Microsoft calls time on Timeline: Don't worry, more features that nobody asked for coming your way

Activity history tracker over mobile devices set to become history

Microsoft is set to pull down at least one shutter on the once-trumpeted Timeline feature of Windows 10, judging by the most recent emission on the Windows Insider Dev Channel.

Lurking within the tedium that usually makes up a Dev Channel build nowadays was the following nugget:

If you have your activity history synced across your devices through your Microsoft account (MSA), you will no longer have the option to upload new activity in Timeline.

Timeline first made an appearance in 2017 along with previews of other doomed Windows 10 features such as Sets. It made it as far as release in 2018 and carried with it the dream of synchronising activities over devices. Open a website in the Edge browser on an Android phone, for example, and it would show up in Timeline on one's PC.

Alas, the dream looks set to end. With the axe falling on Cortana on Android and iOS, there was a certain inevitability in Timeline (at least in the mobile world) following suit. Microsoft’s assistant would previously ask if you wanted to continue a task from another device when you switched to a new one.

Local activity history will remain on Windows 10 and Microsoft has directed users to browser history functionality, but the original vision of Timeline is to be led around the back of the barn by a Microsoft engineer.

Not to worry though. The Timeline adventure has not stopped Microsoft continuing to force features that nobody asked for down the throat of users. Its weird obsession with the News and Interests app has continued, and is now available to 100 per cent of Dev Channel Windows Insiders whether they want it or not: "We can't wait to hear what you think!" squeaked the company excitedly.

More useful updates this time in the Dev Channel build include the ability to restart applications automatically following reboot and sign in, as well as a raft of fixes (including several around HDR support and the broken virtual GPU for Windows and Linux guests.

But for Timeline, as originally envisioned, it seems that, er, time might be up. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Despite global uncertainty, $500m hit doesn't rattle Nvidia execs
    CEO acknowledges impact of war, pandemic but says fundamentals ‘are really good’

    Nvidia is expecting a $500 million hit to its global datacenter and consumer business in the second quarter due to COVID lockdowns in China and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Despite those and other macroeconomic concerns, executives are still optimistic about future prospects.

    "The full impact and duration of the war in Ukraine and COVID lockdowns in China is difficult to predict. However, the impact of our technology and our market opportunities remain unchanged," said Jensen Huang, Nvidia's CEO and co-founder, during the company's first-quarter earnings call.

    Those two statements might sound a little contradictory, including to some investors, particularly following the stock selloff yesterday after concerns over Russia and China prompted Nvidia to issue lower-than-expected guidance for second-quarter revenue.

    Continue reading
  • Another AI supercomputer from HPE: Champollion lands in France
    That's the second in a week following similar system in Munich also aimed at researchers

    HPE is lifting the lid on a new AI supercomputer – the second this week – aimed at building and training larger machine learning models to underpin research.

    Based at HPE's Center of Excellence in Grenoble, France, the new supercomputer is to be named Champollion after the French scholar who made advances in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs in the 19th century. It was built in partnership with Nvidia using AMD-based Apollo computer nodes fitted with Nvidia's A100 GPUs.

    Champollion brings together HPC and purpose-built AI technologies to train machine learning models at scale and unlock results faster, HPE said. HPE already provides HPC and AI resources from its Grenoble facilities for customers, and the broader research community to access, and said it plans to provide access to Champollion for scientists and engineers globally to accelerate testing of their AI models and research.

    Continue reading
  • Workday nearly doubles losses as waves of deals pushed back
    Figures disappoint analysts as SaaSy HR and finance application vendor navigates economic uncertainty

    HR and finance application vendor Workday's CEO, Aneel Bhusri, confirmed deal wins expected for the three-month period ending April 30 were being pushed back until later in 2022.

    The SaaS company boss was speaking as Workday recorded an operating loss of $72.8 million in its first quarter [PDF] of fiscal '23, nearly double the $38.3 million loss recorded for the same period a year earlier. Workday also saw revenue increase to $1.43 billion in the period, up 22 percent year-on-year.

    However, the company increased its revenue guidance for the full financial year. It said revenues would be between $5.537 billion and $5.557 billion, an increase of 22 percent on earlier estimates.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022