When a consumer decides to buy into a platform or operating system, they expect commitment from the developer. For instance, Apple released iOS 7 on Wednesday and included support for the iPhone 4 which was released in 2010. An iPhone buyer can reasonably expect a healthy dose of updates for years. As a result, Apple users trust and buy into iOS.
Conversely, Microsoft announces that it is ending Skype development and support for Windows Phone 7. Yes, Microsoft will continue to support the smartphone operating system until September 9, 2014. However, ending support for one of its own apps is a slap in the face to the loyal users who chose to buy into the platform.
The Redmond, Wash.-based company says "as we look ahead to the future, we are focusing all our efforts to bring great experiences and improved performance to Windows Phone 8, building on the capabilities of the platform. As a result we are not planning to release further updates to Skype for Windows Phone 7. However the Windows Phone 7 app will remain available to download in the Windows Phone Store, so users can still keep using the core Skype experiences, such as Chat, Voice and Video Calls".
In other words, Windows Phone 7 users can continue to download and use the app. However, if any bugs or security issues surface, they are on their own (use at your own risk). If users cannot trust Microsoft to update and support its own app, how can they place their trust in the Windows Phone platform at all?
Quite frankly, Windows Phone 8 users should be wary -- when Windows Phone 9 is released, they may face a similar fate.