Microsoft to discontinue Listings, Connections SMB apps as of November 30

Microsoft is dropping two of its SMB-focused apps: Microsoft Listings and Microsoft Connections, but is continuing to support and update other SMB apps in the same family.

Microsoft will be discontinuing two of its small/mid-size business (SMB) apps as of November 30, 2018. Those apps -- Microsoft Listings and Microsoft Connections -- have been available to users in the U.S., U.K. and Canada for the past year or so.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft Listings is an app for publishing business information, which Microsoft describes as an "online web presence management tool." Microsoft Connections is a simple email marketing tool. Those apps have been available as part of Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business subscriptions.

Microsoft also acknowledged today, August 31, that the Business Center portal is being retired as of November 30. Those who have been using this will be able to access the Microsoft Bookings and Microsoft Invoicing apps directly from the Office 365 app launcher, instead. Bookings is a scheduling app for SMBs, and Invoicing is an SMB-focused invoicing app.

Regarding Bookings and Invoicing, Microsoft also noted today that Bookings will soon allows users to collect prepayment from customers when they book appointments. And users soon will be able to provide customers with a direct link to Microsoft Pay from the invoices created using Microsoft Invoicing. These features will be rolling out to SMB customers in the U.S. "in the coming weeks."

Given these changes will "impact a limited number of customers, we are reaching out directly to these customers to notify them," officials said.

Microsoft officials didn't provide a reason for the discontinuation of Listings and Connections. Maybe they decided they had enough other apps and services providing similar functionality -- at least in the case of Microsoft Connections?