Experts Weigh in on Microsoft’s Decision to Phase Out the Control Panel

While the Control Panel has been an integral part of Windows’ user interface since the release of Windows 2.0 on December 9, 1987, it seems like Microsoft has indeed agreed to phase it out. Future implementations of Windows 10 will not ship with the Control Panel by default, though it’s not completely clear when the final purge is expected to come. Older lower resolutions of the Control Panel could be blurry and even ugly at times, but it’s been part of the experience for anyone who has used Windows from even the earliest days.

In spite of the sometimes odd appearance and frustrating headaches that many users associate with the Control Panel, there are countless individuals who have fond memories of it. Since third-party developers could design their own CPL files to add to the Control Panel, users have been able to enjoy the ease of configuring almost all of the installed software on their systems regardless of its location.

Similarly designed panels were an important part of the classic MacOS and some Unix desktop environments like Xfce4 have replicated the style as well. This translates into experienced computer users almost universally knowing how to configure a new Windows setup even if they’ve never worked with anything quite like their new machine.

Microsoft, however, feels that the Windows 10 Settings app has been competing with the Control Panel since the release of their reclaimed OS. Experts are now saying that this has lead to confusion among users, since they were unsure whether they should be changing options in the Settings app or the Control Panel.

Reports that were carried by several top tech news services seemed to indicate that many GUI professionals felt it was time to stage a funeral for Control Panel and send all configuration options over to the Settings app.

Microsoft’s Feedback Hub emphasized that the ultimate goal is indeed to eliminate the Control Panel.

Users who are experienced with Windows 7 and older versions of Redmond’s system software are starting to weigh in as well, however, and there are those who feel that it would have been better to scrap the Settings app and restore the classic functionality.

This would have the same end result, of course, since Windows 10 would be back to having only one configuration screen.

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John Rendace


John is a GNU/Linux expert with a hobbyist's background in C/C++, Web development, storage and file system technologies. In his free time, he maintains custom and vintage PC hardware. He's been compiling his own software from source since the DOS days and still prefers using the command line all these years later.
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