A few more decades-old bits of Windows are getting removed.
The Settings app is gaining new powers to control your PC’s settings.
The Windows user interface has a certain archaeological quality to it. While the upper layers tend to be new—using the styling and conventions of the day—dig a little deeper and you can find elements that are decades old. With each Windows release, Microsoft has heaped new stuff onto the pile, but it hasn’t spent much time going back and revamping the old bits. Very occasionally, the relics of yesteryear are identified and excised, but more often than not, they’re left alone.
One area where this is particularly plain is Control Panel. Control Panel spans many eras of Windows development, and so Windows’ settings are spread across three different styles of interface. The very oldest are the individual Control Panel applets in their tabbed dialog boxes; more recent are the Explorer-based Control Panels. The very newest is the Settings app.
With Windows 10, the company has, for the first time ever, taken serious strides toward modernizing even old parts of the operating system. With each new update, more and more settings are being moved from Control Panel into the Settings app. This creates the possibility that perhaps one day Windows will have a single application that is used for all its major settings and configurations.
An area that has been particularly scrutinized in the past is the Font Control Panel, as it’s the home to a lot of vintage interface. Much scorn was heaped upon the Windows 3.1-era dialog box shown above; that stuck around—looking increasingly out of place—until Windows Vista. But that’s not the only veteran; the font preview window is near-identical to what shipped in Windows 95, and while the progress bar shown during font installation has been slightly updated, it’s still peculiarly non-standard and looks like little else in the operating system.
But these bits of Windows may not be long for this Earth. Rafael Rivera has discovered that Microsoft is building a brand-new fonts page for the Settings app, making these the latest things to migrate out of Control Panel.
This new settings control includes a new previewing feature that lets you choose your own preview text, instead of built-in canned phrases. In a new direction, the new settings control also comes with the ability to buy new fonts. The Microsoft Store is going to start offering fonts for download and purchase. Microsoft is also moving Windows language packs and localizations to the Store, so having font packs for the world’s different scripts in the Store makes some sense.
At the moment, the new font settings page isn’t enabled by default. But it seems to be fairly complete, so there’s a good chance it’ll be turned on and ship as part of March’s release.
New Fonts Page Coming to Settings in Windows 10 Redstone 4