back to article Even Microsoft's lost interest in Windows Phone: Skype and Yammer apps killed

Microsoft’s given users of its collaboration apps on Windows Phone under a month’s warning of their demise. A support note from late last week advises that “Windows phone apps for Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer are retiring on May 20, 2018.” “Retiring” means all three will vanish from the Microsoft store on …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

    MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

    Wouldn't it be more of a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

      Microsoft have been in a death spiral for years. Have you not noticed? Their only saving grace is their stockpiles of cash, which serves two primary purposes.

      1/ Pay people to like them and use their products (They use the term "tech evangelists", but they are basically blogger whores who write anything Microsoft want if the money is good)

      2/ Develop lots of products and throw them all at the wall in the hope something sticks

      1. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

        Wow a death spiral where you have record profits in the billions of dollars.

        Do you live in some sort of parallel universe, where increasing profits is the signs of a failing company?

        1. chivo243 Silver badge

          Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

          @Lost all faith...

          MS is like the obese person in the room. Getting them out is nearly impossible. You need to remove walls and get cranes in to do the lifting... That is probably why MS keep making money.

          Or maybe it's just called vendor lock in?

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

            "Or maybe it's just called vendor lock in?"

            That may be what it really IS. But I'll tell you what it is NOT: It is NOT "their customers actually WANT their products". It's more like an addiction, or a near-monopoly.

            Any current earnings 'boon' due to data slurping and spying is short-lived, almost like a 'dead cat bounce'.

            1. Anonymous Bullard

              Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

              No no, not an addiction.

              An addiction is when you actually feel relief when you get a hit.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

          Isn't MS like Hooli, not very good at cloud or mobile but their strongest selling product is the software equivalent of "The Box"?

        3. Zippy's Sausage Factory

          Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

          Wow a death spiral where you have record profits in the billions of dollars.

          Do you live in some sort of parallel universe, where increasing profits is the signs of a failing company?

          You're confusing short-term financial results with long-term survival potential. Remember that those record profits are coming from markets that are visibly disappearing - PC desktop sales are going down, Linux has no licence fees, AWS is eating Azure's (and everybody else's) lunch.

          Microsoft will continue to be around, but it's unlikely that they will be the same level of major player in five to ten years that they are now. That's why they are trying to transition users to subscription-based products (Office 3.65, for example) rather than the purchase-based model that they have been relying on for so many years.

          The question is whether, when the Windows franchise finally runs out of steam, will they have done enough to keep going? Right now, I'd say it's too early to tell for sure.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

            "Remember that those record profits are coming from markets that are visibly disappearing - PC desktop sales are going down, Linux has no licence fees,"

            Windows server is still growing market share as are most Mictosoft application servers. Desktops market share is stable as are other key revenue streams like Xbox. And Microsoft lead everyone in cloud revenue.

            "AWS is eating Azure's (and everybody else's) lunch"

            Nope, Microsoft overtook AWS in annual cloud revenue run rate 3 quarters ago and are growing much faster.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

              >Nope, Microsoft overtook AWS in annual cloud revenue run rate 3 quarters ago and are growing much faster.

              AWS has 4x the revenue of Azure as of March 2018 - and 41% to MS's 29% of market share. And that's with MS including MS Office in their figures.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

                "AWS has 4x the revenue of Azure as of March 2018 - and 41% to MS's 29% of market share. And that's with MS including MS Office in their figures"

                Just look at both sets of quarterly results. Microsofts cloud division earns well over $20 billion and is growing faster whereas AWS only just got there. Yes that includes O365. Azure itself also overtook AWS in IAAS last year. AWS still leads in some numbers but not for long on current trends.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

                >>AWS has 4x the revenue of Azure as of March 2018 - and 41% to MS's 29% of market share. And that's with MS including MS Office in their figures.

                AWS's current revenue is about $5 billion a quarter. Microsoft's cloud division (which includes things like O365) exceeded that a year ago.

                However if you want to compare just Azure for some reason, then yes AWS annual revenue is 3x Azure ($6.5 billion as of Q4 2017). However Azure has been growing at double the rate of AWS in recent quarters, so even if you limit you view of Microsoft cloud to just Azure - it's going to beat AWS in that soon too.

          2. 2Nick3

            Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

            "Microsoft will continue to be around, but it's unlikely that they will be the same level of major player in five to ten years that they are now."

            Don't we hear this every 5-10 years about MS?

      2. ArrZarr Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

        2/ Develop lots of products and throw them all at the wall in the hope something sticks

        This phenomenon has a name, it's called the economy.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

        "Microsoft have been in a death spiral for years. Have you not noticed? "

        No, we must have missed that amongst the many years of consistent profits and the current record share price. And overlooked that they are market leader in cloud by revenue

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

        Wish that muppet with the 2nd post hadn't hijacked this whole thread. Its perfectly reasonable to talk about the demise and epic fail WP was without caring about the behemoth corporation itself which will probably be around at least as long as most people posting on here. IBM is even more suicidal and less relevant to the consumer and even they will probably be around long after most of us retire.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

      Microsoft has long been large enough for different departments to be effectively working in opposition to each other.

      Look at the way the Windows team try and introduce a coherent new design every so often, only for the Office team to create their own separate GUI system.

      Or indeed there's the parts of MS who are working on Linux compatibility (like the bash subsystem, or the HyperV drivers in the Linux kernel), presumably unnoticed by their sales division.

      So yes, the left had of Microsoft doesn't know what the right hand is doing, and neither of them have any idea what that tentacle over there is doing...

      1. LDS Silver badge
        Devil

        "Windows team try and introduce a coherent new design every so often"

        You mean at every release, and even some minor one, now? And "coherent" took a very different meaning too...

    3. InNY
      Happy

      Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

      I'm calling you on this one. Your statement makes an assumption that Microsoft's right hand knows what it is doing...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

      Presumably the apps still work on Windows Mobile. Windows Phone is now out of support anyway.

    5. CheesyTheClown

      Re: MS kills UWP apps, Telephony API appears in Windows

      Nope, both hands know what’s happening. The telephony APIs allow for Android integration. So the APIs permit Windows 10 Always Online devices (laptops with built in LTE) to provide a consistent experience across phone and laptop.

      For instance, you will probably be able to make a call from your laptop. They also integrated messaging.

      But I guess that’s not as exciting as assuming it means that Microsoft is confused. :)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft not 'adding value' to its software by constant fiddling has got to be a good thing. I might move to a Windows phone if Microsoft is truly serious in its promise of no support.

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Support

      The reason I abandoned microsoft mobile is that they have been chaging their mind (And APIs) with every version. That is a nightmare to support, and lost trust a decade ago.

      Removing spyke for business is stupid in my book.. I just dont understand it, they should just take the OS to the back and put it out of its misery.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Support

        "they should just take the OS to the back and put it out of its misery." .....

        They can't do that as unlike many phone vendors they have committed to security patches and a life cycle. My Windows phone is 3 years old, and will continue to get monthly security patches until July next year.

        I'm holding out till then hoping for guaranteed security patching on Android phones so I don't have to buy an iPhone.

        1. JoJ

          Re: Support

          I feel your pain and dread of the iPhone world.

          I think it is probably the iPhone world to where we will have to go, after Windows Phone.

          But Google up yourself some Samsung Note 8 Enterprise Version goodness, before you do!

          It's only sold in America and Germany at present, but we're opening a German subsidiary, just to get our hands on the supply. And we're going to trial a private walled garden with the phones on actual IP addresses on the vLAN where on premises Azure and O365 will be running, delivered by customised MVNO (private label, to be flash) all for our own use, and one long standing customer who are a indy oil trading desk, who are not quite sponsoring the effort, but the industry verticals interest is making speaking to the Microsoft people much easier..

          Enterprise Note 8 models.

          Just check them out.

          And help us get these in channel here!

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Enterprise Note 8 models.

            But it uses Android.

            I don't like Apple or iOS but I tolerate it so I can avoid Android.

            This $1000 Android 7 phone is actually real too.

            Because corporate money can be spent without a pain in the wallet.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Support

          Where does this so called writer of this article get his information from? Skype has been integrated in the last Windows 10 mobile release (April) to the Messenger Application, it does connect to Skype For Business services so in that respect there is no need for a separate application.

          As for Android, Google have released Certified for Android For Enterprise which means any manufacturer releasing certified handsets have to patch minimum of 90 days, some (Including Nokia) are doing monthly updates, with minimum spec of 32gb Storage, 3gb RAM and must use Android One (Which means no bloatware and no Airtime provider software forced upon handsets), so I would say Android has matured.

          Nokia, LG, Huwai and LG are certified Android For Enterprise although Samsung are not because they won't commit to more than two years updates on their handsets (Google want 3) and also won't support Zero Touch as they want everyone to use and register with Knox. I'm sure they'll backtrack.

      2. JoJ

        Re: Support

        Why on the good earth was Microsoft's premier telephonic application ever even a separate distinct application on their premier telephonic product?

        I know Skype integrated very well, so well that this news just booked us buying a crate of LUMIA 950XL just for the purpose of a smart Skype walkabout in the office, if nobody will be seen dead carrying one outside.

        I realise this sounds like I am clamouring for a avuncular relationship, which just isn't going to happen, with Microsoft barely out of their salad days, but I expect from my software overlords a complete solution including telephony. Google can do it. Kinda. I keep forgetting which app is being shuttered next.... Hmm... Maybe this telephone lark is a financial mugs game. I think it must be. But I have to make plans on a decade plus timeframe. I have to assume that the application code we write today will still be chugging along come 2030 and beyond, if I'm to keep my job.*

        And today we face a existential telephonic crisis because the new generations are not actually using voice telephony. It was bad enough to start out needing to get past gatekeepers to reach anyone who could do anything in business, but then I grew up and my contemporaries and I all acquired gatekeepers ourselves (even if mine is the force field of ingrained antipathy and synaptic scar tissue radiation still reverberating since our Oracle shop days) and yet woe betide you dare try to get a millennial in the end of the blower: only helicopter parents and social workers must have done that while they grew up "drop calling" one another and texting stuff they really didn't know would be understood by the other end, only teenage indifference to reality enabled a false sense of understanding... The experience is such a fright of passive aggressive silence... and this is the generation demanding care and consideration, oh my then stop biting this food hand I'm nursing here why don't you...

        Oh yeah, back to being a mature fourth decade OFH, listen Dude Redmond Guy, We Pay T-H-I-S MUCH MOOLAH to you because we're really very happy when we forget reason and ho with your office not quite a year was that the extra nine you couldn't afford or did three quarters look funny on the logo, cos it wouldn't on my logs...

        I mean we like the new slurpy stuff because we pay even another order of magnitude than most people to have the thing privatised to our desire. Self Slurp. (Great for security, think about it.)

        But I really think that our contract alone could have paid for Windows Phone to carry on.

        The sorry state of affairs is that if they only finally come out with anything at all, even in another year, we'll forgive them. If only they build atop what they can do now. Or yesterday. Or just all that they used to be good at..

        *This is me, co-founder here, planning our to my last natural years in my business life. I grew up with Microsoft. Alongside, I may better say, because it was 1999 before I felt confident that we could go places with the OS, and if you learned how to write COM, COM+ etc, you're still good to today. I lived programmatically the life of any garden stone roof dweller, so long as it wasn't overturned, or I can withstand the glare, it's always nice and dank and warm under here. They don't fff with this work level, down here. Ever. And the awesomeness of hiding out in the dingly dwelling dankness just happens to be called a Mr. Don Box. You know, chief architect at Azure. Who designed the stuff I was just getting scatalogical about. And it's strangely...samey..whodda thunk? This is so cool to blog about it even if I know it's the reason I'll finally do a blog plop on the internet's, I almost don't want to say anything about this. But I have. The Azure plumbing is old skool Don Box, and if you ever found his books the salvation of fixing a VB OLE object to which source was never probably even backed up, and you want to change oh about anything of it, so you're living the COM raw memory interface definitions (which for their kind are actually loveable,), well Don is the don for all that. Azure is the absolute proof that Microsoft has come full circle to the early nineties. In this scenario, for the long term, it's a good thing.

  3. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    WTF?

    win10

    Baked in snooping telemetry, now with added audio!

    1. The obvious

      Re: win10

      Because google and apple have never been caught illegally slurping da.... oh wait. Talk about from the frying pan into the fire.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: win10

        Pretty sure Google haven't, they are in compliance with their privacy policy Got anything to back that up?

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          Re: win10

          >>> Pretty sure Google haven't, they are in compliance with their privacy policy Got anything to back that up?

          Yep - there was a bug in the way Apple enforced privacy in Safari. Google used it to track people who had specifically said that they didn't want to be tracked.

          Other than that, most websites have a google tracker watching you. I don't remember giving my permission. Might not be illegal, but should be.

          1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

            Re: win10

            AMBxx, you forgot the Streetview Wifi slurp, where Google's Street View cars accidentally copied data sent over any open Wifi networks in their vicinity.. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/14/google_street_view_cars_were_collecting_payload_data_from_wifi_networks/ .

            OK, you could argue that people shouldn't be using open Wifi (and you'd be right), but Google should not have recorded it.

            1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: win10

              > but Google should not have recorded it.

              It was unintentional and was unlikely to have recorded _any_ payload data that could be understood.

              Your link fails, a better one is;

              https://googleblog.blogspot.co.nz/2010/05/wifi-data-collection-update.html

          2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: win10

            > most websites have a google tracker watching you.

            They may be attempting to watch me, but that fails because I have NoScript, RequestPolicy and others.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: win10

          "Pretty sure Google haven't, they are in compliance with their privacy policy"

          When their privacy policy pretty much is, we track everything you do and use that to sell ads, it's pretty had not to be compliant.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Because google and apple have never been caught illegally

        Still, MS did a U turn when it transformed Windows in a deep slurping tool.

        Everybody knows what Google is, Apple can slurp less getting a lot of cash from hardware unlike Google, and someone hoped to have a non-slurping alternative still able to run the tools they need and without a single hardware supplier like Apple.

        Unluckily Nadella suddenly decided customers are cows to milk for data, and not sacred at all, so they can be fully exploited at will. Nobody saw it coming, and that makes it even more painful.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: win10

      Funny, I just installed Win10 less than an hour ago for some poor sod that needs windows to control some industrial doodad... There was a screen where I could turn off a decent amount of this slurp stuff.

      Not a fan of MS, but will use the right tool for the job...

      yes, yes, I said tool and job in the same sentence ;-}

  4. ratfox Silver badge
    Windows

    “may continue to work, but we can’t provide any guarantees.”

    Ouch.

    "Maybe it will, maybe it won't. We don't care either way."

    1. Edwin

      sigh...

      Bought a new phone just before MS announced the death of the platform. Wonder if MS will sponsor a replacement handset for me (and the other guy still on the platform)?

      Teams is a pity as it's one of the better-functioning O365 apps on mobile, and means I can do ad-hoc chat with colleagues in a completely separate space from Whatsapp...

      1. redneck

        Re: sigh...

        count your blessings.

        I bought an HP Veer one month before Apoteker killed the platform. I bought a Windows phone to replace it.

        I guess it is time to get an iphone.

  5. xbit

    "Microsoft’s advice for effected users [both of them, LOL - Ed]"

    Tut, tut. Your editor has the time to make jokes not but enough time to correct poor grammar.

  6. Michael Habel

    "Microsoft’s advice for effected users [both of them, LOL - Ed]"

    Surly that's...

    "Microsoft’s advice for affected users [both of them, LOL - Ed]".

    Or is this a Colour vs Color kinda deal?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      RE "Microsoft’s advice for effected users [both of them, LOL - Ed]"

      effected means to do something so he was probably right, most users dont do anything with the product.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: RE "Microsoft’s advice for effected users [both of them, LOL - Ed]"

        2 users of Windows Mobile? That's 2 more than use Yammer.

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          Re: RE "Microsoft’s advice for effected users [both of them, LOL - Ed]"

          Is the downvote for WM or Yammer? I'd love to know. I was a big fan of WM and only switched when my 950XL died. Yammer comes as part of O365 and I have no idea why I'd want it.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Headmaster

      'Effect' vs 'Affect'

      'effect' is a noun. You _could_ verb it, I suppose, but that's what 'affect' does (the verb).

      You had an effect, by affecting things. So the users were 'affected'.

      [but I understood it without the grammar fascism, heh]

      1. Milton Silver badge

        Re: 'Effect' vs 'Affect'

        "Affect" and "effect" are both nouns and both verbs, with different meanings in several cases.

        • You may have an effect upon Something. (noun)

        • That Something will have been affected by you. (verb)

        • You may effect a change. (verb) — The change will have been effected. (verb)

        • You may affect your wife's emotions. (verb)

        • Your psychologist may observe that you have a strange affect. (noun)

        The last one is rarely heard as it's a term of art. The former four are all common uses, though the first, second and fourth are probably the more common. It's not a 'color/colour' thing in the sense of US vs British English, but you will observe incorrect usages much more frequently in US content simply because of their appalling standards of general education. Even their president has poor language, grammar and spelling skills. Mind you, he is as dumb as a stump.

        That all said, you could argue for some leeway in sentences like:

        "The Earth's gravity Æffects the Moon's orbit."

        The Moon orbits Earth because of Earth's gravity, so it must be correct to write "Earth's gravity effects the Moon's orbit", insofar as the orbit is actually created by—brought into existence because of—Earth's gravity.

        But the shape of the Moon's orbit is also modified by Earth's gravity, so it must also be correct to write "Earth's gravity affects the Moon's orbit", insofar as the orbit is modified, or changed by Earth's gravity.

        I mention this just to confuse folks and revel in the sheer unadulterated weirdness of English language.

        You're all very welcome ;-)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back to the 80's

    shouting "I'm on the phone" into the corner of a 12" (ph)tablet surface balanced on your shoulder.

    That's all I have in my head now...

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Back to the 80's

      it would be funnier if Pee Wee screamed it while in a biker bar [followed by a dance presentation of 'Tequila']

  8. 0laf Silver badge
    FAIL

    MS lost interest in WinPho pretty much as soon as it birthed a decent product in 8.1

    When they discovered that the iPhone X type buyers wouldn't ever be interested in an MS product they ran away, not bothering about the people who quite liked what they had made. The worst bit was their lack of admission that they were running away so they led on buyers to waste money. That's unforgivable.

    I still think that Metro was the best phone interface I've ever used.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Why wasted money? I bought my Lumia 735 nearly 3 years ago. It still works. OK, the Met Office app stopped working in February - just in time for us to get all that snow. And a bunch of other apps are no longer supported - so it's clear the phone is on the way out. But that's still way more support lifetime than any Android phone - Google only guarantee 2 years of updates on theirs Nexus/Pixels.

      I'd do better with Apple, but then the cheapest iPhone is over £400, and I paid £130 for my Win Phone. I'm sad that they're killing it off, but I can't say I feel ripped off.

      Even when I bought into Win Pho 7 and got stranded on that with the upgrade to Win Pho 8 (because of hardware requirements and MS incompetence) I was still happy. Sure I didn't get the latest shiny, but MS gave 2 major feature updates to Win Pho 7 and brought across about half of the shinies available on Win Pho 8, as well as giving 2-3 more years of patches.

      Windows Phone has always been rubbish for apps - and most of the ones I use have a decent mobile-friendly website, so I just pin that to the homepage.

      It's still a shame they've killed it though. I'm sure it could have been a contender at the cheaper end, with consistent support. And with cooperation with Nokia, they could even have done some fancy camera stuff to sell at the premium end.

      1. E_Nigma

        @NotSpartacus

        "I bought my Lumia 735 nearly 3 years ago. It still works. OK, the Met Office app stopped working in February - just in time for us to get all that snow. And a bunch of other apps are no longer supported - so it's clear the phone is on the way out. But that's still way more support lifetime than any Android phone"

        Mate, what are you talking about?! The device is less than three years old and even the apps are no longer... well not just not working, they are ceasing to exist. What kind of support is that?! If you had bought an Android, it would have still all worked. My mom's phone is about as old as yours, apps work, software updates are coming regularly (she won't be getting Android Nougat or Oreo, buts she gets UI/launcher, feature, built in apps and security updates).

        Microsoft's support of their mobile platforms has been horrible through and through. They broke all backwards compatibility when they launched WP7, then again with WP8, then with W10M apps had to be rewritten but at least this time some devices could be upgraded to the new OS (but not all, as, despite earlier explicit promises, even some WP8 flagships like L920 or L1020, with its 2GB RAM were just left behind; and even some later devices - just look three posts below yours and read about AC's four hundred L640s that ended up being written off).

        Say what you want about the support of Android devices, but chances of ever getting a major version upgrade on WP were throughout it's history close to non-existent whereas on Android there are at least some (not all Androids are as fortunate, but we've got a Samsung A5 and a Xiaomi Mi 5s in the house, both have already been updated from Android 6.0 to 7.0, the Oreo update for the A5 has already rolled out in some countries and for the 5s it seems to be in the works) plus on Android, even if you don't get the latest version, almost all of the apps will still work completely fine (90% of apps still work on Android 4.4).

        So, shed your prejudice and welcome to Android. :)

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: @NotSpartacus

          E_Nigma,

          Microsoft's support has been fine. Their strategy has been a pile of shite - but they've given decent support to the stuff they've released.

          They aren't responsible for the apps. Being on a dying platform is why they're no longer being renewed. That's not MS's fault either, other than the aforementioned pisspoor strategy causing the death of their platform.

          I've no prejudice against Android. I know the risks, as I did when I bought in to Windows Phone. For me, the apps are on the iPad, the phone is a tool for calls, texts, email and travel (satnav and timetables).

          With MS I risked a lack of apps - but didn't care. Hence I recommnended it to my Mum, who also didn't care - but I've suggested Android or iOS to those that did.

          For ease of use Android is less good. It does more, so is more complex. Not the trade-off I want in my phone, but what I demand in a PC.

          As for support, I'm not sure there's any Android phone that you can trust you'll get even security updates, other than Google's very expensive Pixels. All other manufacturers have broken their promises on different models and Google have let them. I don't expect feature updates - though I do object to phones and tablets being sold new on software 2 releases out of date. The reason my tablet purchase went to Apple... I didn't update from Win Pho 8 to 10, but MS gave me the option.

          1. E_Nigma

            Re: @NotSpartacus

            My Android phone is a 2016 model, the security update level is 1st of March 2018. :)

            As far as ease of use goes, I'm not sure which action required fewer touches on WP8.1 and W10M (I've used them) than it does on Android.

            From my time with the OS, I remember bugs with notifications and within the built in mail client and missing features (no quick search by contact name in dialer on 8.1?!, no swipe keyboard on 8.1) and confusing menus, and horribly designed settings pages where I wouldn't find the necessary option, because not all fits on one page, yet there was no scroll bar or any other indicator that there is more, and the "Resuming..." screen whenever I switched between two apps (I'm on a bus, listening to some music and playing Hearts; I switch to the music app to change the song - Resuming...; I go back to the game - Resuming...) and somewhat laggy UI (not too much, but by that time, Android was snappier).

            In short, WP8.1 was a partly outdated, partly unfinished product. As for updates, there was one for WP8.1 when I just got the L640 and then not much. And W10M has been delayed and delayed, so I had to join the insider program to get it. And some things were better than in 8.1 and there were patches, but it was a beta and it remained a beta for the entire time until I gave up and sold the phone.

            Never bothering to polish the current version and instead replacing it with a public beta? Not what I call good support.

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        > I'm sure it could have been a contender at the cheaper end,

        Microsoft never worked out what their target market was. They claimed it was corporates then loaded up the phones with XBox, Zune and social media like it was a Kin. They claimed they were targeting iPhone yet were low-end with WP7.

        The phones only sold when they were remaindered or otherwise selling below cost - which is why Nokia phone division never made a profit with them in spite of being given $1 billion a year.

  9. MJI Silver badge

    MS should have done

    A new WIN32 compatable phone.

    But then it would have been seriously attacked by viruses.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: MS should have done

      All snark aside, did you think UWP would protect it? No, it actually becomes _worse_

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/04/21/security_roundup/

      With particular attention to the "Windows 10 S bypass" part.

      The Win32 API is what Microsoft should *STICK* *WITH*. All of that other 'S' should NEVER have been TRIED in the FIRST place!

      That means: ".Net", Silverlight, UWP, 'The Metro', "The Store", 8.0's TILE SCREEN, "the Settings", that ridiculous attempt at a hybrid start screen + start menu on Win-10-nic, the slurping, the tracking, the "Microsoft Logon", the FORCED UPDATES, the ALWAYS ALPHABETIZED "apps" list, and (of course) the 2D FLATSO!!!

      These should have NEVER been tried, let alone IMPLEMENTED.

      Microsoft: Ruining Windows since 2003.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS should have done

        The trouble is, MS sell to enterprise. Enterprise developers aren't that clever.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: MS should have done

          "Enterprise developers aren't that clever"

          That's true. Most of them use Java.

  10. Salestard

    A litany of squandered chances

    Former WinPho advocate during my time at Mobe Op.

    WP's chance came and went with RIM committing corporate suicide - the enterprise market panicked and set about trying to find a replacement for BES. At the time, WP7.5 was nearing the end of its lifecycle, to be replaced with the vastly improved WP8, with the much needed BitLocker.

    The goal was wide open; a corporate standard (Office, Windows) in mobile form, from a trusted vendor also dabbling with tablets (Surface), with a trusted handset maker (Nokia), not even needing acceleration to market of 8.0... just marketing, development commitment, and a coherent product strategy.

    They missed it completely. In fact, they didn't even take a kick at the goal. Over the following year, MobileIron, Good, and so on replaced BES, along with the grudging acceptance of iPhone and Android in the corporate space.

    Then it all went really Microsoft when they bought Nokia, promptly released the half-finished 950 and WP10 platform, then closed the lot down. In my opinion, WP reached its zenith with 8.1 on the Lumia 920/925. It was a steady descent into oblivion from then.

    Usual Microsoft nonsense - I've still got my Band 1. It works better with my OnePlus 5T than it ever did with either my 925 or 950 Lumias.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A litany of squandered chances

      MS repeatedly kicked corporate users in the teeth, there was no suitable replacement for windows mobile 6.5 so we went to Android. We evaluated windows 7 and were on the verge of placing an order when it was pulled. We waited for 8 and then re-engaged, made a large purchase of lumia 640's. They were a good phone with a decent app base and reasonable integration but we never got MDM working satisfactorily on win 8.1.

      We joined the windows insider programme and tested all the windows devices we had on win 10 they worked perfectly, the upgrade was an absolute pain but the 640 was a better device on win 10.

      At this stage we were given a guarantee from Microsoft that the 640's would be supported on win10 but when we finally got the win10 launch there was no image for the 640. We ere promised it was on its way but when it appeared it was only for some models of the 640 which had never been sold in Europe. The end result was we wasted money on the handsets, money running rigorous integration tests, money configuring the MDM solution and then had 400 bricks left. We had switched to 650's as the base phone by then but had to replace all the 640's. Since then apps have been disappearing from the phone, the classic was when Microsoft upgraded its Authenticator app (useful for multi vendor two factor authentication) but removed it from their own phones. I think that was the first Microsoft app they deprecated but by no means the last. I believe they have successfully committed suicide as far as a corporate phone goes now, especially as there are now CESG best practice hardening guides for Android.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. circusmole

    Re: That's really going to upset...

    ...every one of the Windows Phone users - all 50 of them.

  12. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge
    Joke

    You're wrong about the Sinclair BASIC thing...

    ...FAR more people have used Sinclair BASIC than have ever used a M$ mobile 'phone ;-)

    1. EastFinchleyite

      Re: You're wrong about the Sinclair BASIC thing...

      I thought the article was a bit unkind about Sir Clive's efforts so I fired up my trusty ZX81 and my Spectrum +2 and the Basic on both still work. 37 years is a bit better than Microsoft's achievements.

  13. Franco Silver badge

    Binned my Lumia 925 a couple of weeks ago in favour of a Nokia 6.1. I'm not a big app user so it wasn't a huge issue for me, but the battery was getting bad and because Edge wasn't getting updated more and more websites were having issues rendering as well.

    I already miss the W10M interface though, the simple clean menu and the live tiles for example, and the Android launchers that are supposed to mimic it really aren't very good IMO.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      That's sad. I was hoping there would be a nice 'Droid launcher to move to. I got my Mum onto Win Pho. She's almost never had to ask any questions about using it. I'm not going to be so lucky when I move her onto Android. I'm currently trying to persuade her to spend 3 times as much and go Apple, on the grounds she has an iPad and is used to it.

      Though she says she doesn't like the iPhone 5 her charity gave her. But I think I've worked out that this is a screen size issue, and because she uses sensitive data on vulnerable kids, so the thing is totally locked down by IT.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        I use the Microsoft launcher, which is quite nice and clean but doesn't look like WinPho.

        The ones that do aren't particularly cheap for what they do if you want full features and no ads, and even at that you don't get proper live tiles like you did in WinPho. There are free/demo versions though so worth a try, you might like them better than I did.

  14. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    I played with Windows Phone 7 and 8 (not tried 10). They seemed (from a user point of view) to be better designed that most Android variants I've tried, and although I am a long term iPhone user, I like Android as well.

    They also had Nokia, a company with excellent brand recognition that goes all the way back to the start of Mobile phones, and while it had lost it's way toward the end, it did build some excellent phones. They married that up with Windows Phone. I believe that had they marketed both Windows Phone and their own handsets effectively, they would have had the number one mobile OS. iOS or Android would have been relegated to 3rd place., If Microsoft had got Samsung fully on their side, it's likely that Android would be in 3rd place, and possibly even killed off.

    Hell, when Blackberry died out, the corporates were crying out for a replacement that integrated with their existing infrastructure (which is likely to be Windows based) as well as BES. Microsoft had a ready made target audience.

    Instead, they launched a half arsed attempt to market both phones and OS, and failed.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      My suspicious is that Gates was all for a phones strategy, and they were doing pretty well up to Windows Mobile 5. Had 50% of the "not-all-that-great-but-useable" smartphone market, along with Symbian.

      But Ballmer was less enthusiastic. And then the whole Longhorn/Vista brouhaha hit. And I think all available management brain power was diverted into trying to sort that out. As they had to slowly remove all the interesting bits of Longhorn from Vista and desperately try to get the hardware vendors to write drivers, plus writing a big slew of their own, to keep the compatibility mess down to merely bloody annoying - rather than disastrous.

      So I think they dropped the ball on mobile. And never seem to have done anything more than the bare minimum since. Which is a shame, because Win Mob 5 was OK for its time and hardware, and Win Pho 7, 8 and 10 could have been excellent with a bit more polish. And with a few less 2 year-long delays to get their shit together.

      I'm often rude about Google. But their management have chose a few strategic areas and been willing to bet several billion over several years, with no guarantee of success, in order to achieve their goals. They've then swallowed the continuing losses until they got what they were after.

    2. MacroRodent Silver badge
      Windows

      WP versions.

      > I played with Windows Phone 7 and 8 (not tried 10).

      Used all three, still use WP 10 (Lumia 650). The 8.1 was the best, 10 feels like a downgrade, except for the Edge browser that still mostly works on web sites (the IE in 8 was hopeless, but one could replace it with Opera Mini).

      Paradoxically WP is less of a spy than Android, and more secure (mainly due to less users to write malware for). I never thought I might say this of a Microsoft product! So that is one reason I have kept it. There is a Samsung S5 Neo in my drawer waiting (hand-me-down from my son, who gets the new gear these days), one of these days I will join the Android Borg collective...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is the left hand of MS still trying to make Windows multi platform when the right hand is removing additional platform support for their apps and no longer creating the hardware?

    I can't think of a single more frustrating company to have ever existed!

    The countless times they've abandoned something just when it was showing promise, or have replaced develop tools/API's just for the sake of it is ridiculous.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I though "Might work but there's no guarantee" described the *entire* win-phone ecosystem

  17. Locky

    End of Yammer support?

    Noooooo. You can't

    How will I know what Tracey-on-reception's dog picked up on it's walk now?

  18. Danny 5
    FAIL

    Just one more month

    One more month of suffering with my Lumia 950, the worst piece of crap I ever had the misfortune to have to work with. A Surface device? They're out of their bloody minds if they think they can reclaim any ground with that, I'm pretty sure they've scared off what little supporters they had left.

    One more month and I will be unpacking my shiny, new Nokia 8. I will join the Android army and I will never look back. Microsoft can suck my big, hairy balls.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Just one more month

      Don't sit on the fence, tell us what you really think?

      1. Danny 5
        Mushroom

        Re: Just one more month

        What I really think? I think I've been royally shafted. I started with a Nokia Lumia 700, which I loved. I moved to a 1020, which was a great device as well. When I accidentally destroyed that one, I went for the 950, expecting even bigger and better things than with the 1020, but have been massively disappointed. It's flimsy, plastic, low quality design, it's poor performance, it's unwillingness to do some of the most basic things, I have regularly been infuriated by the device and I'm planning on smashing it to bits, once I get my replacement. I'll have to keep it on for a little while, as I have some game accounts that need to be transferred, but once I'm completely migrated, I am going to take a hammer and smash the living shit out of it. I'm thinking of filming the act and upload it for everyone's viewing pleasure. I have been greatly looking forward to this for quite some time now.

        So there's what I really think.

    2. Salestard

      Re: Just one more month

      I ended up on the OnePlus 5T when O2 finally offered to cancel the remaining device plan on the near-as-dead 950.

      That was back in early January.

      I miss the tiles... but that's literally the only thing.

      The novelty of a working browser, functioning apps that have been updated in the last decade, and a phone which doesn't randomly restart/forget how to Bluetooth/fall over still hasn't worn thin.

  19. mark l 2 Silver badge

    So with phone API's in Windows 10 suggesting MS may make full Windows 10 into a 'Surface phone' they will still have the problem that there aren't that many 'Metro' apps to use on the phone from the Microsoft store. And although ARM versions of Win10 can run Win32 software under emulation, so that give millions of programs that are available. At lot of the software written for the Window desktop is going to be fiddly to use on a phone screen and not make for a good user experience.

    Plus after being shafted several times by Microsoft with their mobile strategy they will find i difficult to get developers and business back on board, since MS might pull the plug again in another couple of years if sales don't meet their expectations.

    I have just 'downgraded' back to Windows 7 on my laptop when i fitted a replacement hard drive as I found Windows 10 was more resource hungry on the same hardware than 7 or Linux. Often the CPU and hard drive were busy looking for Windows AV and security updates for 5 minutes after the computer has supposedly booted to the Windows 10 desktop, even if i had just rebooted after it has been on for hours. So not the sort of experience i want from a phone.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > And although ARM versions of Win10 can run Win32 software under emulation

      It will only run 32bit software, not the 64bit version you are running on your desktop. Many developers have gone 64bit only in the last decade or so. Also you probably don't want to pay desktop prices for software running on your phone.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "“Retiring” means all three will vanish from the Microsoft store on May 20, with differing results."

    Early in the 21st Century, MICROSOFT CORPORATION meandered smartphone evolution into the WINDOWS PHONE phase. The WINDOWS 10 MOBILE smartphones were superior in social skills and empathy, and at least equal in intelligence, to the software engineers who created them. (Ouch.)

    Windows 10 Mobile smartphones were not used anywhere in the universe. After no-one gave a toss about them anywhere, Microsoft- as per usual- shut down the entire project, shafting anyone naive enough to have trusted them to support it longer than it took for them to get bored of it and move on to the next ADHD bandwagon jumping fad.

    Windows Phone apps were declared illegal on earth - under penalty of death. Special geek squads - BLADE RUNNER UNITS - had orders to shoot to kill, upon detection, any trespassing app.

    This was not called execution.

    It was called retirement.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Skype?

    I lost interest in that too, especially after that 'Snapchat-wannabe' update.

    Doesn't matter if you port it to iOS or Android, I refuse to use Skype.

  22. DougS Silver badge

    Telephony API

    Maybe they added it so Windows Server can function as a digital PBX for VOIP in the enterprise, instead of buying third party solutions? They are still on the 'extend' phase in Server, after all.

  23. JLV Silver badge

    yes, yes, I know Windows Phone in its various iterations had its issues*

    This is penny wise. And dollar wise, too. But I can't help feeling it will end up being $B foolish down the road to cede mobile to Google/Apple, even as desktops and servers slow down.

    Did MS really just toss out its hat on one of the 2 main evolutionary paths of modern IT? the other one being cloud, which Azure is apparently doing a commendable job on, at least compared to whoever is #3.

    I assume they did not have the $$$ to spare to stay in the mobile game after buying LinkedIn for $26B. How is that monetized, again?

    I've said it before - selling a new phone OS is super hard nowadays. But with all the people who are dissatisfied with their use of either Apple or Android but totally unwilling to switch to the other, surely there might be at some point an opening for a 3rd player? Blackberry didn't have the cash to stay the game, MS does.

    * not least MS' infuriating inability to provide long-term commitment on so many of its technologies.

  24. TheGreatCabbage

    How many people actually use Windows Phone at the moment? About 1k, 10k, 100k?

    (Genuine curiosity.)

  25. Ron Pitts

    Hmmm, Microsoft was wrong to dig the windows phone so hopefully these guys come back around at some point.

    I find it silly these days that we only have two options, either android or iphone.

    The mobile interface was still way better than android or iphone, Microsoft should have spend more time on the development tool xamarin and allow automatically mapping any app to work in Windows phone as well.

    At the moment the future for Microsoft will be Azure however they need some consumer products. Ditching hardware doesn't give the consumer a great piece of mind for any future release.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > I find it silly these days that we only have two options, either android or iphone.

      It was Microsoft that killed WebOS (by waving WindowsOnARM/RT at their 'loyalty' discount), Symbian, Asha, Meltemi, Maemo/Meego, Nokia-X (Android) and Windows Phone (by incompetence).

      BlackBerry was mainly enterprise and it was Microsoft that leaned on those sites to get WP into them.

  26. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

    At least Micro$haft pretends to care about interoperability and legacy users, not like those nice people over at crApple who want to redesign everything in their image...only they aren't sure what image they actually want to enforce.

    Why else would the money-grubbing company redesign practically everything from power cables and data leads to protective sleeves every time they bring out a new model? (Seriously, what other reasons are there except to screw as much money out of their consumers as they possibly can?)

  27. elderly-care

    Skype for Consumer reborn

    I was worried when I read the headline because I know families use Skype, but that's Skype for Consumer. They've only killed off the Skype for Business app app and only on the Windows Phone, it seems. Phew!

    Most people are using Skype (for Consumer) on their mobile phone now anyway but our friends family was looking for a way to get their elderly parents onto Skype. There are some new Skype video phones that work since Microsoft bought Skype: Several small tablets for those with good vision and hearing that run Skype and do basic email, weather, photo sharing and medication management, such as the Gabrial tablet. The Konnekt Videophone for seniors, which does video calling, family calls and photo sharing. And I'd include iPad, for younger seniors, because there are lots of used ones around and you can add Skype and setup icons, put tape over the volume controls and around the charging plug, and mount it on a stand or wall so it can't be moved out of WiFi range or misplaced where it'd not be heard or go flat.

    Sorry if this is a bit off-topic but it might help some families who worried about the headlines like me.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you're getting a new android device, make sure it's on the LineageOS supported devices list. That will make it a whole lot less google-crappy.

    I've never used a smartphone I didn't want to hit with a hammer until I used a 2014 phone with LineageOS.

    At work we have a couple of Lumia 640 phones. These were crap with windows 8.1 and are still crap with windows 10. You have to schedule at least six inactive hours, it won't allow less. Updating also takes ages. What a load of junk.

  29. Hwalker1

    Just because they can.....

    Besides removing apps, Redmond is installing them without asking. After a minor update 2 weeks ago, I found a Twitter app on my screen, plus an edge app, and in the spring update they installed an app called sport. I deleted them all, but Edge was re-installed within minutes. One of the penalties of a" free " O.S. is removal of your control of your computer. Why Sport I do not know. Twitter when I don't have an account? Is this in support of Trump or are Redmond about to buy Sky Sport or Twitter next.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020