New Software Trend - Quietly Removing Features

I am not sure what is going on with the new releases of the software in the last few years, but many companies like Microsoft, Apple, and more are doing this more and more. As a user, this is frustrating. As a software engineer, it is making me scratch my head and increases my frustration even more.

Some examples are given below.

In the last few years, it seems like ALL Microsoft Office products are going this way. With every new release of Outlook, PowerPoint, Word and even OneNote, features just disappear from the last release with no warning or an explanation. Like most of the world, I use these products every day.  

Apple quietly removed rating songs on their iPhone app. I really need this since when I’m traveling to speak at a conference, I spend time rating the songs on the plane. The only way that you can now is by talking to Siri, which does not work on a plane! Plus, I hate Siri…, as she rides the short bus. She is taking me to the wrong location when driving to a conference too many times. I only use Google Maps now.

Last year when I was speaking at Silicon Valley Code Camp, I had a talk with a developer on one of the Apple teams and he told me just how dysfunctional the teams are there. Thus, they let out a new version of one of their products with the down key not working! He brought it to their attention and I guess the fix would have delayed the release, so they released it anyway. No wonder most Apple software is barely usable (besides the OS).

What goes on during the meetings of the software teams? For example, what went on in Outlook team; when they sat around and decided that they should remove the ability to create two alerts for a calendar event? Now, you can do only one. Shouldn’t I be able to create as many alerts as I like with Google Calendar?

Visual Studio team is always removing things before a new release. Many great templates are gone. In .NET Core, they have removed,

  • Project settings.
  • IntelliTests.
  • Changed how Analyze works.
  • Code Contracts.
  • VB.NET (well they never implemented VB.NET, what a shame).
Most of the code quality features of Visual Studio do not work in .NET Core. I constantly preach about the code quality and .NET Core falls short.

Now, I totally get the practice of agile and continuous deployment, but this should not include removing the features from the products that have been around a long time like Office and Visual Studio.

Does this happen in your team or software, which you use? Please let me know via a comment.


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