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Microsoft Businesses Software

Once Pro-Microsoft, Here Maps Drops Support For Windows 10, Windows Phone (here.com) 101

An anonymous reader points us to a blog post at Here website: Here Maps has announced that it will be pulling its mapping and navigation service from the Windows 10 store on March 29, 2016. The parent company, Here, also announced that it will limit the development of the apps for Windows Phone 8 to critical bug fixes. In a blog post, the company wrote, "We've been developing mobile maps applications for about 10 years, since the first smartphones came with GPS. As the market evolves, we keep in step by introducing our apps for new operating systems while stopping support for others. Back in 2014, Here was one of the few divisions at Nokia that Microsoft hadn't acquired in its multi-billion dollar deal. Since then, the mapping and navigation service has been aggressively expanding. Once exclusively available to Nokia and Microsoft-centric platforms, Here Maps is now available for Samsung's smartwatch, Android as well as iOS. "You cannot be delusional about this one. HERE Is a huge loss for the Windows Phone community," tweeted long-time Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott.
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Once Pro-Microsoft, Here Maps Drops Support For Windows 10, Windows Phone

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  • a blow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by greenfruitsalad ( 2008354 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 @01:03PM (#51701641)

    i know people who bought a nokia phone just for here maps. it was cheaper than buying a device from garmin or tomtom. this is a proper blow for the platform.

    • Unless Microsoft comes with a deal with Here Maps, most consumers will shun Windows Phone.The major option available seems to be Bing Maps; is that good enough?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DogDude ( 805747 )
        Unless Microsoft comes with a deal with Here Maps, most consumers will shun Windows Phone.

        I'd be willing to bet that 95% of Windows Phone users have never heard of "Here Maps" before. I hadn't. Even Here Maps said that they aren't bothering because most users are perfectly happy with the built in mapping system.

        From the article:
        For maps, routes and navigation, we recommend using the preinstalled Windows Maps application. The Windows Maps app contains many HERE elements since Microsoft has developed
        • I'd be willing to bet that 95% of Windows Phone users have never heard of "Here Maps" before.

          I'm an iOS user, and I've never heard of Here Maps. However I recall that Nokia's maps had an excellent reputation. I might have to give their app a try.

          • The primary reason I use Here maps at all is the ability to download maps for whole states/countries/regions at a time. This is very useful if you are camping somewhere without good cell signal or somewhere it is expensive to use mobile data.

            • I've had that issue with both Waze and Google Maps when I've been driving out in the boonies - I get into an extended area with no cell service, and after a while my map runs out.

              Apple Maps seems to cache the entire route, which is better... but if your destination area doesn't have cell coverage, like you mentioned, that's not useful after you're there.

              The HERE Maps app does indeed seem to let me download by region (state/province) or even by entire countries. And it let's me choose "surfer dude" as a voic

          • Here Maps is really, really good. I replaced Google's crappy map app as soon as I found out about Here. It's main problem seems to be lack of mindshare.
        • Main point:

          From the Article:
          The Windows Maps app contains many HERE elements since Microsoft has developed it using the HERE Platform and with assets they received from HERE in 2014.

          You may not use Here Maps directly, nor know what it is, but your experience with Windows Maps is dependent of the work that Here have done, which explains how the Microsoft's built in app can be good enough.

          • by DogDude ( 805747 )
            I don't particularly care who takes care of the maps, whether it's Microsoft, somebody they hire, or a team of trained squirrels. Maps on Windows Phone certainly aren't going away.
        • by Sique ( 173459 )
          I have heard of Here maps. I heared really angry words from them, when they were still called maps24.com, and when I accidently plugged one of the deactivated firewalls in again in the data center and caused the load balancers in front of map24.com to lose sync and effectively shutting down map24.com at a friday afternoon.
        • Yes, all eight are completely thrilled.

        • I'd be willing to bet that 95% of Windows Phone users have never heard of "Here Maps" before. I hadn't. Even Here Maps said that they aren't bothering because most users are perfectly happy with the built in mapping system.

          I was unaware there was a built in mapping system for Windows Phone. I never heard of Here Maps/Drive until I got a Lumia 920. They are hands down the best map/navigation apps out there, imo. Nokia had a lot of top-notch apps for Windows Phone. It's too bad no one else did. If you have never used them, and they are supported on your device, I strongly recommend you check them out.

          • by DogDude ( 805747 )
            I was unaware there was a built in mapping system for Windows Phone.

            It's the button that says "Maps".
        • I'd be willing to bet that 95% of Windows Phone users have never heard of "Here Maps" before. I hadn't. Even Here Maps said that they aren't bothering
          because most users are perfectly happy with the built in mapping system.

          That is because the built-in mapping systems in most Windows Phones is Here Maps.

      • > The major option available seems to be Bing Maps; is that good enough?

        I dunno. If you ask it to navigate you to L.A., do you end up in NYC?

      • Unless Microsoft comes with a deal with Here Maps, most consumers will shun Windows Phone.The major option available seems to be Bing Maps; is that good enough?

        For Windows 10 (both the phone and the desktop editions) there is the Map UWP app. It is actually based on HERE technology licensed by MS. The HERE apps have never been available for Windows 10 - although they would follow along with an upgrade.

        IMO the Map UWP app is actually better: It has all of the functionality of all of the HERE apps, but integrated into a single app. It has tremendous 3D maps, turn-by-turn navigation, downloadable maps, public transportation planner etc.

        While the HERE apps were quite

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Um. No one has even heard of "Here Maps". They just use the maps that come with Windows/Windows Phone.
      • for most windows phones that IS Here maps or the Microsoft one which is based on Here maps.
      • I call nonsense. I use my Windows phone, and believe me, I am quite familiar with Here maps, as I suspect anyone else who uses a Windows phone.

        BTW, I find Here to be better than any GPS/navigation tool I used on my old Android phone, for the map download ability alone. My wife and I recently drove from Stuttgart to Lindau am Bodensee and back using Here and maps I downloaded before the trip. Given that I didn't have a cellphone plan in Germany, that (or a stand-alone GPS with maps for Europe) was about t

    • i know people who bought a nokia phone just for here maps. it was cheaper than buying a device from garmin or tomtom. this is a proper blow for the platform.

      How inexpensive is a Nokia phone? I ask because a basic GPS these days is only around $50 t0 $75, and many can be found for $20 to $30.

  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DogDude ( 805747 )
    Windows Phone has it's own (robust) built in mapping system. Not sure why somebody would want a third party map service. Been using Windows Phone forever, and never heard of this company before.
    • Same maps, better interface. That's it in a nutshell.

      The Windows 10 maps application is truly atrocious for in-car navigation in landscape orientation - the overlays cover practically the whole screen, rendering it close to unusable.

      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        Please, please, please don't look at your phone while you're driving. It isn't safe for the rest of us. Look up where you're going before you start driving, or let somebody else navigate. You're endangering the lives of others when you do what you're describing.
        • Maybe we should go back to paper maps, because those were never a distraction. >_>

        • You make it sound like I'm holding the phone in one hand, shifting with the other and steering with one of my knees.

          It's no different than using a standalone GPS device or a car's built-in solution. In fact, many cars are far worse than the typical windshield solution, due to the fact that they stick the screen down where radios traditionally were.

          If you want to complain about something, complain about *that*.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Are you some sort of shill?

      Seriously, I bought my first windows phone (520) BECAUSE of the Here Drive navigation software.

      Losing this system is a huge blow. I'll try the windows mapping software, but honestly it's becoming increasingly difficult to stay with windows-- which is a shame, since I feel like from an OS standpoint it is a leap forward in usability vs Android and iOS.

      • The stock Maps app on Win10 platforms is HERE Maps, at least as far as map data goes (you can see "(c) HERE" in the corner in most areas).

        It also has offline map downloading. And unlike Google Maps (but like HERE), it lets you download entire regions without limitation, so long as you have the space. You can have the entire world cached if you so desire.

        And yes, it does offline navigation, as well.

        Which, in conjunction with the way it renders things, leads me to believe that it is also based on the code of

    • Here has been widely regarded as one of the better mapping systems out there. You may not have heard about them because while small in the consumer market they made their big dollars in business 2 business sales. Chances are you've used a Here map service without ever knowing about it. Some examples include Garmin, several car manufacturers, and ... erm there's one that I'm missing .... dammit it was important. .... Oh that's right... Bing!

      The entire Microsoft mapping platform was originally built on it.

  • They see the writing on the wall with how god-awful W10 is, how awful the store is, and how awful MS's policies around the store are.
  • Paul Thurrott is normally delusional when it comes to Microsoft, so telling other people they can't be delusional is rich.
  • by maxrate ( 886773 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 @01:21PM (#51701811)
    HERE maps worked, but it smoked the battery exceptionally quickly. I have the new Lumia 950XL phone, the Microsoft 'maps' program works just fine. I really see no difference except the battery lasts way longer. Also that HERE maps app wanted us to set up a Nokia user name and password to even use the program. F--- that noise! Good riddance!
    • Windows Phone fans always seem to love what apps are available on their platform, until the developer discontinues the app. Then suddenly "Their app sucks and I've already switched to something else anyways. Something about them as a company suck and they're dead to me." This is the delusion that Thurott is talking about, and if you ever peruse any place where WP fans comment at a time like this, they're always full of posts of this nature.

      • Right, so me deciding an app wasn't so great long before its demise makes me a windows phone "fan". As working for a developer I use 3 phones daily: iPhone 6s, Samsung Galaxy S6, and Lumia 950XL. Overall the sleekest phone (to me) is the iPhone. The Android seems to be the Swiss army knife, and the Lumia seems to be the easiest to use. It must be so distressing to you reading there are folk who prefer a product by (gasp) microsoft. Get over your OS bigotry and stop posting FUD.
  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 @01:23PM (#51701821)

    I have a Windows 8.1 tablet and would really like to get HERE maps for it, as I hear it has good offline use support. I want something I can use to view maps when I'm pulled over on the road and have no data access. I can't locate an alternate download source for it. It got pulled from the Windows Store before I got the tablet. The Bing maps for Windows 10 has offline saving capability, but the Maps for Windows 8 does not have this feature.

    • Why not just upgrade to Win10? I understand the qualms if you were starting with Win7, but from 8.1 to 10 it should be a no-brainer.

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        Because I don't want the Microsoft spyware???

      • Personally I use 10 on my laptop, but not tablet (and not desktop, though that's because 10 doesn't support Intel ANS yet). For tablets/touch, 8.1 is actually way better than 10. They removed or modified some of the handy gestures and shortcuts and easy ways of navigating around that they introduced in 8, they made it a pain to use full screen metro apps and still access the desktop easily, and the design language for Metro is way worse because the options bar is no longer used, and they use icons all over
  • by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 @01:24PM (#51701843)

    FTFA:
    "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."

    I wonder what changes on that date that forces a ground up rewrite?

    • FTFA: "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."

      I wonder what changes on that date that forces a ground up rewrite?

      It starts mapping out Windows 7 installs for destruction.

    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      thats when win10 gets activated to control the national arsenal. but don't worry until 12:14 am, EDT on august 29th.

  • HERE seems like a silly name as I am already HERE. I want to go THERE!
    • HERE seems like a silly name as I am already HERE. I want to go THERE!

      THERE is the holding company that now owns HERE.

      No, seriously.

  • HERE maps is one of the main reasons I kept Win phone. Works great AND allows you to load international maps in advance... eliminates the need for download on roaming data.
  • by Bearhouse ( 1034238 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 @02:10PM (#51702261)

    One of my clients issued me with one of the Nokia Winphones; it's OK although the UI is less refined than an iPhone or my Android.
    (To save your alarm settings you click on an icon of an old floppy disk...wtf???) my kids certainly did not find it attractive...
    The integrated Edge browser sucks on most sites...and the inbuilt GPS is so poor that even though (amazingly) Waze is about the only useful app available for it, it's effectively useless.
    The integration with Office, Outlook etc however is superb.

    But...where are the apps? Apart from Waze virtually no apps I find useful are available.

    Microsoft, why are you prepared to piss away billions on dumb projects but then not use your cash pile to go after this segment in a less half-assed way? To break the iOS / Android duopoly you need to spend big.
    1. Google gives away Android; pay OEMs to install Winphone 10 or whatever the heck it is called these days. Better still, launch a bunch of cheapo but secure smartphones for India, China etc. and reposition Nokia as a premium brand. Bribe Bose and others to bring out high-end speakers and shit for the hipsters. Throw in a custom connector while you're at it for added "cool". But make the battery replaceable and include an SD card slot on "neckbeard" models.
    2. Many of us recall the Zune and WinCE fiascos where plenty of devs got royally fucked-over. Don't give away dev kits; PAY PEOPLE CASH to take them; bonus cash when the app is published, real large cash payment if it hits the top 100.
    3. Kick start the process by bribing the top 100 Android and iOS app devs to port to Winwhateverthefuckitscalledthesedays
    4. Make the devices really secure and include online upgrades for life. No ifs, no buts, no exceptions. If the FBI gets tough, relocate to Ireland and save a bundle on tax like Pfizer just did.
    5. With your new secure platform, give away a decent chunk of end to end encrypted storage and mail
    6. Now that Goole has EOL Picasa, develop a clone, make it free, tightly couple with phone
    7. Finally have an import / merge contacts tool that WORKS!
    8. Bribe the crap out of the car manufacturers to provide them with in-car systems that run Winwhatsitcalled. Buy a few big OEMS who make car infotainment and control systems while you are at it. ....
    Profit!

    • > One of my clients issued me with one of the Nokia Winphones; it's OK although the UI is less refined than an iPhone or my Android Nothing wrong with the phone or the OS (8.1). Power for a week, faster than an Android, at 160 bucks. (lumia 640)
      Does calling, browsing, whatsapping, integration with hotmail, downloadable maps, good camera apps.
      The Android vs Winphone contest is quite the opposite of Linux vs Windows, e.g. apps stuck, no updates, poor battery time after a while, poor support, buggy inter
      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        Actually I think I see Microsoft's strategy and it may just work.
        It is really simple. Your phone is your PC / your PC is your phone.
        1. WIndows 10 is a unified platform. One Windows OS for both phones and PCs.
        2. Intel working hard on getting the X86 to work in the mobile market.
        3. The Microsoft wireless display adaptor.

        Once phones are powerful enough and frankly they are getting very close your Windows Phone is your PC. Just have a wireless keyboard and mouse and put your phone on the desk and it is your Win

  • Windows 10 phones ship with an app called "Maps." The same mapping back-end is used by the Maps app, and the HERE app. So Windows 10 phone users aren't out of a GPS/Navigation app, just constrained to using the Maps app from Microsoft.

  • You no longer need the specific Here applications, the GPS/Mapping app from MS is bundled with the WIndows 10 mobile OS and uses Here's map data files, in fact the bundled app is essentially rebranded Here Maps. So why compete with yourself?
  • I've been using TomTom navigation apps on my iPhone 3GS and now iPhone 6+ since early June 2009. It has excellent offline maps. I've travelled large parts of the USA and Canada, Brazil, many countries in Europe, some in the Middle East and Australia and New Zealand. It has been almost 7 years of regular free map updates on the first app I bought (Europe). Good offline maps are essential if you're driving some back road trying to find the Mountain View Lodge. I've been to many places that do not have a GPS s

  • HERE was only "pro-Microsoft" in the sense that it was part of Nokia and Nokia was sold out to MS by Elop. These days, HERE is not even part of Nokia anymore. It was sold to a consortium formed by Mercedes, Audi and BMW last year.

    When was the HERE maps app exclusive to Nokia and Windows Phone? During the Apple Maps fiasco, the HERE maps app was available for iOS.

    I was relatively late to iPhone. I stayed with my Nokia N95 (despite Symbian) until I misplaced it and replaced it with an iPhone 4. I have us

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can anyone share their thoughts on OpenStreetMap vs HERE? I see a lot of comments about how the mobile HERE app is handy for using offline, which is what I use OsmAnd for (despite its name, OsmAnd has both Android and IOS versions). I see there are several OSM-based apps for Windows phones as well. They may become useful offline map replacements once HERE is no why.

    I've used OsmAnd while hiking sections of the Appalachian trail and loaded GPX tracks of the trail and other spots of interest for offline use.

  • The offline feature is the best feature of this app and should be default in all maps. You can buy a cheap droid phone and make it into a cheap gps

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