May 03, 2018
Last week, a silent report came from Microsoft, with the statement “Windows phone apps for Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer are retiring on May 20, 2018.”
With yet another blow from Microsoft, Windows phones are coming closer to their imminent, albeit rather drawn out, end. But before getting deeper into the causes and effects of the Windows phones’ demise, let’s consider what the statement released by Windows means for the Windows phone users.
All three apps will disappear from Microsoft Store
Though the results associated with the ‘retirement’ of the apps will be different, one verdict remains the same; they will no longer be available for download on the official Windows Store from the twentieth of May. Another similar conclusion that comes in, is that none of these apps will receive any security or other updates for their safe running.
What about Yapper and Skype for Business Users?
The report states that while the users may, for sometime, be able to use the two apps on their Windows phones, Microsoft will pull of all the support. That means that although the apps would be usable for some time, if any issues occur, the company will not be liable to address it or to provide any feature update for these apps.
Harder times for Microsoft Teams users
Unlike Yapper and Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams will become completely unusable on Windows phones. After the twentieth of May, if users try to access the app, they will be shown an error message and with that, the app will crash.
It is noteworthy that even though two of the three apps are usable for a time, Microsoft will soon kill those apps off too. In any case, without proper support, it is suggestible for the user to find a better alternative as soon as possible.
The quick alternative for users, as was even suggested in the report, is to begin using the browser version of the apps. Or, as the company has announced its incessant support for the apps on iOS and Android platforms, it seems to be high time for users to finally switch their devices and solve the issue permanently as soon as they can.
What went wrong?
This long-forecasted demise of the Windows phone begun when it stopped releasing major OS updates. The last version released by Microsoft was the Windows 10 Mobile in the year 2015. After that, it has only pitched minor security updates with almost no improvement in the UI or advancement in the features. Since then, speculations were made owing to the decreasing sales, Microsoft could finally be considering shutting off its smartphone range.
Subsequently, in October 2017, exactly 17 years after the launch of the operating system, Microsoft disclosed its plan to no longer support the Windows Phone operating system, clearly stating that it has “no plans to release new features or smartphones”.
Since then, Windows phone users were running their devices on the deprecated operating system, relying solely on the apps’ updates to keep their information safe and secure for use. This is why the company’s decision of pulling off the support for its major applications came as the final blow for Windows devices, this was because of its innovative yet complex UI and the lack of support from third-party manufacturers and application developers who were already counting the Windows Phone’s final moments.
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