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As Microsoft readies a more universal Windows 10 for computers, tablets and phones, some pruning seems to be in order. One of the unique Windows Phone features getting dropped, according to All About Windows Phone, is Rooms, the app that gave families and friends a private place for chats, photo sharing and calendar coordination.
Microsoft’s support page for Rooms explains that the door will be shut once you upgrade your handset to Windows 10 and that official support for Rooms is ending March 15.
I can understand paring back on functions that probably didn’t have a high return; after all, Rooms doesn’t provide much value if one person the family uses a Windows Phone and everyone else uses an [company]Apple[/company] iPhone or an Android handset. Given Microsoft’s big push to get its apps and services on competing mobile platforms, though, I wish it had given Rooms a chance on iOS and Android.
Sure, there are plenty of other sharing and collaboration apps that replicate the core functions of Rooms. You could use SMS or any number of messaging apps, for example, for group texts and such. Shared calendars work well to coordinate schedules as well; everyone in my family has their own [company]Google[/company] calendar but we share access to keep track of who is going where, when. And the same goes for photos: [company]Facebook[/company], Instagram and other services work fine for those.
The thing is: All of these options are disparate and filled with information from so many other people. Rooms cut through all of that extraneous noise when you wanted to focus solely on what just a few very important people are doing by inviting them to a room.
Again, I see why Microsoft is letting Rooms go; I just wonder how much effort it would have taken to bring the unique, useful app to other platforms. Clearly, it was too much in Microsoft’s eyes.