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'Major update': Microsoft snips the life support lines for its Delve mobile apps

Come to Outlook Mobile. The water's lovely

Updated Microsoft issued a reminder during its Ignite shindig this week that for every shiny new service it launches, it nudges an older one aside once the lustre has worn off.

The latest knife being plunged into the Microsoft 365 information management service is the pulling of the Delve mobile apps from the App Store and Google Play this week, followed by a shut down of the behind-the-scenes services for them in June.

Notification MC242486 in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center tagged the event as a "Major Update" with "User Impact".

The company launched the Delve service - just six years ago when it was shown off by luminaries such as CEO Satya Nadella at 2015's Convergence conference.

Customers soon to be bereft of the tool were this week instead directed to Outlook Mobile, which apparently "has similar features available."

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"We'll continue to invest development resources to improve the functionality in Outlook Mobile," intoned the company, just in case any doubt remained that the Delve mobile apps were about to led behind the back of the barn by a sad faced Microsoft engineer, armed with the usual shotgun.

The axe had already been swung on the Office Delve for Windows 10 app, although its support page still includes a nostalgia-inducing reference to another ditched Microsoft technology: Windows Mobile.

At its launch, the goal of the service was to permit users to browse and discover information within their enterprise's Office (and now Microsoft) 365 environment. The company has since launched Project Cortex, which also slurps content from the Microsoft Graph and bears somewhat of a passing resemblance to Delve, which Microsoft said [PDF] "is limited to Office documents and is more geared towards connecting people with content than Project Cortex."

Delve continues to enjoy a web interface, but it seems increasingly likely that its functionality will disappear into the gaping maw of other products as time goes by. The web version endures for now, but the directing of users to Outlook Mobile gives a clue for a possible eventual fate.

The Register contacted Microsoft to check on Delve's long-term prospects and will update should the company respond. In the meantime, the axing of the mobile apps is a reminder for users entranced by the latest parading of new platforms that in the background there is always an exec ready to pull the plug.

Updated on 8 March at 18.16 to add:

Microsoft sent us a statment:

"On June 1, 2021, we will retire Delve mobile for iOS and Android. Users are still able to access Delve through the web interface, and our Outlook mobile app for iOS and Android also has similar features available. Our vision for workplace search is that it is accessible from wherever you are working, personalized and relevant to you, and that it surfaces results from across Microsoft 365. Delve is one of many personalized search and discovery experiences powered by the Microsoft Graph, and has provided a model for how search results now surface across Microsoft 365, fostering improved productivity through discovery." ®

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