Microsoft released a new Insider build to the Fast Ring last week that introduced the redesigned Start Menu to testers. Another change highlighted in the official Windows Experience blog post describes how Microsoft plans to make the Settings application "even better".
The company introduced the Settings application in Windows 8 initially to modernize the classic Control Panel. Microsoft kept the Settings app in Windows 10 and extended it further since the release of Windows 10 in 2015.
Microsoft moved the functionality that some Control Panel applets provided to the Settings application. The Control Panel is still an integral part of Windows 10 even though it has become more difficult to access it in recent time. There are still plenty of options though, my preferred method is to use the shortcut Windows-Pause, but you may also type Control Panel in Start to get the option to open it from there, or run the Control Panel applets directly.
Microsoft notes in the blog post that it is continuing its work to bring Control Panel capabilities to the Settings application. In this particular build, Microsoft redirects the System Control Panel applet to Settings > System > About. Links that opened the System applet in the past do now open the About page of the Settings application.
Links that would open the System page in Control Panel will now direct you to About in Settings. We are also bringing new improvements like making your device information copyable and streamlining the security information shown. And don’t worry—if you’re looking for more advanced controls that lived in the System page in Control Panel, you can still get to them from the modern About page if you need them!
The Settings application displays core system information just like the Control Panel System applet does. It reveals information about the installed processor and RAM, the architecture, and support for pen and touch.
Information about computer names, domain and workgroup settings appears to be missing on the Settings page on the other hand (apart from device name).
Another difference is that the System Control Panel applet linked to the Device Manager, Remote Settings, System Protection and Advanced System Settings while the Settings application does not.
Maintaining two different configuration programs is certainly quite confusing, and it does not help that Microsoft is migrating some options to the Settings application with every other Windows 10 feature update. I don't mind the migration if all information and options remain available in the Settings app.
If Microsoft keeps up the pace, it will take another ten or so years before the Control Panel is put to rest for good. The company asked for feedback from users who use the Control Panel for specific operations that the Settings application does not support.
Now You: Do you prefer the Settings app or the Control Panel?