HERE to kill app support for Windows Phone and Windows 10

HERE said it is pulling its popular maps and navigation apps from Windows Phone, underscoring yet again the "app gap" that continues to plague Microsoft's mobile efforts.

Nokia sold its HERE mapping and location technology business to a group of German automakers last July for roughly $2.71 billion. In a blog post, the division said it will remove HERE-branded apps from the Windows 10 store later this month, limiting development of its apps for Windows Phone 8 to critical bug fixes.

"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," HERE"s Pino Bonetti wrote. "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."

The move applies to HERE Maps, Drive+ and Transit apps.

HERE's move highlights an ongoing challenge for Microsoft as it tries to compete with Google's Android and Apple's iOS in the world of mobile operating systems. Microsoft for years has struggle to lure developers to its platform because its audience is tiny -- Windows Phone claimed just 2.6 percent of the worldwide smartphone OS market in the second quarter of 2015, according to IDC. And users aren't buying Windows mobile devices in part because Microsoft can't offer some apps that are popular on the iPhone and Android phones.

For more:
- see this HERE blog post

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