We’re looking at the end of an era for Windows smartphones, as Microsoft looks ready to finally start delivering updates that will transform the current crop of Windows Phone 8.1-powered handsets into modern Windows 10 Mobile devices. While that change promises exciting times ahead for the platform, the Windows Phone era has been full of some memorable times, to say nothing of some memorable software – not the least of which has been Nokia’s Here lineup. But just like it has to Windows Phone itself, change came to Here last summer as an auto-maker group acquired the brand from Nokia. What would the future hold for the new Here? Today we get our answer, as the company announces plans to shut down its Windows smartphone operations.
Here’s move away from Windows is multi-faceted, and its impact will be felt differently across devices. The most serious change is coming to Windows 10 Mobile users, as Here apps disappear from the Windows 10 store at the end of March. While existing downloads will work for the time being, Here will be disabling the apps for good by the end of June.
The situation’s a little less severe over on Windows Phone 8.1, and the Here apps for the older platform will keep working. That said, Here won’t be releasing updates for them anymore – and that includes not updating map data.
Going forward, users wanting to keep up to date with the latest Here maps will need to do so on either Android or iOS.
Update: Microsoft will continue to use Here map data, even after the W10M Here app itself is shuttered.