UPDATE 1/25/2017: I have obtained the answers I needed from Salesforce. Details can be found in my announcement here: https://sharepointadept.com/2017/01/08/on-deck-chatter-for-sharepoint-2-6/
I wanted to get as much information and clarification as I could from Salesforce before I made any statement regarding a possible change in the product.
Here is what I know:
Salesforce has made the decision to discontinue their Chatter Desktop and Mobile client applications. Existing orgs created BEFORE Spring ’17 can continue to use these products – but without support. Orgs created with Spring ’17 or later will not be able to use the Chatter Desktop or Mobile client applications.
What does this mean?
The Chatter Free compatibility mode in my Chatter for SharePoint product uses the same API access as the Chatter Desktop/Mobile products. Based on the public release notes and my conversations with Salesforce – existing customers with org’s created before the release of Spring ’17 will continue to function normally for the foreseeable future.
New Salesforce customers or existing customers that create a new Org with Spring ’17 or later will NOT be able to use my product if they have Chatter Free users.
Salesforce has not released any information yet regarding replacement client products compatible with Spring ’17. And until they do – or until we see what Spring ’17 has to offer – I cannot make any claims or promises regarding the compatibility of my product when used with Chatter Free users.
This issue applies only to Chatter Free users and orgs created with Spring ’17 or later – if you have Chatter Plus licensed users (or if your org was created before Spring ’17) then (to the best of my knowledge) the product will continue to function normally.
What I am doing:
I am continuing to communicate with Salesforce and the SF community on this change to determine how I can continue to offer a product that supports all Chatter license types. I will be posting additional information on my blog as I know more. If you have any questions I will do my best to answer them.