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Microsoft cuts 'Timeline' feature from Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a new feature called "Timeline" that allows the user to see all of the apps they've opened over a certain period of time, across devices, enabling them to jump back in time to any app they've had open in the past and pick up exactly where they left off. Today, Microsoft has announced that it has cut said feature from the Fall Creators Update release.

Similarly to how Microsoft cut My People from the Creators Update release, Timeline won't be showing up in the October release of Windows 10 as originally scheduled. This is because the feature simply isn't ready, and sources tell Windows Central that Microsoft is reworking the UI to make it more simple and les confusing to the user.

I've had the privilege of briefly trying out Timeline, and as of current internal builds it's simply a glorified recent apps screen that houses apps that were open in the past as well as apps that were open across devices. I'm not sure how useful this is for users, so it makes sense to hear Microsoft may be reworking the UI slightly.

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Timeline will have likely been delayed until the next feature release, codenamed Redstone 4 and scheduled to official release in March/April 2018. Insiders will be able to test it before then, of course. I'm also hearing that Cloud Clipboard has also been delayed, but Microsoft hasn't confirmed this yet.

In the meantime, keep it locked to Windows Central for more news regarding Windows 10 and the Fall Creators Update!

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

112 Comments
  • Hahahaha, advertise it, get people excited for it, just to later break it again. Pathetic microsoft. Here's hoping they at least fix the fkn File Explorer Libraries ( https://aka.ms/q8cvvh ) if they're not going to introduce major new functions.
  • well they are work on August early September dateline
  • That's for insiders, still won't be unveiled to the general public until 2018.
  • Yeah, except they didn't advertise it. It was released to Insiders and sites like this one spruiked it. I'm not saying that Windows news sites shouldn't do that but Microsoft are always clear that any early features can be cut or delayed. 
  • It was shown at Build.
  • It might have been shown there, but that is no guarantee that it will come anytime soon. There is a difference in advertising a feature that is worked on and advertising a feature that is worked on with the mentioning of a definite inclusion in some product.
  • So? It's not like Build is followed by anyone not part of the tech world. Most people I know had no idea what it was and why they should care. Most "consumers" won't even know this was an issue.
  • This is what happens when a company is under pressure to announce features to get people excited. There is a reason why companies *don't* like to pre-announce things, and this is one of them. But people here want it both ways. Announce tons of new features months in advanced, guaranteed release dates. That's just not how engineering works especially when A/B testing and feedback plays an important factor in the direction of the feature in question.
  • I often think that you get a cut from Microsoft's public relations division whenever you jump in to defend them. Report the story and let the the visitors vent.
  • Ludicrous.  Even it were true, so what?  I'm with Daniel on needing to set errant perspectives straight and bringing reason back to reality.  Being a fan or supporter seems to make people crazy.   This particular feature is that useful for the record.  I've lived my entire life without it. I'm not even sure why its considered a blockbuster feature.  And I'm not having a cow over its exclusion or inclusion either way.
  • WTF do you mean 'let the visitors vent'? That's like encouraging the very worst of internet behaviour. 'I don't want your context, facts or perspective, It's my right to be angry and entitled!!' I for one like the fact that the article authors and site editors get involved in the forums. So often these places quickly become derailed and hostile. And before you go insinuating that people here are corporate shills, maybe read a bit more of the site. There is more than enough open criticism and analysis of MS and the industry. They just don't go at them with pitchforks and torches in hand and spittle foaming at their mouths, which is what seems to pass as acceptable discourse in online forums.
  • Please!!! Are you serious ??? This is the same company that trademarked the phrase: Coming Soon (tm) !!!
  • Do you not have this ➡ ™
  • Is that really important
  • Fans are so predictable. Here, people are complaining Microsoft showed a feature and is now delaying it. A few weeks ago people were complaining that Microsoft didn't show enough new games at E3 because they kept their announcements to games that would be released before the next E3. And, personally, the teaser that I keep waiting for is that awesome phone app that captured 3D images for use in Paint 3D.
  • Uhm, Apple announces something at WWDC, gets developers excited, then it becomes available in the next iOS update. Can't recall the last time apple made an announcement at WWDC and didn't deliver. Stop making excuses for microsoft slacking. They're busy laying off loads of employees instead of putting them to use in areas like Windows coding and troubleshooting.
  • Apple has to optimize a product for maybe 6-8 devices whereas as Microsoft has to be relatively sure a product works on an infinite number of devices that are constantly changing as new components are released. Frankly, I'm continually amazed Windows works as well as it does.
  • Apple updates their OS once a year man. That's plenty of time for them to work on new features. MS on the other hand releases two major OS updates a year, which is a lot of pressure than Apple. Cut them some slack. I would rather them take time and perfect new features than release broken stuff.
  • Microsoft does not have to do anything he doesn't want to. Better one proper realease then 2-3 broken.
  • I completely agree with you MrElectrifyer ,they have now blocked access to onedrive if you don't have ntfs formated drive. Really microsoft, get busy with real work.
  • Probably because it`s a feature that demands lots of coding and releasing it as a bugged feature is not worth doing ? Don`t be a useless hater.
  • If it stint ain't ready, they shouldn't have advertised it, get devs excited about it, and set a timeline for it, just to later break it and under deliver. Don't be such a mindless micro ass kisser.
  • You do realise that if everything was working as advertised they wouldn`t have pulled it out. I don`t kiss their ass but if the option will not be fully operational till the launch of the Fall Update then just take it out.
  • I'd understand that if it were just a once in a while thing. But it has become a very common pattern with microsoft to be advertising a feature, getting people excited, then under delivering. That's not how it should be. They should build the feature to a functioning state before advertising it on stage.
  • That's unfortunate. This is one of the features I was most looking forward to in the Fall Creators Update.
  • Me too.
  • lol this was one of those which I least looked forward to, along with continuum and people hub.
    Gimme something real and useful!
  • Continuum is extremely useful! I use it daily.
  • Placeholders is what I want most of all.  If they bring that one thing I'll be happy.  That and all the Edge security enhancements.
  • It wouldn't be a big Windows 10 release if there wasn't SOMETHING that got cut.
  • It's always like this.
  • Waiting the Best as usual 🌹 thanks MS . And we r the insides. Always waiting to test builds Thanks mr Zac Bowden
  • Waiting the Best as usual 🌹 thanks MS . Thanks mr Zac Bowden
  • Idiots. Under delivering. Again. They just never learn. And then they wonder why they're becoming more irrelevant each passing release.
  • What I want to know is if after the Fall Creators update, if I target Fall Creators Update as the minimum for a new app does it automatically exclude all Windows Phones from getting that app? It's all well and good saying Feature2 is RS3 for Mobile but that doesn't really mean anything
  • Finding myself swaying away from anything MS as of late, ever since the advent of "10" it's been a downward slide for me.
  • Apart from mobile, which is still doing kinda ok, else was good.
  • Except to under-deliver they would have had to over-promise and they never promised anything.
  • Switch to MacOS then. Or Linux. GL.
  • Actually, MS should be more like apple. Don't tell anything untill you have done it. MS should not have announced Hololens in the first place it was secret 🔐 for 7 years, there was no need. They delayed HoloLens and skipped the version because they know this is not the right time to release HoloLens as consumers are not ready for that kind of technology yet. And most of all the marketing problems they must resolve their Product availability issues in different countries, I know it is hard to throw the money where returns are almost negligible but they have to respect whatever the market share they have in any country because that's the only way they could succeed.
  • "MS should not have announced Hololens in the first place it was secret 🔐 for 7 years, there was no need." Yes there was a need: it was time to get developers on board making apps for it. You want innovation to happen then you have to open up the curtains and let the world start innovating.
  • You can't get developers on board if you can't announce that it will be available to millions of people. Rofl. Nobody except a few random companies with very useless HoloLens apps develop stuff now. Yes nasa and stuff like that. But who except a few nerds gives a F about that? We need WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook, **** like that.
  • Really? How many developers have come on the board? How many apps are there for hololens? You can count all apps on fingers. It's not the announcement that affects the number of developers on the board it's the brand influence. Brand influence work in the same way as it works with consumers. Have you ever realised Why apple get developers immediately? Apple release 3D touch feature and immediately all the developers started implementing that particular feature in their all the apps. Why? The reason is Biasness. yes you heard it right, biasness. There is any simple. 90% of the developers in the entire world uses Apple products for their primary use or coding. Obviously, they earn enough to purchase any expensive Apple products. That's why the baisness comes here. the worst part microsoft can't do anything about it. It's not just limited to app developers it's all so extended to other fields as well like photographers or film makers, famous YouTube reviewers, etc. Etc. Etc. List is endless. This is the reason Apple has taken some of bold decisions in the past few years for example, removing 3.5 MM Jack. And giving all USB type C in the Macbooks, etc. Because day know every Company on the planet Will develop the headphones or earphones for there lightning port? Although in the most cases, people who can afford Apple products can easily afford wireless headphones or already have own a wireless headphones. Same story short, apple has the head start when it comes to developers. It is the human nature to buy good products even if it comes with a heavy price tags. Most of the developers are very good earning persons and if I talk about before 2015 then I really don't think there was any company that was developing any more premium products than apple. Now the situation is different MS surfaces are more expensive than MacBook counterparts. If you have the keen eye then you must have realised the steep pricing of latest MacBooks just to match the surface book pricing. Because when the surface book was released in 2015, that time MacBook counterparts were cheaper like $400-600 which make macbooks feel like premium dirt. Apple owners are more of a show off type than productivity focused. That's why even if a person needs a device for web browsing then they buy the apple iPad and does not prefer anything cheaper than that. Mentality of those who can't afford apple products are like "apple products are cool and the best. There is nothing better in the market. OMG! That guy has an iPad he must be rich." WTF! These are people who really makes the brand value of apple.
  • Thats exactly what I am doing very soon Daniel.   This is awesome....features that never make it.   I am betting the new people "app" is not coming this fall either.   MS is done like dinner!  I hate macOS but its better than the half assed crap they have in windows 10 .....For sale......3 new dell computers!
  • Are you serious? People demand that features are shown off even if they are no where near stable and usable enough, so they stay happy. Sadly those same people are then taking those showcases as if they are confirmed to find their way into the next software update.
  • Who TF demanded they show stuff that isn't ready? Show me where you saw that since you seem so affirmative.
  • There is not just one source for this, it is all over the place. Even this very new outlet does make articles that kind of demands Microsoft to take action now(!); and so do folks all over the internet. Just open your eyes and you will notice the tone that is raised towards Microsoft.
  • So you would rather have a feature that is buggy and unattractive just because they thought they could get it ready for the next release? Seems to me folks are forgetting what the Insider program is all about. Just because a feature hits the Fast ring doesn't guarantee it will be ready for RTM when they hoped it would.
  • That's a good question.
    I speculate that they will release the big updates simultaneously on the normal branch and on feature2 for the next 2-3 years, while feature2 doesn't get new features, but to keep the app compatibility. TL;DR: I think no (at least for now).
  • If it ain't ready then best not to release it.
  • Yet we got the disastrous iterations of Groove for years.
  • Innovation can't be rushed.
  • This delay smells fishy....There is a lot of time between now and October!
  • Well, while that is true, this is past the innovation phase. They already have the idea, they just 'dont have the time to do it'.
  • Hmmm... seems like an even smaller update for fall. I am still happy if the CShell is ready. People hub? not my cup of tea.
  • What a surprise! Not. Another failure to deliver the goods on schedule again. Oh well.
  • Coming Soon™
  • Joe Belfiore is bad luck
  • lol! i just KNEW someone made this comment :D
  • LOL
  • This is going to come back and hunt them bad. MS is at a ticking point where their relevancy is in a downward spiral.
  • For good reasons though.
  • "I've had the privilege of briefly trying out Timeline, and as of current internal builds it's simply a glorified recent apps screen that houses apps that were open in the past (...)" To be fair, such a feature likely relies on each app notifying the system about their history, as only apps know what constitutes a milestone in their user-experience and how to get back to that state after being closed or on another computer. Current Win32 API only provides SHAddToRecentDocs, limiting the history to files, shell items (PIDL), and apps (AppUserModelID).
    The Timeline uses that information for backward compatibility, so that apps notifying the shell of their recent documents can be shown, but it requires the app to provide deep-links and preview images to be able to show more advanced history. Even if the Timeline view was completed today, two months with a beta SDK is too short to expect many apps to support it on release date, and as you experienced, the feature would probably be dismissed and not visited again if major apps do not include support for it when it gets into consumers' hands. For people to notice, this probably needs to be in developers mode only for a complete release and exposed to consumers when many apps are already updated to support it.
  • Since when Microsoft got everything done 100 percent functional on the first trial?!
  • AFAIK it's the project rome sdk that powers this system (I think they renamed it on the windows platform to the Microsoft Graph).
  • Yeah, but I'm not sure how far they are extending it to support apps history besides Office apps.
    A soft release within Office 365 and Cortana Pick-up-where-I-left-off to entice developers to expose their app state in the graph would be best, followed by the Timeline view when enough productivity apps are ready to be shown in it. Joe Belfiore mentionned they're now planning Timeline to be in early insider builds after the Fall Creators Update. To me this sounds like the feature is about ready, but delayed to give enough time to developers to have their apps already updated and populating the graph when the Timeline view reaches consumers.
  • Batman, Look at the Windows Phone if you want to see "innovation"
  • It now becomes Microsoft trend
  • Delay of this feature is not a big deal to me. There is more important work to do for MS, given the current state of their mobile ecosystem.
  • That is disappointed. This is a cool feature I was looking forward too. Also, Microsoft is targeting September for the release, not October. Fall begins around Sep. 22 However, no official date has been announced.
  • Microsoft at it's finest.. as always.
  • I'm not going to care about this until I get the last (spring) update on my 8 computers.
  • In other news: NVidia GTX 400 and 500 series got DX12 support with the latest driver.
  • It was kind of foreseeable. There were no signs of it yet and it's too big of a feature to just update and nail it straight-away. In fact, I don't see any more of the flagship-features coming that aren't in the Insider Build.
  • MS is doing everything right to lose customers.
  • Agreed. Taking away useful features, poor advertising, under delivering, and still sending out half-baked products.
  • as long as they have the enterprise customers you're not that important to them 
  • Who would have thought that was going to happen.
  • Microsoft shouldn't announce things that aren't going to be released within the time frame. This create a bad impression on the comsumers. If they are under pressure they shouldn't aanounce it. The ANNIVERSARY UPDATE was the best update for Windows 10 till now as all features were shown live on BUILD 2016.
  • Maybe laying off "Thousands" of truly talented developers also plays a role in features not making the cut or a big delay. It's really is sad to see so many let go and things like this happen or what we could have had if the employees felt like they have a true future in the company... And they're in the process of cutting again.
  • I really hope Cloud Clipboard makes it to the FCU 'cause it's one of those things that's immensely practical...specially when the likes of Kopy are facing an uncertain future.
  • I couldn't agree more. I really need the ability to copy a piece of text on my phone and paste it on by PC natively in the OS. Hell, even PC to PC is better than now. Saved tabs in Edge is quite useful to serve part of this function.
  • Microsoft needs to fire some project managers.
  • i just want that snap dragon 835 yo 😎
  • Wasn't really looking forward to this feature, so in that respect I don't care that it's delayed. What worries me is what RS4 feature will be delayed due to Timeline being pushed to RS4. I had hoped that RS4 would be a 100% mobile update, but every delayed RS3 feature pushes back the time table on mobile.
  • We know MS delays everything of substance, assuming it ever gets released...
  • The reason why Microsoft can never have any major feature ready within their own given "timeline" is because they are always trying to get the feature to work cross platform. Unlike apple with just ios or google with android. Maybe Microsoft should focus on their own os first then worry about others.
  • Agreed! There's still loads if room to improve their very own platform instead of worrying about iOS/Android too. Windows 10 tablet mode still lives a lot to be desired compared to Windows 8.1.1 https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/insider_wintp-insider_... still no interactive app widgets on Windows, and their interactive live tikes woukd have been a great solution: https://youtu.be/aUfMszCJSwI yet they're ignoring those along with many other feedback, and wasting resources on cross-platform sh*t, just to still under deliver...pathetic.
  • Microsoft could do this if they had a relevant OS.
  • as always annouce something exciting then delay it until it becomes not exciting at all
  • so this update going to contain nothing
  • To be fair, they unloaded a ton of other features in the last couple of builds, so this really isn't a problem.
  • What, you thought MS was going to keep a promise on something?
  • Microsoft: Lets show a great idea to the world months or years before it could be an actual product. Let's get every other company inspired to copy us and release something similar before us. Just keep your **** secret damn it. Release when ready. And I don't need to see your stupid videos from the research department either. Keep this to yourselves and profit.
  • "MS cuts a feature that they announced too early, of which only select tech bloggers know and would care about"
  • I probably would have disabled this on my desktop anyway.
  • same i dont want a gf walking in and mad if i opend a fun website lol
  • i hope they never have this option. bad enough we have history in our browsers. more things to disable 
  • Where's that replacement for Movie Maker??  If Windows 10 is going to be a serious student or consumer proposition, a simple, reliable first party video editor is a must these days.  (And no, the editors in the Store are buggy jokes.)
  • It looked too good to be true. Any developer would guess it would be very difficult to pull off on current Win32 apps (the vast majority of Windows apps) The only thing preventing Windows and Microsoft from innovating is legacy Win32 apps.  
  • That's their own fault for framework hopping over a whole decade and not stabilizing their APIs. This is why everything hasn't moved to .NET/WPF. Its their fault. They get to deal with it. Honestly its part of the reason why I don't develop for Windows, and have moved most of my computing to Mac. Still mulling if I should zap Windows off my Laptop for Linux, but I'm getting an iPad next month so that may not matter as ill give it to my laptop in that situation.
  • Hey! At least they're not cutting off Windows Mobile (yet)
  • They did cut it off into Feature2 land. That is where it goes to die.
  • Not surprised. Wasn't expecting it for the fall update. But they better get that Story Mix thing in their: THEY BETTER!!!
  • "THEY BETTER" or.......?
  • these extra large tiles looks awesome and very useful if we have them on the Start Screen.
  • I'm more interested in cloud clipboard. Hopefully it sticks around for the fall.
  • How about fixing the email and people apps so they work with groups. I'd actually use them then. Now they are total garbage.
  • I would be simply happy if they would release all avaliable stuff globally. Even if it would only in English and with bit limited features, still would be available. Since I was kind of forced to use a junk system called Android, I don't have official Cortana andGrove. Both worked flawlessly in my Windows Mobile even that my region wasn't officially supported. Not mentioning Cortana is geting to be an important cog in Microsoft OS Machine... 
  • So, what are they updating with FCU? Just 2 or 3 icons...
  • I logged in just to thumbs up your comment, cracked me up :'D