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Microsoft reportedly winding down development on some apps that ship with Windows 10

Microsoft recently announced a major internal reorganization effort, shifting teams around, breaking up the Windows Devices Group and leading to the departure of its chief, Terry Myerson. According to a new report, however, the shakeup is having an impact on the teams behind at least some of Microsoft's apps that ship with Windows 10.

Thurrott's Brad Sams reports that Microsoft is tapering off development behind "several" of Windows 10's included apps. It's unclear exactly which apps will be impacted, but it's easy to see how something like News or Weather, whose functions can be easily replicated on the web, could be on the chopping block.

According to Sams, developers who are working on these apps are being offered positions to work on the Microsoft Edge team, potentially along with developers from other areas.

Given Microsoft's focus on Progressive Web Apps going forward (the first batch began hitting the Microsoft Store last week), the timing would make sense, particularly if we begin to see an influx of automatically indexed PWAs that can replicate the same functions of Microsoft's built-in apps. However, what that means for apps like Mail and Calendar, which likely sees more use than something like the Weather app, is unclear.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

63 Comments
  • Doesn't surprise me, News, Weather, Money, and Sports can all be easily replicated as PWA and get features across all platforms. I doubt Mail and Calendar would be hit because the deeper linkages in the system would want to be maintained.
  • As long as they get it right as a PWA. I love the News and Weather apps and Live tiles.
  • Agreed, the content itself can be in Edge, but I use large live tiles for both News and Weather and look at both repeatedly throughout the day. I also use Wide for Sports & Money. I love the look of the current weather app, hopefully that's not lost.
  • When I first heard about PWA, almost a year ago, I immediately saw all functions of Microsoft Mobile to have a potential implementation as a PWA service. Even LiveTiles would be easy to generate via a background request to a web handler that would produce either a simple image that could be set as live tile or icon of any platform, or a simple-enough HTML markup, and LiveTiles could be enhanced to interpret HTML and display a rendered webpage view with the Edge engine.
  • That's already a feature of live tiles for pinned web sites, but so few web sites support it you'd be forgiven for not realising. Steam used to support this, but not for a long while now. I don't hold out much hope for companies changing this stance. Sure, they'll support PWA functionality that Android supports, but things only Windows makes use of will not likely be adopted.
  • Exactly, and PWA will be able to deliver advertisements. And isn't that what everybody wants, more advertisements?
  • They can already do advertisements in UWP apps if they wanted to, changing to PWA wouldn't make a difference
  • It does make a difference. People can pay for no ads in UWP. PWA? Unlikely. Can MS govern ads in PWA? Unlikely.
  • The one original app that I used a lot was Bing Food and Drink. Not only did I enter 100's of recipes (that I had to export 1 by 1 when app was cancelled) but I loved the hands free page turner. I just don't trust Microsoft apps anymore. I wonder if GroupMe is next as I requested some help and they said to use the web version.
  • Yes! I lived that app. The fitness one was great too.
  • Groupme might go PWA too?
  • I use GroupMe and like it more than Skype as a chat.
  • You really only have yourself to blame. Outside of Microsoft Office, it isn't worth transferring all your stuff to any Microsoft apps giving their history.
  • Nadella will kill everything he touched. Don't allow to fool you with "PWA" paradigm. Long time ago, when many of current visitors were kids or just a projects, Microsoft had the same idea. It called "Active desktop with IE 4.0". Many years passed away. Active desktop apps are dead long ago. But, unfortunately, stupid ideas are here. Again.
  • This isn't Microsoft's idea. All big players are behind PWA and it'll be available in few months on all platforms and in all browsers.
  • Umm, on W10M? I doubt it.
  • ...except iOS, I'll bet.
  • iOS supports PWA with 11.3. https://medium.com/@firt/progressive-web-apps-on-ios-are-here-d00430dee3a7
  • Obviously, you living in your own little world. If Microsoft ignored PWA it would be as big an issue as not being proactive when smartphones arrived on the scene. All the big players are integrating PWA capability into their respective systems. This time Microsoft is playing a lead role in the development instead of covering its ears and yelling "nah, nah, nah. I can't hear you..." as they have done in the past.
  • Great, now we'll have to wait years for Microsoft to duplicate the functionality in the retired mature apps which history has shown they won't do before abandoning the project altogether. Can't wait! /s
  • Oh darn. You mean soon I won't have the frequent feature updates and cutting edge functionality that the current Microsoft apps provide? <eye roll>
  • Seems they are going to mess up the current apps which are working fine. Hope all the features remains. My only concern is aps will be full of Ads like News.
  • Going from UWP to PWA won't make a difference in ads, they or any developer can already put in ads now if they want to.
  • I like UWP apps
  • I do too.. Half of the apps I use on a daily basis are UWP apps. I use Skype UWP, AwesomeTube, Pandora, the Weather app, Discord UWP, Edge, etc. There's a lot of really good UWP gems in the Microsoft Store if you search thoroughly enough.
  • Simples UWP will be rebuilt into PWA, like MSN Money, news, etc for example. UWP apps like Photos are going to keep like UWP. Probably.
  • PWA...
  • Will need an ad blocker for PWA.
  • Then run the PWA into your favorite browser with your favorite adblocker.
  • If adverts come to live tiles through PWA this will be the death of windows.
  • Edge is a worthless attempt to produce something that is built to enable advertisers easier access to your personal preferences so they can sell you things you don't even need. Edge is not built for the users. It is an advertising tool. Chrome or Firefox run just fine in Windows 10. And there is always the Safari browser to use instead.
  • Interesting. I use Edge about 50% of the time (along with Firefox) and I see no difference in ads.
  • Sounds lazy to me. The news app is great! You can pull your information from all sorts of outlets in one place. PWAs are just a dumbing down of great apps. All this if done right crap. If done right in what 15 years? Wow! I can't believe how some of Microsoft's fans are so easily fooled or misled. PWAs just seems like a cheapening and a downgrade of apps. And that's most likely what it will ultimately be. Damn! That's a long wide bend... You can practically see all the possibilities. Not!
  • Yup you are correct. Just now, Uber and Youtube "PWAs" were posted to the store, but guess what? They are web wrappers inside a PWA and it's published by a third party.
  • Sounds like a step by step windows 10 termination plan.
  • You noticed? Ol' Nads must be slipping... Seriously though, once Windows as a service becomes Windows Cloud you'll be running the whole thing through Chrome on your Chromebook.
  • How is the latest Ubuntu? Can i run a Windows DAW on it with minimal latency?
  • I guess we know now what happened to the People app in December (possibly). At least it was improved just slightly for 1803. I don't think Mail and Calendar will be affected as it's actually an Office product. News, Weather and Money seem like fitting candidates but considering I don't even recall the last time they got a new feature Microsoft could just leave them as they are instead of deprecating them in favor of PWAs.
  • I actually use the weather app quite a bit, so this sucks for me. The weather tile in my start menu is extremely useful. I don't want to have to open a web browser and google for the weather forecast this week when I can just click on the start button and see it immediately.
  • I use it too. It doesn't suck really because I can't see what more they can do for it other than bug fixes. It's feature complete. The same applies for other apps too. They are not shutting down the apps, they are simply scaling down the teams, it makes sense for products in live maintenance mode.
  • Me too - PWAs are supposedly going to support live tiles too at some point. I'm MS' own PWAs will. 3rd party apps will probably be a crapshoot.
  • Just recently there was a video posted to Channel 9 regarding the big effort the MSN News app team has put into consolidating the various native apps they had using Xamarin to make it work across iOS and Android platforms alongside the UWP app. Why go to all that effort just to kill the app off when done?
  • Oh no really this sound more bad than good
  • i just uninstalled msn weather app from you pc
  • Why not hire more employees for each team? I can't take these builtin apps seriously anymore. I will remove all builtin apps from my pcs. The good old win32 equivalents are far better anyway.
  • Because they are not clueless. Most of these apps are feature complete and in live maintenance mode. There is no need to keep the same amount of people in a team if what you do is just bugfixing. You could use these resources elsewhere, especially that problematic piece of junk, Edge.
  • Even Microsoft doesn't want to develop apps for Windows...
  • That has been the case for a long while now. It's totally shameful. I remember wanting Elop to be the next CEO for Microsoft and how I wish that would have been the case.
  • It does. Just not those that do not need further development. ;)
  • Where are you getting that information? This article? That's not what this article is saying.
  • Well, in a way it is... you are not sending the best message about your confidence in your own platform, if you are pulling devs working on apps for it. But you are right, we don’t know what will happen yet. This could typical Microsoft fashion, where they announce the death of something, wait, and then announce what is to succeed after everyone has been mad for no reason...
  • When did that ever happen with ms Allan? They always shitcan cool stuff and never re release it.
  • I'm okay with this because Microsoft Edge is missing many of the features I need to use it as a daily driver. The more people working on it the better
  • I'm hoping they keep it lean an not bloated with junk...
  • "According to Sams, developers who are working on these apps are being offered positions to work on the Microsoft Edge team, potentially along with developers from other areas." Edge the dumpster of Microsoft :D They are throwing in there any redundant resources hoping that something may happen in a magical way and the hopeless piece of junk called Edge may somehow improve. At the same time they keep that worthless git Belfiore around while some of the most important and useful pillars of Microsoft are leaving.
  • Hope the calendar and mail apps are on that list. They both suck compared to the web/iOS/Android apps
  • Do we really need to bloat Edge up with a bunch of crap? The best thing I like about Edge is that it is clean and lightweight. It's okay to be "just a browser". For example, I use the eReader in Edge, but I wish it was its own dedicated app like iBooks on the iPhone. Currently I have to 1) click on Edge 2) click on the Hub icon 3) click on Books 4) click on the book I left off reading. That's 4 clicks! Why can't I just click on a "Reader" icon on Start Menu and have it open up to the page I left off on? Because for some wacky-tabacky idea Nadella decided to stick the reader in Edge instead of in a dedicated reader. I swear the worst thing that ever happened to MS is Nadella. What a nutjob! Sure he's great for their stock price TODAY. But he'll be the long term death of the company. Does he actually use Edge? Leave Edge ALONE you nut!!!!!
  • You should send a suggestion to a make the "Books" tab pin-able. Then, you may wait for years before they implement it./S
  • [quote]Windows on phone failed. That's clear.[/quote]
    OK, what did I miss? You told me that MSFT was simply "retrenching" in the mobile phone marketplace ... and now you're telling me that they "failed"??? It was all in Nadella's infamous 2014 memo. I had a WinPRT80 app that users loved (and was better than the iOS and Android competitors) but, guess what, it remained a WinPRT80 app because MSFT kept screwing around with the APIs. Just modifying it to WinPRT81 would have required a lot of work and sales were dismal. All work and no pay makes developers unhappy! If I had to choose only one thing that signified MSFT's incompetence in mobile design, from a dev's perspective, it would be the implementation of the ability to select a file in WinPRT81. You had to prepare your app to be shut down and restarted to just get the freaking selected filename!?! The Async fetish was bad enough but that one took the cake (the people who designed that should have been fired and never allowed near a computer again). Even MSFT people on podcasts at later Build conferences laughed at the design. It was that bad.
  • Another victim for that f... Nadella and another nail in the coffin for Windows on mobile devices. The surface is already next to unusable thanks to Nadellasoft screwing over tablet mode.
  • Hey that sounds dangerous to me I often use the Windows 10 inbuilt mail app and I prefer to all the Outlook 2016 app although I am a subscriber of Office 365 does Windows 10 default mail app is much more simpler and touch friendly and easy to use it doesn't the basic things I want and there's nothing that I do not want
  • :))) nothing surprising here...took long enough for that bald idiot to start killing some more products/apps.
  • You are a idiot ....