Here maps has been a strong part of Microsoft's Windows Phone offering for years, but that's coming to an end later this month. Here is announcing today that it plans to pull its mapping apps for Windows 10 on March 29th, and "will limit the development of the apps for Windows Phone 8 to critical bug fixes." If you own one of the latest Lumia 950 handsets then Here maps will stop working after June 30th. If you're still on a Windows Phone 8.1 device then Here maps will keep working, unless you upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile once it's available in the coming weeks.
"We made the Here apps compatible with Windows 10 by using a workaround that will no longer be effective after June 30, 2016," explains Here spokesperson Pino Bonetti. "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."
Another app disappears from the Windows Phone store
Here is the latest in a line of high-profile apps that have started disappearing from Microsoft's Windows Phone store. American Airlines, Chase Bank, Bank of America, NBC, Pinterest, and Kabam have all discontinued their Windows Phone apps in the past year. These huge apps have simply disappeared or will no longer be updated.
Microsoft only purchased Nokia's handset division, but failed to secure rights to Here maps. Nokia sold its Here maps unit to Audi, BMW, and Mercedes for $3 billion back in August, and it's clear the German automotive companies want to focus on iOS and Android. Windows 10 phone users will be left with Microsoft's own lackluster mapping app. Microsoft licenses Here's data for its own map app, but it does not include all of the features and functionality of the existing Here apps for Windows Phone.