This year's 24H2 Windows 11 update will wave goodbye to Cortana, WordPad, Steps Recorder, and more

 A screenshot of Windows 95, with WordPad running on the desktop.
A screenshot of Windows 95, with WordPad running on the desktop.

Regarding big updates for major operating systems like Windows 11, news stories generally focus on what features have been added or which bugs have been squashed. But software companies often like to giveth with one hand and taketh with the other, and Microsoft will be completely removing quite a few of the old features in the 24H2 update, expected to hit in the Fall.

Microsoft keeps a list of what aspects of Windows it plans to depreciate, though not all of the entries have a confirmed date for removal. However, now that a release candidate for the 24H2 update has been issued to folks on the Windows Insiders program (via Sweclockers), it's now clear as to what will be gone for good.

Not that many of us will miss some of these, mind. Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana has been on the way out for a good while now but it'll be fully gone in 23H2 (replaced entirely by Copilot, of course). Joining it will be WordPad, a basic word processor that first appeared nearly three decades ago as part of Windows 95. I can't say that I used the former, but I've always had a soft spot for the latter, despite its limitations.

The Tips application is also going the way of the dodo, along with Steps Recorder and Windows Mixed Reality. In the case of the latter, this includes the Mixed Reality app and WMR for SteamVR, though HoloLens will remain untouched. WMR will get security patches and bug fixes until November 2026, though only for users still on the 23H2 version of Windows 11.

Other than Cortana being replaced with Copilot, I suspect the rest of these are all going because Microsoft simply feels that not enough people are using them to warrant dedicating staff to maintaining the software.

I can understand the case of Steps Recorder because it never once helped me solve any kind of issue with Windows, but it's a shame that WordPad will be no more. Microsoft obviously wants users to sign up for its 365 subscription service, rather than giving you something for nothing, but at least there are free, open-source alternatives such as LibreOffice and FreeOffice.

Now, does anyone fancy taking a guess as to how long it will take Microsoft to depreciate Copilot?