Microsoft pivots on Pivot, admits that yanking touch control from WinUI 3 toolset 'was obviously poor judgment'

Wow, Redmond actually said soz!


As Project Reunion - Microsoft's latest scheme to tempt developers back to Windows - lumbers closer to the finish line, the company has admitted it made a whoopsie in the deprecation of the Pivot control.

The Pivot control was part of Microsoft's attempt to fiddle with the Windows user interface in the days of Windows 8 and earlier. Looking for all the world like a jumped-up version of a tabbing control, it was designed to permit touch-swiping between a set of content sections for navigation.

Microsoft's own developer documentation says that "if your navigation requires touch-swiping, we recommend using Pivot."

Even Microsoft's own Feedback Hub uses the Pivot for navigation, so developers would be forgiven for thinking it would be sticking around for those occasions where the NavigationView alternative just won't quite cut it.

Until, that is, the WinUI team yanked it abruptly from Project Reunion, triggering an outpouring of developer grief.

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Thirteen-year Microsoft veteran and principal program manager Ryan Demopoulos took to GitHub today to smooth ruffled feathers and offer up an apology for Microsoft's ham-fisted approach to what turned out to be a beloved part of the toolset.

Confirming that bloody-mindedness trumps raw data, he explained: "The reason we removed Pivot wasn't because of low usage – we removed it because we want to evolve the product (and Fluent design itself)."

The reason we removed Pivot wasn't because of low usage – we removed it because we want to evolve the product (and Fluent design itself)

Decision made, the team then looked for data to, er, back up the decision and reckoned that, inbox apps aside, developers weren't bothering with Pivot control too much. "So we felt – incorrectly – that that we could remove it without causing much stress."

"That was obviously poor judgment," Demopoulos added, taking ownership of the cock-up. After all, Project Reunion and WinUI 3 are Microsoft's latest bid to woo developers rather than make them throw in the towel and ditch the platform once and for all.

The plan is now to restore the control to WinUI 3 "as soon as possible", but probably not in time for the ship date of Project Reunion 0.5. "There will be times when we want to change product direction," said Demopoulos, "but we also owe it to you, our community, to consult with you before we take actions like that and to listen and adapt our solutions so you aren't left completely high and dry."

"We fell short on this and I apologize."

Ten points for eventually doing the right thing. Minus several million for the decision-making that meant it was forced to. ®

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