Microsoft has pulled back on an upcoming upgrade to the video casting feature in Windows 11 due to reported bugs. The new feature was temporarily available to Windows Insiders, members of Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program who get to test upcoming additions, and has been dropped from the latest Windows 11 preview.
Many users will be familiar with video casting features if you use something like Chromecast, or if you go back even further back in time, you might remember using HDMI cables to connect your computer to your TV. This allows you to choose and control media on your computer (or device) and see it on your TV screen, for example, to see it better or share it with others.
The removal of the feature was discovered in an update released on October 19, known as Windows 11 Preview Build 22635.2486, via the Windows Insider Program’s Beta Channel (one of four preview channels through which Microsoft releases previews). If users choose to upgrade to this preview build, they will find that it lacks the casting experience that Microsoft is in the process of testing. The casting feature was first added to Build 22631.2129 back in August of this year, and Windows Central writes that it’s been explicitly disabled by Microsoft while it carries out fixes on bugs and improves the feature.
Windows Central goes on to quote Microsoft apparently planning to switch the casting feature back on in a future Beta Channel release.
Highlights of the new preview build
That’s the main development of note in this current update and it doesn’t introduce any major new features overall. Other notable changes include that the Xbox Game Bar now shows up just as ‘Game Bar’ in the Start menu, and system components showing up under a ‘System’ label in the Start menu. The latter should make system components easier to identify and find, and should show up as ‘System’ in the All apps display (once you open the Start menu). The Game Bar will also show up under Settings > System > Apps > Installed apps, and will apparently update via the Microsoft Store.
Some more minor fixes address crash-related issues with the Start menu being affected by language settings and taskbar glitches that were causing problems with the search function.
Windows Central writes that dropping the upgraded video casting feature is for a “good reason,” even though it temporarily reduces Windows 11’s functionality. I can see why Microsoft is taking its time to get this one right. Chromecast is an extremely popular and beloved feature in Google Chrome and Google devices that’s existed for years, so if Microsoft wants to compete, the feature has to be slick and function reasonably well. If Microsoft wants users to adopt its cast feature in the same way, it has to prove its worth.