Microsoft has announced the deprecation of three legacy services in Windows, one of which was recently described as “disgusting” by a senior manager.
- Microsoft has deprecated three legacy services in Windows: Computer Browser, Webclient (WebDAV), and Remote Mailslots.
- These services are considered insecure and outdated.
- While they have not been completely removed yet, they will no longer receive new features or active support, and their removal is expected in a future version of Windows.
Although Microsoft adds new features and enhancements to supported versions of Windows fairly regularly, it also sometimes gets rid of older capabilities or services that are no longer a part of its long-term strategic direction when it comes to the operating system’s development. In September, it announced the deprecation of WordPad and recent Windows 11 Canary builds also indicate that the company may be getting rid of the Windows Maps and Movies & TV apps, at least in clean installations. Now, it has deprecated three additional legacy services in Windows.
In the online document where Microsoft tracks deprecated Windows features, the firm has added three services this month, as spotted by X (formerly Twitter) user @XenoPanther. The services on the chopping block this time around are Computer Browser, Webclient (WebDAV), and Remote Mailslots.
The Computer Browser service, driver, and device location protocol is deemed insecure and was initially disabled by default with the removal of Secure Message Block version 1 (SMB1) in Windows 10. Meanwhile, the WebDAV API is an extension of HTTP and began rolling out with Windows Vista; it is no longer started by default in current versions of Windows. Finally, Remote Mailslots is an inter-process communication (IPC) protocol that was initially made available with MS-DOS. It is considered severely outdated and insecure, with a Microsoft manager calling it a “disgusting” protocol earlier this year.
It is important to note that these features haven’t been completed axed yet, just deprecated. What this means is that they’ll continue to be present in Windows for the time being, but Microsoft won’t be adding new features to them or actively support them. It’s likely that these legacy services will be removed in a future version of Windows, but the Redmond tech firm hasn’t provided a timeline regarding this phase as of yet.