Wi-fi password sharing to be finally axed, ditto first party FM Radio client

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As part of announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14342 for the desktop (i.e. on the Redstone branch, no doubt a Mobile version is imminent too, to keep the two in lock step), Microsoft revealed that part of its Wi-fi Sense system is being axed. No, not the bit where you're logged into known hotspots, but the feature that most of us turn off when setting up a new phone - sharing our home Wi-fi password with friends and contacts. After all, out in the real world, most of our friends and family probably have Android or iOS phones and anyone whose laptop needed our Wi-fi password probably has it already. As a result, citing "low usage and low demand", Microsoft is culling this feature going forwards.

Along similar lines, Microsoft has announced (on Twitter) that it no longer intends to keep the old Windows Phone 8 first party FM Radio client going. The theory is that there are plenty of third party radio applications (both FM and Internet), plus not every Lumia has an FM antenna/chipset in the first place.

From the Microsoft blog post:

We have removed the Wi-Fi Sense feature that allows you to share Wi-Fi networks with your contacts and to be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts. The cost of updating the code to keep this feature working combined with low usage and low demand made this not worth further investment. Wi-Fi Sense, if enabled, will continue to get you connected to open Wi-Fi hotspots that it knows about through crowdsourcing.

Also, from Jason on the Insider team, on Twitter:

FM Radio has been removed from dev branch builds and is being cut.  May use third party radio apps from store.

FM radio is somewhat niche in 2016, in a phone, but is probably a much bigger deal in the developing world. Still, as Microsoft says, there are third party applications (e.g. this one) which liase with your phone's receiver to produce audio. Comments welcome if you have a favourite app along these lines...

It's good to see Microsoft actively pruning its OS and code in these ways. I do worry about what's next to be axed though, in the great big code clean-up for Redstone and beyond.

More as it happens, no doubt. We do expect a new Redstone Insiders build this week.

Source / Credit: Microsoft