I 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.
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”
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.
Richard Tubb is an Independent Consultant who works with IT companies to enable them to feel more in control and to grow their business. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at email@example.com or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.