Microsoft discontinues Windows 10’s Timeline feature

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Windows 10 is officially losing its once-ambitious Timeline feature, Microsoft announced today. Timeline, first launched in 2017, was designed to make it easier for users to swap between multiple devices — transitioning seamlessly from a Windows 10 PC to an Android or iOS phone and back again.

It’s no surprise that Timeline is getting deprecated: it was a feature that heavily relied on Microsoft’s Cortana assistant, which would prompt users to resume tasks from device to device. Cortana was a particularly important part of building out the Timeline experience on iOS and Android devices, where Microsoft (obviously) had less control.

Given that Cortana’s prevalence in Windows has been heavily diminished and the mobile apps completely discontinued, it makes sense that Microsoft would sunset Timeline as well.

The news was announced as part of the changelog for the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21359:

If you have your activity history synced across your devices through your Microsoft account (MSA), you’ll no longer have the option to upload new activity in Timeline. AAD-connected accounts won’t be impacted. To view web history, Edge and other browsers have the option to look back at recent web activities. You can also view recently used files using OneDrive and Office.

Insider build users should already see the changes once they’ve installed the new update, while users on the standard update track should see the removal of Timeline in the coming weeks.

Update, 8:57PM ET: Microsoft has changed its blog post and contacted us to say that Timeline is not actually going away, only “a capability within Timeline that is specific to roaming across devices.” But since the whole point of Timeline is roaming across devices, it still sounds like the feature as we know it is dying. We’re asking Microsoft for clarification. The company’s blog post now adds: “Note: Timeline and all your local activity history still remain on Windows 10.”

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