Microsoft to drop its Invoicing, Outlook Customer Manager and Skype Translator bot products

Microsoft plans to discontinue a couple more of its SMB-focused apps next year, and also is dropping its Skype Translator bot in favor of an integrated Skype Translated Conversations feature.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is phasing out three of its products: Microsoft Invoicing, Outlook Customer Manager and its Skype Translator bot in the coming months. It sounds as if the first two are going away because of limited usage. The Skype Translator Bot is being replaced by a new Translated Conversations feature that Microsoft is building into Skype consumer.

Last week, Microsoft began notifying customers of Invoicing and Customer Manager of its plans to "retire" those products in 2020. Officials are telling customer that Invoicing -- which has been available to users in Canada, U.K. and the U.S. as part of Office 365 Business Premium, will be going away as of February 8, 2020. Officials are notifying Outlook Customer Manager users that as of June 30, 2020, Outlook Customer Manger no longer will be available worldwide as part of Office 365 Business Premium.

A spokesperson told me last week that the company is notifying those affected individually and making them replacement offers:

"To help customers who have been using Microsoft Invoicing, we've worked with Invoice2Go to offer the eligible customers a special one-year subscription. Similarly, to help customers who have been using Outlook Customer Manager to track customers and deals, we've worked with Nimble CRM to offer eligible customers a free one-year subscription. Customers will receive a unique promo code to take advantage of these offers." 

In 2017, Microsoft announced plans to add Connections, Listings and Invoicing to its Office 365 Business Premium cloud subscription offering for SMB users. Last year, Microsoft announced plans to discontinue two other of its small/mid-size business (SMB) apps as of November 30, 2018. Those apps -- Microsoft Listings and Microsoft Connections -- were available to users in the U.S., U.K. and Canada for the past year or so.

The Skype Translator Bot is being replaced by the Skype Translated Conversations feature, as reported on November 11 by Neowin.net. Skype Insiders have been testing Translated Conversations in Skype, as officials noted in the release notes for Skype 8.5, which is available as of today.

Microsoft's support page notes: "The https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA34542/how-do-i-set-up-and-use-translated-conversations-in-skype. You can download the latest version of Skype to use Translated Conversations."

Languages currently supported in Translated Conversations include Chinese (simplified and traditional); English (UK), English (US), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, the support page notes.

The instructions for setting up and using Translated Conversations -- which seems to be the updated branding for Skype Translator -- are available here. Translated Conversations are not available in group chats or calls.