In a major setback to Microsoft’s ongoing efforts, HERE Maps has announced that it will no longer support Windows 10 platform. The new decision emerges by the mapping company to move all its focus to Android and iOS.
HERE Maps was initially exclusive to Windows Phone. But with the swift increase in Android and iOS devices in the global markets, the company left its Windows developments far behind and is now all set to remove even its presence from the newly emerged Windows 10 ecosystem by as early as June 30. Additionally, HERE apps will leave the Windows 10 store from March 29.
“In the last few months, we made the HERE apps compatible with Windows 10 by using a workaround that will no longer be effective after June 30, 2016,” says HERE Maps’ Pino Bonetti, in a blog post. “To continue offering the HERE apps for Windows 10 would require us to redevelop the apps from the ground up, a scenario that led to the business decision to remove our apps from the Windows 10 store.”
Apart from dropping its support for Windows 10, HERE won’t release any new feature for its apps on Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8 devices. The existing HERE apps will continue to receive some critical bug fixes, though.
New aims after leaving Nokia
Nokia had bought Navteq to establish HERE in 2008. The brand was featured on many Asha and Lumia series handsets in the past. But in August last year, the Finnish giant sold the entire mapping company to automaker consortium of Audi, BMW and Daimler for $3 billion.
Although the roots of HERE Maps were nurtured from Microsoft’s Windows Phone, these got expanded to Android and iOS.
HERE team under Nokia’s leadership developed specific mapping solutions for wearables like Samsung Gear and iOS running iPhones and iPads. It also recently added 3D Touch support to its maps to deliver an advanced experience on the latest iPhone models.
Criticised by users
With all these changes, HERE Maps completely abandoned Windows platform. And this is what its users are criticising today.
“This is a very short-sighted decision, HERE,” one of the HERE Maps users commented on the new announcement. “Your most loyal ambassador customers are on the Windows platform, and most Windows Phone 8.1 will be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile soon. It’s suicide for a business to cut off their ‘fanbase’ in one fell swoop.”
Counter attack by Microsoft
As HERE Maps will formally drop support for Windows, Microsoft is set to uplift its existing Maps app. Microsoft Maps team member Dave_MSFT in a Reddit post announced an “exciting update” for Windows 10 users. This new update will be available soon to insider builds.
“We have an exciting update coming soon to insider builds, including an improved drive mode. We will also be addressing other top feedback I have been collecting from you guys as well as the Windows Feedback app in this update and in updates to come,” the post reads.
So if you’re still a Windows Phone user, you need to wait for an update to Windows 10 to get the new Maps app version. But if HERE Maps is your choice, you should look for a new Android or iOS device.