10 Products & Services Discontinued By Microsoft

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Recently, Microsoft pulled the plug on WordPad after 28 years. It also asked users to use Microsoft Word or NotePad instead. In the last 48 years, the tech giant has killed over 148 products and services. Some of the popular ones include Zo, Office Remote, Lumia, MSN Messenger, music, Windows Live, Virtual PC to name a few. 

Here is a list of 10 such products and services they’ve killed off over the years. 

TechNet

Technet was discontinued in 2013 because of rampant piracy and abuse of the platform. Microsoft found that some users were exploiting their TechNet subscriptions for purposes beyond the intended evaluation and testing, which led to an unsustainable situation for the company. It started in 1998, offered IT professionals perpetual licenses for Windows client and server operating systems. TechNet provided subscribers with access to a wide range of resources, including technical documentation, software downloads, updates, patches, and a knowledge base. Users were migrated to the MSDN network. 

Live Products

After Windows Live Mail was terminated in 2014, all Microsoft email services have been moved to Outlook.com. In 2020, Microsoft took down the Games for Windows Live download page, and the Windows Live Sign-in Assistant was also eliminated from their servers. Consequently, the online installer for Games for Windows – LIVE ceased to function correctly, leading to installation failures.

Microsoft took steps to consolidate its Live products. Live Mail and Hotmail were merged into Outlook.com, Live Mesh was replaced by SkyDrive, and Live Messenger was terminated, with accounts moved to Skype. 

Cortana

Microsoft discontinued its digital assistant app, Cortana in August this year, as the company shifted its emphasis towards contemporary AI innovations such as Bing Chat, similar to ChatGPT, and other AI-driven productivity features integrated into Windows and its web browser, Edge. A support page validates the conclusion of Cortana as a standalone app within Windows, commencing in August 2023.

The company also confirmed that the page was initially released in June but chose not to elaborate further on its rationale beyond the details provided on the page itself.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft made updates to both Windows and its website to formally mark the end of Internet Explorer in June 2022, a browser that first appeared on Windows 95 PCs 26 years ago. When Users attempt to download or use this browser, Microsoft gently steers them towards Edge, its newly designated default browser.

The demise of Internet Explorer didn’t come as a surprise, and for the vast majority of internet users, it was not particularly inconvenient. Microsoft had begun phasing out its old web portal the previous year. In essence, the world had collectively acknowledged its obsolescence well before Microsoft officially confirmed it.

Encarta

Microsoft’s multimedia encyclopedia, launched in 1993, fell behind Wikipedia in content and couldn’t keep up and finally stopped in 2009. Only heard of by internet users in the 2000s, it lost popularity with the rise of Wikipedia. During the time when encyclopedias were expensive, Encarta was a good option. It was one of Microsoft’s well known products and also its biggest source of revenue. But after Wikipedia, which was free and impressively up to date, Encarta began to see a decline in users. 

Windows Phone

The Windows Phone was introduced in October 2010 as an attempt to merge the Windows Mobile and Zune product lines into a single device similar to the iPhone. It was sadly discontinued in 2017, and support ended on January 14, 2020, making 2022 the last year of Microsoft’s support for Windows 10 Mobile devices. This was because despite efforts for Windows Bridge to run iOS and Android code, Windows 10 Mobile faced an uphill battle. 

It initially ran on the Windows Phone 7 operating system, using the Metro design language and Windows CE as its foundation. However, it faced challenges, including the lack of compatibility with Windows Mobile apps and rushed development.

The Windows Phone struggled due to the differences in screen technology and app coding between Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7. While Android and iOS dominated the market with capacitive touchscreens, the Windows Phone lagged in features and app availability. Developers were more inclined to create apps for Android and iOS, which had a larger user base.

Zune

Introduced in 2007, the Zune faced fierce competition from the iPod and was discontinued in 2011. However, parts of it live on in Xbox Live and Windows Phone 8. The company said Zune devices will still work and saved playlists will work. There are hardly any Zunes available today and recently Microsoft announced a giveaway of the device. r/Zune may be the last place on the internet talking about the device having about 10,500 subscribers. 

Windows Reader

Microsoft Reader, launched in 2000, allowed users to read eBooks on Windows devices. However, in 2012, Microsoft announced its discontinuation without providing specific reasons. The app had received minimal updates, and with the rise of competitors like Amazon’s Kindle, it lost relevance. While existing users could still access the application and .lit materials on their devices, new .lit content purchases from retailers ceased in 2011. 

More recently in 2018, they chose to discontinue Document Viewer and PDF Reader apps. The company intends to re-route users into using Edge which has features to support the reader. 

Skype for Business

Skype for Business Online and Business Server retired after the 2017 announcement. The company’s intention was to  transition to Microsoft Teams, which offers comprehensive collaboration tools.

It was a missed business opportunity, and Zoom swooped in to take the center stage during the pandemic though Teams made up for it. Microsoft has transitioned to Microsoft Teams as the primary collaboration platform since 2019. combining chat, meetings, calling, and more in one place.

Skype for Business Online was discontinued on July 31, 2021, while the server edition will receive security support until October 14, 2025.

Microsoft Academic

Microsoft announced that it will shut down Microsoft Academic in 2021. It was the second largest academic search engine after Google Scholar. Though it didn’t affect many,computer scientists, meta-researchers, librarians, and start-ups were affected as they had been building an ecosystem of information services around the database.

Microsoft’s history with literature search tools isn’t new. They had a project called Microsoft Academic Search, which ran from 2009 to 2012 and was later revamped as Microsoft Academic in 2016. This shift reflects Microsoft’s use of scholarly data for testing big data and AI technologies, potentially extending to knowledge extraction from Office 365 documents.

The post 10 Products & Services Discontinued By Microsoft appeared first on Analytics India Magazine.

Disclaimer

We strive to uphold the highest ethical standards in all of our reporting and coverage. We StartupNews.fyi want to be transparent with our readers about any potential conflicts of interest that may arise in our work. It’s possible that some of the investors we feature may have connections to other businesses, including competitors or companies we write about. However, we want to assure our readers that this will not have any impact on the integrity or impartiality of our reporting. We are committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news and information to our audience, and we will continue to uphold our ethics and principles in all of our work. Thank you for your trust and support.

Sarthak Luthra
Sarthak Luthra
Hey, there! I am the tech guy. I get things running around here and I post sometimes. ~ naam toh suna hi hoga, ab kaam bhi dekhlo :-)

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10 Products & Services Discontinued By Microsoft

Recently, Microsoft pulled the plug on WordPad after 28 years. It also asked users to use Microsoft Word or NotePad instead. In the last 48 years, the tech giant has killed over 148 products and services. Some of the popular ones include Zo, Office Remote, Lumia, MSN Messenger, music, Windows Live, Virtual PC to name a few. 

Here is a list of 10 such products and services they’ve killed off over the years. 

TechNet

Technet was discontinued in 2013 because of rampant piracy and abuse of the platform. Microsoft found that some users were exploiting their TechNet subscriptions for purposes beyond the intended evaluation and testing, which led to an unsustainable situation for the company. It started in 1998, offered IT professionals perpetual licenses for Windows client and server operating systems. TechNet provided subscribers with access to a wide range of resources, including technical documentation, software downloads, updates, patches, and a knowledge base. Users were migrated to the MSDN network. 

Live Products

After Windows Live Mail was terminated in 2014, all Microsoft email services have been moved to Outlook.com. In 2020, Microsoft took down the Games for Windows Live download page, and the Windows Live Sign-in Assistant was also eliminated from their servers. Consequently, the online installer for Games for Windows – LIVE ceased to function correctly, leading to installation failures.

Microsoft took steps to consolidate its Live products. Live Mail and Hotmail were merged into Outlook.com, Live Mesh was replaced by SkyDrive, and Live Messenger was terminated, with accounts moved to Skype. 

Cortana

Microsoft discontinued its digital assistant app, Cortana in August this year, as the company shifted its emphasis towards contemporary AI innovations such as Bing Chat, similar to ChatGPT, and other AI-driven productivity features integrated into Windows and its web browser, Edge. A support page validates the conclusion of Cortana as a standalone app within Windows, commencing in August 2023.

The company also confirmed that the page was initially released in June but chose not to elaborate further on its rationale beyond the details provided on the page itself.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft made updates to both Windows and its website to formally mark the end of Internet Explorer in June 2022, a browser that first appeared on Windows 95 PCs 26 years ago. When Users attempt to download or use this browser, Microsoft gently steers them towards Edge, its newly designated default browser.

The demise of Internet Explorer didn’t come as a surprise, and for the vast majority of internet users, it was not particularly inconvenient. Microsoft had begun phasing out its old web portal the previous year. In essence, the world had collectively acknowledged its obsolescence well before Microsoft officially confirmed it.

Encarta

Microsoft’s multimedia encyclopedia, launched in 1993, fell behind Wikipedia in content and couldn’t keep up and finally stopped in 2009. Only heard of by internet users in the 2000s, it lost popularity with the rise of Wikipedia. During the time when encyclopedias were expensive, Encarta was a good option. It was one of Microsoft’s well known products and also its biggest source of revenue. But after Wikipedia, which was free and impressively up to date, Encarta began to see a decline in users. 

Windows Phone

The Windows Phone was introduced in October 2010 as an attempt to merge the Windows Mobile and Zune product lines into a single device similar to the iPhone. It was sadly discontinued in 2017, and support ended on January 14, 2020, making 2022 the last year of Microsoft’s support for Windows 10 Mobile devices. This was because despite efforts for Windows Bridge to run iOS and Android code, Windows 10 Mobile faced an uphill battle. 

It initially ran on the Windows Phone 7 operating system, using the Metro design language and Windows CE as its foundation. However, it faced challenges, including the lack of compatibility with Windows Mobile apps and rushed development.

The Windows Phone struggled due to the differences in screen technology and app coding between Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7. While Android and iOS dominated the market with capacitive touchscreens, the Windows Phone lagged in features and app availability. Developers were more inclined to create apps for Android and iOS, which had a larger user base.

Zune

Introduced in 2007, the Zune faced fierce competition from the iPod and was discontinued in 2011. However, parts of it live on in Xbox Live and Windows Phone 8. The company said Zune devices will still work and saved playlists will work. There are hardly any Zunes available today and recently Microsoft announced a giveaway of the device. r/Zune may be the last place on the internet talking about the device having about 10,500 subscribers. 

Windows Reader

Microsoft Reader, launched in 2000, allowed users to read eBooks on Windows devices. However, in 2012, Microsoft announced its discontinuation without providing specific reasons. The app had received minimal updates, and with the rise of competitors like Amazon’s Kindle, it lost relevance. While existing users could still access the application and .lit materials on their devices, new .lit content purchases from retailers ceased in 2011. 

More recently in 2018, they chose to discontinue Document Viewer and PDF Reader apps. The company intends to re-route users into using Edge which has features to support the reader. 

Skype for Business

Skype for Business Online and Business Server retired after the 2017 announcement. The company’s intention was to  transition to Microsoft Teams, which offers comprehensive collaboration tools.

It was a missed business opportunity, and Zoom swooped in to take the center stage during the pandemic though Teams made up for it. Microsoft has transitioned to Microsoft Teams as the primary collaboration platform since 2019. combining chat, meetings, calling, and more in one place.

Skype for Business Online was discontinued on July 31, 2021, while the server edition will receive security support until October 14, 2025.

Microsoft Academic

Microsoft announced that it will shut down Microsoft Academic in 2021. It was the second largest academic search engine after Google Scholar. Though it didn’t affect many,computer scientists, meta-researchers, librarians, and start-ups were affected as they had been building an ecosystem of information services around the database.

Microsoft’s history with literature search tools isn’t new. They had a project called Microsoft Academic Search, which ran from 2009 to 2012 and was later revamped as Microsoft Academic in 2016. This shift reflects Microsoft’s use of scholarly data for testing big data and AI technologies, potentially extending to knowledge extraction from Office 365 documents.

The post 10 Products & Services Discontinued By Microsoft appeared first on Analytics India Magazine.

Disclaimer

We strive to uphold the highest ethical standards in all of our reporting and coverage. We StartupNews.fyi want to be transparent with our readers about any potential conflicts of interest that may arise in our work. It’s possible that some of the investors we feature may have connections to other businesses, including competitors or companies we write about. However, we want to assure our readers that this will not have any impact on the integrity or impartiality of our reporting. We are committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news and information to our audience, and we will continue to uphold our ethics and principles in all of our work. Thank you for your trust and support.

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Sarthak Luthra
Sarthak Luthra
Hey, there! I am the tech guy. I get things running around here and I post sometimes. ~ naam toh suna hi hoga, ab kaam bhi dekhlo :-)

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