16th April 2024

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Technology and Computer

Microsoft is retiring Test Base because Windows 11 is just too good when it comes to compatibility

Key Takeaways

  • Test Base for Microsoft 365, an Azure-based service for app testing, is being retired by Microsoft due to Windows 11’s improved compatibility.
  • Customers must migrate data from Test Base by May 31, as the service entered its end-of-life phase on March 4, with no further updates.
  • Microsoft suggests exploring alternatives like App Assure and SUVP for app compatibility testing post-Test Base retirement.

Windows 11 has been out for a while now, and although there’s no official sign of a “Windows 12” yet, Microsoft’s latest operating system continues receiving new features on a regular basis. As the OS continues to evolve, it is important that existing software applications continue to function as expected. To achieve this goal, the Redmond tech firm hosted a solution called “Test Base for Microsoft 365”. However, it is now sunsetting this technology.

What is Test Base for Microsoft 365?

Test Base is an Azure-based service that allows developers and software vendors to upload their application packages to the cloud and conduct tests regarding performance, crashes, and more. There were multiple benefits to this approach, including the fact that this testing was conducted in Microsoft-managed environments and that it offered deep insights that could be further studied with tools like Power BI and Azure DevOps. It also offered Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Azure Machine Learning technologies, reducing the overall time and cost required for testing applications on unreleased or new versions of Windows.

Why is Microsoft retiring Test Base?

In a blog post, Microsoft has announced the retirement of Test Base for Microsoft 365. According to the dedicated FAQs, the reason behind this decision is that the “continuous innovation” in Windows 11 has rendered Test Base obsolete since the operating system doesn’t really have a lot of application compatibility issues. Moreover, proactive support from software vendors has ensured that IT professionals and organizations don’t need to rely on Test Base anymore, and the demand for it has been considerably reduced too. As such, Microsoft has decided to spend its time and money elsewhere.

When is Test Base being retired?

Test Base entered its end-of-life phase (EOL) on March 4, 2024, with the service planned for complete retirement on May 31 of the same year. No new features and updates are being added anymore, and customers are requested to use this time period to export their data and plan their transition to other solutions. Following May 31, all customer environments and data will be permanently deleted, and no extensions will be offered. It is also important to note that although the EOL date is May 31, the product is no longer supported or maintained since it has already entered this phase on March 4.

What should Test Base customers do?

Windows 11 Start menu with recommended content turned off

Microsoft has urged customers to offboard from Test Base and export their data and scripts prior to May 31. Interestingly, the tech giant has admitted that it does not offer a direct alternative to the service, but it has requested customers to check out other app compatibility facilitation services such as App Assure and the Security Update Validation Program (SUVP). The former enables organizations to remediate any compatibility issues they come across in their applications through assistance from Microsoft professionals at no additional cost. Meanwhile, the latter enables “trusted” customers to get early access to Windows security updates, as long as they sign an NDA and are nominated by a Microsoft representative. Of course, if both of these options aren’t viable for an organization, they can choose to self-host their testing pipelines for applications too.