Did you feel that low rumbling this morning?
It began right around the time that HERE posted an official article on their blog this morning that announced their plans to pull all of their apps from the Windows 10 platform.
The rumble was from unhappy Windows 10 users around the world as they see a very significant collection of apps leaving their beloved platform.
According to the European based company HERE, their branded apps will be pulled from the Windows 10 Store on 29 March 2016. Apps that are currently available for Windows Phone 8/8.1 based devices will remain available to those handsets but will only receive critical bug fixes.
That means no new features or map updates.
So why have they decided to do this now as Windows 10 continues to gain traction?
"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. 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."
A work around that will no longer function after 30 June is interesting but what about that timing. Can anyone say initial production release of the Redstone 1 update for Windows 10 on or about 30 June?
By they way - nice catch Jason.
Anyway, HERE mentions the built in Windows Map app on Windows 10 as a viable option because much of it contains elements of HERE and that somewhere customers are reporting the app is meeting their needs.
Well, as it turns out, that might not be bad advice at all.
A quick look at the first party Windows Map app listing in the Windows 10 Mobile store shows that it has received 5,559 ratings for an average of 4.2 stars broken down like this:
- 5 Stars - 2,930
- 4 Stars - 1,636
- 3 Stars - 543
- 2 Stars - 196
- 1 Star - 254
That is not too shabby actually when you compare it to HERE Maps and HERE Drive apps ratings:
HERE Maps: 5,303 ratings for an average of 3.7 stars
- 5 Stars - 2,595
- 4 Stars - 851
- 3 Stars - 510
- 2 Stars - 364
- 1 Star - 983
HERE Drive: 5,474 ratings for an average of 3.5 stars
- 5 Stars - 2,363
- 4 Stars - 876
- 3 Stars - 576
- 2 Stars - 485
- 1 Star - 1,174
Maybe this is a silver lining with the removal of these two HERE apps because they are actually scoring out as much worse apps compared to Windows Maps. Take a look at those 1/2 star ratings and how much worse the HERE apps are compared to Windows Maps in that area.
The number of ratings for each app are also fairly close overall so it is not as if we are comparing 200 ratings for one app to another one that has 1,200. Statistically, these numbers show a good reflection of the apps qualities according to users.
It might turn out that being stuck with just Windows Maps might not be such a bad thing after all.
By the way - mapping data and information in the Windows 10 Maps app is from HERE as part of the 10 year licensing deal that was agreed to when Microsoft purchased the Nokia Devices and Services division in April 2014.