Windows Phone users should probably be used to things by now. Microsoft promiseth and Microsoft taketh away. Although this latest official word from Microsoft does affect all Windows 10 users, it will be Windows 10 Mobile users who will most likely feel the biggest effects. In the past builds of Windows 10 leading to the Anniversary Update, Microsoft has been getting Insiders to test its Messaging Everywhere feature. But now with little over a month before the promised update, Microsoft is pulling the plug on that feature.
Although not directly related, Messaging Everywhere ties in neatly with Microsoft visions of Continuum. In a nutshell, what it does is let Windows Phone users carry over their messages and messaging actions from smartphone to PC and back, basically allowing them to send messagees and view full conversations on their Windows 10 PCs. That feature has been in testing since April and many users have expressed excitement for the Anniversary Update because of it. Sad to say, not gonna happen.
Microsoft doesn’t really say much about why they’ve suddenly done a U-turn, despite admitting that it was well received by its Insider testers. All it says is that it believes it can do better by bringing that feature somewhere else. That somewhere else, it turns out, will be Skype. But Microsoft also doesn’t say when that feature will land in Skype either. So while Messaging Everywhere will still be available someday, it will only be available in the Skype apps for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. Perhaps Microsoft is intending for Skype to be the sole messaging app and service for Windows 10 in the long run.
Microsoft does throw Windows 10 Mobile users a small bone. They will still be able to reply to messages on their Windows 10 PCs, but only because Cortana still has that feature. They won’t, however, be able to initiate sending messages or see their conversations from that end.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will start rolling out on August 2nd, hopefully with the rest of the features still intact by then.