Favorites from the Microsoft App Graveyard

I have a soft space in my heart for a couple of the now-defunct Microsoft apps that still live, at least as visual reminders, on my iPhone. Some of you may have seen my tweet and Facebook post on the topic today in which I shared the creation of a new app folder called “MS App Graveyard.” A few people responded with other apps that I had forgotten, and I thought it would be fun — for posterity’s sake — to outline the apps included on my phone, and hear from others on any other past-favorites that might still live on… if only as part of the smartphone ether.

Let me point out that some of these apps are still going strong. I included them because, personally, I am no longer using them. I recognize that some people are still passionate users and defenders of these apps. I’ll share my thoughts on the future of each, but want to make it clear that I have no inside information on the eminent demise of anything included below. I’m not making any announcements, nor sharing any spoilers. This is just one man’s opinion.

Having said that (and still expecting to get hate mail + frantic chat messages), here is my shortlist:

Microsoft App Graveyard on my iPhoneGigJam

GigJam was a really cool Microsoft R&D effort that used screen sharing to share and co-create/edit data, much akin to what we’re now seeing with the Fluid Framework. It was never really intended to be a standalone product, from what I can tell, but some of its learnings have been incorporated into other Office products, such as Sway. It was still, IMHO, one of the coolest demos. Check it out.

Wunderlist

At one point, a leading list-tracking solution that Microsoft acquired with some fanfare, but then quickly shelved and replaced by To-Do, with its deeper integrations into Microsoft 365. I just did a session on Microsoft’s task management strategy at M365 Friday Utah, and To-Do plays a large role in Microsoft’s future strategy.

Groups

Groups, of course, are still around, but with an expanded (and clarified) role, it didn’t make sense to allow partial controls through a separate mobile app. Instead, admins can create and manage Groups through their admin portal.

O365 Video

It seemed like O365 Video was just being ramped up, only to be displaced completely by Stream. Ah O365 Video app, we hardly knew ye…

Delve

Yes, I know…the Delve app is not being retired (yet) — only Delve Blogs. But I stopped using the app a while back, and the insights and discovery experiences it provides are being built into most other Office app experiences, making this redundant. So if you love your Delve app and still use it, continue doing so…for now…

Kaizala

As with Delve, the Kaizala app is not going anywhere…right now. A secure messaging app for internal and external communication, Kaizala was created to compete with products like WhatsApp and Telegram, but has had limited success. With its core capabilities moving into Microsoft Teams, I suspect the standalone app with have a short life going forward…

Skype

To make it clear — the consumer version of Skype is a great platform, and has millions of active and happy users. I was a very active user prior to Microsoft’s acquisition, and still use it on occasion — but most of my web meeting and chat activities have transitioned to Microsoft Teams (as well as Telegram and Zoom). I don’t think the consumer app will go anywhere for a long time, but I’m just not using it anything like I was in its heydey.

Skype for Business

Of course, Skype for Business is a completely different story. Microsoft has made it clear that SfB is going away, and Microsoft Teams will replace it. If you are a SfB customer, especially one that uses the telephony integration today, you need to have a migration plan in place and underway, because this train is leaving the station…

Staffhub

As with Groups, the StaffHub functionality is not going away, but is being more fully integrated into Microsoft Teams, and therefore there was no longer the need for a separate mobile app.

SharePoint Newsfeed

Released for SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online, but only for the Windows Phone and iOs, the Newsfeed app was never meant to be your primary SharePoint app — just a reader for your newsfeed. With the expanded SharePoint app, improvements to Yammer, and rapid rise of Microsoft Teams, the SharePoint Newsfeed app went gently into that good night…

What am I missing? Are there any Microsoft apps on your phone that have been officially “retired” but remain as ghosts in the shell?

Better yet, what are your predictions for the next MS apps to bite the dust? 🙂

(hey MVPs/RDs, remember your NDAs and no spoilers! #noLeaks)

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, and the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Lehi, Utah, through which he provides fractional-CMO for partners in the Microsoft ecosystem.