personalization Roaming but the feature has never worked right for me on my newest laptop. It always bothered me, but never enough to try and fix it. Now it sounds like I'm better off not worrying about it at all.

  2. Avatar

    youwerewarned

    Please tell me I am wrong, but it seems that support for the HP Laserjet 4 ended recently. A lovely discovery at tax time.

    Settings sync I won’t miss, but bulletproof printers deserve a better fate.

    • Avatar

      pauljdem

      It actually ended at least a year ago, maybe more. I discovered this the hard way too. I don't understand why they would remove a printer driver that worked for such a long time. I don't think the underlying technology changed requiring that it be removed. I could be wrong.

    • Avatar

      wright_is

      Probably down to HP not releasing an updated driver in the format - they've had several years to get their act together.


      That said, a generic PCL driver should still work, even if you don't get fine control over the "additional features".

      • Avatar

        youwerewarned

        My Plan B was to start trying some "compatible" non-HP drivers. I'm showing my age as I fondly recall laser printers like the NEC LC-890 that used metal bleepin' chains in the drive system. Today the best you can buy are made of recycled Dasani bottles.

    • Avatar

      IanYates82

      The in-box drivers have been getting fewer, partially to reduce disk space


      However have you tried click the "windows update" button in that super-old driver selection screen? It'll take a few minutes of busy-think but when done you'll find *heaps* of manufacturers listed and may well discover the HP driver is back.

  3. Avatar

    Scott Shingleton

    Better idea, develop interoperability layer that can translate API for necessary legacy code and replace the kernel with Linux kernel. Then, can concentrate on making true modern UI that is just a component, and would get a more secure, faster OS in the process. Apple has done this more than once.

  4. Avatar

    Patrick3D

    I hate Powershell, removing anything accessible through the CMD line is not a good thing unless they surface it through the GUI.

    • Avatar

      davehelps

      Why do you hate PowerShell?


      Human-readable scripting meets a bash-like pipeline, but with objects, consistent command names and parameters, and the ability to invoke .NET classes if needed. What’s not to love?

      • Avatar

        hrlngrv

        How much consistency is there for the -Force switch in Powershell?


        Perhaps more to the point, if human readability were important, why does any developer use anything other than COBOL?


        And, yes, I will complete that analogy: Powershell is the COBOL of shells, and likely to enjoy all the success and breadth of usage COBOL has.

  5. Avatar

    reefer

    Windows sync was already terrible before and now they deprecating parts of it? Thats.... Microsoft.

  6. Avatar

    sandeepm

    "That seems rather incredible to me"

    I suspect they are referring to removal of roaming profile that is stored on disc and synching for it is dependant on local networks. That was the legacy approach in the context of domains and workgroups in the 90s. It should not impact profile and preferences stored in the cloud account... my guess. Probably the new guys don't know it is called roaming profile, not "personalization roaming".



  7. Avatar

    zamroni111

    Why microsoft needs to remove WMIC? why dont it just leaves it there?

  8. Avatar

    wright_is

    They are slowly deprecating the old command line and replacing its functionality through PowerShell, so it is logical that something like WMI, which keeps expanding, will be deprecated and eventually removed, otherwise they are doing the work twice.


    The PS applets are managed code and PS provides better general security features. But it could mean a change for third party tools, such as server management tools and security tools.

    • Avatar

      crmguru

      I Good as long as I can still


      COPY CON AUTOEXEC.BAT

      @ECHO OFF
      PROMPT $P$G
      PATH C:\DOS;C:\WINDOWS
      SET TEMP=C:\TEMP
      SET BLASTER=A220 I7 D1 T2
      LH SMARTDRV.EXE
      LH DOSKEY
      LH MOUSE.COM /Y
      


      I am good. ;-)

    • Avatar

      bkkcanuck

      I would prefer if they just allowed you to set your default shell for a given user and include standard bash, zsh, ksh like a UNIX distribution (yes, I know they have WSL2 -- but it is still not the same). When you write scripts in UNIX your first line usually indicates which shell it is for (or for newbs they sometimes just put the default on their which means it will only run if you have the right default shell).

  9. Avatar

    mikegalos

    Always useful to get the deprecated and removed list.


    Could we also get a corresponding list of deprecated and removed items for macOS, iOS and Android every time Apple and Google do a new rev?


    • Avatar

      wright_is

      There probably are corresponding lists, if you know where to look...


      Just did a quick search:

      https://developer.apple.com/documentation/macos-release-notes (deprications and known issues per release)

      https://developer.apple.com/documentation/ios-ipados-release-notes

      https://source.android.com/setup/start/android-11-release


  10. Avatar

    madthinus

    Personalization roaming is an absolute mess, and the only time it sort of work was during the Windows 8 era. Sorry to see this go, could have been useful if you combine it with MS-account and a restore your settings feature.

  11. Avatar

    Chris_Kez

    Paul, I love the photo you used here.

  12. Avatar

    spiderman2

    Personalization roaming reminds me that the best part was already removed in Windows 10, compared to Windows 8/8.1, I loved when I signed in the first time in a totally new fresh install, it automatically redownload all my store apps and the start screen layout

    • Avatar

      darkgrayknight

      I think this is different than the settings sync and which apps are installed. Though this probably just points out how horrible Microsoft is at communicating what does what in settings.

  13. Avatar

    rm

    I wish they would get a little more aggressive with this to help keep Windows less complex and smaller.

  14. Avatar

    ndragonawa

    On Personalization Roaming:

    1) Speculation but could see this becoming a future feature of OneDrive.

    2) Personally, as someone with PCs that have different monitor configs, the wallpaper synchronization I turned off immediately. My triple wide background does not scale well on a laptop.


    • Avatar

      thretosix

      Most people do not use triple wide backgrounds. The roaming feature would only be available for those that enable the feature. I don't think it was needed but it is a nice feature. I think the problem is most people only log into the one or two devices they own. Usually setting up a different background and other personalization anyways. It's easy to understand why it wasn't used. I really enjoyed it as someone who logs into many PCs because of work.


      OneDrive is really nice, it seems to be getting better and better for me. Being able to relocate things like your Desktop and Documents, when signing into a new PC these things become available right away. I just don't think OneDrive would pick up settings like wallpaper, it's not really the feature it is promoting, though what you mentioned makes sense for a user like myself and I hope you're right.

  15. Avatar

    glenn8878

    They need to remove legacy Control Panel and backups. I can't figure out which backup should be used whether in Control Panel or Settings.

    They need to bring partitioning into Settings so it's easier to access.

    The Control Panel/System has more details than About in Settings. This is annoying. It's like they pulled someone off the job to work on something else.

    • Avatar

      eric_rasmussen

      I've got a friend who worked on some of this at Microsoft. He said the older applets in the control panel were fairly straightforward to create and maintain. The new modern settings pages, however, are incredibly complex and very difficult to work with. This is why there is a lot more information and detail in the control panel items than there is in the new settings pages. He said they spent literal months just on the network configuration pages in the modern UI, and it's still not complete.


      They should just work on the kernel and rewrite the entire Windows shell in Maui or Flutter or something. UWP does not expose enough control types nor provide enough of the underlying Windows API interfaces to be useful for writing Shell components.

      • Avatar

        kenneth_burns

        I listen to a lot of surround-sound music in Windows and as part of that I use Control Panel sound settings that just don't exist in the modern sound-settings UI.

    • Avatar

      hrlngrv

      As long as Windows 10 supports old hardware, Control Panel isn't going away.


      Putting this another way, by the end of this July Windows 10 will reach 6 years from original production release. That Control Panel is still around is rather a strong indication it'll still be in Windows 10 at its 10th birthday.


      The more interesting question is why there's any overlap between Control Panel and Settings, e.g., why Fonts in both?

    • Avatar

      wright_is

      They need to get the new Settings app working properly first. On several of our servers, things like printers, network settings etc. can't be changed using the Settings app, because the local administrator account doesn't have sufficient privileges to view, let alone change the settings!

  16. Avatar

    sherlockholmes

    Strangely enough Legacy Edge is still listed in Standard Apps

  17. Avatar

    ebraiter

    Don't forget that Notepad will be updated in the Store. Can't wait for all those changes!

    • Avatar

      wright_is

      We won't be getting them, the Store is deactivated on all our PCs... We only get the versions that were installed when the PC was delivered.

      • Avatar

        wright_is

        In fact, we had a case recently, where the "Dell demo applications" package was removed on some PCs and they didn't have access to the calculator app any longer! That required a re-install.

  18. Avatar

    hastin

    Personalization roaming was really neat in the Windows 8/8.1 days, as it synced your Start Screen tiles - I really liked this for reinstalls. I assumed Start Menu sync was coming at some point, but it never did.


    I wish they had done *per device* syncing, so that if I reinstall, everything comes back on that machine easily (just like documents with OneDrive file placeholders).

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