Microsoft removes Windows Maps and Movies & TV apps from new Windows 11 installations

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Microsoft has reportedly removed the Windows Maps and Movies & TV apps from fresh installations of Windows 11, starting with Windows 11 Build 25987. This build was released to Windows Insiders, an official Microsoft community consisting of Windows enthusiasts and industry professionals who test previews of new Windows versions and features. This change does not affect users of previous Windows 11 versions, even if they upgrade to Windows 11 Build 25897.

The Windows Maps and Movies & TV apps will remain on their devices. Microsoft has not signaled any intention to discontinue these apps. They are still available for download from the Microsoft Store and will continue to receive updates. However, if you opt for a clean installation of Windows 11 from this point forward, these two apps will not come pre-installed. Microsoft confirmed this in a Windows Insider Blog post but did not provide a reason for this decision.

NeoWin, a tech news site, noted that users can delete these apps if they wish, freeing up a few megabytes of disk memory. The future of these two apps is uncertain, especially considering their infrequent updates and the recent removal of offline support for Windows Maps. The impact of this move may be minimal for most Windows users, as many may not even be aware of these apps. Therefore, their absence is unlikely to be keenly felt by those who perform a clean installation of Windows 11 henceforth.

This decision appears to be part of Microsoft’s broader strategy to optimize and streamline the Windows 11 operating system. In the latest major version update, Windows 11 23H2, we witnessed the removal of the Chat feature, with its functionality being incorporated into the free version of Microsoft Teams. The old Mail app was also removed. While these changes may seem minor, they indicate a meticulous attention to detail that could enhance the user experience.

Windows has occasionally been criticized for being a cluttered and bloated operating system, particularly in comparison to macOS and ChromeOS. These steps suggest that Microsoft is working to transform Windows 11 into a more streamlined and efficient operating system. This is especially relevant given the company’s new emphasis on AI with Windows Copilot and hybrid computing. In conclusion, while the removal of Windows Maps and Movies & TV apps from fresh installations of Windows 11 may not significantly impact most users, it signals Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to refine and optimize its flagship operating system. The tech giant’s focus on creating a more streamlined user experience, coupled with its emphasis on AI and hybrid computing, could shape the future of Windows 11 and its position in the competitive operating system market.

John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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