Mobile // Mobile Devices
12:18 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry

Microsoft Shutting Down Windows Mobile 6 Services

An era ends as Microsoft says goodnight to the Windows Mobile 6 application Web store and backup service in order to focus on Windows Phone 7.

Windows Phone 7 has only been on the market nine months, but Microsoft is doing all it can to kill its predecessor, Windows Mobile 6.x. Today users that have accounts in the Windows Mobile Marketplace for 6.x or use its My Phone service got an email alert with details on the shutdown.

The website for Windows Marketplace for Mobile will be shutting down on July 15. It will continue to support the Marketplace app on the device that will allow you to download and purchase apps. It notified developers a few days ago that new apps would no longer be accepted. I cannot imagine the phone-based store will remain open much longer.

The email also announced that the My Phone service would go offline effective August 7. The My Phone service is an app that runs on the phone and backs up critical information like contacts, text messages, documents, pictures, music, and video on your phone. It would generally run overnight and the only cost to you was whatever bandwidth charge you incurred from your carrier. The service made it easy to restore the info if you got a new phone or to access it from a Web portal where you could download it, delete it, or archive it off of the phone.

If you use the My Phone service, you can access your data via the Web until October 6, except for your files. Those will be migrated to your SkyDrive account. You will be allowed to order a physical copy of your My Phone data until Oct. 5, 2012. That one makes no sense to me. Wouldn't it be cheaper and faster to just leave a server up and running for a year versus dealing with burning data to a DVD and shipping it to someone?

I've never seen Microsoft abandon any product so shortly after a new version came out. If you switched from WinMo to something else, you probably don't care. But if you purchased a WinMo 6.5 device sometime in 2010, you have to be scratching your head and wondering--if this is how quickly Microsoft can drop a platform, why bother investing in its new one?

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