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OPLIN 4cast #563: Two prominent deaths announced this week

Posted in 4cast, AOL, and Windows

It’s the end of an era…actually, it’s the end of two eras. This week, we lose two iconic services: AOL Messenger, and the Windows Phone. While many of us likely never owned a Windows-based phone (thus, the reason it will be with us no longer), most of us probably have used AOL Messenger, at least at one time. Both services bid us adieu this week, although their dates of departure are somewhat different. AOL Messenger will shut down on December 15, 2017. However, the Windows phone platform will have a more leisurely death; bug fixes will still be provided, but no future new development will be occurring.

  • Saying goodbye to the proto-social network of AOL Instant Messenger [Ars Technica] “Looking back now, I realize that AIM profile was my first ephemeral blog. Going to college in the years before ubiquitous mobile text messaging and social media profiles, AIM’s Away Messages and profile pages became a proto-social network for me and a group of peers looking for ways to keep easy tabs on each other. Friday’s announcement that AIM would finally shut down after 20 years got me thinking about how we used it to share our status updates years before the online world would be dominated by Twitter, Facebook, and the constant newsfeed.”
  • AIM Is Shutting Down [Lifehacker] “In a blog post announcing the news, Michael Albers, VP of Communications Product at Oath, described the important of AIM while admitting that the messaging service hasn’t been relevant for many years.”
  • Microsoft just buried Windows Phone… on Twitter [Mashable] “None other than long-time Microsoft executive and the man who once championed the Windows Phone platform, Joe Belfiore, took out a 140-character stake on Sunday and jammed it through Windows mobile’s barely beating heart.”
  • Windows Phone is now officially dead: A sad tale of what might have been [Ars Technica] “During the weekend, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore tweeted confirmation of something that has been suspected for many months: Microsoft is no longer developing new features or new hardware for Windows Mobile. Existing supported phones will receive bug fixes and security updates, but the platform is essentially now in maintenance mode.”

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