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Microsoft cancels the Developer Ambassador program for Windows Phone

Microsoft continues to move around – and in some cases layoff – various employees or contractors associated with Nokia and Windows Phone. Although the significant cuts came a few weeks ago, there are still some aftershocks being felt. One of those deals with the Developer Ambassadors from Nokia, as that team is being disbanded effectively at the end of this month.

In a letter sent out to developers from Microsoft DVLUP, the news of the group's demise is revealed, in addition to giving a hearty thanks to the team for their dedication.

Consumers often do not see the developer side of Windows Phone, but software devs looking to jump to Microsoft's mobile OS have certainly had contact with the Developer Ambassadors. The team of hardworking, smart, and engaging representatives went out of their way to host events, hackathons, seminars and work directly with aspiring Windows Phone devs throughout North America. If you had a question or needed something, they were the go-to people for the job.

At Windows Phone Central, we can say we know many of these chaps personally, often engaging with them at Nokia events and sharing a beer. They are not only great at their jobs, but they are also some of the most congenial – and uproarious – people we have come across (what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas). Point of reference is the 'chromed' Lumia 900 and showing us how to hack Qi into a Lumia 1520.

To the Developer Ambassadors - Rich Dunbar, Nick Landry, Bill Reiss, Atley Hunter, Lance McCarthy, Greg Stoll, George Salcedo, Jan Hannemann, and Robert Shurbet – we salute you and owe you our thanks. (Beers on us, next time)

Thanks, Greg M., for the tip!

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Reader comments

Microsoft cancels the Developer Ambassador program for Windows Phone

176 Comments

I can't claim to know the exact rationale for this decision (besides 'save money') but I can say I'm not happy about it one bit. These guys are awesome and they were perfect in their roles.

Looking at you, Microsoft ಠ_ಠ

I went to my first DVLUP day this year and it was an amazing experience. I honestly can't see the cost/benefit ratio for the cancelation. I've also met many of the guys Dan mentioned. Shame. Hard to justify this imo

I hope they are just reorganizing and changing it around. How can Microsoft not have people dedicated to assisting and attracting developers?

On first reading it is not very good news. It was a wonderful program with great incentives and very innovative way of offering support to developers. So that is one side of this.

The other side of this is that despite the cool design offers and great people behind it, it didn't really bring any major results in, and recently it was kind of a ghost town. The Unity program has done much better.

So no matter how sorry I am to see this shut down, and I hope these great people find a way to continue helping others, I do understand the decision and unlike others find it very reasonable.

Keep in mind the ambassadors weren't Nokia employees. Microsoft does have it's DPE program and there is an overlap between the two

may be we can all bug MS on twitter about it and things might change ..

EDIT ; raised my disappointment with @satyanadella @joebelfiore and @selop

Think there may be a bit of confusion in this article, it says ambassadors got the axe, but has dvlup pictures in it. Dvlup isn't going anywhere is it?

Also Microsoft canned the Nokia champion program too

I think you may be right. I received this email and at first I read it as DVLUP was going away but on second read I think the article is correct in saying the ambassadors are cut.

Daniel, I am really disappointed in Microsoft on this one. The word ambassador alone should have make them think twice to make a decision like this. WE NEED FREAKING AMBASSADORS. Hell, I am one (by converting friends and family).. Maybe they should burn the whole platform and fire ALL of us. Ambassadors should always be protected and if Microsoft is not doing it than what is the point??? I can imagine you guys at wpc are upset and we all should be

Good luck ambassadors and please don't forget about us

t

MS seems to have its own version of Russian Roulette where it takes one bullet out instead of leaving one in.

Although I like your way of describing Microsoft I do not really agree. Microsoft and everybody working there are doing a lot of great stuff the past two years...
Hope they continue to do so but letting ambassadors go just does not make sense

Not happy about this either, they are awesome people, great at what they did, and a pleasure to work with. George Salcedo was always there for me during the early days of ProShot, and I may not be where I am today without his help.

Sad. I hope you'll find another avenue of support, love your app, and kudos for you for recognizing the help you received.

Too bad I never knew about these guys before, I wish you guys would have done an article on this before they were axed.

I like the fact that you're like an old-school journalist instead of all those tech bloggers. It is evident by the fact that you keep the news separate from personal commentary which other bloggers secretly (or blatantly) try to blend it in with their pieces. Nice job.

Agreed. They have some excellent resources for developers and have been a big help. I for one will miss this... Thanks to Microsoft for making a developer's job that much more difficult.

I personally would have preferred to see the xbox music and video guys go ...(to be replaced by more competent people) but with this , the main reason may be becuse the development for windows phone is going to be unified with windows and they maybe forminh another team for that's familiar with this new devet platform which as been kept a secret and will try to push it as much as possible but seen how these guys are WP veterans , the MS management may think they won't be as commtted to this new platform and the changes in app development they'll make , BUT if MS doesn't replace them ASAP , let's just say this would be even more boneheaded than the inital horrible snapping on windows 8.0 .

Daniel, look on WinBeta, Microsoft has a new Dev Center Benifots to offer developers prime help. I signed up last night, its awesome!!

Dam there's nothing worse seeing people losing their jobs but people who are losing their jobs and are amazing at it that's just a disappointment there's no logical reason why these guys should of lost their jobs.

Ahhh Microsoft, I know ur transitioning most task to uservoice but I can't for the life me understand why you'd remove such a personal service as this? Isn't WP supposed to be the one that allows users to make it as personal as they please? Well removing this service and the potential innovations it brings won't help that goal.... Just saying....

I'm sorry to hear about your friends loosing their jobs. That just sucks all around. You'd think of all divisions/groups Microsoft would understand the value these people provided.

I would say this is certainly a short sighted decision on Microsoft's part...however, I know the folks involved with DVLUP will land on their feet.

That's what happens with a public trading company. It's all about the money. Investors don't care about job loss or families to feed. They only care about the profits to lining their own pockets.

Such a shame, I do hope it is temporary though since it's a program that always interest me.

So basically Microsoft are now firing the people who had the jobs to bring and help those reluctants developers who din't want to give winphone a chance. And they were very good at their jobs too. So what is the rationale of this decision? Instead of giving the team more resources, they are letting them go? It feels like there is some mid level manager somewhere at MS who was jealous of all the attention and good will these guys from Nokia got from the community and now when they got under him he decided to take revenge, because people always were more apreciative of Nokias efforts than the ones from MS.

 

I know tinfoil hat, but it's just so weird. How are they gonna work with developers now?. Does MS have it's own people to do that from now on? And if so were were they untill now? Why not keep the DVLUP team and trim the fat from MS employees

Now everyone, please tell me again how you think Microsoft buying Nokia's D&S division and leading the real Nokia out of the phone business was such a great idea...?

 

Yeah. Thought so.

This is just sad,I had a reasonable day today,reading this just makes me sad, very sad ,out of words ,I don't get this decision one bit .

Huh, I understand Microsoft is trying to get rid of redundant roles, and cut costs now that they've absorbed another company, but I'm not sure this is a good decision.

It seems like these guys were very passionate about their jobs, knew what they were doing, and helped inspire people to develop for Windows Phone. Seems like a poor decision, I feel like they're losing more than they're gaining, but oh well. :/

I sometimes feel someone inside MS is trying to sabotage Windows Phone without MS knowing it, because otherwise it would surely be impossible to make so many blunders and bad moves deliberately as part of a plan.

Stupid stupid stupid.  Tweet, email, and facebook Microsoft about this.  They need to hear from us on how dumb a decision this was.

Ballmer was always talking about 'developers'... Having more to help advance the platform. How does this help? If these guys weren't doing their job, then understood. Windows phone has been fighting for years now...I will be devastated if they start phasing out the mid and high end Windows phones and just concentrate on the low end! What the hell is going on?!

It's not about all devs come to wp. It's about the best. The things that Ballmer used to do devs devs devs really used bore devs in the conference.

This is a very concerning move for the future of WP in general. Very upsetting, and for the folks being let go, very sorry to hear about this.

This has no freaking logic whatsoever! They had opened the program for more countries only a month ago. This sounds like a rushed decision if you ask me. Oh well, I've spent my 2000 pts on Photon subscription...

I really really love the windows phone. Windows 8 is good, I like it s well, but it has too many issues too often. Seems like Microsoft is doing one step forward and one step back with both consumers and developers relationships. No thumbs up this time.

Just go find an MVP our something, apparently it's the same thing and all ambassadors must go.

There guys were so much more accessible than evangelists/MVP/DPE/support , really sucks.

Windows phone support is so utterly bad. They don't get back to you for days, they try to let the problem 'solve itself', often they do not know what they are talking about, and at the end when you have ultimately sorted things out on your own, they give an insulting 'let me know if I can be of any further assistance'. I am so pleased though that they send you a survey to ask about your experience with it...

My experience as well. After explaining my problem and what I wanted an answer to several times - I got this reply:

".. and I believe we got everything taken care of, but please let me know if you have any additional questions and I will be happy to assist."

I gave up.

Boy does Microsoft make it hard to root for them. I'd like to see some tiny hint that they're not just going to run this once great into the ground.

I'm not all that worried. I'm sure there was and is still overlap in jobs. I'm sure Microsoft knows what its doing. Why shouldn't I or any other fan be payed to be an ambassador?

Satya has nowhere near the passion about Microsoft that Balmer/Gates have. This sounds just like something a corporate shill who doesn't have his ear to the ground does.

He has his nuts on the chopping block, share holders have the sword... As a developer / shareholder I'm torn

Looks like this areicle created a lot of confusion

According to the email, the Developer Ambassadors program is ending. While they were promoting Dvlup, the ambassador program actually predates Dvlup. 

Nothing in the email stated that any changes will happen to Dvlup (and many of the devs in that program are in countries that never had ambassadors).

The ambassadors weren't Nokia employees (maybe except for Rich who ran the program AFAIK). They got some commissions but mostly did it to support a platform they love and want to see succeed. 

This program does overlap a bit with Microsoft's DPE program so this isn't too surprising. Hopefully we'll still see events (and swag/device giveaways) just from DPE instead of Nokia

You are correct Eshy. The email only concerned the Ambassadors and we (including me) were all external contract part time employees of Nokia, not internal Nokia employees. The Ambassadors did receive a small monthly stipend and incentive for keeping developers active. You are also correct that the Ambassador program predated DVLUP. But that's when it was a pilot and just me. It was also a global outreach effort then. The program was expanded to coincide with the launch of DVLUP and one of our primary roles was to promote and drive developers to DVLUP. That's why DVLUP Day included DVLUP challenges as part of the process.

Microsoft has MVP's (non-paid advocates) and Technical Evangelists (full time internal MSFT employees) who both will continue to support and promote Windows technologies. We worked with many of them around North America and helped drive their Windows Phone metrics because most of them are focused on other Microsoft technologies. Hopefully they'll be able to continue supporting Windows Phone events and dev efforts.

Just wanted to say thank you to Rich and the rest of the Ambassadors for a job well done. Thank you for your help and support over the past couple of years helping Devs like me and promoting the WP Platform.

I know at least some of the ambassadors are also Microsoft MVPs. I was hoping the program will continue in some form because the dvlup events were just better.

Even though I never meet or in contact with you guys (no ambassadors here in Indonesia. Only Microsoft employees ran the DVLUP here), let me thank you for the job you guys have done. I also hope those MVPs and Evangelist do carry on your task. Kudos to you all. May the force be with you :)

Thank you Mr. Dunbar for your efforts on behalf of Windows Phone, it needs help and attention.   Unfortunately one of the main things that strikes me about your response is the line "because most of them are focused on other Microsoft technologies."

The writers here at WPC look to have appreciated you and your fellow Ambassadors and I intuit that they are right to do so.  It looks like quite a few people think that this is a mistake and while it wouldn't be a WPC article that wasn't chock full of comments about the sky falling for WP, I also intuit that it is not a great move to remove people who focused exclusively on Windows Phone.

Thank you Mr. Dunbar and I wish you well in your endeavors.

I am a developer and have gotten zero reply from repeated crying for help to my ambassador. The DVLUP site is pretty empty. I think MS made the right decision.

Who was your Ambassador Dreamfly? Despite the program ending I can see to it you get help you need where it's possible. Hit me on Twitter @richdunbar

Wow. I'm in Philly and I have seen nick and atley no less than 5 times in the past year. Get out and hit up some developer events. I traveled up to NYC for a DVLUP day and had unlimited access to these guys.

Sad, this is upsetting to hear that our fellow ambassadors are getting the axe. Microsoft should be a shame for letting these gems go. This is not going to help build the platform with there most important resources "Ambassadors"

No other OS has ambassadors. I haven't come across Android ambassador or iOS ambassadors. Those platforms aren't hampered in any way. I guess Microsoft understood that the ambassador program is just an indulgence.

I've been to these events and in each city there are hundreds of new Android and iOS devs who start developing for WP. It has without a doubt expanded the market. We need ambassadors.

Cutting off their noses to spite their faces again

Sure...let's axe the Ambassador program...that will really be helpful for the bottom line....

Dear CEO of Microsoft...your a idiot. Your explanation of moving Microsoft forward is a joke. You may have a high IQ,but your still dumber than a box of rocks. Who ever told you or suggested to do this should be the one to get their pinkslip.

What business model are you going by,in which you axe those who have brought developers to a platform that still needs more developers????????? Do you really need a roadmap to find your ass? Do you really not know that you are eroding confidence in the people who have given up part of their lives to help your company,or are you really just trying to make your mobile division so unappealing so you can close it down...because it sure as he'll appears that you don't really care

To Rich and all the other Ambassadors...I think you folks need more recognition for the amount of time and effort you put in on this. I do hope that they see how stupid it was to do this..

My hat is off to you all...

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

Satya is a dumbo, he's been making stupid decisions since he got the CEO chair. Why not fire all the dumbos in Skype, Xbox music and video team who have shown nothing to justify MS huge investment instead of these pretty cool guys who have helped bring a lot of developers to your lame platform. I'm still waiting for the iPhone 6 before I upgrade my Lumia 920

They even hired Nick from Nokia before the merger... Hoping he stays with Microsoft... To lose someone who actively promotes our dev ecosystem is maddening.

Dvlup is probably next to go... Aside from Atley and Nick, it is the only reason I cared to create apps for WP.

Holy, people??!?
As developers, there is no better support group than those provided by Microsoft. Yes, this group was extraordinary at what they did but, for the sake of Pete, Windows Phone will not live or die because of this group. Microsoft is restructuring and there will be easy decisions and tough decisions... I'd imagine killing off an ambassador program was relatively easy, frankly.

Actually you are very wrong there, this program played a big roll in getting unique apps to windows phone. The app store is somewhat lacking when it comes to very specific areas such as enterprises, corporations or schools. The app store didn't just grow by itself, it was predominantly Nokia and programmes like this that pushed it to where it is now.

I am not discounting the contribution and importance of this group and the role it played in growing the platform. I am also not, as most in these comments are, engaging in a worst case scenario of doom and gloom for the Windows Phone platform. The decision is made... We can sit and dwell on it or move on. What can we as supporters do to grow the platform... from a consumer perspective and corporate perspective? Perhaps the ambassador program has run its course and something newer and more aligned with MS's "One Experience" is in the works. I will not join the doom and gloom scenario others are.

@DarrenSproat.
Perhaps there is something in the works or perhaps not, it is better to make some noise as opposed to do nothing and move on under the presumption everything is fine. For instance if users did nothing when the screenshot of the Cortana got released we would be speaking to Alyx instead of Cortana.

Why is there so much angst ? Ambassadors were contract personnel - not employees of Nokia or MS. They were brought in to boost the number of apps and to get developers interested. It has done it's job and so the program is axed. Once a program achieves it's mandate, it has to be axed. It is a simple business decision. If a company has to relay on parties and freebies to keep developers interested in it's OS then only God can save the OS. IMHO MS has taken the right decision.

They were brought in to boost the number of apps and to get developers interested. It has done it's job and so the program is axed.

It has "done its job?"

Heck, Citibank, the US's fourth largest financial institution, doesn't even have a WP app.  BASIC app developers still aren't interested in WP, or rank it a very distant third, releasing half-completed "beta" apps 12 to 24 months after they premiere on Android and iOS.

Seems to me that the job is far from "finished," if the goal is to ensure a more robust WP platform.

On the other hand, if the goal is a progressive, gradual and orderly wind-down of the Windows Phone business, this is exactly the move you'd expect -- along with the mass cancellations of new Nokia devices in the pipeline (and firing of those engineers), the half-hearted device releases on carrier-exclusive (low-sales) terms, and the elimination of virtually all marketing and promotion for Windows Phone.

DVLUP was as an amazing idea, but not so well managed... There were points/prizes discriminations between nations, very slow prize shippings and campaign approvals, absurd ticket answers, too late support to wp8.1.
There was not even developed a dedicated WP app :/
A small reorganization could fix these issues easily, the program is fantastic especially for young developers.

Realistically, I prefer having resources re-allocated towards in-house development and QA.

However, this is probably not the case and is most likely a cost cutting move.

What makes you think this budget has anything to do with QA or internal development. This also seems to be a small line item. Surely you don't think had to choose between Ambassadors and QA on fiscal grounds, do you?

I'm not a developer, nor do I run in those crowds, but I have been a huge supporter of MSFT and its various platforms for years.  Why....I honestly don't know.  I like their products and tend to like underdogs, but I can't say exactly why I am rooting for them so much.  I have propogated my family w/ 6 windows phones, 3 xboxes, multple PCs, a Surface RT and a new SP3.

This decision rubs me the wrong way...this platform needs help/ambassadors/advocates, not a slick deck and some random strategy. A few more of these decisions and I'm afraid I might consider going the direction of the iSheep in the future.  Not something I want to do, but if WP keeps killing its own platform something I'll consider doing.

Until I see large devs like Facebook and Twitter developing native apps (with feature parity) for WP, then I can not believe that WP will succeed. I am greatly saddened by this and I have no explanation as to why this has not happened yet. It is sad though that MSFT has so little pull in this area. Also, as a contractor, I hate to see this happen to brethren. For the person who stated that this is ok because the project ran its course. I can only hope that you are so successful that your project runs its course as well. It's just business after all.

It appears to me that Microsoft is rolling up the shop on Windows Phone. The new CEO has made it clear that he would not have bought the Nokia phones div. With market share declining and no real new phones in a year or more the outlook is bleak.

Exactly. Satya was against buying Nokia phones from the outset. And when he says "mobile first" he means Microsoft apps for other mobile OS like Android and iOS.

Yep.  Exactly.

This reminds me of my teen years when Atari decided to exit the computer business back in the early/mid 1990s.  They released other products that were in the pipeline and did a limited production run.  They insisted they were "committed" to "remaining a competitor in the computer business" even as they fired all the developer advocates and internal development people.

Then once all the computer inventory in the warehouse sold out, Atari announced it was out of the computer business and focusing on video games.

This has the exact same feel to it.

It would certainly seem like it, that Microsoft is displaying all the signs of throwing in the towel on their own mobile OS: letting go depelover assistance personnel for Windows Phone, no news of any new 'Hero' WP, from Microsoft/Nokia' on the horizon, and the CEO uttering mixed messages about the OS in interviews----he's commited to 'mobile' but not necessarily Windows Phone.

As a consumer, not a great time time to be getting tied down on contract with a new WP device, with the OS' owner, unsure of its future.

WPCentral should remove this article. Translating a popular idiom, you're throwing shit on an electric fan. That's definitely not a news for the users' community, and especially not for the people who write something like "CEO of Microsoft, you're an idiot". That's just stupid.

Yes, it's true there's a lot of WPC readers that seem to immediately jump at laying blame at X person's feet and saying that the death of Windows Phone is nigh.   Some of that is because there are a lot of people that simply do not analyze issues well, there are other's who have animus towards Microsoft, but there are many of us that like Microsoft and Windows Phone but are concerned.

Given all that people are going to do what they are going to do and I hate to have WPC self-sensor because users are not the "right" audience for this news.

Yes, WPCentral.  You should only publish shiny happy press releases from Redmond that speak of the impending glorious victory for Windows Phone that is undoubtedly around the corner "in the coming months."  Because that would be brand new.  We've never heard that before.

All the developer events I have seen from MS this year have been azure and web. I can't remember one for windows 8.1 or windows phone 8.0 or 8.1. And now ending the dev ambassadors program.
It does seem like they are pulling away and makes no sense.
I hope there is some plan to help us willing devs to stay motivated and learn the new tech. I figured by now MS would be having events to cover the what was presented at /build. Universal apps and 8.1.

A developer is an engineer, and an engineer is an educated human who can find the way to solve the problem - and then solve that problem - on his own.

If you need someone's help to learn the new tech, you're half an engineer. If you're half an engineer, you're quarter of a developer.

So let's say I have a cool idea, and I've got two choices.

I can develop for the iOS and Android platforms, with robust ecosystems of over a billion users, great sales, and ubiquity.  I'll get awesome support from Apple, Google and Android OEMs to make my app or product a reality.

Or I can develop for the tiny, shrinking Windows Phone market, which is entering a death spiral.  And I'll get no support from a developer team, since they've all been laid off, and will get told that if I need help, I'm a shitty engineer and developer.

Gee, I wonder which I'll pick.

That's not my point.

You have a community on MSDN forums. You have a community on Nokia forums. You have a community on StackOverflow.

If you need someone's help to get into - yes, you are a shitty engineer and developer, because there is a whole lot of documentation there on MSDN to start and continue. But if you have some questions, you have the communities.

I wonder what will happen to your "cool idea" on Android and iOS, anyway. I think it will drown among the billion of other "cool ideas". And I very, very doubt you'll get support directly from Google's or Apple's (especially Apple's) development teams and especially OEMs. Most likely you'll go to the same StackOverflow.

And last, DVLUP Ambassadors are NOT Microsoft's employees. They get a very tiny payment, and if they love and develop for WP only because of it... Nobody needs such "enthusiasts".

Unreal. I have only just jumped in to app development and have found dvlup in particularly Rich Dunbar who gracefully helped me through my noob questions and dilemmas. Not a big question in the grand scale of the initial cancellation but are all the rewards promised by end August still being honoured. Do all XP have to be used by then?? So sorry dvlup is going and really hope its just a rejig and we see another dev platform rise in it's place. Pen

Maybe because wp and windows teams are merged and they already have such a team for windows? Perhaps they are just moved towards the windows side.

"Cloud first, mobile first"
Whatever you say Nadella!
I find it a great irony that Nokia bled itself dry trying to kick life into Windows Phone. Yet as soon as Microsoft take the reigns, they hack away every good thing Nokia did.
Do they think Windows Phone will grow organically, or by magic?! The platform needs investment....and it desperately needs to hold on to its strongest advocates.
Stupid decision Microsoft.

I dont want to knock the dvlup program, but there must be some rationale behind stopping it. Money cant be the issue. So either Microsoft isnt satisfied with the result of this program, or they are giving up on Windowsphone all together.

Either way, as a Windowsphone user from day 1, I salute all the hard work these guys have done. So thank you!!

I'm not an English native speaker. So I was recently asking a friend of mine about the exact meaning of the verb "to streamline" (and if it has a negative connotation) since I hear Satya using it all the time. It seems to me that after having read this article I've now perfectly understood the meaning of this expression.

You have a point :/

I'm hoping this move is due to teams being merged. It does seem odd that there would be no facility for outreach, no ambassadors. WP needs a high profile, and this sort of developer engagement goes a long way... What are they thinking?

Most likely they are independent thinkers making them far more progressive which don't suit Microsoft's taste buds. Stategically, these are the people you want to have in this competitive market with Android. You cannot have too big of a team because they can work on different phone and tablet designs. Microsoft cut them because they don't want to be outclassed. Now they will go to the competition with a spur in their butts against Microsoft for cutting which was not necessary. A good strategic team you gotta keep especially working in the mobile sector in my opinion. 

It's sad for people to loose there jobs, but the reality is these people were effectively doubling up on something Microsoft also did themselves. Microsofts biggest issue sometimes seems to be that they have multiple teams doing the same thing leading to inconsistent messages and external people suffereing from their own internal competition between teams.

Next I'd actually like to see DVLUP go! It was started by Nokia and at the point they begun Microsoft stopped their own reward programs that actually provided far higher returns than DVLUP ever has. They were also a lot more simplistic, rewarding for creating apps rather than create a specific type of app by the end of the month only for the deadline to be extended 6 times or in some cases end 2 weeks early. I find DVLUP in terms of rewards to be more distracting to developing an app, than really promoting building something good. 

It's time to read the writing on the wall.

Declining market share and sales.

A botched rollout of the WP 8.1 upgrade that means the vast majority of users still don't have it, over a half year after it was announced.

Cancellation of major new high-end Lumia product in the pipeline at the last minute.

A series of half-hearted device launches as carrier exclusives that won't sell, to just "go through the motions."

Plans to bring Cortana and other technologies to iOS and Android, which were "recanted" at the last minute (but I have no doubt are ongoing).

Making Windows free on small devices as a last ditch effort to get a userbase.

Microsoft developing Office Touch for iOS and Android before Windows (and Windows Phone).

And now, shutting down the developer advocacy program and firing most of the team.

Microsoft is putting Windows Phone (and possibly Windows itself) out to pasture.  It's over, folks.  Windows is finished. 

Sure, it will putter on in the corporate desktop for another five or ten years, but for mobile devices, it's a dead dodo.  It's the HP-UX or Solaris of 2014... a legacy OS with strong advocates that couldn't keep up with the times.

Microsoft is going Azure, Office 365, and consumer cloud services.  Windows will be a shrinking business that they'll milk until it's gone.

At Microsoft, WP has clearly already been deprioritized.  The vast majority of layoffs were in Windows and related businesses (including hardware).  Microsoft will keep it around as long as the losses aren't too high... but it has no real future.  It's another Zune, Kin, PlaysForSure, etc.  And we silly folks keep falling for it.

We've seen this in technology before.  Look at the Amiga, or the Apple II, or other tech ecosystems whose manufacturers were dead-ending (or that were dying).  Windows Phone is deja vu, and in the future, will be added to the list of dead-ended tech.

Naw. You're just in denial. And if you think all the cuts and downsizing and broken promises and half-hearted non-efforts and launches on other platforms first are going to lead to a strong and successful Windows, you're the crazy one.

With the drought of phones lately, bad quarterly numbers, no flagship phones coming, and now this, I'm guessing the announcement we'll hear soon is that MS is abandoning phones completely.

That is my guess. why build phones when you have the partners to this. I think XBox will have the same fate sooner or later. Why would you package your music with a gaming system then if XBox is sold the music goes along with it. Though I truly believe Xbox will be far more successful once it's run as a separately company.

Good morning everyone,

As many of you have heard by now, the Developer Ambassador program (formerly known as Nokia Developer Ambassadors) will be coming to an end in a few days. It has been a great experience and I have had wonderful memories over the last year since I took on this role. I have made new friends, and I have seen so many of you amaze me with your work, your apps and your dedication to the Windows Phone platform. For that, I thank you.

The good news is that I’m not going away at all. Since I joined Microsoft last January as a full-time Technical Evangelist in the NY Metro Audience team, my work with developers carries on. I will continue to host and speak at events, workshops, schools & meetups, I will continue to champion the Windows Phone platform & Universal Windows apps, I will still blog, build apps & demos, tweet and support you in any way that I can. Expect great things in the future.

That said, my “official” territory as a technical evangelist is much smaller since there are so many more Microsoft evangelists to support you compared to the smaller – but passionate – team of ambassadors. As an ambassador, I covered NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV & KY. For Microsoft, my focus is New York City and the state of New Jersey (where I live). You will still see me at some events across the country, but most of my activities will be concentrated in NY/NJ.

Allow me to introduce you to my fellow Technical Evangelists at Microsoft by region, along with their email, Twitter handle and blog:

New York City & New Jersey

Jesus Aguilar: Jesus.Aguilar@microsoft.com | @giventocode | Given to Code Blog

Nick Landry: Nick.Landry@microsoft.com | @ActiveNick | Age of Mobility Blog

Stacey Mulcahy: Stacey.Mulcahy@microsoft.com | @bitchwhocodes ! The Bitch Who Codes Blog

Maria Naggaga: Maria.Naggaga@microsoft.com | @ladynaggaga | Maria Naggaga’s Blog

Jason Walters: jwalters@microsoft.com | @jasonrwalters | Hello World Blog

Boston & Northeast US

Gavin Bauman: gabauman@microsoft.com | @gavination2 | The Other Gavin Blog

Michael Cummings: Cummings.Michael@microsoft.com | @mcummings | michaelcummings.net Blog

Hartford & Connecticut

Joshua Drew: Joshua.Drew@microsoft.com | @jdruid | drew5.net Blog

Rochester & Upstate New York

Steve Maier: Steve.Maier@microsoft.com | @stevemaier3 | 42 base 13 Blog

Pennsylvania, Delaware, & Maryland (+ West Virginia)

Dave Voyles: dvoyles@microsoft.com | @davevoyles | Dave Voyles’s Blog

Amanda Lange: amlange@microsoft.com | @second_truth | Second Truth Blog

Washington DC, Northern Virginia (+ Maryland & West Virginia)

Shahed Chowdhuri: shchowd@microsoft.com | @shahedC | Wake Up and Code! Blog

Southern Virginia & North Carolina

David Crook: dacrook@microsoft.com | @DavidCrook1988 | Dave Crook’s Dev Blog

Kentucky

Jennifer Marsman: jennmar@microsoft.com | @JenniferMarsman | Jennifer Marsman’s Blog

Brian Sherwin: Brian.Sherwin@microsoft.com |@bsherwin | Brian Sherwin’s Blog

As you can see, we have quite the team in DX (Developer Experience & Evangelism) to support you. Feel free to email your local evangelist and introduce yourself. Let them know about your work, your apps, and ask them about their events, local Meetups and such.

I want to make it clear that Microsoft remains as committed to the Windows Phone platform and Universal Windows apps as ever. Nothing changes to the DVLUP rewards program and site, and it’s still the best resource for you to earn great rewards for your apps. Windows Phone is key component of our mobile first + cloud first world, and as the challengers, we are in it to win it. This is a marathon, not a race.

From now on you can reach me on my permanent Microsoft email address at nick.landry@microsoft.com. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I am also creating a mailing list to continue to keep you informed about Windows Phone development resources & events, and will be adding all of you to it. Should you wish to stop receiving these emails (no more than 1 per month), you can simply unsubscribe to it, or reply to me now and I won’t add you.

If you’re in New Jersey, I also invite you to join my own Meetup at www.meetup.com/MMADNJ. I use it to schedule all my own events and office hours in New Jersey.

Good luck with your projects and apps, and don’t be a stranger. When you publish new apps, make sure to ping me on Twitter with a link. I’ll be happy to check out your work and help you promote your apps. Lastly, I want to thank Rich Dunbar and the entire team of Developer Ambassadors. It’s been a great program and I know your passion will keep carrying this community forward.

Cheers,

Nick

Nick Landry

Developer Ambassador for Windows Phone