Collaboration software provider Slack Technologies has released the last version of its app for the Windows Phone platform. The company has rolled out an update, and has mentioned inside the app that it is "saying goodbye to Windows Phone." This does not mean that the company will not make the app available in the store, but simply that it will not receive any future updates, and will no longer be supported by the company. This comes amidst Microsoft's own efforts of pulling the plug slowly on Windows Phone operating system. Microsoft itself retired Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer apps from the Store from May 20 this year.
After updating to version 2018.614.0.0 on Windows Phone, Mspoweruser notes that Slack engineers posted on the app saying, "Saying goodbye to Windows Phone. This will be the last version of Slack for Windows Phone. It comes with improvements - like bug fixes and better file handling - and we hope it works for you, as long as you need it. Thanks so much for your support and feedback, and for using Slack." Decoding this message, it seems that the app will remain on the Microsoft Store, but it won't receive any support from the team behind it. For those few who use Windows Phone, this is bad news, as without software support, the app could be a prone to attacks in the future.
While this is sad news for Windows Phone users, it isn't surprising at all. It's been a while since Microsoft launched any Windows Phone in the market, and it has been distancing itself from the OS bit by bit. It recently even ended support for three of its apps - Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer apps - from the Microsoft Store. Microsoft Teams is a direct competitor of Slack, and therefore this move by the San Francisco-based company is not alarming at all.
Last year, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore doused rumours of a Surface Phone by saying that building new features for Windows Phone and launching new handsets are no longer a "focus" for the company. This was the first time a Microsoft executive had publicly admitted that the company is no longer pursuing any future with Windows 10 Mobile. Belfiore said Microsoft attempted to fix one of the biggest factors crippling the growth of Windows Phone, namely the unavailability of several popular apps, but its attempts never materialised. "We have tried very hard to incent app devs. Paid money.. wrote apps 4 them.. but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest," Belfiore said.
For Slack Windows Phone users, there's only one thing you can do, move to Android or iOS. Slack recently announced that it has added another one million paid users since September last year. It now has more than 70,000 paying organisations, more than 8 million daily active users and 3 million paid users.