New Windows 10 beta build 14376 lays 'Messaging everywhere' to rest

Microsoft’s sixth beta build this month comes with a long list of fixes and is very close to cooked

New Windows 10 beta build 14376 lays 'Messaging everywhere' to rest
Credit: Dagohbert / Deviant Art

As befits a late-stage beta, yesterday's release of the new PC Insider build 14376 comes with a long list of fixes and, surprisingly, no identified problems. Build 10.0.14376.0.rs1_release.160624-1700 is the sixth beta build released to Insiders on the Fast ring this month.

I had a chance to play with the new build overnight and didn't find any problems. It's very close to cooked. The desktop watermark is still there, as is the expiration date, meaning it isn't yet a general release version.

Many people are complaining online that Microsoft has officially dropped support for the anticipated "Messaging everywhere" feature for both Windows phones and PCs. According to Windows spokesperson Dona Sarkar:

We have been testing with Windows Insiders a preview of the "Messaging everywhere" feature that allows you to receive and send text messages from your Windows 10 phone directly to and from your Windows 10 PC. The experience was well-received by Insiders however we believe we can deliver an even better experience through the Skype app. Because of this, we decided not to release this feature as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer. Starting with Build 14376 and going forward, Insiders will no longer have the ability to reply to text messages from their phone via the Messaging app on their PCs. The ability to reply to text messages on your PC using Cortana is unaffected. Going forward, we will be working with the Skype Team on delivering a great "messaging everywhere" experience on your Windows 10 devices through the Skype app. We will share more details about this experience in the months ahead.

I've never understood the fascination with "Messaging everywhere." By all accounts it's a nascent implementation of functions that have been available for years in a free Chrome add-in called MightyText, which I wrote about more than two years ago.

MightyText works with Android phones, any computer running the Chrome browser, any version of Windows and MacOS, or even a Chromebook. It does much more than sync SMS messages -- it also has call notifications, battery alerts, and SMS from Gmail, and it makes it one-tap easy to push photos, web pages, files, maps, and screenshots from your computer to your phone. The paid version even lets you schedule to send SMSes in the future -- a feature suitable for James Gleick's Time Travel.

Given the current state of Skype, it's only fitting that "Messaging everywhere" join the Skype queue.

I also had a chance to try the new Evernote Web Clipper extension for Bing, which has been operational since last week's build 14372. I encountered a few bugs, where the clipper refused to clip. The clipping pane includes the admonition, "Evernote Web Clipper Preview / Things can break!" That's true.

Evernote has become much less compelling in the past few days as the company has announced significant price increases, along with a reduction in features included in the free version. In March Microsoft announced a free tool that makes it easier to move from Evernote to the (free) OneNote.