6 Windows features that will disappear in 2024 – XDA Developers

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6 Windows features that will disappear in 2024 – XDA Developers

Key takeaways

  • Support for 32-bit Arm apps will finally be removed in the Windows 11 2024 Update.
  • Classic Windows Speech Recognition is replaced by Voice Access for easier voice control in Windows 11.
  • Windows Mixed Reality also bites the dust this year.



Microsoft is constantly updating Windows 11, adding all kinds of new features, like Copilot and other AI tools. However, for every feature added, it also often happens that features are deprecated or removed altogether, often upsetting users and fans.

2024 will be a big year for Windows, with the 24H2 version of Windows 11 bringing big changes, but it’s also a bit of a bloodbath for existing Windows 11 features. Here are some of the tools and capabilities that will disappear this year.

Related

Windows 11 2024 Update: What’s new and why it’s not Windows 12

The Windows 11 2024 Update will bring a ton of changes to the operating system, including better support for Arm devices.

6 Support for 32-bit Arm apps

Say goodbye to your Windows 8 apps

Windows 8.1 Start Menu


The industry has been moving away from 32-bit Arm apps for many years now, and in 2024, Microsoft is finally officially dropping support for them in Windows 11 as well. There hasn’t been a 32-bit Arm processor for Windows PCs since the Windows 8 era, and now any applications that haven’t been recompiled for 64-bit are likely simply abandoned.

This means there’s probably not much to lose here. Metro apps at the time have never been more popular, and all Arm apps that exist today are already built for Arm64. Still, it can be disappointing if you still have very old apps installed on your PC for some reason.

5 Step recorder

Just use the snipping tool

The Step Recorder was a useful tool in Windows that allowed you to record steps on your computer, so you could give someone else instructions to do something. The steps were not recorded as a video, but rather as a series of images taken for each interaction you made with your PC. This also allowed you to add comments at each step.


With Steps Recorder gone, a possible alternative is to use the Snipping tool, which is also built into Windows 11. The Snipping tool recently added support for video recording, so it can serve a similar objective.

It’s not completely confirmed that Steps Recorder will be removed this year, but it’s officially deprecated and Microsoft started showing a banner to users in early 2024, so it’s possible.

Related

In-depth analysis of Windows 11: discover the new capture tool

Want to be ready for Windows 11? Here’s everything you need to know about taking and editing screenshots in Windows 11’s Snipping Tool.

4 Windows Speech Recognition

Say hello to voice access

Another feature that’s disappearing is classic Windows speech recognition. It was a tool that allowed you to control your PC using your voice, but in 2022 Microsoft introduced a modernized alternative called Voice Access.


This new experience includes an improved tutorial to get you started, a list of all available commands to make learning easier, and a modern user interface that fits seamlessly into Windows 11. You’re not really missing much with the classic tool . far.

Windows Speech Recognition is another one that isn’t completely guaranteed to be phased out in 2024, but it was announced as deprecated at the end of 2023, so there’s no reason you should still be able to use it anyway.

Related

How to configure voice access on Windows 11

Voice Access makes it easier to use your Windows 11 PC using just your voice. Here’s how to configure this feature.

3 Notepad

It’s all or nothing

Screenshot of WordPad on Windows 11 with WordPad RIP text reading

WordPad is arguably the first big loss on this list, because it sort of filled a void. WordPad is a text editor that sits somewhere between Notepad and Microsoft Word. It’s a free tool, but it offers some text formatting options so you can still write a somewhat professional-looking document, although with many limitations compared to Word.


It seems Microsoft wants you to stick with Notepad or pay for access to Word, which probably makes business sense. You can do so much more with Word, and the web version of the app is free, as long as you have Internet. It has been confirmed that WordPad will be removed from Windows 11 version 24H2 later this year.

2 Windows Mixed Reality

A holdover from the Windows 10 era

HP Reverb G2 headset on a dark background with blurred blue lights

Remember when Windows 10 launched and Microsoft believed that mixed reality was the next big thing? Well, while the concept is still supported in some ways (Apple Vision Pro is a good example), Microsoft hasn’t really done anything with Windows in a few years. To be fair, there haven’t been any new Windows Mixed Reality headsets in all this time either, and so Microsoft has called it quits.


Windows Mixed Reality should not be confused with Microsoft’s HoloLens headset, which runs Windows Holographic. It’s a different platform, and it’s still supported for HoloLens owners (although HoloLens also appears to have been discontinued).

It has also been confirmed that Windows Mixed Reality has been removed from Windows 11 with version 24H2. If you have a headset, you can continue to use it with Steam apps, as long as you don’t install the update.

1 Windows Subsystem for Android

Android applications, we barely knew you

Finally, we have the big one. One of the headline features of Windows 11 when it was first announced was support for Android apps, although it ended up debuting a few months later in early 2022. Well, just two years after that launch , Microsoft announced that this was killing the platform, effective immediately.


The Windows Subsystem for Android isn’t going away this year, it’s already gone. The only way to (officially) get Android apps now is to already have them installed, but if you’re setting up a new PC you no longer have that option. And by next year, the feature will be removed entirely.

Fortunately, there are alternatives for running Android apps, such as Bluestacks, or streaming apps from your phone with tools like Phone Link.

There are reasons to be excited

It’s certainly sad to see Windows features removed, especially ones that were added as recently as the Windows Subsystem for Android. But the future of Windows 11 looks pretty positive with the 24H2 version and all the features it adds, especially the rumored AI capabilities. More. The upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite chipset is set to change the landscape of the laptop market, which is certainly exciting.


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