Back in January, Microsoft launched Microsoft Launcher Preview, a completely new version of its launcher for Android, built on a new codebase with support for landscape mode and some redesigned UI elements. Because this was a completely rebuilt version, many features were missing, so Microsoft decided to test it in a separate listing from the main Microsoft Launcher app.
However, last month, Microsoft Launcher 6 – previously only available in the Microsoft Launcher Preview listing – made its way to beta users on the regular listing, suggesting it's nearly ready for primetime in Microsoft's eyes. That left the future of Microsoft Launcher Preview up in the air, but Alessandro Paluzzi on Twitter has now found that this version will actually be discontinued by the end of the month.
This is the pop-up message that will inform you about the depreciation of #Microsoft Launcher Preview 👀 pic.twitter.com/6IuwMbMp80
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) July 14, 2020
Based on the tweet, Microsoft will soon start directing users to download the stable version of Microsoft Launcher, saying that the Preview version will be discontinued by the end of the month. From our testing, the warning isn't being displayed to everyone yet, and the stable version of Microsoft Launcher hasn't been updated to version 6 either, but that should be happening soon.
Microsoft Launcher 6 nearing the official launch also signals an ever-closer launch of the Surface Duo, which is expected to run the new launcher out of the box. The device is currently expected sometime this summer, but it's not completely clear when it will actually launch.