The death of the Cache app and service serves as a reminder that Microsoft Garage apps are really just "experimental"
Microsoft has a group of employees called The Garage, which the company refers to as a “no-holds-barred ode to hack culture.” The Garage pumps out software for every major platform (mainly Windows 10, iOS, and Android) that’s outside the realm of the company’s for-sale products and services and that often serves as research projects for new technology and concepts.
As such, Garage apps are more informal and don’t come with the same support and guarantees as Microsoft’s official offerings. Anyone using a Garage app is probably well served to treat it as a mere technology showcases rather than something to be relied upon, as the shuttering of Microsoft’s Cache digital organization app suggests.
Microsoft Cache was an app and service that let users capture and organize various digital information, including files, web pages, reference material, text snippets, and notes. The resulting content could be easily organized by project, client, task, and idea to allow for easy groupings that helped show relationships between data.
Information stored in Cache collections was instantly available to other Windows 10 machines and iPhones, and the original source was stored to make it easy to return to the original content. Finally, Cache maintained a clipboard history with a timeline to let you remember bits of information captured in the past.
The Microsoft Garage team decided to discontinue development of the Cache app and to shut down the Cache service on February 28. A blog post announced the death of Cache: “Last year, we set off on a mission to build the simplest way for people to organize their digital stuff around the things important to them, and evolved the OneClip app to Cache. We launched through the Microsoft Garage to bring Cache to you and learn from your feedback.
“Over the course of this year, we learned that there was an appetite for a service like Cache, but more importantly, your feedback taught us a lot about the extent of the challenges people have with managing and organizing their work.”
Microsoft makes note of the fact that Garage projects are “experiments by definition,” and that the company will now be “better equipped to tackle [its] original mission to help people easily organize their stuff.” The team provided no information on if or how information from Cache could be migrated to other solutions, such as Microsoft’s own OneNote app, so if you’re using Cache, you’ll want to take advantage of the time remaining to put your information somewhere else.