Windows 10’s Wi-Fi credential sharing is going away in the Anniversary Update

Microsoft Edge logoLast night, a new Windows 10 Insider Preview unexpectedly made its way onto the Internet after Microsoft accidentally started releasing it to end users while sending it to Windows Update.

The new build, 14342, takes some big steps forward in Edge's extension support. Previously, extensions in the Edge browser had to be manually downloaded and installed. Now they are installed and updated in the same way as Universal Windows Apps. The number of extensions available for Edge has also grown, with a couple of ad blockers now joining the fray.

With this build, Microsoft is starting to bring back some of the more tablet-oriented features that were in Windows 8 but removed from Windows 10. Swipe navigation in the browser is now back, allowing you to navigate back and forward just by swiping the page left and right. The next Mobile build will also include this capability.

Build 14342 also includes the first iteration of a new feature for apps on Windows that brings valuable parity with Android and iOS: in the Anniversary Update, apps will be able to register that they "own" certain URLs, and attempts to open those URLs will take users not to the browser but directly to the app. Similar to Apple's implementation of this capability, only the official owner of a domain will be able to use this capability, as Windows will verify that the app is allowed to handle a particular domain's URLs at installation time. This is good news for official, first-party apps, but it will likely be annoying for the developers of third-party alternatives. Sideloaded apps will be able to register for any domain without verification, but this obviously means forgoing the convenience of the Store.

Windows 10’s Wi-Fi credential sharing is going away in the Anniversary Update

There aren't any apps that are updated to use the new feature, yet; what we see in build 14342 is a Settings app page for controlling apps that are registered in this way, allowing each individual URL registration to be controlled.

The other notable change in build 14342 isn't a feature that's been added but rather one that's been removed. Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 both included a contentious feature called Wi-Fi Sense that allowed Wi-Fi credentials to be shared with your Facebook and Skype contacts. Citing the lack of end-user uptake of this feature, it has been removed from 14342.

Windows 10 will still sync Wi-Fi credentials among your own machines, so signing on to a network with one Windows 10 PC will allow all the other PCs that use the same Microsoft Account to also access the network, so this (arguably more important) capability isn't going away, but the one that raised so many hackles after it was spotted a year after its introduction is consigned to the dustbin of history.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Microsoft, OSes, Windows 10

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