Microsoft kill off Rooms in Windows Phone, will anybody notice?

Microsoft have sent an email to Windows Phone users informing us that the rooms feature of Windows Phone is going away in March. The Rooms feature in Windows Phone enabled you to share photos, calendars and notes with friends and family as well as real time chat. I occasionally used it to chat with my podcast co-hosts but I suspect many people don’t use it as Microsoft are ending support in March.

With Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones there is no Room support so if you want to access the Room content Microsoft have a work around (see below). From March Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 users won’t be able to create new rooms but will still have access to the existing rooms.

I imagine a small selection of people where using the feature and will be upset about the removal but most Windows Phone users will not notice.

Here is the email I was sent:

Starting in March 2015, Rooms on Windows Phone will no longer be supported. You’ll still be able to view and use your room photo albums, calendars and notes.
The changes to Rooms will take place in two stages.
In Windows Phone 8 and 8.1
After support for Rooms ends in March 2015, you’ll still see your existing rooms on your Windows Phone 8 or 8.1. You’ll be able to view and use your room photo albums, calendars and notes on your phone. But you won’t be able to create new rooms or make membership or permissions changes to existing rooms. Additionally, you and other room members won’t be able to send any new room chat messages.
In Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones
We’re making way for new features in Windows 10 that will help you stay in touch with the people that matter most. Once you update to Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones, rooms will no longer show up on your phone. You’ll still be able to get to your photo albums, calendars and notes, either on the web or by using other apps on your phone. You won’t be able to see your chat history or send or receive any new chats.
Note: If you have important info in your room chats that you want to keep, you should save a copy somewhere else before updating your phone beyond Windows Phone 8.1.
To see room content using apps on your phone:
  • Photos – You’ll find your photos and videos in the OneDrive app in a folder with same name as the room.
  • Calendar – Go to the Calendar app to see your room calendar.
  • Notes – Your room notes are in the OneNote app, in a notebook with the same name as the room.
To see room content on the web:
  • Sign into Outlook.com with the same Microsoft account you use on your phone. You’ll find your content there, in folders with the same name as your room.
  • Or just use these direct links to get to your:
You can continue to see everything from rooms (except for chats) on Outlook.com, in the Outlook app and on windowsphone.com.
For more info, take a look at the Rooms FAQ.

 

About the author Ian Dixon:
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.

2 thoughts on “Microsoft kill off Rooms in Windows Phone, will anybody notice?”

  1. Winnerman says:

    It was a useless tool, only worked with other windows phone users. What they need to do is make groups more robust. Hoping that is in the new OS.

  2. Chadmann says:

    It as a great little feature. I and my wife will miss it.

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