The latest Windows Insider build of Windows 10, Microsoft has ended the Windows HomeGroup option. Originally a part of Windows 7 in 2009 and continuing until now, HomeGroup was a way to share files and devices between computers on your network.
This change will go live in the Spring 2018 update to Windows 10.
The latest Windows Insider build 17063 happens to be 9th Insider Preview build of Windows 10 released after the Fall Creators Update. It comes via new “RS4” (RedStone3) development branch and includes tons of new features. For instance, improved gestures for precision touchpads. However, the company has also decided to retire Windows HomeGroup.
The move from Microsoft marks the beginning of phasing out some old features. HomeGroup in Windows offered a fantastic way for setting up quick and easy sharing on home networks. The feature made its debut back in Windows 7 and continued to exist in Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and the more recent Windows 10 but the rollout of Insider Build 17063 sealed its fate.
Windows HomeGroup retired
A small note on the Windows Blog page mentioned,
A note about HomeGroup: Easily connecting to and sharing the important pieces of your digital life with those who matter most has never been easier with today’s Modern PCs and the cloud. Whether it’s connecting PCs and printers on your home network via the Share functionality in Windows or using OneDrive to share a photo album of your last vacation, Windows 10 makes connecting multiple devices and sharing content streamlined and simple. And it’s because of that evolution that with today’s build you’ll start to see us retire the HomeGroup service. HomeGroup was terrific for the pre-cloud and pre-mobile era, but today this functionality is built right into Windows 10 and apps. Starting with this build, the HomeGroup service is no longer operational in Windows 10. The user profile used for sharing and the file/folder/printer shares will continue to work.
Microsoft’s justification for retiring the HomeGroup feature was that it’s not used by many anymore. Also, with the advancing technology, it was logical to replace the feature with other desired fashionable options.