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 …

  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.

        2. 21mhz

          The rumors of Here's departure have been exagerrated

          Sorry pal, but repeating old catchphrases associated with Microsoft does not make you automatically correct.

          The main asset for Here is their geospatial data. If Microsoft can do a better job writing an app for them and it makes the app built-in experience in Windows (desktop and mobile alike), how is it marginalising? Data collection from the users is one important aspect, and there may be surprising turns there. On that there has been no information, except that the Here apps have their own user account and the stock Maps hasn't; but it's not unreasonable to expect Microsoft and Here have some agreement on feeding in data received from the users, much like the automakers do.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The rumors of Here's departure have been exagerrated

            > how is it marginalising

            As in pushing to the margins, in particular making it uneconomic for HERE to continue to offer their product under their own branding. So, HERE's revenue stream is reduced to selling their data to Microsoft; whereas previously they provided a complete solution on the WP platform.

            Regardless of whether or not E,E,E is a cliche, it pretty much encapsulates what happens to companies that go into partnerships with Microsoft.

            Since the rise of Satya there has been a lot of positive change in Microsoft, so it's sad to see that the old ways (clone your partners' stuff and then bundle it for free) are not yet extinct.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: companies that go into partnerships with Microsoft.

              Microsoft business partner == organ donor.

              With everything from DoubleSpace (maybe before) on, MS let someone else build the market and then once the technology is accepted they steamroller the "someone else" out of existence.

            2. 21mhz

              Re: The rumors of Here's departure have been exagerrated

              > As in pushing to the margins, in particular making it uneconomic for HERE to continue to offer their product under their own branding. So, HERE's revenue stream is reduced to selling their data to Microsoft; whereas previously they provided a complete solution on the WP platform.

              That's assuming they got anything out of the "complete solution", as opposed to, say, becoming _the_ maps provider for all Windows 10 devices. Are they known for shoving "HERE" in your face across in-car systems?

          2. Ledswinger Silver badge

            Re: The rumors of Here's departure have been exagerrated

            Data collection from the users is one important aspect, and there may be surprising turns there

            Why? If Winpho10 has no significant user base, there's mo reason for the car makers to worry about the handful of users. As much as anything their interest is user>car interaction, so integrating with phones is important for volume ecosystems of evil necessity, but ideally they'd want to capture the feedback via the car nav interface

            All of which leaves Microsoft out in the cold. Premium German brands are (guardedly) happy to work with Apple, but who's going to be in a queue to work with Microsoft, when their brand is a bit "dull grey suit", they don't have the loyal user engagement of Apple, and they don't have a data-value proposition like Google? Office for Autos doesn't sound like a compelling proposition to me any more than Auto-Outlook or Auto-Server 2016.

            "Should have" translates as "Too late now", but Microsoft should have attempted to own the car information space some ten or more years ago. That would have meant buying a grade A map database assets, and a grade A satnav brand. They could have developed Xbox technologies for entertainment for back seat passengers, and used the car as a springboard to relevance in end users lives. They should have bought a car radio OEM (like Clarion) to make this happen, and invested in self driving developments to keep up to date with the potential, along with other telematics development. Instead of defining themselves as The Car Software Company, and using this to get into home integration, they started off trying to be Google with the utterly failed aQuantive acquisition. Then they tried to be Google again by buying Nokia and controlling their own phone development and an ecosystem, and that failed.

            So that's why Microsoft are where they are - relevant to office productivity, relevant to sysadmins, but with no relevance to consumers or business partners.

      2. Mike Taylor

        Re: Another one bites the dust

        The down votes are a bit silly. The Maps app doesn't quite have the UI that HERE drive has, but other than that, it's a first rate tool that does a good job with directions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Another one bites the dust

          There are a lot of "first rate tools" at MS it would seem at the moment.

          Satya nadella (or whatever his nomenclature is) seems to be the biggest spanner they have.

        2. Chika
          Trollface

          Re: Another one bites the dust

          The down votes are a bit silly.

          I suppose you have to learn to ignore the majority of downvotes. While some of them have a point, you have to consider that some downvotes come from fanbois and fangrrls.

          And some come from people just for the lulz! ;)

  9. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    Just the dregs left now

    Spotify is giving them the bird too.

    Will the last to leave please turn out the lights?

    1. Vince

      Re: Just the dregs left now

      Apparently that is not true.

      Some rep said it on the forums, but Spotify has since come out and said they're not dropping support for it at all

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apparently that is not true.

        Give it time. It won't be long.

      2. 21mhz

        Re: Just the dregs left now

        That would be stupid, if they want to be on Surface as well. To make an app portable between WP 10 and the Surface, you only have to add another UI form-factor and make sure it works on ARM architecture (which everybody knows how to do for Android iOS)

  10. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Here for cars

    On my Winphone (8.1 and staying that way) Here works really well, where Waze for example, doesn't.

    In my car it seems to be the software that underlies the Pioneer Satnav and it's absolutely crap. To the point that I'm considering bringing out my old Tomtom again. At least the Tomtom never took me to the right all round Regent's Park and the Euston Rd. to an address that was within 150 metres to the left of where it had told me to turn right. There are plenty more terrible examples. Whether the problem is within Here in cars or some aspect of the Pioneer device I have no way of knowing. (The Pioneer car system is generally such a pile of sh*t I kick myself for being conned into ever letting them talk me into getting it installed.)

  11. graeme leggett Silver badge

    bugger

    Here is an effective system and I use it. Particularly in the form of the Here Drive and its commute function

    Closest thing to positives is it will keep working on my Winphone 8.1. for a while.

    Suppose worst case use is use it in the web browser

  12. Richard Plinston Silver badge

    No longer work

    """This means the HERE apps will no longer work on devices running Windows 10 mobile after June 30, 2016."""

    Which raises the question: 'What else won't work?'

    1. Mongo

      'What else won't work?'

      Windows Phone as a viable platform? Microsoft's convergence strategy?

    2. Adam Jarvis

      Re: No longer work

      And this raises the question - 'Another bl.oody stepping stone OS', did Microsoft not learn anything from the Windows Phone 7 / NT Kernel debacle. (Facepalm).

      When are MS going to ditch the head of Marketing? Because this has mostly been about crap marketing.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: No longer work

        It is not only about crap marketing.

        They were years late in releasing a viable competitore to Android and IOS. Then they kept faffing about with it rather than going for stability.

        The limited choice of device hardware didn't help either.

        My other half was a WP fan but eventually went over to the dark side (Apple) out of frusttration with the platform.

        It really is time to pull the plug MS. But you won't. After all having a touch platform is a cornerstone in your thrust to get every windows users onto that 'thing' called Windows 10. no mobile and the reason for Metro/Tifkam/modern/CrapUI goes away.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: No longer work

      It seems they're dropping Windows Phone 8 app compatibility on that date.

      That's the Windows 10 Mobile gravestone^Wredstone release.

  13. Adam Jarvis

    Alternatives?

    The popular dual sim Moto G 2014 got the ota Android 6.0 Marshmallow yesterday in the UK, it runs Here Maps for Android really well and you can fit a 128GB microsd to store the 30GB of Offline World Maps.

    Probably the best cheap alternative, if you don't need 4G, but need dual sim, in terms of having the latest version of Android.

    MS Build 2016 this year, you get the feeling they will have tumbleweed rolling across the stage, before the lacklustre update by Satya Nadella. Heads need to roll at MS Marketing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alternatives?

      The problem is some people would like to stay away from Google Android as much as they can.... unluckily the only alternative is the more expensive Apple route. Anyway, if they make a 4" model that could be a way to go.

  14. The Nazz Silver badge

    Owned by BMW, Audi and Daimler

    No indication where it's going then?

    1. Geronimo!

      Re: Owned by BMW, Audi and Daimler

      Ooohh...good one!

  15. MarthaFarqhar

    So xbox appears to be going to a service platform, and the best app for Windows Phone will not be supported. And you thought Ballmer was a fuckwit? I think they're trying to kill off all their hardware systems.

    1. taxythingy

      If they wanted to kill it, they would just do it instead of pouring millions after millions into it. The problem they have got is they stopped pouring millions into it for too long, left things to rot, and are now trying to to a massive re-architecture and integration of >50% of their product portfolio.

      It will probably work out in 2-3 years. In their typical half-arsed, full of the compromises no-one wants, way. That should see them to about 3% market share. Winners.

  16. Jason Hindle Bronze badge

    Without a decent mapping solution...

    I'm really sorry to have to say this, because I do like Windows Phone.... Time for Microsoft to throw in the mobile towel? Mapping is just too important a component, of the mobile experience, for too many users. MSFT were utter idiots for not buying Here.

    1. Colin Miller

      Re: Without a decent mapping solution...

      What's the state of Bing! Maps on WinPho?

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Without a decent mapping solution...

        "What's the state of Bing! Maps on WinPho?"

        Well a search turned up this:

        Windows 10 | Maps Blog - Bing Blog

        Bing Maps Sessions at //Build/ Leveraging ... the Windows team announced a preview of the new Maps app which is now available for phones running Windows 10 Technical ...

        [Search domain blogs.bing.com] blogs.bing.com/maps/tag/windows-10/

        but the link 404'd???

        Make of that what you will. :/

        1. Kobus Botes

          Re: Without a decent mapping solution...

          @ Captain DaFt

          Bing search on Bing Blogs seems to be fubar - ANY search term returns "Not found" errors.

          Map development seems to have halted or slowed down dramatically - most of the results are rather stale (2012?); in fact, the latest blog dates back to November 2015.

        2. To Mars in Man Bras!
          Trollface

          Re: Without a decent mapping solution...

          *"...Maps Blog - Bing Blog..."*

          Did anyone just hear Big Ben chiming?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Without a decent mapping solution...

        Here does allow to download maps locally. It's a huge advantage when you travel abroad (also in zones with poor or slow connections) where roaming fees can kill you.

  17. mswin10

    Who cares

    Its no loss and definitely no big deal there are more than enough map apps that are far better

    and accurate with more detail if you intend to use it for driving, still not

    sure what there problem is. Does this mean the Germans are not very good at

    programming.

    All the apps that I had on my Nokia 930 on 8.1 are working fine on WP10 and its still only beta

  18. taxythingy

    Dammit

    Why is it that when I find something I really like (WP8.1), it gets dumped on, shafted, fed to the dogs and then given a kick in the dandenongs for good measure?

    <Rant>

    Rant rant rant rant rant complaint, gripe, justification, curse, tale of woe. Rant.

    </Rant>

  19. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    What changes?

    I'm really curious what is changing June 30 that will make this app quit running? Is the service that converts Windows 8/8.1 apps to run on Windows 10 going to be deactivated June 30? Perhaps some API oddity in Windows 10, like the requests have to be tunneled through some bit of server-side software (either Microsoft or HERE-operated) that is not needed for Windows 8/8.1 HERE to work? This makes me curious.

  20. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    To answer my own question

    To answer my own question, after some googling, it's a matter of Windows 10 having no user-visible version numbers -- if this were Android, it'd be like "this app won't work on Android 5, Lollipop" or whatever version. "Windows 10 Redstone", the next Windows 10 phone update, is expected for release June 30, at which point phones will get it OTA. So probably they've found the W10 Redstone preview will not run the HERE app due to some incompatible change.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To answer my own question

      '..So probably they've found the W10 Redstone preview will not run the HERE app due to some incompatible change.'

      Which still leaves the question hanging, what is this 'incompatible change', and what other software will this 'incompatible change' break?

      (Happily, I only have to support one Winphone user..so whatever else breaks...meh, that'll learn 'em...)

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: To answer my own question

      So developers have to target a constantly changing platform without a version number. Ye gods...

      1. 21mhz

        Re: To answer my own question

        > So developers have to target a constantly changing platform without a version number.

        I think this situation is unique to the Here apps. I haven't heard of documented APIs breaking on Windows Phone ever since 7.x. I suspect this has to do with how they get access to offline maps. In WP 8.x it was up to the Here apps to manage stored maps, while in Windows 10 they are managed by the system. I guess the 'workaround' mentioned by Here's rep allows Here apps to hook into the new map store in a way that lets them continue working, but it's slated to disappear in the next platform update.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was there an article here?

    I never got past the image that the El Reg random stock image selection algorithm posted above it on the front page.

  22. Adam Jarvis

    Windows 10 Mobile 'is' a delayed stepping stone OS, to appease the upgraders.

    The Press got wind, put two and two together - stated that due to 512MB ram specifications, Windows 10 Mobile wouldn't be compatible with existing handsets, limited 512MB memory.

    Microsoft knew Windows 10 Mobile wouldn't (*again-WP7->WP8) be compatible with Windows Phone 8.1, but to save face, they applied an interim step 'First release - Windows 10 Mobile', that would be compatible with Windows Phone 8.1, only to ditch compatibility, with the next release 'Windows 10 Mobile Redstone'.

    Its clever, but also down right deceiving.

  23. SoftwareDeveloper

    Developer support depends on Microsoft delivering the right eco-system

    Windows 10 strategy is failing to embrace developers.

    Other operating systems have maintained a reasonable level of code reuse, not so with Windows 10, typically we have to re-write the applications and in some cases this requires a considerable amount of development and often finds the Windows 10 environment lacking is required features to deliver the same functionality.

    For end users of earlier versions that apps survived several windows operating system versions, however now with Windows 10 the apps appearing that are compatible are first release versions that have not matured like previous operating systems.

    Regardless if HERE has a chip on it's shoulder that they where not purchased by Microsoft, I would suggest that the cost benefit of redeveloping their applications to Windows 10 can't not be justified or simply the OS is not delivering the features that it requires - like many other Apps.

    Because many applications require a complete re-write for Windows 10 we are seeing an operating system in the market that suffers from minimal support from developers. While the operating system is important, I might suggest good feature rich applications are the selling point. I would certainly not support a mobile phone or desktop operating system that ONLY has core applications developed by Microsoft.

    Mobile devices are not only for games, Line of Business applications are critical to many customers, small business and enterprises however Microsoft continues to provide what I would consider a hostile closed shop approach to the free deployment of this class of application.

    Android has allowed developer a wider range of API's with unrestricted access for third parties, this has delivered feature rich and a wide range of mature applications, Microsoft either does not allow to some core features or has a tiered approach depending on how much you pay them for the right to develop applications.

    I have approached many application developers who have great applications such as government public transport services, educational organizations, etc and have been told they are not going to build Windows 10 applications. If Microsoft does not embrace these organizations then certainly the platforms value is seriously degraded.

    We are certainly saddened by the current Microsoft strategy and the apparent ignorance of Microsoft not getting it right. I fear that many more development houses will drop away from this platform.

    1. Gray
      Facepalm

      Re: Developer support depends on Microsoft delivering the right eco-system

      "We are certainly saddened by the current Microsoft strategy and the apparent ignorance of Microsoft not getting it right. I fear that many more development houses will drop away from this platform.

      As a home-based user, blogger, and writer who is increasingly relying on Linux-based apps, that certainly sounds like a coffin lid dropping into place! What good is an OS without a freely-accessible universe of apps?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Developer support depends on Microsoft delivering the right eco-system

      '..I have approached many application developers who have great applications such as government public transport services, educational organizations, etc and have been told they are not going to build Windows 10 applications. '

      And yet, we've just been told for 'compliance' reasons, we'll have to upgrade from Win7 to Win10..despite knowing beforehand that software we use will break. (The developers don't support it, we've tested it..).

      We've gone down this road before, for 'compliance' reasons we upped from XP to Win7, and, as we (and the developers, I have to add) told them it would, our software broke horribly and randomly.

      In fact, to this day, the software still continues to do so. I'd rather have had some packages we use just stop working completely under Win7, rather than the situation we have where they just limp along, work reasonably, but throw wobblies when they hit whatever 'edge/boundary' conditions they have with the OS.

      These wobblies, ok, maybe they'll fubar someone's document, no real big deal, but in our case they can be expensive when it translates to machine control..(think: all the fun things a 4 hp motor spinning at 19,000 rpm with suitable tooling attached could get up to which weren't on the original drawing)

      It's on days like this, reading what you posted above, that I'm really glad I got out of this game as my main job, and that I've got my reasons why these OS updates are a bad idea down on paper (there is a strong blame culture here, and I'm not taking the fecally contaminated end of the stick for someone else's asinine IT decisions.)

      P.S. Before anyone asks about the compliance, I know not, nor do I care..it's some sort of suit-driven circle-jerk paperchase exercise being pursued somewhere at great cost to taxpayers..

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Developer support depends on Microsoft delivering the right eco-system

        "...a 4 hp motor spinning at 19,000 rpm with suitable tooling attached..."

        Doesn't the Windows EULA specifically say not to do just that very thing? Eek!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Developer support depends on Microsoft delivering the right eco-system

          '..Doesn't the Windows EULA specifically say not to do just that very thing?'

          Like anyone ever reads that thing...

          '..Eek!'

          No, more like

          screech..

          squeal..

          screech..

          ohshitohshitohshit..

          squeal..

          chomp..

          ohshitohshitohshit..

          chew..

          frag..

          grind..

          grind..

          ..eviscerate!..

          ohshit..

          slam!

          (that last one being the sound of the emergency stop on the CNC being forcefully applied after a mad dash across the workshop...)

    3. 21mhz

      Re: Developer support depends on Microsoft delivering the right eco-system

      I'm unsure I understood the problem: doesn't Windows 10 offer C/C++ programming tools that would allow you to port your application logic, so that you only have to put the platform-specific UI layer on top? Unless you were heavily glued to old Win32 and never made an effort to port your application code to Android and/or iOS, what are the specific issues you're having?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Developer support depends on Microsoft delivering the right eco-system

        @21mhz

        I've not written anything for WP of any version, but have been part of an app development team doing apps for iOS and Android using Xamarin.

        Even though we were using the exact same tool and language for the two platforms, the internals of the apps ended up being very different because their structure was largely dictated by the rules of the platform-provided APIs - both UI and low-level APIs.

        So much of the app development effort (also true of writing software for computer OSes) was expended on writing glue so that the actual functionality of the app could be presented within the vendor's API framework.

        Therefore if the platorm changes from 8.x -> 10 are such that app developers have to unpick their logic, exctract the core platform-independent classes, and rebuild the rest from the ground up for the new APIs, it's a major effort (never mind re-test and re-qualitfy the whole thing). And if there is no revenue stream resulting from that work, only a company with a reliable cash-cow can afford the luxury.

        1. 21mhz

          Re: Developer support depends on Microsoft delivering the right eco-system

          As far as I understood, the platform API changes from 8.x to 10 are nil: you get to use the same Modern UI and the same platform interfaces. This week I changed my phone from one running Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, and all 40-something apps I had on the old phone were re-installed from backup without a hitch (some actually started to work better, go figure). I don't think all the app vendors had to change anything in their apps in order to make that happen.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Developer support depends on Microsoft delivering the right eco-system

            > the platform API changes from 8.x to 10 are nil: you get to use the same Modern UI and the same platform interfaces

            OK, now I'm officially puzzled, as earlier you posted that HERE just needed to re-do their UI for WP10?

            And on re-reading the original article, HERE are quoted as saying that a ground-up rewrite would be necessary.

            1. 21mhz

              Re: Developer support depends on Microsoft delivering the right eco-system

              > OK, now I'm officially puzzled, as earlier you posted that HERE just needed to re-do their UI for WP10?

              No, I was referring to porting apps between Surface and Windows 10 Phone (and the desktop too).

              > And on re-reading the original article, HERE are quoted as saying that a ground-up rewrite would be necessary.

              I guess that refers to changes in the map storage. With Windows itself now managing the offline maps, it would be stupid and wasteful to let Here apps maintain their separate copies, so some workaround was arranged behind the scenes to hook Here into the system maps without code changes. But then maybe the platform people at Microsoft are not happy about this hack and want it to go away as soon as feature continuity is achieved in the stock Maps.

              1. nkuk

                Re: Developer support depends on Microsoft delivering the right eco-system

                "With Windows itself now managing the offline maps, it would be stupid and wasteful to let Here apps maintain their separate copies"

                If that's the case its no surprise the App developers are jumping ship, its a classic case of embrace, extend, extinguish.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erm. Windows maps anyone?

    Terrible reporting.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/apps/windows-maps/9wzdncrdtbvb

    1. Alain

      Windows Maps

      It came preinstalled on my Archos Cesium 50 Win10 phone.

      Seems a pretty long way from Here Maps and Here Drive as a driving assistant IMO. The user interface is poor.

      I'm still very confused by the different variants of Here: Here Maps, Here Drive, Here Drive+...

      I've tried to install Here Drive+ on the said Archos phone, it did install from the Windows Store but I can't get past the login screen: the keyboard doesn't show up.

      Sad because it's a nice app. I use it a lot on my Lumia 535.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this is what happens when you give stuff away

    After all, there's no room on a satnav app to advertise in any meaningful way.

    Given the quality of Here, could they have charged for the app and still gotten market share?

    Presumably the income stream will now be in car units and data access.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not clear entirely what the problem is

    therefore, it's entirely clear that the problem is money.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Instructive differences between HERE WP and HERE Android

    I am a big HERE on WP fan. It was the first app I downloaded on my Android (dual SIM) christmas present.

    It was immediately a less satisfying experience. HERE on WP launches in "Driving Mode" - where the display picks up the orientation of the phone, and displays time elapsed/distance driven (but still warns of speed limits). A very hand fit-n-forget feature.

    HERE Android ? Opening screen is locked to portrait (so if the phone is landscape in a cradle, you need a 90degree neck). And you have to *then* select driving mode. Clunky *and* inexplicable.

    Also the "Collections" feature is painfully 1980s in execution.

  28. Planty Bronze badge

    Not clear what the problem is

    It's very clear. Without Microsoft's mondry proping itself up, windows app marketshare is so abysmal, it's financially viable platform..

    Windows continues its path to the bottom.

  29. JDX Gold badge

    Balls

    Here maps are great on my phone. Free to download for pretty much any country I wanted to visit, both for walking around or full turn-by-turn GPS (also excellent).

  30. John Savard Silver badge

    At Face Value

    If what they're saying at HERE is the truth, they didn't decide to drop support for Windows 10 because they didn't like Microsoft, but for technical reasons that would have made continuing support uneconomical.

    And it also means that since it's a workaround for a fundamental incompatibility that's breaking, that what Microsoft did on its end may have been a legitimate step to improve the security of their operating system.

    I'm surprised that an application to display maps on a mobile device has to somehow break the rules software developers are expected to follow, and resort to hacker-type techniques in order to provide its basic functionality. But given the statement that it could work if rewritten from the ground up, likely that is not the issue, the problem could be that the app derives from legacy code written for the Windows desktop, i.e., Windows 7 or earlier.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Would you take a look over HERE?

    Where?

    There.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Would you take a look over HERE?

      No stranglers fans here then.

  32. david 12 Bronze badge

    Dollers to Donuts, it's a UAC-aware re-write that is required.

    Modern apps are required to use UAC elevation requests to access resources. It's a major rewrite.

    Legacy systems (Win V/7/8) allowed legacy non-UAC-aware applications. Win 10 is tighter. Win10 phone is/will be tighter. I don't know what will be tightened in the new Win10phone release, but it's a no-brainer that UAC elevatoin will be tighter.

  33. NIck Hunn
    Unhappy

    Maps for Life

    It seemed a little ironic that the message on my Lumia saying that the app would not continue to be supported showed up under their strapline of "Maps for Life".

    But I guess they're probably using the marketing experience from the VW group. Another one for trading standards and the ASA.

  34. Brian Allan 1

    "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."

    Probably the case!

  35. John Presland

    Where I live in northern Spain HERE as implemented for Garmin is awful. It doesn't know that roads in my village that were just reasphalted were ever asphalted, it doesn't know that my village exists, it doesn't know that my Postcode, shared by 1000 people, exists, it doesn't know that the nearby stretch of motorway was completed three years ago and when I'm driving on it through a tunnel shows me as being in the middle of a field.

    A high-quality product owned by German luxury firms, just the thing for my Merc (a 1985 190D)?

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