July 4, 2017 // 10:33 a.m.
Microsoft's Joe Belfiore has confirmed that Timeline, a feature which allows tasks to be shuffled between Windows 10, Android, and iOS devices, won't be part of the operating system's Fall Creators Update release - marking the second time the company has put off its launch.
Designed to compete with Apple's macOS/iOS-exclusive Continuity functionality, Timeline is a much-anticipated upgrade to Windows 10's capabilities. Using Timeline, users can begin a task - such as editing a document in Microsoft Office or browsing a particular website in the Edge browser - on their Windows 10 desktop then transfer the task, all changes and settings intact, to a linked Windows 10, Android, or iOS smartphone or tablet. When it's time to return to desk-bound work the task can again be transferred back to the desktop or laptop from which it originated, allowing - in theory, at least - for seamless switching between static and mobile working.
Timeline is a neat trick, but one with which Microsoft appears to be struggling. The feature was originally scheduled to arrive with the Creators Update this summer, but was bumped and rescheduled for the Fall Creators Update - a revised schedule Microsoft's Joe Belfiore has confirmed will now also be missed.
Responding to a comment by The Verge's Tom Warren on Twitter, Belfiore confirmed that the feature had been bumped but denied it represented a delay: 'Timeline won't be in the Fall Creators Update. We're planning for it to be in early insider builds shortly after FCU is out. We didn't "delay" it... It just didn't make the Fall release. At build we tried to roughly show the work in order of timely-ness with cloud files the first firm feature, then timeline and cloud clipboard next. Tried to convey timing wasn't specific on these. [...] From my POV we described [a] set of features that would come *starting* with FCU .. and I thought we'd communicated uncertainty. Our dilemma is how to show future work and describe our direction.. it's good to do that! [We] Need to get better at conveying [that] timing will vary.'
The Fall Creators Update, also known as Windows 10 Redstone 3, is due for release in September as part of Microsoft's new biannual Windows 10 update schedule.