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Windows 10 update will kill off apps — which ones are going?

Windows 10 Paint 3D
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Builds can provide an interesting glimpse into new features and functionality for Microsoft’s operating system. They can also sound the death knell for soon-to-be-removed features, and the new Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21332 does just that for two of Microsoft’s least-loved applications.

As explained on the Windows Blog, Build 21332 sees the removal of the 3D Viewer and Paint 3D apps. Once the changes in this test build are applied to Windows 10 proper, it will mean the two apps will no longer come pre-installed with every fresh Windows 10 installation — though they won’t be removed from existing installs, and will be available to install manually from the Microsoft Store.

The blog post doesn’t give a reason for removing 3D Viewer and Paint 3D specifically, though this release follows another recent Insider Preview Build that killed off the Windows 10 3D Objects folder. So it seems Microsoft is holding a bonfire of its infrequently-used 3D features more generally.

Microsoft is also rumored to be working on a major Windows 10 UI overhaul, nicknamed Sun Valley, so nixing less popular apps and features could just be the prelude for a much larger redesign.

It’s not just 3D apps either. Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21332 also gets rid of the Math Input Panel, which let users draw mathematical symbols and formulas that Windows 10 could recognize as inputs. However, Microsoft said the underlying character recognition tech will remain as a “Maths Recognizer” function, that will continue to enable OneNote and Excel users to add in written equations.

Even without the Sun Valley overhaul, it seems like the primary beneficiaries of these changes will be new Windows 10 adopters rather than existing users; they’ll get a slightly cleaner, lighter version of the OS, with less bloatware. Of course, you can always uninstall these apps yourself through the "Apps & features" section in Windows 10 settings.

You can also sign up to the Windows Insider Program to try out these test builds before Windows Update spreads the final versions to the Windows 10 userbase at large.