Microsoft to remove Windows 10 Wi-Fi network sharing feature

Microsoft is removing the controversial Wi-Fi Sense password-sharing feature from Windows 10.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft has removed the controversial Wi-Fi Sense network sharing feature from Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14342, a change that will filter down to other Windows 10 users as part of the Anniversary Update due to be released this summer.

Microsoft announced the change on its Windows Experience blog.

"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," wrote Gabe Aul, Microsoft's Corporate VP. "The cost of updating the code to keep this feature working combined with low usage and low demand made this not worth further investment. Wi-Fi Sense, if enabled, will continue to get you connected to open Wi-Fi hotspots that it knows about through crowdsourcing."

Wi-Fi Sense, which first appeared in the Windows Phone operating system, was a feature that, by default, shared the user's ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network with contacts. Those contacts didn't get to see the actual password used to protect the Wi-Fi connection, but it did give them the ability to connect to the network.

The only way that Wi-Fi owners could opt-out of the sharing was to change their network's SSID.

In a statement to ZDNet, security veteran Graham Cluley had this to say about Microsoft's decision to remove the Wi-Fi Sense feature:

"Good riddance. Many people were uncomfortable with the idea of Windows 10 sharing their Wi-Fi credentials so readily with contacts."

Other changes in Build 14342 include bug fixes and feature updates for Edge, Ubuntu, Skype, and more.

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