Live Tiles have been a signature feature of the Windows OS interface since the launch of Windows 8. But these colorful, info-packed squares appear to be on their way into the trash bin.
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Live Tiles were first introduced by Microsoft on its failed Windows Phone OS as a way to view information at a glance. The colorful tiles show new info each time they flip. For example, the tile for the weather app would show the app icon on one side then flip to show the current temperature in your area.
It's a clever idea but one that works better on mobile. On desktop, the tiles are too small to display anything meaningful, and users aren't going to stare at the Start Menu until an icon flips -- it's much easier to do a quick web search on PC.
What will replace Live Tiles?
Microsoft hasn't revealed its plans for replacing Live Tiles (or confirmed they were going away, for that matter), however, reports suggest they will be updated to a cluster of static icons.
Our best guess is that they will look similar to the Start Menu in Windows 10X, Microsoft's upcoming operating system built for dual-screen and foldable devices. Based on the Fluent design language, the Start Menu in 10X has a simplified look similar to the app tray on a mobile OS.
We haven't tested the new Start Menu but we prefer the new look based on photos posted by Microsoft.
When will Microsoft kill Live Tiles in Windows 10?
The demise of Live Tiles has been long foreshadowed. Microsoft stopped updating them on Windows 10 shortly after Windows Mobile went the way of the dodo.
The tiles continue to be supported by third-party apps (Twitter, Facebook, etc), but most app icons now remain static in the Start Menu.
Windows Latest says Microsoft will update the live tiles with icons in a "future update" after the Windows 10 20H2 release, which is slated for fall of 2020.
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Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.