When Microsoft released Windows 8 in August 2012 did this with many notable changes, and one of them was the introduction of Setting, the new tool from which to control a large part of the system parameters.

The problem is that this tool did not remove the control panel Windows of a lifetime, and in fact the two options have coexisted since then. In Windows 10, the definitive unification seems to be in the works, but the truth is that the process becomes eternal and also has negative effects for many users.

A small but significant change

The last change in this regard was announced last week. Along with the changes to the Start menu, Microsoft pointed out that Windows 10’s configuration tool is now “better.”

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Config System information from the configuration tool.

In which way? Precisely in unification with the Control Panel. ” We continue to work on bringing the control panel functions to the configuration“Explained the executives of the company Redmond, who indicated that from now on the information of our system will no longer be in the control panel, but that we can only access it from”Settings → System → About«

Panel2 System information from the control panel.

The change is only available on pre-release versions of Windows 10 that have not yet reached mass users, but theoretically, it will eventually come. For the time being, these users will be able to continue to access both this system information and that presented by the control panel,

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When editing is enabled globally, all links that previously led to the System Information Tool in Control Panel will redirect to the information provided by the configuration, from which we can also copy this data for easy pasting into a text document.

War between control panels

This decision by Microsoft has revived the old debate on this operating system: Why do we still have two ways to configure and query settings in Windows 10?

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At this point – Windows 10 will soon be five years old – it seems like it would be normal for inconsistencies like this to be resolved, but it is not, and it’s not just Microsoft’s fault, it’s the users.

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It’s like that: resistance to change is noticeable and many have stated that getting rid of the control panel and leaving everything in the hands of the configuration tool is a mistake.

For those who defend the control panel, there is a powerful argument in this defense: this alternative has always offered more advanced options, while in setup, Microsoft has simplified, perhaps excessively, both the presentation of information and the options when managing these settings.

The protests in communities like Reddit are numerous, and we have a good example of these inconsistencies when we are faced with configuring the properties of our network connections.

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In the system tray it is possible to access the option “Open network and Internet settings”, which brings us to a Settings section, but if we want to access the advanced options (for example, “Edit adapter options ”to disable it) or go to“ Network and Sharing Center ”) the system will open the control panel and this particular subsection to configure it.

And so we go, going from Settings to Control Panel and vice versa without it being very clear why Microsoft cannot decide to implement these same advanced options in Microsoft’s configuration tool.

At this rate, it does not appear that the unification of the two options is particularly close, which can be considered a weakness of microsoft, which is in a great hurry by the comments of its users.

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Change is difficult, and for Microsoft, more

One of those who were great managers of this company, Steven Sinofsky, already mentioned this recently when talking about macOS Big Sur or the switch from Mac to ARM chips and how Apple made those changes because this society was much more energetic with their decisions when dropping certain sections of their software and hardware.


For the people of Redmond things are very different, and in fact Sinofsky explained how ” it is impossible to get rid of something in Microsoft“Referring to the difficulty of leaving certain elements of your operating system.

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It didn’t explicitly refer to Control Panel, but it’s a good example of how users are so used to this tool that it’s very, very complicated to get rid of it although (very) little by little they are integrating some of their functions into Configuration.

Much of the blame lies in this resistance to change from Windows 10 users – and I include myself. Sinofsky gave the example of 64-bit applications, which continue to coexist with 32 bits after 25 years of trying to leave them behind. At Apple, they decided to migrate to 64-bit (and 64-bit only) applications and completed that transition in 2 years, Sinofsky explained.

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Computer Microsoft began the transition to 64-bit applications in 1996. Keep going. Source: ComputerWorld on GoogleBooks

Comparisons are obnoxious, and it’s much more feasible for Apple to make those kinds of decisions because it has complete control (and now more than ever) of the integration of its hardware products with software. For Microsoft, the changes are much more difficult because people like backward compatibility and be able to continue to use what I used years ago in the current equipment.

Without giving up things like that, it’s hard to cope with these kinds of transitions, which makes it seems very difficult to see that one day the Control Panel and the Configuration Tool will join permanently.

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