Windows 10's upcoming Device Usage feature is unfortunately not very spectacular


Microsoft is working on a new feature called Device Usage that it plans to integrate in future versions of the operating system. Device Usage is available in the latest Insider builds for testing.

When it was discovered initially by Twitter user Albacore, its scope was not clear immediately. The description revealed some information, that Windows would use the information to create personalized experiences, such as “customized suggestions for tools and services”, but some hoped that Microsoft would turn device usage into more than just basic categories for its tips service.

device usage

Found under Settings > Personalization > Device usage, it turnsĀ out that Device usage is not a very spectacular feature. All it does, in essence, is to give users an option to select how they plan to use the device. The operating system uses the information to display recommendations to the user.

The Insider version lists six different categories, from gaming and family, to entertainment and business. Users who enable the feature and check the options may get suggestions based on the selection, e.g. the checking of gaming could result in Microsoft Store game recommendations, or the selection of Creativity, that the Paint 3D app is now found in the Store and no longer included on the device.

All the feature does, at least at this point in time, is to display tips to users about tools and services that fall into one of the selected categories. The nature of the tips is unclear at this point; it is possible that it will include suggestions to use Microsoft services and tools, or Microsoft partner apps.

It appears that Microsoft won’t use the information to provide useful customizations, e.g. by adding tools or services to the operating system by default, optimizing the system for specific uses by applying tweaks, or even removing some tools or services that fall into a group that has not been checked by the user.

Closing Words

I can’t see Device Usage becoming a particularly useful feature for Windows 10 users. It may prove useful to Microsoft, but users may want to keep it turned off or skip it during setup, if it is displayed there, as it is likely that it won’t be of much use.

Now You: what is your take on Device Usage? Would you use it?

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