It has now been confirmed by Microsoft that the native FM Radio Player has been permanently removed from the latest development branch builds of the Windows Mobile OS.
When the latest Windows Mobile Build 14332 was released last April to Windows Insiders, it was noted that the regularly-included native FM Radio Player application was no longer present after the update.
After some initially questioned and speculated if the absence of the application was unintentional, it was now recently confirmed that it was intentional, and was in fact permanently removed from the OS.
A member of the Windows Insider Engineering team recently revealed this information on Twitter, stating:
"FM Radio has been removed from dev branch builds and is being cut. May use third party radio apps from store"
As mentioned in the tweet, there are a number of third party FM radio applications available in the Windows Store.
While using one of the third party apps out there certainly appears to be the solution to those who never stopped using then native app, it does raise the question of why this change was implemented in the first place. Is it possible Microsoft felt they had to invest a disproportionate amount of resources into maintaining it, and would be easier to leave in the hands of other parties?
Stay tuned for a follow-up analysis of the best available replacement FM radio apps out there.