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Here's Every Windows Feature Microsoft Has Pulled the Plug This Year

Microsoft has pulled the plug on quite a number of Windows 10 and 11 features this year. Although ‘only’ two applications have been discontinued, many more components have been placed on the deprecated list. This does not mean that they will immediately be removed from the operating system, but they will immediately no longer receive updates. We have written about it many times over the past year, but for the sake of completeness we have listed all discontinued Windows components here:

Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool
Last February, the Support Diagnostic Tool received the final blow from Microsoft. At least, the program, which can automatically detect problems within Windows using various built-in troubleshooters, will only disappear permanently in 2025. However, until then, more and more of the built-in legacy troubleshooters will be replaced by the Get Help software. At the time of writing, half of the MSDT troubleshooters have already been killed.

UWP apps for Arm32 systems
In July, support for Universal Windows Platform applications on 32bit Arm chipsets was discontinued. Apps that did not have a 64bit version became unusable.

Windows app of Cortana
Support for the pre-installed Windows 10 and 11 voice assistant Cortana app was ended in August. This tool, which has been around since 2014, is similar to Siri and allows users to perform tasks using voice commands. The app is now unusable.

TLS 1.0 and 1.1
The outdated security protocols TLS 1.0 and 1.1 have been around for many years, but are now also quite unsafe. Over the years, several vulnerabilities have been found in these protocols, as a result of which people have often switched to the more secure, new versions. Because these two protocols are now only used by very few users, Microsoft decided last August that it will completely phase out TLS 1.0 and 1.1.

AllJoyn
AllJoyn, an open-source project that makes it easy to set up P2P connections with devices, was defunct in August.

WordPad
Microsoft announced in September that it was ending support for Wordpad after 28 years. The word processor will therefore no longer receive updates and will be removed in a future version of Windows.

Timeline for Microsoft Entra accounts
In January 2024, Microsoft will discontinue the Windows Timeline feature for Microsoft Entra accounts. This makes it possible to synchronize accounts on different Windows 10 devices. Timeline was never available for Windows 11 in the first place.

VBScript
In March, a preview version made it clear that Microsoft planned to discard the old scripting language VBScript, and in October the tech giant confirmed that it will be removed in a future version of Windows.

Tips app
Through the Tips app, users can discover the latest Windows 11 features through a variety of tips, guides, articles and videos. Apparently this application was not used often, because Microsoft announced a month ago that it will be removed from the operating system in the future, which will probably happen in the major 2024 update.

Computer Browser, Web Client (WebDAV) and Remote Mailslots
These three Windows components were simultaneously disconnected in November. All three have been around for some time, and Remove Mailslots was even first used in MS-DOS. The three functions have been disabled by default in Windows for some time, but have now been officially retired.

Step description
A deprecated feature that probably doesn’t ring a bell is Steps Recorder (or Steps Recorder in English). This application is used to record all the steps performed in Windows over a period of time. All this should make it easier, for example, to outline the situation in which a problem occurs during technical support. As of November, this program will be on the chopping block, meaning it will no longer be present in Windows 11 after a future update.

Microsoft Defender Application Guard for Office and Edge
The Microsoft Defender Application Guard (including its associated APIs) has been on the deprecated features list since November. This business feature should prevent untrusted (and potentially malicious) Office documents or Edge links from being opened and potentially infecting the corporate network with malware. Microsoft recommends that organizations switch to Defender for Endpoint.

voice recognition
In December it was announced that Microsoft is no longer working on the development of the outdated Speech Recognition app. The newer Voice Access application should serve as a replacement. However, the latter only works from Windows 11 version 22H2, while Speech Recognition was already available in Windows Vista.

Outdated console mode
The legacy console mode in Windows cmd could be used to bring back an older version of the shell (Command Prompt or PowerShell), in case a program does not function properly with the latest version. However, a few weeks ago this mode was put on the deprecated list.

Mixed Reality Portal
Finally, this month the Mixed Reality Portal app and Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR were deprecated. This makes it possible to operate various games, apps and Windows programs with compatible mixed reality headsets.

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