With Windows 10 Microsoft made many changes to the DLNA features of Windows (see my documentation of the changes) including removing support for it in many places. With Windows 7 it was Windows Media Player that was the main media player which has excellent DLNA support. You can stream from remote servers, send content to DLNA render devices as well as remote control DLNA players, in other words full DLNA/UPnP support. With Windows 8 Microsoft introduced Xbox Music and Xbox Video as the main media apps and they included DLNA streaming using the Devices Charm but the apps had no way to access DLNA servers on a network.
With Windows 10 the music app now called Groove has had DLNA support removed from it completely and the Movies & TV app still just has the basic streaming options, again no access to remote servers. I should point out Windows Media Player is still including in the OS so you can still use that but there is no universal music app with DLNA support.
Windows Phone 8.1 had basic support of DLNA via Nokia app later rebranded as Lumia Play To app which supported sending music, pictures and videos from the phone to DLNA devices. Again basic stuff but at least it worked, however with Windows 10 Microsoft have withdrawn the app (the store says “Lumia Play to is no longer available”) so removing any offical DLNA support from Windows 10 mobile. There are 3rd party apps like “AV Remote” but the 3rd party apps either have advertising support or a paid apps.
Windows 10 introduced new media streaming APIs including DIAL support (Discovery And Launch protocol see more on umpcportal.com) which is a device discovery and playback protocol similar to Chromecast but so far developers don’t seem to have made use of it (neither have Microsoft either).
So does this mean the end of the road for DLNA/UPnP in Windows? Could it be that DIAL will be the chosen protocol going forward and Xbox One and Windows 10 will work together for media streaming? I don’t really count Miracast as that is just display mirroring meaning. It could be that DLNA streaming gets added to Groove in the future and maybe the apps will also be able to access remote DLNA servers with future releases. The removal of Lumia Play To from Windows 10 mobile seems an indication that Microsoft has plans that don’t include a standalone DNLA apps.
The question is does anyone expect media enthusiasts really care about DLNA anymore? Are propriety protocols like Chromecast and Airplay what people want and should Microsoft implement its own solution? Let us know in the comments.