(Pocket-lint) – Microsoft’s new Windows 11 operating system might be a new beginning for the venerable operating system, but there’s a bunch of stuff that’s actually not going to be in the new software.
Microsoft might be keen to talk about what’s new, but there’s a bit of a list of features it has deliberately depreciated. Now, Microsoft isn’t alone here of course – all software makers bin features all the time that people don’t use. More than ever – thanks to our mobile devices – we’re all aware that software changes constantly.
However, there are some strange omissions. Chief among these is Timeline where you could scroll back and see what files and apps you opened in a chronological order. Timeline first appeared in 2018, so it hasn’t lasted long. A similar feature is available in Microsoft Edge for going back over pages you’ve visited.
Second on our list is the news that the taskbar now can’t be moved to the sides of the screen – it’s along the bottom only. It’s still very adjustable, but can’t be put on the side. Some people will hate this.
One bizarre limitation is that some personalisation – such as your desktop wallpaper – which could appear on any PC you signed into with your Microsoft Account will no longer follow you around, so it’s device-specific.
Tablet Mode is also dead, which might seem strange as Microsoft talks about touch and pen input a lot. But Windows 11 switches up touch support with bigger touch targets and an interface that automatically adjusts if it’s re-orientated. And with the new Start menu, the main desktop has been made even more touch-friendly, so Microsoft clearly thinks it doesn’t need the secondary mode. Again, maybe nobody used it.
As we’ve noted elsewhere the Live Tiles from the Windows 8/8.1/10 Start menus and Start screens have gone. The information contained in these has moved to the new Widgets sidebar, a format which many more of us are used to these days (this also replaces News and Interests in Windows 10).
Internet Explorer is no longer included since Microsoft Edge has replaced it. Microsoft retained it in Windows 10 because some businesses still required it, but it is no longer there in 11. Instead, Edge has an ‘IE Mode’ for those that still do need it.
Windows S Mode, the restricted version of Windows, is now only available in builds of Windows 10 Home. That means if you had Windows 10 Pro in S Mode – like on a Surface device – you’ll get Windows 11 Pro without the S Mode.
Cortana is depreciated in Windows 11 and is no longer on the taskbar or part of the setup. The assistant can be seen as one of Microsoft’s greatest failures when you compare it to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Microsoft is obviously one of the world’s best companies at software, but it couldn’t make Cortana stick.
In the Start menu, you can no longer create your own folders of apps or Named groups of apps and as we mentioned Live tiles are no more. Note that any pinned apps or sites won’t transfer across from Windows 10.
Other less interesting things that have been removed by default include Paint 3D (sort-lived), 3D Viewer, Math Input Panel (no, we hadn’t heard of that either), Wallet and the old Windows 8 People app has gone from the taskbar. Also individual apps can no longer customise the taskbar.
Weirdly, Snipping Tool has survived despite its previous replacement by Snip and Sketch. And, finally, the basic Skype integration will be replaced Chat by Teams – though the main Microsoft Teams app isn’t installed by default.
Writing by Dan Grabham.