Microsoft continues its Windows Mobile 6.x end-of-the-road campaign

Microsoft continues its Windows Mobile 6.x end-of-the-road campaign

Summary: Microsoft is slowly but surely continuing to try to wean users from Windows Mobile 6.x phones, even though they are outselling Windows Phone 7 devices (according to at least one market researcher).

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Microsoft is slowly but surely continuing to try to wean users from Windows Mobile 6.x phones, even though they are outselling Windows Phone 7 devices (according to at least one market researcher).

The latest Microsoft move in this direction is the discontinuation of the My Phone service and Windows Marketplace for Mobile Web site for those customers.

On June 8, the Microsoft Windows Phone team sent mail to Windows Mobile 6.x users notifying them of plans to cut these two offerings. The Marketplace for Mobile web site will no longer be available after July 15, even though the service will still be available on phones. The My Phone backup service will be phased out between August 7 through October 6, according to Microsoft officials. Microsoft is moving some of Windows Mobile 6.x users' content stored on MyPhone -- but not videos, music, documents and favorites -- to its free Windows Live SkyDrive online storage service.

Here's the full text of the email sent to customers:

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:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2557520

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

Last year, Microsoft rolled out the Windows Phone Live (now known as Windows Live for Mobile) site for Windows Phones and positioned it as the successor to the My Phone offering. Microsoft's original codename for its My Phone service was Skybox. Skybox was based on the Mobicomp synchronization technologies that the Redmondians acquired when they purchased the Portuguese services company Mobicomp in the summer of 2008.

Microsoft officials have said that Windows Mobile 6.5.3 is the last release of the Windows Mobile operating system line. Microsoft is continuing to offer Windows Embedded Handheld as a ruggedized phone/device operating system, in addition to the Windows Phone operating system on its new generation of Windows Phones.

According to recent market data from Gartner, Windows Mobile 6.x phones sales outpaced Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 sales in the first calendar quarter of 2011.

Update: Microsoft has said Windows Mobile 6.x support for customers ends January 8, 2013. End of distribution date (for Microsoft partners) is October 31, 2013 for smartphones using the WM 6.x operating system, and April 30, 2017 for embedded handheld devices using the WM 6.x core.

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Mobile OS, Operating Systems, Software, Telcos, Wi-Fi, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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12 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft continues its Windows Mobile 6.x end-of-the-road campaign

    Who is saying that Windows Mobile is out-selling Windows Phone 7?
    Super2online
    • Depends on how many there are.

      @Super2online
      Maybe there are more models of 6.5 at the moment
      Will Pharaoh
    • RE: Microsoft continues its Windows Mobile 6.x end-of-the-road campaign

      @Super2online Keep in mind that the numbers are for 1st Quarter, WP7 didn't get to Verizon till the last part of Q2, so people on Verizon who didn't want Droid or iPhone were getting Windows Mobile 6.x.
      NerdNotes
      • RE: Microsoft continues its Windows Mobile 6.x end-of-the-road campaign

        @NerdNotes
        I honestly do not see people dropping what they just purchased for one of these sub par Windows phones. Kin version 2 is only marginally better than the original version of the Kin. Sure the Windows phone fanboys think it is the best thing since sliced bread, but in reality it is not fully done. The reason Microsoft will not release activation numbers, is they are dismally low. When a 2 year old phone, limited to only one carrier outsells all of the Microsoft?s latest phones, that speak volumes the lack of interest in the phone.
        Rick_K
    • Gartner

      See the link at the bottom of the story. They say WM 6.x outsold WP7 in Q1 of 2011. MS has not updated the official count of how many WP7 handsets have been sold. Last we heard, they said they "sold" 2 million to the channel. Not saying how many have been sold to end users. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • RE: Microsoft continues its Windows Mobile 6.x end-of-the-road campaign

    I'm a WinMo 6.5 customer and these are non-events for me. I will hang on to my Tilt 2 until Mango and then reassess my options.
    lippidp
    • RE: Microsoft continues its Windows Mobile 6.x end-of-the-road campaign

      @lippidp

      Ditto for me. I got the email yesterday, and wasn't really too concerned. I sync it to my hotmail account, and the offerings on the Web store aren't overwhelming. I also will wait until the next time i can upgrade in 6 months and hopefully VZW will have more than one WinPhone7 by then.
      brentgee
    • RE: Microsoft continues its Windows Mobile 6.x end-of-the-road campaign

      @lippidp

      I've been a WinMo user since the beginning, but I jumped to Windows Phone as soon as it was available and I'm finding it much better in form, function and UI.
      tonymcs1
      • RE: Microsoft continues its Windows Mobile 6.x end-of-the-road campaign

        @tonymcs@... Anything is an improvement over WM... I had a PPC-6700 running WM 5 and it drove me nuts. I was using custom ROMS with some added tweaks that helped a bit but it was still a frustrating experience.
        athynz
      • RE: Microsoft continues its Windows Mobile 6.x end-of-the-road campaign

        @athynz
        I had to suffer through WM 6.2 for a while. I often asked why would someone put a mouse pointer on a mobile phone? The phone was dreadfully slow, and was not stable at all. It would often crash several times a day. So when someone that has used it for years tries anything else it seems world better.
        Rick_K
  • LOB apps, that's where the pain is

    The people that will end up hurt most are the LOB apps written on the older Windows mobile systems, not because of the EOL on these items, but the EOL on the OS. Nothing in the new Windows handheld OS addresses these issues. I maintain a program that uses symbol handheld scanners for a large warehouse. I have to keep VS 2008 because the latest dev system, VS 2010, dropped support for those systems.

    In the end a consumer can just buy a new phone and be on their way. Not so with businesses that have specialized software developed for those devices.

    It isn't the first time that MS has abandoned an entire segment and it wont be the last. (Silverlight devs take note). It wasn't many years ago that .net on the handheld was "the way" to develop mobile applications. I make my living in MS technologies, but it is unsettling to watch them develop a technology, tout it as the "best", then steamroll it a few years later.
    bbbbill
  • RE: Microsoft continues its Windows Mobile 6.x end-of-the-road campaign

    United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, 7 to 2 penalty which defeated heel Theyab Awana, Abu Dhabi, passing traffic accidents <a href="http://www.cihanhacihan.com" title="web tasarim">web tasarim</a> lost their lives.<br><br>Theyab Awana 21-year old team uniform he wore his country's Bani Yas.
    emice