7 features Microsoft left out of Windows 10

Microsoft teased several interesting updates that didn’t make the final cut

7 features Microsoft left out of Windows 10

As usual in the tech industry, not everything previewed by a vendor shows up in the final product. That’s what happened with the latest update to Windows 10, the Creators Update, which was released last month. Microsoft showed off big changes and smaller tweaks in its Insider Previews that are nowhere to be found in the Creators Update.

Here are the most interesting ones. There’s a chance that some of these features could show up in the next major update to Windows 10, which could happen by the end of this year.

1. File Explorer: There’s an app for that ... maybe

What appeared to be a Windows app version of File Explorer was found in an earlier Insider Preview. The UI of this app appeared friendlier to use with a touchscreen. Don’t expect this to replace the original, desktop application version, which both everyday and power users rely on, anytime soon.

An app version of File Explorer will probably have fewer features and kinks with its interface. If it is released officially in the next major update for Windows 10, we’d expect the desktop version of File Explorer to remain and still be set as the default file manager.

2. Reminder feature forgotten

Referred to as “snoozing” a tab, the ability to set a tab in the Edge browser and assign it to a reminder you create in Cortana was removed before the Creators Update was released. This feature could be useful if you want to remind yourself of a specific web link, which could be forgotten among the many you find and save in Edge. For some reason, this relatively simple feature just didn’t show up in Edge with the Creators Update.

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3. Mixed Reality/nixed reality

Originally, Microsoft hyped that 3D augmented reality would be a huge part of the Creators Update. Aside from the new Paint 3D app and the ability to view 3D models in Edge, nothing else in this area made it in the final release, such as the notion of wearing an augmented reality headset to interact with Windows 10.

First going under the name Windows Holographic, then Windows Mixed Reality before disappearing into no-reality, the idea was that you could buy a headset from third-party companies and interact with certain Windows 10 apps -- perhaps doodling in the air through Paint 3D.

Not directly tied to Windows 10 but closely related: the ability to import 3D objects into the Microsoft Office apps, including PowerPoint, was mentioned by Microsoft. (You, wearing a headset, could see your business’ quarterly financials as a pie chart floating in the conference room.) Such a feature has yet to show up in any of the Office apps.

4. Let My People go

Microsoft was expected to implement social networking features into Windows 10 in a prominent way with the Creators Update. Named My People (probably a working title at this point), it was to run on the taskbar to the left of the system tray icons. You pin your favorite contacts (represented as icons of each person’s headshot) to the taskbar, so you could click one of them to quickly message that person. It appeared that the people available to message would come from your list of contacts from the People app, accounts you have with GroupMe and Skype, and people you collaborate with on Microsoft Office.

My People was to work in conjunction with the Share UI, which was revamped with the Creators Update, so that you could forward (share) things directly to a person in your contacts.

5. Project Neon goes dark

In Windows 10, Microsoft kept to a minimal design theme, which emphasizes a “flat” aesthetic. Many longtime Windows users have clamored for a return to the eye candy of earlier Windows versions, such as the Aero design that was introduced in Windows Vista.

Project Neon is the next Windows design and interface guideline that re-implements effects like animation and transparency to the OS. Of all the features that didn’t make the final cut of the Creators Update, this one is expected to be in the next major Windows 10 update.

With the use of a hacking tool, it was possible to turn on an early version of the Project Neon theme in one of the Insider Previews. More recent leaks of Project Neon reveal a Start Menu with blurred and transparent live Tiles and icons on the taskbar sharing the same main color theme. These are designs ideas that already appear in Windows 10 Mobile.

Although Project Neon wasn’t ready in time for the Creators Update, the default Windows 10 music app, Groove, was updated and implements some Project Neon sensibilities, like transparency.

6. Easier uninstall stalled

Most Windows apps can be uninstalled: Through the Start Menu, you right-click an app’s shortcut or tile and choose Uninstall from the popup menu. But many of the apps by Microsoft that come with Windows 10 (including Mail, Maps and Weather) cannot be removed. There’s no choice to uninstall on the popup menu for them. However, it was discovered that one of the Insider Preview releases let you uninstall some, but not all, of these Microsoft apps.

This may have been an unintended oversight on the part of the Windows 10 developers (who may have simply forgotten to lock down these default apps from being uninstalled). The final release of the Creators Update took away this option. It remains to be seen if Microsoft will let you uninstall more of their apps in the next major update to Windows 10.

7. Capture 3D still locked up

Another bold 3D technology shown during Microsoft’s announcement of the Creators Update: a mobile app (running on a Windows 10 mobile phone, the HP Elite x3) was used to scan real-life objects. These scans were then transferred to a Windows 10 computer and loaded as 3D-mapped models into a version of Microsoft Paint (possibly an early version of the Paint 3D app).

There was speculation that maybe Microsoft would leverage this technology as an exclusive to Windows 10 Mobile, in order to give their faltered mobile OS efforts a boost in the marketplace.

Alternately, Microsoft could release Android and iOS versions of this app. But there’s been no news about the status of Windows Capture 3D and if it ever will be released. There’s also been speculation about whether this technology actually worked the way it was shown on stage during the Creators Update announcement or if this was only a performance put on to show how a final product could work.

This story, "7 features Microsoft left out of Windows 10" was originally published by Network World.

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