Microsoft debuts a new version of its To Do app as Wunderlist founder expresses remorse – gpgmail


Microsoft several years ago acquired the popular iOS app Wunderlist with the intention of building out its own list-making productivity app that brings the best of Wunderlist’s feature set to a larger group of mobile consumers. This is a similar path as Microsoft took with email app Accompli, which later became Microsoft Outlook for mobile devices. In the case of Wunderlist, Microsoft didn’t just rebrand the app — it built a new one called Microsoft To Do. With Wunderlist up and running for years alongside To Do, its founder wants to know if he can just have it back.

The founder of Wunderlist maker 6 Wunderkinder, Christian Reber, recently tweeted a desire to buy his app back from Microsoft just as the company is launching a new version of To Do. 

According to the tweets, Reber says he’s serious about reacquiring Wunderlist and wants to make it open-source and free. He even tweeted a list of upgrades he’d like to build, including features like shared folders and cross-team collaboration, among other things.

The founder doesn’t come across as having sour grapes exactly. He just says he’s sad that his plans for Wunderlist didn’t work out, but he’s grateful for the Microsoft exit.

If anything, it seems to be just remorse over the fact that Wunderlist itself will be shut down.

Microsoft had said years ago this was its intention, but also that it would hold off until it felt it has a competitive product that Wunderlist’s users would love.

On Monday, Microsoft unveiled another upgrade for Microsoft To Do, which hints that the Wunderlist shut down could be nearing.

The upgrade delivers a more polished look-and-feel with a wider range of backgrounds, including the Berlin TV tower theme that was popular in Wunderlist.

The app also includes smart lists and a personalized daily planner that offers smart suggestions of tasks that need to be accomplished, Microsoft reminded its users, and it’s supported across a variety of platforms including iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac.

The app is now also integrated with other Microsoft apps like Outlook, Microsoft Planner, Cortana, and Microsoft Launcher on Android, among others. And it works with Alexa, if you prefer.

With the release, Microsoft is again pushing users to migrate from Wunderlist to To Do to gain access to these features.

It did not, however, give an end-of-life date for Wunderlist, which is remarkably still a top 100 Productivity app in the U.S. App Store, according to data from App Annie, over four years after its acquisition.

We’ve asked Microsoft if it will share more details around its plans for Wunderlist and if it has any response to Reber’s request.

“Once we have incorporated the best of Wunderlist into Microsoft To Do, we will retire Wunderlist. We look forward to making Microsoft To Do even more useful, intuitive and personal,” a Microsoft spokesperson replied. The company declined to comment on Reber’s tweets.

Microsoft To Do has been installed approximately 5.8 million times worldwide since launch, according to dat from Sensor Tower. During that same timeframe, Wunderlist was installed about 10 million times.

As for Reber, he says he’s written to Microsoft many times before and now tried to make it more official via Twitter. The offer, he tells gpgmail, is indeed serious, and the price would be based on the negotiation. “Chances are low, but I’m trying,” he says.

 




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Microsoft Azure’s cloud regions in Switzerland are now open for business – gpgmail


Microsoft today announced the availability of its cloud regions in Switzerland. The company first announced its plans for two Swiss regions near Zurich and Geneva, called Switzerland North and West, in 2018. Earlier this year, Microsoft noted that it was seeing quite a bit of interest in these regions, especially from companies in highly regulated industries that need to address data residency regulations.

The new regions will feature support for the core Azure cloud computing services, as well as Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform. With this launch, Microsoft now offers its cloud services in 56 regions worldwide, which is very much part of the company’s overall strategy for Azure.

“Microsoft cloud services delivered from a given geography, such as our new regions in Switzerland, offer scalable, highly available, and resilient cloud services while helping enterprises and organizations meet their data residency, security and compliance needs,” Tom Keane, Microsoft’s corporate VP for Azure Global, writes in today’s announcement. “We have deep expertise protecting data and empowering customers around the globe to meet extensive security and privacy requirements by offering the broadest set of compliance certifications and attestations in the industry.”

Current customers include enterprises like UBS Group, Swiss Re Group, and Swisscom, as well as BKW, the City of Zug, die Mobiliar, Exploris Health and Skyguide.

While AWS does not currently operate a region in Switzerland, Google Cloud runs a region with three availability zones near Zurich.

 


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