Viber puts updates to its Windows 10 app 'on hold until further notice'

It looks like Viber is halting development on its universal Windows 10 app for the time being. In an email sent to a customer, reported by German blog (via Onmsft), a Viber support representative confirmed that the company has decided to put updates to the app on hold "until further notice."

From the email:

In order to allocate our limited company resources in the most efficient way possible, we have decided to put any updates for Windows Phone 10 and Windows 10 on hold until further notice.There are no version releases planned in the forseeable future. We will address this issue if our plans change and a decision is made to release an update.We apologize for the inconvenience.

The wording of the email leaves plenty of room open for updates down the road, but it seems the app will be abandoned for the time being. That's unfortunate to see, as Viber has enjoyed somewhat regular updates up to this point, with the last coming in late January.

The app is still fully functional for the moment, and will likely continue to be for some time. However, without any updates in the pipeline, it likely won't be long before it falls behind its counterparts on other platforms in terms of features.

Download Viber from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • I don't use this personally, but I wonder if it points to them being stretched in general. I'm sure its hard for them to compete with the messaging area being extremely crowded. Facebook are really dominating with Messenger, WhatsApp. Businesses use things like Skype for Business, Slack and others. If they are struggling W10 would be the first platform to scale back on due to the lower mobile market share. I wouldn't be surprised if they are feeling the pressure from larger companies.
  • "Mobile market share" - it's a universal app which means it's available on all Windows 10 desktops and tablets as well.  I have it installed on all of my devices which includes two desktops, one laptop, one tablet and a phone.
  • You seem to think my comment was some sort of dig at MS and have jumped to their defence. In fact I'm saying this probably points to issues at Viber, only they know if they get more use on phones or computers. I use Facebook Messenger on my PC as much as my Lumia 950 but most people I know use it on their iPhone and don't even have it installed for PC or Mac. I'm saying I wouldn't be surprised if this points to Viber struggling, and when companies struggle they usually need to cut something. Nothing to do with a dog at MS. I use Windows 10 a lot on all my devices, I use a 950 for my phone and love the device. Surface Pro 3 and a custom desktop, Xbox One, Groove Music, Office 365 Home and multiple business subs. I've built a couple of phone and UWP apps. Trust me I'm not taking a dig at MS. I'm a big fan as you can tell. My comment really is pointing out that if Viber are cutting this after investing time into a UWP app it points to THEM having issues and having to fond ways to save money / cut back
  • I understood your point completely and I didn't see it as a dig at MS.  If in fact the reason for them to cut updates for the UWP was based on market share, one would have to add up all Windows 10 devices since it's a UWP not just mobile.  That's all I was trying to say.  Who knows, maybe the market share for all Windows 10 devices is still less than Iphones and Android devices.  
  • You're right - market share for all Windows 10 devices is significantly smaller than Android. There are at least 1.5 billion Android devices SOLD every year. Assuming 3 year life of such devices that would easily amount to ca 4 billion phones and tablets. Compare that to over 400 million Windows 10 desktops, tablets and phones altogether. UWP is a very interesting concept but I personally think that Nadella made a huge mistake when he gave up mobile market. And for developers it doesn't even matter that it's 400m computers with Windows. What matters is how many of those users actually use UWP apps. And that looks very bad for MS. Most of users of those apps are on Windows Mobile which are quickly abandoning the platform. Long story short - in fact I can only guess but Viber on Windows is just bleeding their user base and as a company they won't spend money on that. Understandable business decision. IMHO Microsoft should've taken the loss and kept pushing mobile. They had a solid base in Europe and some other places. From the very beginning of UWP I kept saying that it won't work without the phones. And everyday I am more and more convinced that I was right. As for an argument that many people bring here, on Windows Central - "I don't care how many people use it, I love Windows 10 Mobile". It's very short-sighted. I might love Windows Mobile 6.5 but would I use it? No. And why? Because development for that platform died long ago. Virtually nothing works there these days. And that's what's (not so slowly) happening to Windows 10. EDIT: I might've given the wrong number of Android devices worldwide but it still doesn't change anything about the situation
  • Nadella is a complete dork. He can only fire off people to get Ms stocks grows.
  • 4 billion android phones in circulation? Nah! The entire world is about 7 billion, with all demography (i.e children and the very old people).
    People replace their devices every year. I think we should consider only the active users, because in the end you can install an app in most cases on 10 devices.
    The 400 million windows 10 are active users.
  • You're probably right about the fact that I exaggerated the number of Android phones. However not by much.
    If you take a look here:
    you'll see that in 2015 alone Android shipped 1.3 billion devices while Windows only 283 million (and that includes all sorts of devices). I actually can't find reliable numbers as for the active users but those statistics pretty much show the situation. Like I said earlier - considering that Windows desktop users don't use UWP apps very often (it's mostly WP users) my guess is that active Windows Store users are closer to what? 50 million? Maybe 100. Most people I know with Windows 10 desktops never even opened the store. And from developers' perspective that's what matters. And Microsoft is fully aware of it and that's why they provide statistics that are less than useful and keep talking about 400 users of Windows 10. I just bought and Android phone for work (because Windows Mobile is useless in anything professional) and my mind was blown when I saw numbers of downloads of many of the apps. Even MS apps there have more downloads than Windows Store users altogether. Which of course justifies MS decision to bring everything to Android and iOS and skipping Windows when developing many of their own apps.
    As a side note - I really don't enjoy the experience on Android - unintuitive and messy. But for developers it doesn't matter. What matters is that users are there.
  • If android shipped 1.3 billion devices in 2015 (as contained in your comment), that does not mean 1.3 billion new users. It simply represent sales figures not total active user figures.
    Obviously there are more android users, so expect more downloads of MS app.
    MS puts out its app across all platforms because, MS is first a software company (i.e. the software giant, a positon MS has maintained over the years) then a hardware.
  • Frankly speaking I'm not sure what you're trying to say. That what? Microsoft is a smaller but a key player in app ecosystem market? Sure, you can keep saying that by shooting down any number I show but tell that to developers.
    As for those numbers - there are no statistics available for today but as of Sept'15 there were 1.4 billion ACTIVE USERS on Android. Of course you can say that within the past 18 months all sold android devices are simply replacement devices. I don't have any hard numbers to prove you wrong here. That's fine with me. I'm not here to prove anything, merely to show the point of view of any developer
  • You know that the 1.4 billion ACTIVE USERS on android includes: Toasters, Blenders, Washing Machines, Fridges, Car Stereos, TVs, TV addon Boxes (Kodi, R-Box, etc), Kiosks, and about twenty other device types as well as Phones and Tablets which make up approximately 60% of that number which is a much more realistic 900 million.
  • Even if, so what? The bottom line is that developers are not stupid. They see the usage of their apps. No one is going to waste time and other resources on a platform that is not bringing money. And no matter how one will praise the UWP, hail the infinite numbers of Windows devices and belittle Android - still not many people are using UWP apps and a lot of people are using Android apps and that is the only thing that matters for developers.
  • And one more thing - most people don't buy a new phone every year. Maybe here, in US but not in the rest of the world
  • Don't forget that many people,  myself incldued have more than one phone.   At the moment I have 3 with 4 more coming soon! 
  • 950xl, 1520 and a 635 here
  • I imagine that would be the case. It's a mobile-first app. And they also have a Windows Phone 8.1 version as well. They are probably cutting their
  • Dan, your theory may well be right in this instance, but that wouldn't explain all the other companies deserting Windows Phone in droves would it?
  • Again, there's limited value for UWP since Nadella allowed the phone share to dropped to statistical zero. The dummy killed two of his own birds with one stone.
  • There's value in UWP even if YOU don't see it. On PC alone it has many benefits (and some cons) compared to WPF development. It's the future of Windows 10 development and the team building the technologies for us developers are very much behind it and the store. To say they aren't or don't care about it is an insult to the fantastic work they've been doing. Their passion for it shined through massively at the recent dev event they held for us all. Almost the entire focus of it was UWP and the store
  • I said limited, not zero. With no consumer HoloLens on the horizon, Xbox limiting UWP apps, and Windows Phone statistically zero, the "U" was killed by Nadella. This wasn't by plan or they would have never targeted 1 billion devices and fail to reach half that. Nadella still included phone sales in the 1 billion. He's not as bright as we hoped.
  • Other than the stock price being up over 100% since he took over three years ago, employee satistaction 50% higher than under Ballmer, and universal very strong praise from the business community and press about his performance, yes, he's not as bright as you hoped...
  • The employees are just happy they do not have to use Windows phones any longer ;)
  • How would you know? you know Microsoft employees peronally?
  • I'd rather do wpf and normal .net then this crappy half .net half com thing that us uwp. I hate the uwp apis. All the names are too long and too convoluted to use.
  • Well, since you ask, yes, I do. Quite a few. But, that would be just non-generalizable anectodal evidence. Here's actual survey data: "Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella looks especially good, by the report's reckoning. At the close of 2013, the final days of former chief executive Steve Ballmer's reign, Microsoft only gave a 51% rating for CEO approval. Nadella took the reigns in February 2014, and the CEO approval rating hit 88% by the end of 2015. This year isn't over just yet, but Microsoft is now performing around 10% higher in employee satisfaction than the industry average, says UBS, which edges out Apple."
  • I see ppl even on pc using at least some apps and games from the store
  • Two big problems are the reason why; 1) MS still hasn't built up enough traction on the Windows Store, needs to do more to keep devs invested in it and promote it to consumers, make older Windows (XP/Vista/7) as undesirable as fast as possible. 2) The lure of Win32 is still strong, Google Viber and you will see the second result is Viber for Win32 not the UWP client. So Viber who are in difficulty as the messaging space is super competitive looked at the numbers and went just use our old Win32 app were mothballing the UWP client, which is a shame. Right now Win32 is still dominant on Windows, MS has to try and build some kind of momentum behind UWP on the desktop, they are trying just perhaps not hard enough. UWP might have to become a little more flexible and Win32 further depreciated.
  •   The attraction of legacy is very real.  On the desktop side, why target UWP when Win32 will let you target basically everyone, especially the huge Win7 userbase?  Meanwhile, for any developer targeting the small userbase of Windows phones, why target UWP when targeting the Win Phone 8.X Silverlight or Win(P)RT apis will net a larger market. At least Microsoft tried - clumsily in many ways - to get their desktop userbase to move to Windows 10.  But they really dropped the ball when it came to getting mobile to move along.  (Those who aren't still using WP8.1 have probably mostly switched to iOS and Android rather than moving to a new Win10M handset. The trick really was to get both sizable segments of desktop and mobile users to converge on Win10 to make the whole store viable.) That said, relevant to the OP's point, as someone who has been the cheerleader of lost causes in the computing world for decades - some that turned their fortunes around (Apple) and some that didn't (IBM and OS/2), often times when you see a company drop support for a platform, it can be a warning that their (the company that dropped support) fortunes aren't so hot.  Yes, they'll drop support for their weakest platform(s) first, so that's not a good sign for the platform, but it's should also make you question the financials of the company cutting support.
  • They are probably cutting their development costs i.e. "Windows platform developer" costs. It's not cost-effective for them at the moment. ROI-wise.
  • Hahahaha
  • W10M alive and kicking! :)
  • Works for me. Anybody who it doesn't work for should try Android or iOS. That's all there is to say
  • Works for you, does not work for others. I use Android and it is fine, was using Windows 10 mobile and also was OK. Times changed, Nutella killed Win mobile, I went to the happy place that is actually useful...
  • Cool, so use something else. The door's that way. That's all there is to say.
  • This.
  • It's not working for me.. so I switched to xiaomi.Now I'm not even missing w10 .
  • Xiaomi would be my next phone choice, if I ever decided to leave W10M.
  • Only makes sense, with MS its retrenching efforts and the number of windows mobile users dwindling. Many more will follow before MS releases its next big thing, so MS better step up their pace while we still have some apps left.
  • This is VERY telling...
  • Tells us nothing other than Viber may be having issues and need to cut back - Considering they already invested in their UWP app quite heavily it's unusual to throw that away and stop updating. There's already better, and more widely used (In the UK where I'm from, can't comment on elsewhere) Messenger apps, and that area is very over crowded. If people aren't on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger they have SMS or many have iMessage. I know many who have Facebook Messenger but won't even install What'sApp. These are iOS users with every app in the world available to them and they can't see the point have 5 different messaging apps on their phone at once
  • Who the heck uses Viber? I don't know anyone, its all WhatsApp here in Australia. Perhaps its bigger in other countries?
  • I know some people who use it, but all of them have FB Messenger and WhatsApp too and use those more. I've never had problems staying in touch with friends or family because I didn't have Viber
  • At the end of the day, Viber doesn't need to get constant updates to work, its still available and they haven't said they are pulling the app. In fact they only updated it a few weeks ago, so I think everyone needs to relax a little :)
  • .
  • Agreed
  • I use it as well as my family here and abroad.  
  • I use Viber in Australia, and have never touched Whatsapp.
  • It's all LINE here in Thailand.  But, somewhere, people must still be using Viber.
  • Line's userbase is pretty big in a few countries.
  • I do
  • It's unraining apps
  • Maybe the more appropriate term is "de-raining"?
  • Evaporating might be the opposite of raining
  • 😄👍
  • It's DRAINING apps
  • uh, hallelujah?
  • 😂😂😂😂
  • I just saw a Lumia 950 user yesterday at the Mc Donalds.
    You don't see WP users that often but when ever I do I feel instantly connected like we are in this special subgroup of society that knows something nobody else does!
    It sure beats being a iSheep or a Galaxy carrying ugg wearing bimbo though! LOL
  • Haha I had the same feeling when I saw a guy with a 950XL at the airport in Paris. We were doubly connected as we were also both on the same flight that was delayed for around 7.5 hours ^_^
  • I work in retail and sometimes I see a customer using a WP and a lot of the customers that I see use a older Lumia (635, 640, 930) devices and what concerns me most of those encounters is that they stil run WP8.1.
    It makes me wonder if Microsoft did not do enough to push W10M to older handsets and if that's the reason why companies like Viber put app development for Windows 10 on hold.
    Quarterly sales figures might have been steadily in decline but there are still tens of millions of people using a Windows Phone and with millions of eligible devices not on the latest update it hurts the platform severely.
    But as the retail company I work for has nothing to do with telecom I don't feel as it's my place at that moment to educate (harass) WP users (customers of my employer) on the use of their smartphone OS ;-)
    But Microsoft should move to fix this quickly! There is no excuse for eligible Lumia's not to run W10M, non at all!
  • Good point about pushing W10M to 8.1 users. They could have done better there for sure. Maybe WhatsApp have the right strategy to stick with a WP8.1 app for the time being. Ultimately if that's what it takes for the app to stay on Windows Phone its a small price to pay
  • I've been wondering the same. They could be at least be pushing messages to Windows Phone 8.1 users that they can upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile. It is really a pity how many Windows Phone users replace their phones with another, and not even trying Windows 10 Mobile on it, even though their phone is eligible. But I shall not complain too much, that's how I upgraded from Lumia 532 to Lumia 730 right before the New Year. :) But at the same time, since those users may be "uneducated" (with regard to Microsoft's mobile OS), Microsoft should slightly change the update process. They should remove the "you shall continue where you left" thing, and give to users a clean install of Windows 10 Mobile instead of users needing to to a hard reset after the upgrade. Otherwise, users would face tons of issues, they woulnd't know they need to do a hard reset, and they would think how Windows 10 Mobile has ruined their phones. Many people gave up on Windows 10 Mobile right after the upgrade when they noticed that their keyboard is missing. And god damnit, they need to push new phones already. :( I hope it's going to happen soon.   Oh, and regarding Viber, this app is really good, it's one of the best UWP apps there are. I don't think that we should interpret this as if Viber is about to leave us, or something like that. I am 100% sure that if there was a critical issue, they would come back to it to fix it. But right now, it has (almost) everything that it has on other platforms, and I am very grateful to them for that.
  • Viber is actually featured in the default Start menu/screen in the lastest Insider Fast update on my tablet.
  • Personally, I rarely use Viber, but I can understand the concern of the regular users, but as much as it pains me to say it, windows phone/mobile is going downhill fast, developers don't want to use time and money on Windows mobile, it's sad, really, but it's also a reality...
  • It's gotten a lot of updates over last couple months. I think they deserve a little break
  • They're not talking about a little break... They are basically saying they don't support Windows anymore.. Don't get it twisted.
  • they have win32 win10 app and 8.1 I would not be surprised if they really did mean what they said
  • Sounds like they are planning a waiting game to see if Microsoft delivers in terms of devices and regains market share. If not, it will be abandoned permanently. And with Whatsapp dominating W10M market, it's even harder to justify developing costs.
  • Choice is good, but there are so many messaging apps out there its surprising Viber or many others are still a thing. Like you say WhatsApp dominates pretty much everywhere, and if you don't use that you have FB Messenger or iMessage for iOS users. It would be better if Viber stayed for the people who use it, but the messaging app market is saturated with so many apps that all do the same thing
  • You are only watching it from your point of view. In my country Viber is the de facto messaging app. Noone uses whatsapp or any other. I woudnt count them out yet but with that said its sad WIN 10 development is on pause cause i use their app on both my PC and laptop.
  • Many other messaging apps do more than Viber. We just had a Viber update like 3 or 4 months ago but it seems WhatsApp is trying harder on all platforms.
  • Unfortunately Viber is extremely popular in my area, so this is terrible news.
  • As of right now it still works.  I will look elsewhere if they decide to discontinue, it's as simple as that.
  • Really ? Oh god I use it so much... I know in USA and most of euro counties use WhatsApp but here in Greece we all use Viber everyone... My family my friends, even our teachers! Oh god... What I'm gonna do now ? I don't know whose is fall; Microsoft or Viber but it would be the end of my Lumia 950xl then... 😤
  • Well the app will likely stay around for quite some time tbh. You don't need to worry right now IMO
  • Greetings from Serbia, we mostly use Viber too. :) I am 100% sure that this is only the case because they have brought us all features that they were planning to for now. They are certainly not going to leave us, I believe that they just simply believe that their app is good enough right now. If there was an issue which had to be fixed, they would come back to it, and fix it. ;) They wouldn't strugle so much to make one of the best UWP apps in the store just to leave it behind one month after "finishing it". :) But when it comes to what shall happen in more distant future, that definitely depends of Microsoft. :)
  • I don't think they would announce that their app is good enough to consumers. This is most certainly a soft way of saying we're not developing the WP app right now and maybe never again, but maybe one day, sorry.
  • Of course they wouldn't announce "our app is good enough for you guys", I just think that they are stopping with updates for now because (among other things) it is good enough. And truth to be told, it is really good enough for me and for most of users. They did what they wanted to do, they made a good Viber app for UWP, and they simply won't improve it further unless Microsoft does something to fix Windows 10 Mobile market share. (Because if Microsoft doesn't do that, what would be the use of their app.)