Every year, companies quietly kill off products without much fanfare. The world moves on, and gradually people forget those products ever existed.
Microsoft killed off several of its products and services in 2016. Some of these changes may affect your life. With that in mind, here are 4 products Microsoft quietly got rid of over the past year.
4) Project Astoria
You may have never heard of Project Astoria, but it was a huge deal when it was first announced. Project Astoria was Microsoft’s bridge platform designed to help developers bring Android apps to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP).
Finally, Windows users would be able to have the same killer Android apps as the Chromebook and Android tablets. At least, that was the goal until the project was axed.
The end of Project Astoria doesn’t mean that Microsoft is giving up. Instead, Microsoft is now pushing a development platform called Xamarin, which it acquired earlier this year, as the best way for devs to transfer Android apps to the UWP.
3) Project Spark
Project Spark was a game creation platform available from the Windows Store and Xbox Marketplace. Earlier this month, Microsoft removed Project Spark from both online stores.
Project Spark enabled users to build games with no coding experience. In September, the development platform with into “maintenance mode”. Then, a few weeks later, Microsoft announced on the Project Spark Forums that, “This was an extremely difficult decision for our team…It’s simply no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping “Project Spark” up and running”.
2) Internet Explorer
Okay, out of all the things on this list, this is the cancellation you probably heard about. It’s true: Microsoft ended support for IE 8, 9, and 10 earlier this year, urging users to upgrade to IE 11 or Edge.
It’s true: IE 11 is still a valid internet browser. But Microsoft looks to be transitioning everything to Edge in the future. If you’re still using older versions of IE, you’re doing so with a significant security risk. It’s a bad idea. Don’t do it.
1) Lumia Phones
You can still buy Lumia smartphones from Microsoft’s online store. However, it appears that Microsoft is killing the Lumia brand in the near future. It’s not official, but most reports suggest that Microsoft will replace the Lumia lineup with Surface phones. The news could officially be announced as soon as December. You can expect some big discounts on Black Friday this year on all Windows devices – especially Lumia phones.