In the latest version for Windows 10 beta testers, Microsoft has eliminated the Control Panel. Was this a mistake or a permanent thing?
It's a sad story that of the Control Panel on Microsoft's operating systems. Born in 1987 with Windows 2.0, starting with Windows 95 it gained more dignity with a restyling that put order to the confusion created by more and more applications available inside.
A new restyling came in 2007 with Windows Vista and brought back a lot of confusion to the Control Panel. With Windows 8, the Control Panel became "Windows Settings", and long-time users of Microsoft's operating system began to no longer find the tools they needed and to look for them directly from the Start menu (which, in the meantime, has grown in size and crowding). The result of all this is that nowadays practically nobody knows where to find essential tools like Device Manager and most users who use these tools look for them on Start. As if that wasn't enough, perhaps more news is coming soon.
Microsoft kills the Control Panel?
In Windows 10 Build 20161, a release of the operating system that Microsoft is distributing to subscribers of its Insider Program, there's something strange that was noticed by Windows Latest: the shortcuts within the Control Panel and Windows Search that used to lead to the Control Panel's "System" page (from which you could also access "Device Manager") now lead to Settings > System Information. That is, to a page from which you can do practically nothing technical.
Where will we end up?
As usual, it is not said that a novelty in a build for testers is then actually implemented on the stable version of the operating system for all users. But that doesn't take away from the fact that this Windows 10 update suggests that Microsoft is currently looking to tweak the Settings app before doing away with Control Panel altogether. "If you need access to settings that only exist in the Control Panel, send us feedback and let us know what those settings are," Brandon LeBlanc, Senior Program Manager for Windows Insider, noted in a post.
In the meantime, though, users don't seem to be taking it well: among the various comments to this news on Windows Latest there's even one that says "I eagerly await the cries of people who need to manually configure a network card and get lost in that cancer called Settings." In short, they took it well.