Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build on Tuesday, and alongside, made an announcement that should make privacy enthusiasts much happier. It is removing the controversial password sharing feature of Wi-Fi Sense.
To recall, the feature if enabled within Wi-Fi Sense let users share Wi-Fi passwords with their contacts, and also automatically connect to networks that their contacts had shared. Wi-Fi Sense also lets users automatically connect to open Wi-Fi hotspots, and that feature will remain.
In a blog post introducing the new Windows 10 Insider Preview build (14342), Microsoft’s Gabriel Aul gave the reason for deprecating the feature – and no, it was not due to complaints by privacy advocates. Aul said, “The cost of updating the code to keep this feature working combined with low usage and low demand made this not worth further investment. Wi-Fi Sense, if enabled, will continue to get you connected to open Wi-Fi hotspots that it knows about through crowdsourcing.”
The Wi-Fi password sharing feature will be removed from Windows 10’s Wi-Fi Sense alongside the Windows 10 Anniversary that is expected to be released in late-July this year.
Other changes introduced in Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14342 include the ability to download Edge browser extensions via the Windows Store (something first seen with AdBlock and Adblock Plus); real-time Web notifications in Edge; swipe navigation in Edge; Bash on Ubuntu on Windows improvements; Skype UWP Preview update; updated Windows Ink Workspace icon; updated visuals for User Account Control dialog; middle click for dismiss in Action Center; Apps for websites; Feedback Hub improvements, along with bug fixes.