back to article Get lost, Windows 10 and Phone fans: No maps HERE on Microsoft's OS

HERE, the mapping arm of Nokia that Microsoft didn't buy up when it acquired the Finnish manufacturer, has announced it's no longer going to be doing apps for Windows 10 and Phone devices. "In the last few months, we made the HERE apps compatible with Windows 10 by using a workaround that will no longer be effective after June …

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  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    It's thought that the current owners of HERE – BMW, Audi, and Daimler – want to concentrate on a mobile operating system that people are actually using. ®

    Err... not people. Car entertainment units.

    1. Uffish
      Headmaster

      Re: Car entertainment units

      Are you saying that the car entertainment unit is for entertaining the car - or for entertaining the people in the car?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Car entertainment units

        Are you saying that the car entertainment unit is for entertaining the car - or for entertaining the people in the car?

        That would explain BMW's iDrive, though :)

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Car entertainment units

        Are you saying that the car entertainment unit is for entertaining the car - or for entertaining the people in the car?

        It is people in the car, but they do not get a choice of what the OS is. They buy a car + infotainment system or an infotainment for retrofit.

        Same as my Sony car stereos run Android. I do not get a choice on the subject - I bought a Sony (ditto for any vehicle bundling it). I actually know it is Android only because I have actually gone and read the license list on the about page of menu at the bottom of the unit settings. 99.9% of users will not get anywhere near that.

      3. Chemical Bob Bronze badge

        Re: Car entertainment units

        "Are you saying that the car entertainment unit is for entertaining the car - or for entertaining the people in the car?"

        It's for auto eroticism

    2. Dabooka Silver badge

      "Err... not people. Car entertainment units."

      Hence the focus on handsets / OSs that are actually used. It's more than probable that linking a car's infotainment system to the handset is the way forward. Many third party headunits, and some OEM ones, already do this with Mirrorview or whatever it's called and don't bother having their own standalone GPS system for example.

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Burning platform

    The boot's on the other foot now, MS.

    1. Adam Jarvis

      Re: Burning platform

      I think you mean sledgehammer. Nails, Coffin.

      Now if only LibreOffice 5 could gain some traction too... cogs slowly turn.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Burning platform

        Now if only LibreOffice 5 could gain some traction too... cogs slowly turn

        We switched a while back, but now we need to work in 4 different languages we have issues with entering accented characters. On OSX, LibreOffice does not integrate with the OSX method of entering accented characters (where you can hold down a character longer and a selection pops up). I'm not quite sure why not, I guess there are software reasons that make this difficult but it has forced us to start looking at NeoOffice instead as LibreOffice's mechanism is quite frankly clumsy.

        An alternative is that we equip all systems with keyboards that have all the accented characters present, like the Swiss keyboards but that leads to other issues such as people having to get used to a QWERTZ layout and coders not having direct access to the # sign :).

        Haven't quite worked this one out yet. Not that NeoOffice is expensive, mind you - $10 is actually less than I think it's worth if it works (not keen on the App Store version as it limits Base in what it can access).

        1. AMBxx Silver badge
          Happy

          keyboards that have all the accented characters present

          You just need bigger keyboards! I'm sure someone out there must be making a keyboard extension. Something like those additional numeric keypads you used to be able to buy.

        2. To Mars in Man Bras!
          Headmaster

          ÁÉÍÓÚ

          *"...On OSX, LibreOffice does not integrate with the OSX method of entering accented characters (where you can hold down a character longer and a selection pops up)..."

          Try hitting:

          * ALT+e followed by the vowel you want, to add an: áéíóú

          * ALT+i followed by the letter you want, to add an: âêîôû

          * ALT+u followed by the letter you want, to ad äëïöü

          * ALT+n followed by n for an: ñ

          * ALT+c to produce ç

          * ALT+o to produce ø

          [or, alternatively, switch your keyboard to use Irish layout and ALT+any vowel will type that vowel with an áéíóú, which saves an extra keystroke in languages which only use that type of accented character].

        3. John Sanders
          Linux

          Re: Burning platform

          Have you reported this?

          The LibreOffice chaps are quite keen on knowing what people need and that LO may be missing.

      2. Chika

        Re: Burning platform

        As an office system, LibreOffice has pretty much everything there to walk all over anything that Microsoft Office can do. No ribbons either.

        Except that it has no email client. If they could develop an email client that could do a better job than Outlook, I suspect that they'd clean up!

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Burning platform

          "As an office system, LibreOffice has pretty much everything there to walk all over anything that Microsoft Office can do"

          If you mean MS Office from 20 years ago maybe. To suggest it's an equivalent is simply not the case.

          Also LibreOffice requires Java installed which is an absolute no along with Flash on any of my PCs.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Burning platform

            Also LibreOffice requires Java installed which is an absolute no along with Flash on any of my PCs.

            LOL, so you "don't use Flash or Java" but you use MS Office with its macro problems? You're not really one for consistency, are you?

            You don't actually NEED Java. It's used in some functionality (I think macros, actually) but it works quite well without. As for being equivalent or not, who cares? For about 90% of users it delivers all the functionality they ever need, and the UI stays consistent between versions which means that upgrades don't immediately invoke a feature treasure hunt or training as has long been the case with MS Office - yet another saving in training costs as well as continued productivity.

            The real problem for MS is that users switching to LO/OO become far less platform dependent as such documents render equally well on OSX and Linux. If it wasn't for Outlook they would have lost a lot more people already as budgets are getting tighter.

            There's also the fact that ODF is a mature, organically developed document standard as opposed to MSOOXML which was thrown together in a hurry as a me-too (and it shows), but that has far less influence on user choice than it ought to have - I count myself lucky that I've been able to make it our corporate document standard. It means documents can be edited on any platform so if we change our minds at some point about our core OS it will not hamper migration. Open Standards make perfect business sense IMHO.

            1. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: Burning platform

              "LOL, so you "don't use Flash or Java" but you use MS Office with its macro problems? "

              Macros are disabled by default in Office. Also our Group policy only allows signed and trusted macros to run.

              "become far less platform dependent as such documents render equally well on OSX and Linux"

              MS Office works just fine on OS-X. Pretty much no one uses Linux on the desktop so it's an irrelevance. However Office 365 web access works just fine on Linux.

              "There's also the fact that ODF is a mature, organically developed document standard as opposed to MSOOXML "

              Lucky then that MS Office provides more advanced and less buggy support for it than LibreOffice does...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Burning platform

                "Lucky then that MS Office provides more advanced and less buggy support for it than LibreOffice does..."

                Anyone who says that hasn't tried it. I work in a heterogeneous environment and Office constantly chokes on documents created by LibreOffice (4 and 5), often displaying conversion errors that put off users. Once they open the basic formatting is a shambles, with basic things like headers and other styles completely messed up. LibreOffice does a better job of native Office formats, so we often have to fall back on the MS formats to suit the lowest common denominator and keep everyone happy. If MS put some effort into ODF then it would work well for everyone.

                I find it pretty amusing that (once again) a small project can do a better job supporting alternative formats to their own native ones than a large multinational software company. This is one of the painful downsides of relying on a large corporate vendor.

        2. captain veg

          Re: better job than Outlook

          A monkey with a typewriter and a carrier pigeon could do a better job of email than Outlook.

          -A.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: better job than Outlook

            A monkey with a typewriter and a carrier pigeon could do a better job of email than Outlook.

            I don't know. It's going to be hard enough to get the monkey to type with a carrier pigeon.

      3. Alan Bourke

        Re: Burning platform

        LibreOffice? Is it still looking like a 15-year-old shareware program lacking in programmability?

        People pay for Office for a reason, that reason being it's the best option.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Burning platform

          People pay for Office for a reason, that reason being it's the best option.

          There are only two reasons left why people still fork out stupid shovels full of cash instead of using LibreOffice:

          - Complex Excel spreadsheets (the stuff business decisions are made with if they are to defy any attempt at auditing)

          - Outlook

          Anyone who does any real presenting will have switched to Keynote by now on an iThing or a Mac, or Haiku Deck. Powerpoint has tumbled down the same death slope of usability as Visio has and died of featuritus. Call it the Microsoft effect.

          1. Chemist

            Re: Burning platform

            "- Complex Excel spreadsheets (the stuff business decisions are made with if they are to defy any attempt at auditing)"

            Whilst I share your skepticism about badly-written spreadsheets I have to say that LO calc be used for extreme spreadsheets - the major difference is the macro languages are different. Recalc. speed used to be slow - it's now very fast

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Burning platform

          @ Alan Bourke

          OpenOffice/LibreOffice started life as a commercial product - "Star Office", made in Germany, ja?

          Star Office is long-established; a German friend has documents that go back to its DOS version & was very happy that OpenOffice could read them.

          Just as Microsoft chooses to give away some software applications to gain commercial advantage in other areas, Sun chose to do the same in open-sourcing OpenOffice.

          I use both MS Office and LibreOffice; there really isn't much difference on a day-to-day basis. Each has its own annoyances...

        3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: Burning platform

          @Alan Bourke

          If I am honest most of my Microsoft Access databases look like they are 15 year old shareware programs.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. LDS Silver badge

    Nadella really knows how to make friends.

    And that's another reason not to upgrade to WP10. Frankly, I found here more useful than Office on a phone.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So mapping on WP10 is neither HERE nor there?

    I'll just get my coat.

  6. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    That's bad news for WinPhone users - HERE maps is excellent.

    1. Adam Jarvis

      Let's face it...

      It was the defining Killer App on Windows Phone...gone.

      1. 21mhz

        Re: Let's face it...

        That killer app is just called Maps on Windows 10. No HERE branding on the app, same data inside, better UI, more features. But you wouldn't have a clue if you were a typical the Reg journalist.

        1. Dabooka Silver badge

          Re: Let's face it...

          @21mhz

          Except I don't recall El Reg calling it a killer app, just that MS licence a cut down version for their own use on Windows.

          1. 21mhz

            Re: Let's face it...

            @Dabooka, you should follow the dumb way this forum structures replies. I was responding to a poster who said Here was the killer app. Well, it still is, it's just not the app front anymore.

            1. Dabooka Silver badge

              Re: Let's face it...

              Gotcha. I know the comments layout well enough by now, but your 'linked' response read as if you were calling the app a killer.

              No harm!

          2. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Let's face it...

            "just that MS licence a cut down version for their own use on Windows."

            You have that the wrong way round. Here Maps is a cut down version of the Maps app that Microsoft now supply. Which is presumably why Here Maps is being discontinued.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Let's face it...

          I do hope MS keep up licence payments for HERE data.

        3. ScissorHands

          Re: Let's face it...

          Better UI? When in a car at arm's length, and used for voice-guide navigation, the interface is almost invisible and the buttons are too small.

          That UI may work on a desktop or near your face, but never in a car. So yes, it kind of replaces HERE Maps, but it's a bad replacement for HERE Drive.

          The least they could do was open a migration path for all favourites from HERE.com to Windows Maps...

      2. 0laf Silver badge

        Re: Let's face it...

        Well that's about it for winpho then.

        MixRadio closed it's doors last month and now now mapping. They were the two things that really appealed to me about WinPho.

        Without that really what's the incentive to stick with WinPho? Few apps, even the MS developed apps for their own producs are inferior to Android and Apple versions (Skype).

        My 920 doesn't integrate with W10 any better than an Android phone.

        I'm overdue a new phone now, I don't really like Andoid or Apple, BB looks like it's in it's deaththrows which did leave WinPho. But why would I buy from a company that appears to hate it's own products?

        And I'm someone that really liked WinPho8.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not so excellent where I live

      At least for the area where I live, HERE maps are quite far from being excellent: their street maps have not been updated for at least four years; their aerial maps are from at least five years ago. Google maps are a little better, but not by much: their aerials have been updated three years ago, but the street map is also from four years ago.

      Because most delivery drivers seem to use either HERE or Google maps, this is a bit of a problem: HERE users think that our place does not exist at all, while Google-fanciers wind up about 1/2 mile away.

      On the other hand, Open Street Maps have excellent coverage around here, as well as most places I tend to travel to. If only they could slap together a decent route planner ...

      1. jason 7

        Re: Not so excellent where I live

        Well TomTom haven't updated theirs where I live, for much longer than that. Here provides a far better service so much so that the TomTom now sits unused in the glovebox.

        Here is a great app.

      2. To Mars in Man Bras!
        Happy

        Re: Not so excellent where I live

        *"...Open Street Maps have excellent coverage around here, as well as most places I tend to travel to. If only they could slap together a decent route planner..."*

        Have you tried MAPS.ME? [for Android] It's based on Open StreetMap data and seems decent.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      well, "excellent" is a matter of personal experience. Once I tried to use it for navigation and it came up with "can't do this or that, try again later", it went straight to where it came from - ether.

  7. Colin Ritchie
    Windows

    I like Here.

    Used Here to track my progress very easily, on a 150+ mph high speed train in Kent. Google Maps couldn't tell me where I was till we stopped in Ebbsfleet station, but it could tell me where to eat nearby....

    1. Stu J

      Re: I like Here.

      Don't think that's anything specifically to do with the app somehow, unless it's not using the full capabilities of the GPS?

      I often use Google Maps on commuter flights at speeds ranging from 0-500mph, altitudes from 0ft to 40,000ft, and never have any problems with it once the GPS locks on - and sluggish GPS lock-on isn't really an app issue.

      1. Anonymous Bullard

        Re: I like Here.

        I often use Google Maps on commuter flights

        I hope you're not the pilot.

      2. fuzzie

        Re: I like Here.

        Google Maps have a fixation with snapping to landmarks/roads known to it. I've ended up 10km off the mark due to it snapping to the wrong "closest known" country road. I suspect that's why it struggles tracking train journeys.

        HERE often insists on saving points of interest as addresses, not the GPS coordinates. A real PITA if a street name appears in different suburbs/towns (Main Road, anyone?). In HERE's favour again, it's very accurate if you have a house number in a street, Google Maps just aims for the midpoint of the road.

  8. CliveS
    FAIL

    Another one bites the dust

    HERE maps was one of the best apps for WP8, and one of the best nav apps for any phone. Gonna keep WP10 as far from my Lumia 930 as possible. And much as I like WP, more of this bollocks and I'll be forced to review my platform choice for mobile...

    1. Adam Jarvis
      Thumb Up

      Re: Another one bites the dust

      @CliveS I think you already know the answer. The dual sim Moto G 2014 got Marshmallow 6.0 yesterday, it runs Here Maps perfectly, and you can store the 30GB of offline Worldwide Maps on a (up to 128GB) microsd. Its a good cheap 'really does the job' Android phone.

    2. 21mhz

      Re: Another one bites the dust

      You may want to give the Windows 10 Maps app a try. It has most of the features HERE Maps and Drive have, it adds some new features for in-car navigation such as route selection and lane hints, and it certainly uses the same HERE map data. Of course you wouldn't know any of that if you are a journalist with an iPhone and an itch to write a clickbait piece of "news" after reading first 20% of a press release.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another one bites the dust

        Well that puts the kibosh on my theory that Microsoft had grown up and had stopped trying to strangle its partners.

        Looks like Embrace, Extend, Extinguish is still alive and well (and for HERE, it's at the phase where the original partner is marginalised and Microsoft's version of the very same thing is pressed on the gullible populace).

        1. MarthaFarqhar

          Re: Another one bites the dust

          Embrace and extend appears to mean push away members of your existing user base, as they've already had your money.

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