Microsoft has killed a Windows 10 app that was supposed to show Nadella's vision for the company

Satya NadellaANDREW HARRER / BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY

  • Microsoft has killed a Windows 10 Office app called Delve.
  • This is interesting and notable because Delve was one of the first apps that demonstrated CEO Satya Nadella's vision for the company: to improve productivity.
  • Delve was introduced in 2014, a few months after Nadella took over as CEO, with much fanfare. It was supposed to help you automatically find the info you needed.

The Windows 10 app for Office called Delve has been officially put out to pasture.

Delve was an app launched with much fanfare shortly after Satya Nadella became Microsoft CEO in 2014. But it is no longer available on the Windows 10 app store, nor is Microsoft continuing to support it, the company says, although a web version of Delve continues to exist, as do Android and iPhone portions.

Software companies like Microsoft kill unpopular apps all the time. But what makes this one noteworthy is that Delve was mentioned by name in Nadella's 2014, massive 3,000 -word memo that laid out his new vision for the company involving smarter apps doing more tasks for you and making you more productive.

In that memo, Nadella named Delve as one of two examples of "ambient intelligence" meaning the app can tell the context of what you are doing and automatically find the stuff you want and need. He wrote:

"... people will meet and collaborate more easily and effectively. They will express ideas in new ways. They will experience the magic of ambient intelligence with Delve and Cortana.

Delve took years of work and was the subject of months of teasers. It searched through emails, meetings, contacts, social networks, and corporate documents in Office 365 and then used machine learning to try and figure out all the important stuff you should see.

Microsoft told Foley that it is now planning on beefing up the Windows taskbar with such search functions:

"We're focusing our efforts on the Windows taskbar search experience which includes content and people inside your organization, as well as content on your local device, and on the rich web search experience including Delve and other search bars within Office 365."

Microsoft also tells Business Insider that the technology behind Delve is still alive, kicking and important.

"Delve remains an important and popular service for intelligent search in Office 365. Millions of people use Delve to find and discover relevant people and content at work. Delve is currently accessible as a web app, as well as on iOS and Android. Only the Window app is no longer supported. Instead, Windows 10 users will have direct access to personalized search results across people, documents and other content from within the organization right from the Windows 10 taskbar. In addition, we are now mainstreaming Delve to deliver ubiquitous intelligent search and discovery experiences across Office 365 and Windows."

All of this means that Microsoft hasn't given up on the vision to build artificially intelligent apps to make us all more productive. However the death of Delve as a Windows 10 app does point to how hard it is to create an app that's really so smart the world flocks to it.

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