Microsoft is making progress with an apparent plan to discontinue its Control Panel service in Windows 10, according to a report from Softpedia News.
Control Panel has been a part of the Windows OS since 1985 and offers a set of applets for viewing and adjusting various settings, including adding or removing hardware and software, configuring display preferences, managing user accounts, and changing network settings.
Microsoft’s alternative Settings app – which was introduced in Windows 8 and also included in Windows 10 – offers a modernised UI and optimised functionality for touch input.
This app is now the default option for changing settings when searching for them via Windows 10’s Start Menu.
As it stands, however, Windows 10 users are still able to change system settings through the classic and more familiar Control Panel interface.
While Microsoft has not confirmed its plans to do away with this option, there are several signs that it is accelerating a complete shift away from the interface.
Migration of settings
Earlier this year, it moved the About screen, which shows a summary of system information such as the OS version, processor, and RAM, from Control Panel to the modern app.
“We’re continuing to work on bringing capabilities from Control Panel forward into Settings,” Microsoft said at the time.
More recently, the latest versions of Windows 10’s preview builds have migrated the System applet of Control panel to the new Settings app.
This means a user who wishes to change system settings will have to do so in the Settings app, as selecting the System and Security option in Control Panel will now redirect to the new application automatically.
In a blog post on the changes, Senior Program Manager of the Windows Insider Program Brandon LeBlanc said more improvements would be coming that will further bring Settings closer to Control Panel.
“If you rely on settings that only exist in Control Panel today, please file feedback and let us know what those settings are,” LeBlanc asked insiders.
This implied that Microsoft wants to make sure that all Control Panel settings are available in the Settings app. Once this is done, there would be little reason for duplication of features in two apps.
Microsoft has also been pushing for more coherency across its applications and the Windows OS, with redesigns of the Start Menu, File Explorer, and application icons all in the pipeline.
While the co-existence of Control Panel and Settings could be viewed as another disjointed element of the OS at present, its possible future exclusion could be an inconvenience for years-old Windows users in finding and adjusting specific settings.