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Microsoft to kill off Windows Mobile 6.5 Services


Microsoft Windows Mobile LogoI wrote earlier this year about my decision to stick with the Windows Mobile 6.5 platform for the short-term. It serves my purpose, and I’ve no been compelled to upgrade.

Well, the writing is now very much on the wall as Microsoft have started retiring WinMo 6.5 services. Yesterday, I received this letter from Microsoft:-

“Shut-down of Windows Marketplace for Mobile Web Site and My Phone Service Notification

June 8, 2011

Dear Windows Mobile 6.x customer:

Microsoft will be discontinuing the My Phone service for Windows Mobile 6.x. We will also be discontinuing the Windows Marketplace for Mobile web site. Because you may be affected, please review the details below:

Windows Marketplace for Mobile Web Site To Be Discontinued

The Windows Marketplace for Mobile web site at http://marketplace.windowsphone.com will no longer be available starting on July 15, 2011. After July 15, 2011, you will no longer be able to browse, buy or download applications for Windows Mobile 6.x phones via the Windows Marketplace for Mobile web site.

The Windows Marketplace for Mobile service will continue to be available on your phone, however. You will continue to be able to browse, buy and download applications for Windows Mobile 6.x on your phone.

My Phone To Be Discontinued

On August 7, 2011, the My Phone service will stop saving content from phones to the My Phone service. If you rely on the My Phone service to back-up the content on your Windows Mobile 6.x phone, you will be affected.

Starting on August 7, 2011, Microsoft will begin moving your My Phone content to Windows Live SkyDrive. SkyDrive is Microsoft’s free online storage service that helps you access and share your files such as photos and Microsoft Office documents. Contacts, calendar entries, text messages and photos will be moved to SkyDrive for you. Once moved, you will be able to access this content by logging into SkyDrive using the Windows Live ID that you used to register for the My Phone service.

Other content types, including videos, music, documents and favorites will not be moved from My Phone to SkyDrive for you. If you want this content, you must save it from the My Phone service to your local PC.

On October 6, 2011, the My Phone web site at http://www.microsoft.com/myphone will no longer be available. On this date, you will no longer be able to log in to the My Phone service to access your content stored to the My Phone service. Microsoft will continue to store your My Phone content for one (1) year. Physical copies of your content can be shipped to you upon request until October 5, 2012.

Take Action

To learn more about the My Phone service shut-down, including information about your content moving to Windows Live SkyDrive and how to save other content to your local PC, please visit this web site:

Microsoft is committed to making this transition easy. In the meantime, we want to sincerely thank you for your use of Windows Mobile 6.x.
-The Windows Phone Team”

Well – Windows Mobile Marketplace I won’t miss at all. It was woeful, and only had a few hundred apps – you were always better off using Handango or similar sites to find new apps.

Microsoft MyPhone I actively used, but thankfully won’t miss thanks to using the awesome free Lookout Mobile Security – which does the same job, only better.

So if I won’t miss those services, why the irritation?

I guess because in both cases, it’s disappointing that Microsoft have pulled these services when there are plenty of WinMo 6.5 users still actively using them.

My own WinMo 6.5 handset, a HTC HD2, is only just out of contract – and I know many others who have similar handsets and are still under contract to their Mobile Network Operator and so unable to upgrade to newer devices and Operating Systems.

I am, of course, not surprised by this move and indeed I understand that Windows Phone is now very much Microsoft’s focus, but in my opinion this sort of move doesn’t engender loyalty or trust.

I’m also a little bit sad that after so many years using the Windows Mobile platform, that my next ‘phone will more than likely be a non-Microsoft O/S.


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Richard Tubb

I help IT companies grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. My clients are business owners of small to medium sized IT firms. at Tubblog
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Comments

  1. “my next ‘phone will more than likely be a non-Microsoft O/S”

    Why is that Mr Tubblog?! :-)

    I’ve got a WP7 and it really is great, plus the large Mango on yonder horizon will more than likely address any missing features etc. I’m sure Andy Parkes will back me up on this too…

    If you have any specific concerns, I’d love to have a chat and see if WP7 will work for you.

    Cheers
    Rich

    • Rich – it’s more the state of the Windows Phone App market. i.e. most developers are choosing to develop for iOS, Android and then if they do have a 3rd choice – Blackberry.

      I love the WP7 interface, but after years of not having access to most of the apps other people love and rave about – I’m unlikely to choose a Mobile O/S that continues the tradition of poor 3rd party app support I’m afraid.

  2. Why are you letting the Apple fashion followers dictate to what app you should use Rich? WP7 have all the essential applications iOS and android users get.

    Last.fm
    BA travel app
    Rail app
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Kindle
    Adobe Reader
    Ebay

    There are other applications the give by third party that give access to

    LinkedIn
    Dropbox
    Tasks via exchange

    Some great applications I use are as follows

    Ontrack – Keeps track of projects and tasks by time.
    Smartrunner Pro – Great running app
    My Lovefilm Mobile – Organise Lovefilm order list
    iDaft – Remix Daft Punks songs
    Fuel – Keep track of you fuel bills
    Ebay – Keep track of bidding and selling

    Tell the truth Rich, have you spent much time with a WP7.

    • Rob – you make a strong argument for the most popular App’s being supported in WP7, but in the App development stakes Windows Phone feels a poor fourth behind iOS, Android and Blackberry.

      I’ve not spent a lot of time with WP7 – and I’m no Apple fanboy – but not one review I’ve read has a Windows Phone device down as an iPhone Killer (whereas many Android devices seem to be contenders).

  3. Nigel Coxon says:

    Well, sadly I agree with everything tubblog says. I have the same handset as him (bought because the screen size has been known to make iphone users weep) also still in contract, but the negatives are rapidly starting to outweigh the positives.

    It however makes ME weep that as Rob says I am being dictated to by apple fashionistas, but it’s getting to the point where sticking with Microsoft is just cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    That said, it will be a cold day in hell when I actually go crawling to Steve Jobs’ company, so android is most likely the way I will go.

    I’m likely to be stuck with my HD2 for some time yet, so I’ll be relying on the good folk at xda-developers to come up with ever-improving solutions for flashing the rom over to Android.

    In closing, looks like the HD2 will be my last Windows phone, but I have to say I have never wanted to be proved wrong so badly in all my life.

    • Nigel – agreed, I begrudgingly admitted that it was time to move on from my HD2 – but truth be told, I could still use it as a day-to-day phone – it’s simply the lack of support (from Microsoft, from 3rd Parties) that would make this more than a tad difficult.

      I’ve tested iPhone – and loved it, despite it’s drawbacks – and also Windows Phone 7, which has many flaws which need addressing before it becomes viable. I’m currently testing an Android handset – watch the blog for more!

  4. Amritanshu says:

    I have been using a windows mobile device for the past 4 years , still relly on windows mobile 6.5 with my samsung omnia , but i personally feel that microsoft is coming up in a big way with windows mobile 7.5 , i am a microsoft app developer and i can assure you that it new market place has over 50,000 apps . In all respects , the platform is more flexible and stable ! Its high time that developers realise this

  5. Steve Conley says:

    Well, I bought a new HTC TP2 last summer(with WM6.1.
    It had 6.5 available for it and installed it.
    Having just left the Samsung Dumb Phone world, but owning about 30 computers over the years, and a programmer for 40 years, I found Win6.5 one of the worse excuses for a phone.
    It is supposed to be a PHONE first, then it can be these other things. I would hate to have to rely on making a call in an emergency, like a car wreck or I just got shot, or having a heartattack, or whatever.
    It is slow to respond, needs to be rebooted reasonably often (!) – and is just not a well designed interface.
    And then they came out with Win7 – not good, followed by 7.5 not good, and they are coming out with Win8 now – shoot – I haven’t even had my phone for a year and it is many versions outdated.
    They need to develop a GOOD, WELL THOUGHT OUT, RELIABLE, BUG-FREE phone – by NOT coming out with a new one every few months.

    Before you think that I am an Apple aficionado … I have NEVER owned an Apple product.

    After being totally frustrated with the WinMo6.5, I tried Android.
    Lots better – but still does not have it “right”. I could probably live with it thought, and most likely that will be my next. Except … it looks like Android is really loosing out to Apple also.
    And they have been rapidly through 2.2, 2.3, 3, 4, etc in a short period – not upgradeable and generally still having lots of bugs.

    So I may have to give in and eventually buy an Apple. Or go back to my dumb phone – a Samsung Blast that is quite a nicely designed phone functionally.

    • Steve – thanks for the comments. As the versatility of a device increases, so does the complexity – and this is often at the expense of reliability.

      I’m now using an Android device (the HTC Sensation) and while it’s hugely flexible, it can run slow or crash from time to time. That said, overall I’d say it’s a reliable device – but combine those challenges with the incredibly poor battery life of modern Smartphones, and it’s easy to say that they are not a patch on the old Nokia bricks we used to use. :-)

  6. Steve Conley says:

    Well, thanks for the reply. I just found this site while I was trying to find out if there was a replacement of some sort for Windows update for the device. (I have used a few independent sites).

    I think, though, the phone companies need to wake up to what people actually want. I know of almost nobody (and I work in an IT office with over 100 employees) that LIKEs their phone – except Apple folks. My wife after seeing all her friends problems with their smartphones, refuses to upgrade and will keep her Samsung until it dies – and then charge me with finding another.
    Neither of my daughters and one of their Ph.D. husband will own one – same reasons. Although they are on their computers a lot, when they need a PHONE, they want a PHONE. And with SMS and a Camera/MMS – why do they WANT a Smartphone.

    So ALL of us are “off contract” – which the companies hate – because we do not want any of the phone they have for us to “re-signup” for. Because they are all bad Smartphones.

    OTOH, if I had a Smartphone that acted like a PHONE first, and messaging and camera second and third, and then also had some other stuff … but lasted AT LEAST 2 days on a charge … and I didn’t have to worry about rebooting – because maybe the phone functionality had died and I didn’t even know it. (frequently with WinMo6.5). Yeah GPS is ok – ONLY if I can have it on without running down my battery in less than a 1/2 day … or Wifi – same thing.

    Then … we might upgrade and get new phones.

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