MICROSOFT IS RETIRING its Outlook Web Apps (OWA) for iPhone, iPad and Android, pushing users to download its standalone Outlook app instead.
Microsoft said in a support post that, from April, the OWA apps will no longer be available to download from Apple's iTunes and the Google Play Store. In the same month, "OWA mobile app users will see a recurring in-app message notifying them of the date when the app will be retired", Microsoft said, along with a link to download the Outlook app.
On 15 May, the OWA apps will stop working, and users who attempt to open them will be greeted with a message that - you guessed it - pushes them to download Outlook for iOS or Android.
"Outlook for iOS and Android has an architecture fully powered by the Microsoft Cloud and has 4.5+ star ratings in the app stores," Eugenie Burrage, one of Microsoft's product marketers, explained.
"And as we streamline our mobile portfolio, we'll be able to further focus our efforts to deliver on our promise of the best-in-class, enterprise-grade mail, calendar and search experience and the best way to experience Office 365 features on a mobile device with Outlook."
Naturally, news of OWA's retirement hasn't gone down well with users, with many complaining that Microsoft Outlook mobile app doesn't offer many of the features baked into the firm's web alternative.
"Best-in-class, enterprise-grade mail ... which doesn't even offer an option to block remote images? Sounds more like consumer-grade trash," one user moaned.
Another grunted: "Will Outlook Mobile App be enabled to Access On Premises Shared Mailboxes? The OWA App is the only tool with the ability to do that. It´s not possible to access Exchange 2016 Shared Mailboxes with the Outlook App as Exchange 2016 works only with WAP 2016 and WAP 2016 does not support IMAP."
In a statement given to ZDNet, Microsoft has pledged to bring some of these missing features to its Outlook app, but said, until then, users should access OWA via their smartphone's browser
"Remaining capabilities, such as Shared Mailboxes, will be built into Outlook by the end of the year but in the meantime, users can still access all OWA features from the browser on their mobile device." a spokesperson said. µ
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