Update: Microsoft seems to be moving forward with move Control Panel functions to Settings app in Windows 11.
The Windows Control Panel has been an institution for Windows users for years, but it looks like it might be on the way to the dinosaur. In the latest Windows 10 preview build, it seems that the section is being shortened even more.
The Control Panel has seen bits and pieces removed over time as some options that were previously there are carried over to Settings. The latest Control Panel leak includes the Programs and Features tab. Starting with build 20211, users who open the Programs and Features area in the Windows 10 Control Panel are summarily redirected to the Applications and Features area in Settings.
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Apps and Features already includes the same functionality that you see in Programs and Features. It appears that Microsoft is looking to reduce duplicate functionality in Windows. It’s still hard to get rid of the feeling that this is the end of an era for what has long felt like a formative feature of Windows.
This is not the first time that a part of the Control Panel has been removed. Previously, the System section was summarily removed, and since then there have been a number of indicators that Microsoft might be looking to completely remove the menu from its system in the future.
Of course, the functionality and options found within the Control Panel will not disappear. They will continue to be available to users who want to search for them. The problem is, going straight to the Control Panel has long offered a quick and easy way to get a clear picture of what’s going on on any PC. The Control Panel eliminated (or at least decreased) the need for anyone to go looking for the option they had been looking to change. Even if you didn’t really know what you’re looking for, you can find it on the various menus in no time.
If Microsoft really plans drop the control panel In the future, the hope is that it will offer a simple analog or way for more tech-savvy users to access the same set of options without having to scroll through multiple menus instead of a central area. Windows preview with modified settings app doesn’t have exactly what everyone is looking for, and many feel that being forced to use Settings instead of Control Panel makes the operating system feel more restrictive than ever.
It remains to be seen what Microsoft will ultimately do with the Control Panel in general, but it’s safe to assume that it could continue to be reduced to nothing over the course of future updates.