Microsoft kills off Windows 10's Wi-Fi Sense

May 12, 2016 | 10:55

Tags: #gabe-aul #network #privacy #wi-fi #windows-10

Companies: #microsoft

Microsoft has announced it is removing a controversial feature of Windows 10 which allowed wireless network credentials to be shared between contacts, and which was enabled by default.

The concept of Wi-Fi Sense is sound enough: instead of having to tell your friends your wireless network credentials when they visit, Windows 10 already pre-loads the details into its network settings. Trouble is, on top of a wave of ill-feeling regarding perceived privacy intrusions in Microsoft's latest operating system, the company chose to make the feature enabled by default - sharing all your SSID and passphrase details with any and all contacts also using Windows 10, including details for corporate networks unless Wi-Fi Sense has been disabled on the device by the business's IT department.

Now, Microsoft is all-but killing the service, but the company is blaming low adoption and a lack of interest rather than consumer backlash. 'We have removed the Wi-Fi Sense feature that allows you to share Wi-Fi networks with your contacts and to be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts,' explained Microsoft's Gabe Aul in a blog post detailing changes to the latest Windows 10 beta. 'The cost of updating the code to keep this feature working combined with low usage and low demand made this not worth further investment.'

Those who choose to keep Wi-Fi Sense enabled will, Aul explained, benefit from its now vastly-reduced scope: details of open Wi-Fi hotspots captured through 'crowdsourcing' will still be available.

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