In memoriam: The Microsoft apps and services we lost in 2022

Windows Phone goodbye
Windows Phone goodbye (Image credit: Windows Central)

2019 marked the official end of Windows Phone, the death of books in the Microsoft Store, and the end of several Microsoft apps and services, but as Dumbledore said, "Do not pity the dead. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love." While these products have passed on, we had the pleasure of using them during their time.

Before marching ahead into 2020 and the thrilling future of xCloud, Windows 10X, and one of the most exciting hardware lineups from Microsoft that we'll ever see in a single year, let's take one last look back at the Microsoft apps and services we lost in 2019.

Windows Phone

Lumia 1020 in memoriam

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Windows Phone was on life support even before 2019, but Microsoft began pulling plugs in 2019. The Windows Phone Store shut down in late December and Windows 10 Mobile support is ending this month. Windows 10 Mobile's end of support begins the final march of the much-loved platform.

Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile are loved by many users, and inspired developers, enthusiasts, and fans to jump onto the Windows platform. I wouldn't be a tech journalist covering Windows if it wasn't for my Lumia 930.

This is the best Windows phone ever, according to Windows Central readers

Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile are survived by Microsoft's dozens of apps on iOS and Android, the Surface Duo, and Launcher 10 (opens in new tab).

Cortana on Xbox One

Cortana in memoriam

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

One of the Xbox's most popular titles inspired the name of Cortana, but in 2019 Microsoft ended Cortana support for the Xbox One. People can no longer use Cortana for voice commands over Kinect or headsets to control the Xbox One or their TVs. Instead, people can use Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana over external speakers, or revert to the original locally-processed commands. While these new assistants work well, are useful beyond the Xbox One, and don't require a Kinect, it's a bit sad that you can't call for Cortana when using an Xbox anymore.

How to use an Amazon Echo with Xbox One for voice commands

Cortana on Xbox One is survived by Alexa and Google Assistant.

Books in the Microsoft Store

Books and Surface Book

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

With Kindle book support on Windows 10 being so poor, Microsoft tried to deliver a reading experience for Windows 10 users by selling books through the Microsoft Store. The idea never really gained traction, and Microsoft decided to stop selling books through the Microsoft Store. Taking it one step further, Microsoft revoked access to any books that people purchased through the Microsoft Store and issued refunds.

Books in the Microsoft Store are survived by a terrible Kindle app built for Windows 7 and Freda (opens in new tab).

Streaming music through Groove Music from OneDrive

Groove and Spotify

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Groove Music lost one of its final useful features this year, the ability to stream music from OneDrive. Groove was in decline since Groove Music Pass ended in 2017, but losing the ability to stream music from the cloud was the final blow for many people on the service. Groove Music still functions as a music player for local files, but that's about it.

Best iOS and Android apps for streaming OneDrive music

Streaming music through Groove Music from OneDrive is survived by Spotify, CloudBeats (opens in new tab), and CloudPlayer (opens in new tab).

Wunderlist

Wunderlist in memoriam

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Technically, Wunderlist doesn't die until May 2020, but its replacement is entirely in place, and Microsoft is moving on. Microsoft acquired Wunderlist in 2015 and quickly began migrating features to a spiritual successor, Microsoft To Do. It took longer than expected, but Microsoft To Do caught up to Wunderlist and continues to receive updates.

Kill the past: It's time for Wunderlist users (and its founder) to move on

Wunderlist is survived by its successor, Microsoft To Do, and its founder Christian Reber, who wants to repurchase the app from Microsoft.

Looking ahead

Xbox Project xCloud Games List

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

While we say farewell to these apps and services, our memories remain, and their legacies live on. While once we streamed music, we will soon stream games. While we once looked at our lists with wonder, we now check off to-dos. While our Lumias may rest in a drawer, our dream of a Surface Phone lives on.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

41 Comments
  • Ummm..... .... Windows 7? You know?
  • Technically that happens this year (January 14th, 2020), not 2019. You know? ;)
  • The OneDrive integration in Groove removal still makes no sense to me
  • @MA70mgte. It's penny pinching, as that service does consume some bandwidth and also it forces people to remove their music off one drive. Data redudancy has a cost - one that Microsoft can comfortably absorb but decided not to so they can squeeze out a number that increases their quarter to quarter profit numbers.
  • Our dream of a Surface Phone lives on...
  • Never again I will buy a Microsoft hardware product. I will not trust them any more.
  • Good point regarding whether to buy another hardware product from Microsoft in future. I still have Windows Phones, Microsoft Bands and Kinnects lying around the house. Painful reminders of how fickle Microsoft can be in the consumer space.
  • People should not whine so much about WP, WP10 has had more than >4 year updates (longer than most android phones). Get over it.
  • WP10 hasn't received a notable update since 2017. Barely 2 years of support including apps and features. All Android phones get much better support. Google is still updating all Android phones running Jelly Bean or newer (2012). Name one Windows phone from 2012 that is still actively supported!
  • "Google is still updating all Android phones running Jelly Bean or newer (2012). ", there is difference between supporting the OS and updating the OS, but nice bait.
  • Not in this case. Google doesn't have to update the OS in order to bring new APIs and features to Android devices. Play Services allows them to update phones and keep apps compatible for several years. Android version updates don't really matter. It isn't like W10 where Microsoft has to update the whole OS just to update the browser.
  • "Android version updates", yes they do matter, OS updates bring & improve features and security. Again this is you having double standards when it comes to iOS or Android vs Windows.
  • @ochhanz What a tone deaf, clueless and mean spirited comment to WP/WM fans who invested both financially and emotionally into MS's mobile efforts over several years.
  • Lol 'invested', we are talking about phones here (most of them budget phones with the 640 as a very popular model), not houses or cars etc.
  • Cry me a river lol, WP 10 has had >4 years of updates, longer than most android phones. My lumia 950 xl still works well.
  • Anniversary update was basically the last update for the L950. Microsoft didn't put effort into apps either. Windows phones suffered from the worst support ever. Microsoft put no effort into the devices, even when designing them. The L950 is probably the worst hardware put in a flagship the past 5 years.
  • How would you know do you own one? Read my last comment.
  • "The L950 is probably the worst hardware put in a flagship the past 5 years.", I agree I like my L950 XL much better ^.^
  • They were both garbage when it came to build quality and materials. Also, the SD810 was almost worse than the SD808 due to the huge amount of heat it put out. Windows Central didn't even review the XL it was so bad.
  • My 950 XL is not hot at all, build quality is great (I have dropped it countless of times and it still works great), buttons are made of metal etc. You really are just trolling or are just throwing out random gibberish.
  • Why the heck is the app still called Groove Music anyway. That makes no sense at all.
  • They should just call it Windows Media Player at this point /sarcasm lol.
  • Awesome article, Sean, thanks.
  • I LOL'ed. Coulda had more Sarah McLachlan tho.
  • The year Microsoft killed what was left of it's consumer business. Xbox only surviving as a future subscription service.
  • You should also mention NEXT Lock Screen. It hasn't been updated for over a year now. I still use it on my S10. It was developed alongside Arrow Launcher. For some reason, Microsoft stopped supporting it when they changed Arrow to Microsoft Launcher. It gives me the daily Bing Wallpapers, and still shows me my notifications, but it is sometimes buggy, and not formatted for my S10 screen size. I wish they would have kept supporting this app!
  • I use Bing app for this purpose. Besides gets updated regularly
  • All of my uploaded music files in Onedrive were wiped out. I am still furious over it.
  • Really? That sucks, didn't happen to me luckily (which I'm thankful for because I have about 110GB of music on there).
  • Errors with cloud storage do happen though rarely, I would suggest buying a tb external hdd for a few bucks and use that as backup.