Microsoft is about to make the Windows Timeline feature less useful in the next version of Windows 10, according to new changes spotted in the preview builds.
In preview builds, Microsoft has turned off sync capability for Windows Timeline if you use a Microsoft account, which indicates that the Timeline feature we know will be dead by the time the next major Windows update, thought to be called “Sun Valley” launches.
This change is a disappointment to anyone who had hoped that Windows Timeline could bring desktops and mobile devices closer, and possibly even reduce the need for syncing via other apps.
Microsoft has now removed the option to upload new activity in Timeline when your device is using a Microsoft account (MSA). You can still access the Timeline interface via Task View and recent apps will be listed, but the content won’t be synced across your Windows device or Android (via Microsoft Launcher).
For those unaware, Windows Timeline was introduced with Windows 10 April 2018 Update to show a visual timeline of the desktop. Timeline lets you keep track of your desktop activities, which could be your browsing activity in Microsoft Edge, a document that you opened in Word or PowerPoint presentation.
With Timeline, users can jump right back into what they were doing on another device for one month – and that included Android too, until late last year.
However, it seems like not enough people were using the Timeline to justify its inclusion in Windows 10 or Microsoft Launcher, and it’s being downgraded in version 21H2.
Microsoft has already removed the Timeline feature from Microsoft Launcher for Android and those who were a fan of it probably knew this was going to happen on Windows as well.
Windows Timeline was Microsoft’s cross-device strategy
One of the dreams that many of us have had is the idea of continuing desktop activity on the phone or vice versa. Through the years, third-party apps have attempted it and Timeline offering from the Redmond giant brought an interesting approach.
The timeline was announced as an extension of Windows 10’s Task View and it was a part of Microsoft’s “pick up where you left off” project, which is now being developed via the Your Phone app.
Windows Timeline sync support was quite handy for people who often have multiple Windows devices and want to quickly and easily switch between them.
Despite the clear potential of Timeline on Windows and other devices, especially for developers, Microsoft is downgrading the feature.