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Microsoft apparently canning P2P Win32 services on Windows 11 23H2, Windows 12

A Windows 11 promo image with a Wi-Fi icon

While Insider builds are meant for testing new features and changes, and those are generally announced in the changelog for such builds, often, some of these changes come unannounced too. For example, some users have noticed that the new Outlook was automatically installed on the latest Beta channel build. This was not disclosed in the release notes, though a senior Microsoft official confirmed it was expected behavior.

While some users will certainly consider that to be an unpleasant advance, Microsoft seems to be doing what many will feel is a good move as well. The tech giant seems to be making a conscious effort to improve the File Explorer performance in Windows 11. This was also according to the newest Beta channel build as well as the Dev channel build. This leaves only the Canary channel but not for long as X (formerly Twitter) user and Windows enthusiast Xeno soon discovered another interesting undeclared change in this one too.

It looks like Microsoft has removed several DLL files related to peer networking such as those for distributed routing and peer-to-peer services from the build's System32 folder. Xeno notes exactly a dozen such files were removed which has consequently led to three such services being eliminated as a result. They write:

Quite a few dlls removed from 25951's System32

  • drt.dll (Distributed Routing Table)
  • drtprov.dll (Distributed Routing Table Providers)
  • drttransport.dll (Distributed Routing Table Transport Providers)
  • Groupinghc.dll (Grouping Helper Class)
  • P2P.dll (Peer-to-Peer Grouping)
  • P2PGraph.dll (Peer-to-Peer Graphing)
  • p2pnetsh.dll (Peer-to-Peer NetSh Helper)
  • p2psvc.dll (Peer-to-Peer Services)
  • pnrpauto.dll (PNRP Auto Service Dll)
  • Pnrphc.dll (PNRP Helper Class)
  • pnrpnsp.dll (PNRP Name Space Provider)
  • pnrpsvc.dll (PNRP Service Dll)

As a result, the following services have also been removed:

  • Peer Name Resolution Protocol
  • Peer Networking Grouping
  • Peer Networking Identity Manager

Microsoft may feel such features are not as important in the upcoming Windows 11 23H2 update, and if that happens then the next major Windows release, generally referred to as Windows 12, will also lack these P2P features.

These services are pretty old though at this point (two decades). As an example, Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRP) originated back in the XP days as a solution against some of DNS' drawbacks. Of course, this is still in the testing phase and Microsoft could bring it back again in future builds.

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