Skip to main content

Windows phone didn't fail because of Live Tiles

The claim that the unique Live Tile-based UI is inherently unintuitive and the cause of Windows phone's failure I think is limited in perspective. It is more the timing of the introduction of the Windows phone UI into the market that resulted in its rejection and the platform's failure.

The problem isn't the tiles

The fact that many consumers who are presented a Windows phone find the UI initially off-putting must be considered within the context that most smartphone users are using iOS and Android.

Consequently, the unfamiliar Live Tile UI, like most things unknown, has an inherent learning curve. The ease with which users switch between the iPhone and Android phones with fewer hiccups than moving between those platforms and Windows phones has to do with the similar static icon-based UI iOS and most Android phones share. In a nutshell, in an iPhone and Android dominated market smartphone users are used to a static icon-based UI and have little problem switching between what's familiar.

Microsoft research demos interactive Live Tiles between PC and phone.

This reality does not necessarily support a claim that a static-icon based UI is more intuitive than a Live Tile UI as some may believe.

I don't believe that the Windows phone Live Tile UI is inherently unintuitive. What I do believe is that by the time Microsoft brought it to market, its lateness simply made it "unfamiliar" to the masses of smartphone users. If Microsoft was earlier to market with Windows Phone 7, perhaps before the iPhone or concurrent to its introduction, things may have turned out differently for Microsoft.

Defining a new paradigm

There's a saying that the early bird gets the worm. If Microsoft were earlier to the consumer smartphone space, perhaps its Live Tile UI would have helped define the consumer smartphone experience.

Microsoft's Computer Human Interaction Group demonstrates the unfulfilled potential of Live Tiles on phone and PC.

In 2007 smartphones were new to the consumer masses (though old hat to the enterprise and techies) after all. At that time feature phones with their archaic UI's defined the mobile experiences for the masses.

Any new UI could have replaced that experience. The icon-based UI that Apple succeeded with was due to good timing, a good product, and great marketing.

What if Microsoft and Live Tiles were first?

Suppose Microsoft had introduced Windows Phone 7 on the heels of a feature phone consumer market rather than chasing an iOS and Android consumer market in 2010.

The frame of reference in that context would have been a feature phone UI compared to a Live Tile-based UI. The touch friendly, Live Tile, information-rich fluid Windows phone UI would have been an incredible leap in the mobile experience of consumers. Users would not have seen the touch-friendly Windows Phone 7 UI and OS as inherently unintuitive.

Microsoft who was first to the enterprise smartphone space was too slow in bringing its vision of a mobile OS to the consumer masses. Unlike what it accomplished in the PC space, it lost the opportunity to define what a mobile personal computing would be for consumers. I'm reminded of the proverb:

How long wilt though sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travaileth…

Microsoft as a company is by no means impoverished, but its mobile efforts have yielded an expected and ever-decreasing number to its balance sheets. The company's contentment with its PC position and its over 40 percent smartphone market share at its peak caused the company to become slothful in its mobile strategy.

Steve Ballmer mocks iPhone.

The often mocked mockery of the iPhone by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer summarizes this point.

Microsoft, not Live Tiles was the problem with mobile

Though Live Tiles aren't and never were by their nature an inherent barrier to the adoption of Windows phones, the timing of their introduction into a smartphone experience defined by a static icon-based experience is a problem to the UI's adoption.

How the new Windows 10 Start menu may help Windows phones succeed

Microsoft seems intent on holding on to Live Tiles as evidenced by their use in the Windows 10 Start Menu. This is good news to millions of ardent Windows phone fans who love Live Tiles. But Microsoft is going to have to do better if it wants Live Tiles to keep up or stay ahead of the evolving mobile experience.

Microsoft and developers must be willing to advance Live Tile functionality and the experience making them more consistent with their original vision going forward. For instance, Live Tile's must always display the latest information, must have notifications for all apps, should be more interactive, and the return of the Me Tile with added functionality are just some things Microsoft should bring to the table.

Windows Central's Daniel Rubino demonstrates exploding Mixed View Live Tiles on canceled McLaren.

Exploding Live Tiles or Mixed View, which provides access to additional app content or functions seems to be a vision that Microsoft has forsaken with the ill-fated McLaren. Apple, on the other hand, has taken and applied that concept with force touch in iOS. Microsoft would do well to revisit Mixed View.

The sad truth every Windows phone enthusiast must accept is that Live Tiles aren't at the root of Windows phone's woes, Microsoft is. Let's hope Microsoft has learned from its mistakes.

Further reading

Even if Windows 10 Mobile succeeded Microsoft would have pursued a post smartphone strategy

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

253 Comments
  • I've been a Windows Mobile/Phone user since 2004'ish and now that I've been an Android user for the past 3 months, I miss Live Tiles the most.  Hell, I miss the OS the most.  But.... The apps aren't there.
  • The OS. Exactly.
    I happen to believe the Tiles were one cog in the WP design machine that worked so smoothly together.
    Remember how opening the messagin app would put your conversations on the screen with a fluid cascade animation that the Start screen also employed?
    It was all of them together. The freshness of a new take on UI without some graphic artist trying to make things "pretty" however they could with whatever colors they could find. NONE of that came to W10M I said, back when I used to argue W10M isn't a proper successor to 8 and 8.1. But now even the W10M experiment is over so... Now even with CShell and maybe a foldable, phone-sized full W10 device we won't get that because we already know how W10 is. Doesn't have that level of polish, and the only thing making that prospective device usable will be its utility, not its software design. The crew who messed up virtually ALL WinRT and UWP apps from the beginning of Windows 8 can't be trusted to give you a unified, polished system.
  • I have been using Windows phones for last 4years or so. To me the prime cause of failure is 1. Ugly phones, a majority of phone buyers are in young age group and for whome looks are important. Even elders feel like carrying a descent phone, whereas the phones have been anything but beautiful. 2. Range: Microsoft selfdom provided range to suit all pockets.  Or else the tile experience was far more convenience that androids/IOS, the security was excellent, the phone didnt hang.
  • Use window 8 launcher! You won't miss them. The appears the same, only lack functionality;")
  • I use Launcher 10 on my Android phone. It's a absolute godsend.
  • I love Launcher 10. The Live Tiles are actually pretty functional.
  • square home2 is a pretty good app to get back that livetile feeling. not the real deal but as close as you can get on android, since windows phone is no longer a viable option in any way for the future.
  • Of course its not the Live Tiles. Its the contant reboot of phone strategy and Phone OS. That is what killed Windows Phone.   
  • They rebooted each time because it was dead. That isn't the cause. There has to be a reason they failed the first time. It makes sense to blame the UI, especially when that UI had failed in every iteration.
  • So, out of curiosity, what do you think was the root cause of failure for WebOS (icon based UI from Palm - one of the big pre-iPhone smart PDA/phone makers) and BB10 (again, icon based UI from Blackberry, one of the big pre-iPhone smartphone makers)?  I mean neither of those used a tile UI, and yet neither had success.
  • WebOS had terrible hardware. It wasn't icon based though. It was card based and I was a huge fan of the UI. The Palm Pre hardware was garbage but I liked it and waited for Palm to release large screen modern phone. It never came. I have never used a Blackberry. I don't really know anything about them. I assume the name held them back, like Windows does for Microsoft. They needed to rebrand, people didn't think modern phone when they hear Blackberry.
  • So a couple of things.  I never used a WebOS device, but looking at this video, when it came to launching apps, it seems very icon based.  The "all applications" icon is pretty much like the Android app drawer.  (The card based nomenclature seems very much related to multitasking which honestly doesn't look all that different from an Android phone of today.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgwUs6h57PE Likewise, I never used a BB10 device; I'm just going off images I've seen, but neither BB10 nor WebOS look all that different from skinned Android.  You say you were a fan of WebOS back in the day,  Android OS launched in October 2008, over a year after the iPhone launched.  WebOS launched afterwards (June 2009). Some questions: Do you believe that if WebOS shipped before Android (before Autumn 2008), it would have been successful? Do you belive that if WebOS initially shipped on equal hardware (compared to what was available on Android) at the time (June 2009, 2 years after iPhone, nearly 1 year after Android) it would have had success? Do you believe that if WebOS didn't ship until Autumn 2010 (WP7 lauch, 3+ years after iPhone, 2 years after Android), even if it was running contemporary hardware, it would have been successful?  More successful than WP7?  
  • Honestly, Windows Phone was more icon based than WebOS. Just because you put squares around the icons, doesn't mean it isn't still an icon. WebOS homescreen was card based. You scrolled through your cards of open apps. It had an icon based app drawer, but so does Windows Phone. Google hired the design guy from WebOS, so they do have some similarities now. WebOS and BBOS had a similar issue. Palm and Blackberry were going at it alone. Microsoft has this issue as well since they lock down Windows Phones so much. I don't think any of those platforms had a chance to compete with Android because Google inspired the manufacturers to take Android and run with it. Samsungs couldn't do what they did with any platform but Android. Windows Phone did not give Samsung the tools they needed to compete with Apple. That is why Microsoft lost. It is that simple. No platform had a strategy even close to as strong as Google's. It didn't matter when all those other platforms launched, they would have struggled to compete with the Google/Samsung/HTC/Motorola/LG/OPPO/Xioami/Huewei group effort. Microsoft tried to pay Nokia to help, but they were still way out numbered.
  • So really you're saying that despite your initial claim
    It makes sense to blame the UI, especially when that UI had failed in every iteration.
    you don't think the Windows UI itself was necessarily the main issue, but rather it was fundamentally an issue of "openness"? (tweaking UI, adding functionality, and also adapting to hardware variations - Windows Phone always was limited as to chipset and resolution support, for example.)
  • Yeah, that is what I am explaining. It wasn't the design of the UI so much as the complete inflexibility of the UI. If you didn't like it, and it was polarizing, then you didn't buy a Windows phone. You had no Microsoft option at that point.
  • Oh, OK, so you're arguing that if even if the timeline remained exactly as it was (Windows phone didn't come out for over three years after iPhone/iOS and 2 years after Android shipped, lacked Google maps, YouTube, iTunes), if they had just let the phone manufacturers change the "UI"  (shell?  controls? something?), they'd have been successful? And then iOS's success with it's no flexibility of any sort and sameness across all devices and carriers was just an accident?
  • They would have had a better chance at least. Google gave the manufacturers the keys to the castle and let them run wild. Not only could they change the UI however they wanted, they could use whatever hardware they wanted and add any features they wanted. This inspired them greatly, causing a rediculous feature war with awesome marketing potential. Microsoft gave the manufacturers...none of this. The hardware was strictly outlined and outdated, the UI couldn't be touched and features were lacking without any ability to add to them. It is hard to say it is just the UI though. Microsoft did so many other things wrong as well.
  • Absolutely correct. Windows mobile had been the most flexible, adaptable OS. The interface could be whatever you wanted - I used Co0kies home tab. You could install umpteen different mods of the core system. But it could only access a small amount of RAM (256MB I think). Some programs stopped developing for it because they couldn't do what they wanted. Sygic was one (satnav). Then Windows phone came along, totally locked down. The devices themselves suddenly had restrictions on the design including how many buttons and how they were placed. The loyal customers hated this sudden straightjacket. I waited and when Android 4 gave me back what windows phone had stolen, I jumped.
  • How do you support that assertion? How is it that I can't argue getting there late is the cause they couldn't penetrate the market?
  • Yes, Android has sooooo many flaws compared to W10m. For livetiles i recommend Launcher10. Not cheap, but it fixes the horrible AndroidUI a fair bit.
  • For me it's exactly the same! I expected Android to be far ahead of WP Mobile but it really disappoints me. To be able to have all app though is a relief...  What I miss most: - Live tiles (NOT the animation, but the info on the tiles) - The Word Flow keyboard (it's far better than Swiftkey!) - The action center (not all ugly reminders centered on top of the lock screen as in both Android and iOS) - Dark mode! I think though thatin terms of acceptation MS should give users the possibility to work just with icons; too much people hate the live tile view. IMO it should be more like windows 10: desktop with icon possibilities (would be great to be able to place live tiles on the desktop as well) and press start to open the lice tile view.
  • I agree with you about Swiftkey and its word flow approach.  I much preferred Microsoft's behavior where, when it misinterpreted a word you scribed, you'd hit backspace once and the entire word was deleted.  With Swiftkey, you have to backspace the entire word to get back to where you started.  That's a pain.  However, Swiftkey does have some great customizability features that I really like.  Regarding live tiles vs. Android's approach, you should look at each installed app's widget offerings.  Some are far superior to the limited information offered by live tiles.  I loved the live tile concept, but it seemed like they never really followed through on making them truly "live".  I'll give you an example in Android land: Install the "News360" aggregator app, then try its widget.  The thing rocks.  But I'll beat the dead horse again - I'd still be on Win10Mo if they had the apps that Android offers, but they don't.  That was the deal breaker for me and, I'd venture to guess, for a whole lot of other folks.
  • Same here, I moved to Android 2 months ago and immediately customised my android launcher with Launcher 10...
    Excellent launcher with look and feel very close to the native Win10M interface and customisation... The live title feature is expensive but further enhance the Win10 feel (the android notifications are shown on the tile if the respective app)...
    Pretty good Android launcher for Win10M fans like me who have to move to Android due to lack of hardware...
    Recommended!
  • Yeah don't blame tiles. Blame MS...
  • To be more specific blame Satya Nadella...
  • YES! THIS, a million times, THIS!
  • Disagree completely.  MS had market share only in the race to the bottom.  Had they stayed the course, they'd just have been throwing good money after bad, because the app developers simply weren't there.  The fate of WinMo was sealed before Nadella became the honcho.  And a Surface Phone or any other disruptive hardware approach won't make a lick of difference if the app ecosystem continues to be so paltry.  The MS/Nokia hardware was excellent, but it simply didn't matter.  Nowadays, all hardware is pretty much excellent, so MS was right, IMO, to focus on their core strength - business apps like Office, and forget about beating their heads against the wall of the consumer space.  That ship has sailed and it ain't coming back, no matter what the Surface Phone or the "cellular PC" brings to the table.
  • Nope. Not Nadella. It was already over before he came along. 
    They sat on the old Windows Mobile WAY too long. By the time WP7 came along, it was already a 2 player market. I dont think MS ever really had a shot. Buyers already felt forced into Windows PCs and didnt want the same for their phones. 
  • Nope!! Totally Nutella, Windows 7 to 8.1 had a healthy market share all over Europe and growing in the US. They were never going to beat Android or iOS and nobody expected that at Microsoft.. but they had a healthy 3rd place standing Nutella decided to end that... He decided that Microsoft should retrench in Mobile so the fault lies with him!!.. suffering the first reboot might have put off some people but people were buying Windows phones in North America and in South America and in Europe so it's a shame that the Windows Phone reboot issue was the cause of this?? totally incorrect!!
  • They didn't have a healthy marketshare at all. The total sales numbers were always very low and only the cheapest devices were selling. It wasn't healthy. Microsoft wouldn't have cut it if it was.
  • That is the part I do not understand. How, with the success of WM5 & 6, did things plummet?  WM6 was a great OS to monkey with and modify. Then 6.5 got pushed out as a stopgap. Maybe that's it?  Perhaps 6.5 should have had more invested to 1) tide people over and 2) reveal bits to transition to 7.  I tend to agree with those pointing to the extra strict phone hardware requirements also. Which seems in direct conflict with how Windows PCs are approached. (squirrel) On that note, someone above mentioned Palm. They had good market share; how did Palm crumble and evaporate?  I miss PalmOS devices.  I don't think it's the live tiles either. iOS gives you a clock with moving hands, and that's all I've seen there. But, true, Apple built up the app store for a few years with the iPods before the iPhone rolled out.  Maybe they should take an approach more like MS Office.  Make apps for other phone OSs. Live tiles for iOS and Android?  That could be the ticket.
  •  Definitely blame Nadella for killing Win mobile due to lack of support. But blame the crusty old critics for everybody ******** about live tiles. They were too set in their ways to give the new interface with live tiles a chance. Either they still hated Microsoft from the 90s or are just plain too lazy to learn it. So, they wrote all these articles about how bad the interface was and people (lemmings) just followed suit.
  • The Live Tiles UI is the 'only' reason I still stay with W10M platform.  It is the most customizable, effcient and simple UI among all the mobile platforms.  I blame MS management for the W10M failure.  The way they handle the WP kill is nothing but disgraceful.  They could downsize and streamline the operation rather tham bury it.  It is totally irresponsible.  The CEO is leading the charge to kill a beautiful product. They have lost trust among all the fans, users, developers, media and OEMs.  
  • Agree 100%. I love Live Tiles. I keep going back to them for a million reasons.
  • Windows Mobile isn't customizable at all. Certainly not as customizable as Android or even a jail broken iPhone. Literally the only thing customizable on Windows phone is the size and layout of the tiles.
  • On my Start screen, all my frequent contacts, tasks, tools, apps and sites are pinned and organized to fit tightly with my daily routines.  Once is phone is powered on, most of my activities are one tap away without searching.  This is something that you just can't do on other platforms especially the iOS.  I just don't want to go backward to the icon based UI.  You need to do searching all the time and every time.  It is not the size and layout of tiles you can customize.  It is the whole mobile operations you can customize to provide maximum efficiency to every individuals.  There are NO two Start screens are alike.  I just don't know how could I survive without using the 'Live Tiles' UI to manage my daily life after years of getting used to.  I would definitely switch to the rumored the W10 'ultramobile mobile' device as the first option before considering any other platforms.
  • They all are just a grid of icons with squares around them and randomly flipping images. There is no customization available that isn't available on every platform.
  • Your the only one that goes on about this...every article you can. Apps. No, don't copy/paste your "that's a symptom, not the cause" rant to backed up with data like "folks don't like windows phones" backed up with marketshare. You have no supporting data to draw those lines. You point out facts and then line them up with your own bias. Most people don't mod up their phones and don't care about that stuff as much as you seem to. I still have the standard UI on my Samsung and I'd have the standard UI if I had a Pixel. I bet of I see 10 Androids, one or two are all mod'd up. That's not the issue, but you piece together a couple of facts that aren't relevant and use loose logic to make your personal pet peeve the issue.
  • Every Android phone is at least modded by the manufacturer, even the Pixel. Why do you think the manufacturers never put much effort into Windows Phone and Microsoft had to pay Nokia to care? What data would be more relevant to Windows phone's popularity? Isn't sales the most important metric? What data do you have that shows people loved Windows Phones so much? If People loved them so much, why didn't they buy them back in 2010 and 2011 when Android also had an app gap?
  • Who cares if the manufacturers mod? The point is that consumers don't care because people aren't fussing with it, like you do.  You don't understand the illogic of your argument. Sales is an important metric of sales success, but it is NOT a diagnostic as to WHY sales aren't better. You connect those dots with your own biases.  You have ZERO data supporting that "folks just don't like Windows UI" other than to say "sales are bad".  Sales can be bad for multitude of variables. The hardware could suck. The marketing could suck. The carrier deal could suck. Pricing could be off. Most people seem to boil it down to APPS. I know...you think it's a symptom of having a bad UI.  I've read that over and over from you, but the ony data you use is sales, connected though conjecture to a personal obsession with modding. Spoiler....it's the apps.   
  • Who cares if the manufacturers mod? Who do you think cares? THE MANUFACTURERS! Who was out there putting effort into selling Android phones? (hint: it wasn't Google) Who was out their selling Windows phones? Was it anyone other than Microsoft? Why do you think Microsoft couldn't convince manufacturers to seriously support their platform? Why did they overwhelming choose Android when Windows Phone was so much better in 2011?
  • You ask these questions as if they are a mic drop, obvious answer.  They are not.   Google certainly sold Android phones and still does.  Samsung originally marketed Windows phone and so did HTC. I, like you, was not present in any boardroom, but I will go ahead and guess that they didn't say "Live Tiles".  They probably wanted a commitment from Microsoft to stick to a platform, development language, 1st party apps, keeping some product differentiation.  I'm guessing that because Microsoft never seemed to care that much, they figured "why should we?".  Other than "why do you think?" any other reason you have for definitively pinning everything on the UI and customization is conjecture painted with what YOU personally want to do.  
  • Do you really think HTC or Samsung put anywhere near as much effort into selling their Windows phones? What huge marketing push did Sprint and HTC do for Windows phones? I remember their huge EVO push. What marketing push did Verizon and Motorola do for Windows phones? I remember their gigantic "Droid Does" campaign. In what world did Samsung put anywhere near as much effort into the Focus as they did Galaxy S?
  • Bleached is spot on - WinMo really isn't customizable beyond window dressing (pun intended).  Although Android clearly has its warts, that platform is the king of flexibility with its launcher approach. 
  • There's an audience for people who just love to fiddle, but that is not a universally demanded "feature".  On a board of tech nuts and nerds, yes, but even I don't change my launcher or spend a bunch of time customizing and a majority...a vast majority of phones that I see people using have the stock launcher and those people don't even know what a "launcher" is.  This is NOT the reason for Windown on a phone's failure.   There are people who like that an want that and they have Android as a choice. There are FAR MORE people who want their bank on their phone and their work app and SnapChat or whatever other fad app comes up.  People will switch between Android (Samsung mostly) and iOS.  The UIs are vastly different including the ability to customize it.  They ONLY care about the apps and services.  If they are stuck on using Facetime or iMessage, they'll never leave Apple...even to customize on Android.  
  • You don't understand. I have tried to explain this to you multiple times. It isn't customization by users that was important, it was customization by the manufacturers that made Android successful. Why would they care to push Microsoft's platform when they can have their own platform that still has access to apps? Samsung couldn't compete with Apple using WP7 because they had no control over it. They couldn't add all those dumb but marketable features. They were stuck with Microsofts strict hardware limitations, lack of features and polarizing UI. How do you market that crap?
  • First of all, Samsung features aren't all "dumb".  I use Samsung Pay everyday and it works...EVERYWHERE.   I understand that YOU think that's why manufacturers make decisions.  The UI is polarizing to YOU.  Most people don't have strong feelings. Others like it. Other's don't.  Adding a skin isn't having their own platform.  Samsung is closest to having their own sub-ecosystem or parallel is probably more accurate, and they'd love to leave Android and I think they'll have the power to do so in a couple of years.  Lack of features? You just posted that Windows was far superior to Android in 2011.  
  • I am talking about 5 years ago when Samsung was throwing all types of dumb features in. I can't remember any of them other than the eye tracking so the display didn't turn off. They stopped doing that stuff a couple years ago after they became established and didn't need them anymore. Why do you think the manufacturers made that decision? Getting them involved in development and giving them a voice and their own identity might be the easy and obvious answer. Why do you think manufacturers put more effort into Android? WP7 was massively behind in features. When I said it was better, I meant performance wise. I am sure you won't argue WP7 performed better than Andoid 2. It makes sense since WP7 had no where near the features or multitasking abilities.
  • I think that eye tracking might still be there. I don't think myscreen turns off as long as I'm still reading it.  I wouldn't call that dumb, but that's me.  We have different uses.  I can't answer you "Why do you think" questions because they involve conjecture based on the fact that I don't have the information and I had no access to the people making those decisions.  I won't guess and package my opinion as fact.  We don't know. Again, I'd guess...GUESS...that they wanted a solid commitment from Microsoft on certain issues.  If they were so intent on the things you think are so important, they wouldn't have developed any devices.  The bottom line is that they want/need good first party support and my guess is that they weren't convinced that this was going to be the case.  I'm not pretending to state that this is definitively what happened, because i wasn't there.  I'm also not going to ask condescending "Why do you think" questions.  
  • My GS8 doesn't have that feature I think. Samsung announced they were removing all the superfluous features and simplifying the phones with the release of the GS5 or GS6 I think. Wait, you think Microsoft would not stand behind WP7 or WP8 even at release?! You think they refused to give any guarantees to the manufacturers that they would support their platform? That is the craziest thing I have ever heard. Why would you support such a company if that is what you think of them?
  • "My GS8 doesn't have that feature I think."  Yes it does: Settings - Advanced Features - Smart Stay We jump all over time.  OEMs supported the OS in the beginning.  OEMs dropped support later. I'm guessing that they didn't get assurances later.  You need to get out more if that's the craziest thing you have ever heard. I will no longer response to "Why would you" or "Why do you think" questions.
  • Yeah, some OEMs supported the platform in the beginning, but they put the bulk of their effort into Android not Windows Phone. That really isn't a controversial statement, I think that can be called a fact at this point. The OEMs were instrumental in the success of Android. Their huge marketing pushes really put Android on the map(Droid Does, HTC EVO, Samsung Galaxy). Again, that is a fact. There has to be a reason why all of the OEMs put less effort into Windows Phone (unless they were paid hundreds of millions of dollars). Quick Brainstorm for reasons:
    1. Sick of of Microsoft's platform Monopoly 2. Android offered them differentiate and Windows Phone didn't 3. Android was more marketable than "Windows" (consumers may have negative connotations with the Windows name) 4. Google incentivized them to not support WP 5. OEM focus groups heavily favored Android
  • "... a vast majority of phones that I see people using have the stock launcher and those people don't even know what a "launcher" is..." Your experience in this regard is completely anecdotal.  Based on your very limited "view", you're projecting the idea that most people stick with a completely vanilla Android.  Given the vast array of launchers that are available, and the literally millions of launcher downloads, I would respectfully disagree with your assertion.  I agree that bleached clearly doesn't care for the Live Tile interface and seems to damn the entire OS on that basis alone, but with respect to its superiority over iOS and especially Android because there's an element of dynamism to Live Tiles, I completely agree with him/her.  I can't speak about iOS intelligently because I have next to no experience with it (never owned an iPhone or an iPad), but I've years of experience with both Windows and Android and though I like Win10 on my PCs, I also have a healthy regard for Android's customizability and its widgets.
  • Ummmm, thanks for disagreeing without being condescending or acting like a know-it-all! Seriously.  :) I'm aware of what anecdotal evidence is.  I make it VERY clear that I don't have access to the kinds of data that make precise determinations possible. At least my evidence involves a sample size. bleached is only concerned with what bleached wants and applies that to the masses.   Sure, there are millions of downloads. Nova is the most popular, right?  It has about 10 million, based on my checking the Play Store this very second.  There are apps with over a billion, so I don't think it's anywhere near a majority of people who are modding up a storm with launchers.   I still use the stock Samsung launcher and I do have 3 widgets right now:
    1. Calendar
    2. The Curiosity App (you're making me show my inner nerd here)
    3.  The Spotify App - though I still control music mostly from the app itself, so this one might go away.
  • Specifically, blame the MS board (Gates, etc.). When Ballmer submitted his resignation, there was Nadella (the cloud guy) or Elop (the phone guy). They hired the cloud guy, so blame it on the ones who hired Nadella. He's just doing what he was hired to do.
  • Elop, the failed phone guy?! Why would they hire a failure?
  • Failed phone guy or successful Trojan horse??
  • Even if he was a trojan horse, the strategy still was a failure.
  • The live titles were one of its biggest advantages
  • What advantage does a Live Tile have over a widget?
  • It works for every app. It does not drain your battery. It can be resized to the size you need, not the App-Dev thinks. And in the end, Tiles use the space on screen much more efficient due to the different sizes. (i can have 8 unimportant apps in one row, or 2 large ones, or 4 middle ones, each app the size i need, not all uniformed bubbles with no information and a lot of space in between.
    If you have an android, try Launcher 10.
    http://imgur.com/Rf7oujI
  • I have a Windows phone right here. Doesn't seem to have a Live Tile for every app and I have to make the Tiles big and waste space just so I can see some random information that I cannot interact with or act on. Hopefully whatever random information they show is easy to find! Finding an app is really frustrating as the app drawer is a single column and very inefficient. I cannot stand using the thing. Feels like you are moving in slow motion and everything is held back from you. Battery life may have been a concern several years ago, but that has been addressed. Most widgets are also resizeable, very few have I found that aren't. The big thing about widgets is the interactivity. You aren't stuck with random info, you can scroll through pictures, directly select emails or calendar events, start and stop your music. Live Tiles just feel like useless widgets. Even if they do happen to show you something interesting, there is nothing you can do with it other than open the app and hope you can find it. After not being able to find that Facebook post or news article a few times, I stopped paying attention to them at all. If Live Tiles were actually great, there is nothing stopping Android apps from recreating a Live Tile widget. They don't do this because Live Tiles are pointless.
  • Actually I agree. I've long been an advocate of Windows on mobile phones (my favourite being WP8.1), but I don't see what makes Live Tiles special compared with Android widgets. Most widgets are resizeable, and in fact they offer far more sophisticated interaction that Live Tiles. So, can someone explain what the big deal is with Live Tiles? I still haven't got it.
  • I'd bet that the majority of people here who continue to push the "live tiles are better" narrative have never really made the effort to customize the Android interface.  What I loved about WinMo wasn't so much the live tiles but rather the smoothness of the OS.  The live tiles were, to me, little more than an attempt to differentiate WinMo from the "wall of icons" approach offered by iOS and vanilla Android. 
  • Widgets use battery.  I have a weather widget that use GPS and Internet...obviously.  It's a farce to pretend that Widgets.  Also if you are controlling other apps with that widget, the other app is running in the background.  That's battery life.   I'd love to see a user study about how many people using the widgets for more than just viewing information.  I know YOU will say that YOU do, but I'm wondering about the masses.  I imagine that they are clicking to open the full app vs looking at lower rez photos, inside of a small window. Live Tiles are a balance of functionality and efficiency.  I'm not sure they are pointless because bleached says so.  Android apps that don't have widgets just go for the sea of icons thing because that's what everyone else is doing. But I get it. You think your user experience is the universal one and anything else is...pointless.  I'm just not sure why it's so much fun for you to constantly repeat the same old complaints.  It doesn't seem like a great use of time. 
  • No, I agree with you. People don't actually use widgets or Live Tiles. I never said they did. They are both quite useless to most people. I use them occasionally but wouldn't really miss them. I am just pointing out that Live Tiles are gimped, less useful widgets. Neither one is a mainstream feature that any normal consumer is looking for and claiming it was some magical feature that set Windows apart is incorrect. It is much easier to make the argument that forcing them on the user (as we both agree users are interested in customizing their devices) was a mistake. Android widgets are basically useless too, but they are hidden for the most part and need to be added manually. The backlash to Windows 8 is a good example of Live Tiles being directly scorned by consumers. If people hated them so much on their PCs, why do you think they would want them on their phone?
  • Agreed Richard.
  • Such a huge advantage that people bought even though people didn't buy them and their was a giant backlash against Windows 8? Microsoft even had to distance themselves from Windows 8, skipping 9 entirely! Where is this advantage you speak of? I see no metric that supports your claim.
  • Gawd, you are just on a mission and will say anything that supports your agenda.
    The Windows 8 backlash was because most people didn't have touchscreens on their laptops and desktops and the Tiles UI was seen as a touch UI.
  • The Live Tiles is what got me to give Windows Phone a shot back in 2013 with the Lumia 520.  Soon I will eventually go back to iOS but I will miss the Live Tiles.
  • Same story here;")
  • Yep, I remember how cool my Lumia 521 looked next to my friend's iPhone in 2013.  Miss that phone.
  • Live Tiles is why we stick around
  • Have you even tried an Android phone with a custom launcher? 
  • Damn straight, Live Tiles are an excellent UI system. Even though I realise W10M is dead, I still don't want to switch to Android, due to the UI.
  • Been using Android for a couple weeks now, and I have already done my best to try and make it look like WP... unfortunately, it doesnt work like WP.... I miss my Lumia....
  • give a try to SquareHome2 as the launcher.   You don't have a full WP experience, but you're getting pretty close to it.  I mean, the live tiles are there, functional, and I feel it does offer even more flexibility than WP.   I've been a WP user for several years and still love my Lumia 920, and never was able to get used to the more limited functionality of the icon grid OSes (Apple/Android) until I found SquareHome2 on Android.   Now I have a productive and functional phone again.   
  • There's no universe where a version of me uses Android.  None.
  • Enjoy all three of your apps.
  • "pretty close" lmao
  • Its what I have been using, but its still not enough. Everything on Android is like it was only 50% finished before it was pushed out. I really hate that Microsoft has forced me to use it.
  • That's been my experience too with Android. Everything seems half baked, particularly in design and sometimes functionality. There is a unspoken polish in WP that you don't notice until you leave...which is why I came back. Rocking my 1520 and backup 950, while the Note 6 and i6s+ sit in the drawer.
  • I've been using Launcher 10 on my Android phone. It gets frequent updates and is the only reason I haven't thrown the damn thing away.
  • I very much prefer Launcher10 over SquareHome. The configuration of SquareHome is somewhat strange. It's just unfortnate that a launcher can't replace the style of notifications or quicksettings. They still just look too Material-y instead of ModernUI-ly.
  • These articles used to be a good read when Microsoft had a fighting chance and seemed like maybe they would put up a fight.  But Jason has been beating a dead horse for over 2 years now.  I enjoyed the layout and fluidity of the windows phone system....but seriously, what apps if any took advantage of the live tiles?  To me the only ones were the stock ticker or weather....and anytime I pulled it out to look, it would sit on the one "page?" of information that I didn't want to see, such as the S&P instead of the Dow or the forecast 3 days out instead of tomorrow.  I'd have to open the app anyways, every single time. As to the best part of the start menu being the tiles, are you serious??  I don't know a single person that liked the full screen menu and all those stupid tiles.  Icons would be way better for most I imagine, the live tiles take up way too much space and I have to resize them down just to fit on the screen, don't want to be scrolling through the start menu.   But really Jason, move on with life already.  Your articles have been just rehashing the same info and "Surface Phone" that microsoft refuses to acknowledge for way too long.  At least make the articles shorter.  Bullet points, not paragraphs  ;-)
  • "I don't know a single person that liked the full screen menu and all those stupid tiles." Might I introduce you to a majority of the respondents here, and me as well. I find the abiltity to glance at the start screen and get a wealth of information exceptionally useful. In many cases I don't need to go farther immediately. I find the density of information much greater than on my Android phone with widgets. You can only fit so many before the displayed information starts to suffer. Most weather widgets take the full width and a 5th of the screen, where a medium live tile will do. Live tiles can be intelligently re-sized to allow more info space for those apps that deserve it, and small sizes for those that only need to be launchers/shortcuts. iOS is of course useless in this respect, offerring only a badge to show things have happened that may or may not need attention.  If you are looking for shortcut density, the iPhone 7+ gets 28 icons on a page (counting the dock), my Nexus 6 (nearly a tablet), fits 24, the Pixel, 30 (with dock) no widgets. My Lumia 950XL could have 104 shortcuts on the start screen, before scrolling.  Small tiles 8x13. These are as big as the icons on Android and iOS devices, and as useful with badges. I can get 24 and the tops of 4 more if they are all medium tiles. Those actually provide useful info. I can even have folders within which the individual app tiles show badges, rather than one for the whole folder. Both Android and iOS have incorporated a Today-ish screen to the left of the home screen to provide a better insight into relevent events/activities. I keep looking for the switch to bring those screens up by default to make those platforms as immediately useful as the live tiles on my WP.
  • Then you've never met me or my wife.  We both LOVE the original Windows 8 Start Screen and we both have Windows 10 configured with the full, tile-only, Start menu.  If you want to play this game, I think you're "stupid" for not seeing the ingenuity and usefulness of the tiles.  So, bite me.
  • I can only imagine she's as lovely as you.
  • I have a Nokia Lumia Icon with Windows 8.1 on it.  I love it because of the live tiles, and especially the resizable tiles.  Being able to size things in order of importance is something I love.  I hate iPhones and Androids BECAUSE they DON'T have Windows-style tiles.
  • Live  tiles are the best featureo fof WM 10. A lot of information at a glance.
  • At a glance is definitely underrated....  I love the start on windows desktop too.  I was forced an iphone for work... so it's kinda good that way to get exposure to that side of things and well work apps that I need once in a while.  Where's my back button! ;)
  • There are only a few tiles that can provide "at a glance" information.
  • Untrue and I had the ones that I needed. Calendar. Music playing. Sports Scores, News Headlines. Email, etc.
  • I agree 100% Live tiles Rock
  • The live tiles are the thing I miss the most after moving to iOS at least for now till we get a new Windows phone:)
  • It's not the tiles. It's so many idiot developers that are awful of using them properly or just making a quick mess of it.
  • Love live tiles. It's why I use my Surface family in Tablet Mode by default. As with all things, prolonged use will result in the mere exposure effect. MS just needs to stick with it for a while longer. 
  • I've been using Android for just over a year now (just got the Galaxy S8).  I do miss live tiles so much.  Windows Phone is a much better mobile OS.  I don't really care for Android's widgets since there is no standard design theme for them.  Some are just flat out ugly or just not that useful.   I miss my Windows phone and do hope someday Microsoft will be back in the game.
  • I wish Microsoft made their ow launcher that looked like windows phone.... It doesnt even have to have live tiles. 
  • Try Launcher 10. It does a pretty decent job of replicating the Live Tile experience. It's not perfect, but I definitely like it.
  • Yeah, it's great. Very unfortnately we cannot redesign the notifications, quicksettings and settings on Android, so they still look ugly. But the start, you can grow it by using GlanceNow! and Launcher10 to have it almost feel like home.
  • Offcourse the problem isn't Live Tiles. The OS is and was great. The UI was really great with the hubs and live tiles. The whole problem was that Microsoft didn't even try to market and sell the platform to the consumers. The consumers have and had no issues with WP7, WP8 or W10M at all, most of them didn't even know it existed. That was the whole problem, from beginning to the end.
  • https://techcrunch.com/2010/08/26/microsoft-half-billion-dollars-windows... $500 million wasn't enough marketing? The hundreds of millions that Nokia spent as well wasn't enough? Microsoft stopped marketing after years of failure. They realized it didn't work.
  • They kept spending the makreting money in US where there were no takers, while elsewhere demand continuosly exceed the supply but MS just refused to fulfill it.
  • Minimal demand for the cheapest devices. There is nothing to be had from selling cheap phones with no profit to price conscious markets especially when they weren't selling in high numbers either. US drives high end phone sales and app development. Microsoft needed the US onboard.
  • There is plenty to have for selling cheap phones.  SnapChat doesn't care if the phone is cheap or expensive, they just want a lot of USERS. Carriers don't make a ton of profit on phones cheap or expensive, it's all about the service to them. I'd have to look it up, but I'm guessing the majority of Android phones in use are not the flagships.  
  • Even if only 30% of Android phones are high end, that is a huge number of devices.
  • Nope. It's not enough $$ when your bank isn't on the platform or that scheduling/collaboration app for work.  
    Also, look at what Samsung spent when they decided to go big.  
  • Android had a significant app gap in 2010 too. Microsoft had a chance but Google had a better strategy. Samsung spent a ton on marketing. Why didn't they spend even a fraction of it on Windows Phone?
  • In 2010 the main apps were what Google brought to the table.  Email, Calendar, YouTube. Browser. You could live with basic productivity extensions, in 2010.    I already told you that I'm not playinng fetch with your codescending question mode of dialog.  You think you already know the answer, thus you are baiting, so you can go on your obsession with UI customization.   No thanks, I'm not going to open that door for you.  You like playing whack-a-mole.  You talk about saying that MS spent enough marketing. When someone points out that this isn't likely true, you pivot to questioning about how much Samsung spent on Windows Phone.  You only see paths that lead you to the customization mantra.  Even on that you go from people can't customize like Android because of launchers and widgets to it being that OEMs can't customize like they want to.  The constant topic jumping is tiring, but then I guess people give up and you claim some sort of "victory"??  
  • Then it was Microsoft lack of relevant services in 2010? Being reliant on a competitor like that is a terrible position to be in. Again, Microsoft was forced to go it alone. Samsung was spending money on promoting Android not Windows. You really think "apps" is why every OEM put more effort in Android?
  • With absolutely no development in 7+ years, who cares about live tiles? Yeesh. Interactive stocks, weather, sports widgets on my phone home screen...
  • This. Even if Live Tiles were unique and interesting, Microsoft didn't do anything with them. They seem to work worse now than in WP7 and several years later they have no new functionality to speak of.
  • Worst of All, MS doesnt even provide a transparent tile to its own apps: Look at Yammer, skype, office remote, office lens, etc etc etc
  • What a stupid article title. It's failing because they stopped ******* supporting it. Surely they learned lessons about coming from behind in a market with the console wars with PlayStation and Xbox. Don't know why they couldn't look back at the lessons learned from that. Probably ******* old shareholders saying to stop it because they can't learn something new. Balmer was clearly just bad as a CEO for Microsoft. Satya is doing a good job but for **** sakes every day they are not persuing mobile or continuing to support mobile is going to cost them more in the long run. It's going to lose them revenue in other areas of there business or just generally make big business think twice about big investments in any new products now because of there deals with NYPD and others like it in the media
  • As someone that one might call an enthusiast (I've lost track of how many WPs I've purchased), I used to love the idea of Live Tiles.  The problem is that Live Tiles never evolved.  We never got new sizes besides the current three.  I remember it was mentioned that we'd be able to open a Live Tile straight to the article/information posted on the tile, however, I don't think that feature was ever rolled out.  Same for media playback, as well.  Live Tiles is a great concept to begin with.  Many of us think it would be cool to use an app without opening it first.  Unfortunately, Live Tiles haven't made any significant changes since the WP7 days and have been thoroughly outpaced by Android widgets. 
  • Absolutely agree, the tile interface was so clean looking and provided information at a glance when it came out. But less and less apps made use of it and they never evolved so it just became quicker to open the app to do what you wanted. No different than iOS or android. 
  • " The problem is that Live Tiles never evolved.  " I totally agree with this sentiment.  They're little more than a news ticker.
  • I honestly think they have people internally sabotaging them in mobile so either Apple or Google came out on top. How could such a rich company and experienced in building operating systems win. Just absolutely crazy to me
  • Yup.  And Israel brought down the twin towers.
  • Indeed, they've made so many mistakes it's suspicious..
  • Pretty sure it failed because Microsoft kept changing the supported languages over and over, pretty much asking devs to write their apps on a language and then having them rewrite them over and over and over again.  nobody has time for that, hence no apps
  • This is true. The developers I've talked to admit they don't see the benefit to rewriting their apps over and over gain for such a small market share of people.  
  • I remember a Windows Phone 7 ad years ago where the catchphrase was something along the lines of being a phone that you didn't have to look at as much so you can get back to real life. I remember one with a parent at their kid's soccer game, quickly glancing down, seeing what they needed, and back up while other parents stared at their phones. I remember people making fun of it: why would you want a phone that you don't want to look at for long? I on the other hand loved the idea of a phone that makes my life better rather than a phone that takes over my life pressing Home, app icon, Home, scroll through 3 pages of apps, app icon, Home... Same reason I loved BlackBerry 10 with the Hub and all its swipe gestures. The app icon paradigm is simple but wildly inefficient and I look forward to that dying sometime soon.
  • That's the ad that got me to jump onto the smartphone bandwagon.  Get in, get out, get on with your life.  
  • ...and then Microsoft dropped those features. WASTED advertising $$$.   Dumb.
  • I love live tiles but personally think they're placed in the wrong part of the Windows 10 PC operating system. It works on phones because the Start screen is the default screen, so live tiles are always seen, but on PCs, the Start menu is rarely seen and thus live tiles are wasted. On PCs, live tiles should be on the desktop. I think Microsoft just got caught up too much on the "Start" name, thinking that because live tiles were on the part they called "Start" (the Start Screen) on phones, they should also put the live tiles on the thing called "Start" (the Start Menu) on PC. Unforuntaely, the Start on phones and Start on PCs operate very differently. On phones, it's always there; on PCs, it's hidden until summoned. On PCs, it's the desktop that's visible most of the time so the widget-like functionality of live tiles is more useful there.
  • Hi Overkill Microsoft moved Tiles to the Start menu after the backlash to Windows 8 where users didn't like Live Tiles as the default layout on their PCs desktop. Many users and tech support complained that it was not intuitive enough and navigation options were hidden. We can still put the UI in tablet mode allowing the Tiles to dominate the desktop in a "similar" way Windows 8 did. But again MS capitulated to the firestorm of criticism of Windows 8 and found a compromise between the familiar Windows 7 and Windows 8 which resulted in tiles on the Start menu we have in Windows 10.
  • We didn't see a backlash with Windows Phones because people weren't forced to buy them. They just chose not to buy them in the first place. Users didn't have the luxury with Windows 8. There are no real alternatives so there was plenty of feedback. It isn't a stretch to think they had the same issue with Windows phones. "...users didn't like Live Tiles..." You seem to have invalidated your article! If they didn't like Live Tiles on desktop, why would they want them on their phone? Sales certainly show they didn't like something and we have direct evidence of that something for Windows 8.
  • "You seem to have invalidated your article! If they didn't like Live Tiles on desktop, why would they want them on their phone?" - Bingo!
  • You can still use the live tile interface even when not using tablet mode. There's an option to use the start menu in full screen
  • "On PCs, live tiles should be on the desktop." They can be, use tablet mode. The drawback is your apps become full/split screened. Even if the tiles were on the desktop, they would be obscured by running applications most of the time. I'm not sure there is a great solution for stuff like this. You wouldn't want them popping to the foreground when something happened. They seem OK in start for me. I find it much easier to find and select the next application I want to run from the tiles than from scrolling the apps list. Easier still just to type into search.
  • NO, NO, NO! The tiles are much more accessible from the start button. It's a pain having to get back to the desktop every time you want to open an app. Much easier to put the ones you want in the live tile menu. I would say the problem is people sat on Windows 7 so long they never tried to learn Windows 10.
  • Why doesn't MS just figure a way to let us put live tiles on the regular desktop rather than having two different home screens to choose from? Best of both worlds.
  • The tiles and the UI was good.. but the main problem with windows phone was applications.. the developers were getting too much restriction in developing a new app or costomize the existing one than it was on android or ios which became a big reason for lack of games and app in windows store hence users as well as developers shifted to other platforms..
  • The app gap is a symptom of poor sales. People saw Windows phones on the shelf and didn't choose to buy them. Live Tiles are front and center. After years of failure, keeping anything from the old platform would be a mistake.
  • Nope...not the sympton. Apps is/was the issue, no matter how many times you repeat your OPINION otherwise.
  • Apps will never come first. If apps are the issue, then today it is totally impossible to be successful. Microsoft should just close up shop.
  • the live tile is the best Ui design thing for the smartphones. I really fan of it. That is one of the reason that I still using windows phone. I dont need to open app to get latest news. Just unlock and take a look at the start screen. Thats it. Thats quite time saver for me. Even ios and android users loves the tile based design as I see. The major problem of windows phone is Microsoft. They did not support well their platform. They did not keep their words. They pulled off the windows mobile from its road. The windows mobile became enterprise mobile os. And as the result developers runs out from windows mobile platform. The live tile is the last thing to discussing about the windows mobile's failure.
  • "Microsoft, not Live Tiles was the problem with mobile". Still is.
  • While I agree with the article that the Live Tiles themselves weren't the cause of the failure, their unfamiliarity probably was somewhat of a factor. The icons on iOS and Android are what Windows has had since for the last 25 years or more. In fact, Microsoft wasn't able to shake that, although they tried. For myself, I never did like Live Tiles that much. I like Windows phone for other reasons, but they were a negative in my mind. I found them to either take up too much space or show arbitrary and sometimes out-of-date information. I didn't just look at them for information and then go on my way. I always ended up opening the app anyway. Sometimes it was because I couldn't get back to the information I had seen, and sometimes it was because I didn't trust it.
  • Live tiles weren't the problem of failure of windows ? It was microsoft's strategy ? Really !? No way !!
  • You get it right the problem is Microsoft, but more because Microsoft was never perceived as "cool" but instead as an "evil" company who wants to enlave us in propietary walled garden (Like Apple does, but they have cool factor so they´re good) and spy on us to sell our data (Like Google does but they´re cool too)
  • I wonder if having literally a dozen backdoors baked in had anything to do with that. FBI, CIA, NSA, police, the military, the government, teachers, dentists, nurses, Vietnam veterans, hobos - every category you name seems to have had their little backdoor into every windows system.  *laughing in linux
  • The problem wasn't Live Tiles being the UI choice, the issue was Live Tiles being the only UI choice. There was no way for consumers, or more importantly, manufacturers to change the UI if they didn't like it or wanted to have their own identity. Windows was always stronger than Apple because it gave it's users choice. There was always a wide range of hardware and experiences available on Windows and Microsoft's users liked that. Going the exact opposite route with Windows phone and chasing Apple was the mistake. Microsoft and their poor strategy including mandating the Live Tile interface was the issue. I personally didn't mind the Tiles so much until I would see a Facebook post or news article I was interested in and then couldn't find it. So frustrating. After that frustration happening regularly, I learned to ignore the Tiles. To me, the worst part of the UI was the single column app drawer. Combined with the slow moving nature of WP, scrolling forever wasn't a pleasant experience.
  • Android copied WinXP(or any Win) philosophy and got hugely successful. Just like WinXP. Then MS says: or, no, we are not going to go the trodden and proved way, we will go some new imaginary way and they FLOP. It's both ironic and moronic.
  • There is nothing wrong with live tile. Blaming live tile is just the way to hide other real issues. Apps, API, unclear strategy, stability, missing features, lacking support from 1st party, etc., all these are what to blame.
  • But will the Andromeda be a consumer os or just for business. I've started to believe that windows 10 mobile is the last consumer windows mobile os for the next 3, 4 years. I don't believe that anyone needs the full power of the windows in his pocket (except for some pros). That's why I believe that Microsoft shouldn't have retrenched.
  • I'm using Android now and the interface totally sucks. I have to use 'widgets' to see my schedule, messages and important emails, flipping pages along the way. With windows live tiles, I tracked my schedule, messages and multiple email accounts at a glance all on one screen. The apps were clunkier, but the experience was so much more productive and elegant.
  • Hahaha. I never heard anyone say it was because of the live tiles. The reasons have always been lack of apps, premium handsets, buggy software.
  • Lack of apps is the ONLY reason I left.  well that and the fact that wearables were non existant.  I was loving my 1020 on w10m,  but apps are important to being mobile,  and w10m NEVER HAD THEM.
  • That Bleached dude is the *only* person I've heard say it and he's obsessed with copy/pasting that opinion, wrapped up to look like a fact, on every article he can justify.
  • Yeah...The layout and interface of the windows mobile OS was AWESOME.  the 1020 was AWESOME.  The total lack of 1st party apps, wearables and useable accessories,  NOT AWESOME.   Too bad the nutty one never gave two ***** about windows10mobile.  It was going to gain traction,  but no marketing at all,  and pretty well killing it when they backpedaled on the DENIM update, the PROJECTS for the apps,  etc....Shame too.  the 1020 was AMAZING HARDWARE.
  • I don't understand how any Windows fans can be all for a locked down platform like Windows phone. Being locked down and inflexible is not what made Windows great. The issue wasn't the Tile interface itself, it is the Tiles being the only interface available. Dalydose has forgotten what made Windows great. For decades the biggest advantage Windows fans held above Apple was choice. Now they think Microsoft should go the Apple route. I don't understand that thinking, especially since it hasn't worked at all to this point.
  • I haven't forgotten anything. Pre "Windows Phone" Windows Mobile was like the desktop and that got beat in sales.  It's a phone, not a computer.  Considering the small percentage of people who change the UI/Launcher even on Android, that doesn't seem to me to be the root (pun intended) of the problem.   Sales numbers indeed show that something isn't working.  There's no indication that it is because of the UI or it being the only UI. Isolating UI, one can see that sales are possible with either the iOS or Android model.
  • Windows Mobile 6 was leapfrogged but did good for its time. You ignore my point everytime. It wasn't user customization that really mattered, it was manufacturer customization. Nearly every Android phone has been customized by the manufacturer, even the Pixel isn't using stock Android! Could Samsung could have become the behemoth they are today if they used Windows phone or were forced to use "stock" Android 2.0?
  • I still have my 1020...and 920...and 950! :)  I haven't turned on the 1020 or 920 in a long time.  I still use the 950 from time to time.
  • I love live tiles!  Even got hyped when "interactive live tiles" concept imerged.  But now, it's possibility is even less then a surface phone! I will get a windows phone again when the feature arrives, till then enjoying windows 8 launcher;")
  • "Let's hope Microsoft has learned from its mistakes" i think W10m was the last mistake, honestly i don't think MS will venture again in the mobile OS realm. 
  • ...And there were many mistakes.  And there were multiple 'betrayals', if you will, against users and developers. Maybe even OEMS.  Many people have lost faith in MS in the mobile space...Faith that possibly can never be rebuilt or never ever be what it could have been
  • I agree. I don't know how you justify releasing another mobile platform unless you really have something revolutionary. I bet they have some mobile projects going, but they will not see the light of day because there really isn't anywhere left to innovate.
  • Yep. Sigh.
  • Don't know what's wrong with those people.
    I have all the apps I need on Windows 10 Mobile.
  • You and a dozen others. The issue is all those that don't have that one app they need to make their lives better. How about a Discover Card app, a Metro app, The local Supermarket Loyalty card app, a Starbucks app that has the same features as the iOS and Android ones, like mobile ordering. My Banking institution. I put up with the lack off apps I wanted, becuase I could find the apps I needed. That does get old though, even with the superior basic interface.
  • You must sit in your basement and do nothing while mobile.   There are NO apps that I use on my iphone available on windows 10 mobile,  if they are they are seriously outdated/non functioning,  or webwrappers (not real mobile apps).
  • No, nasurinhakimu, you really don't have all the apps you need.  Can you deposit a check in your bank for example?  Not with WinMo you can't. 
  • It's not live tiles, but there are those who don't like live tiles. They want a similar interface they are used to. Not having an option is main reason for wp failure. I like tiles but also like android home. Going to android from windows is like freedom as just like windows desktop yiu can have multiple home screens in Android and customize a lot. Where as windows phone 2 screens live tiles and apps. So locked. Only if they had allowed live tiles and multiple home screen to pin apps.
  • Exactly. Windows thrives with choice.
  • Can someone wake me up when there's a new flagship or Surface Phone available? The mobile world is literally moving forward and this is all we have to talk about. I say "we" cause even though I left for Android I've been looking from afar waiting and hoping for something groundbreaking to happen. There are excellent choices on Android and the new LG V30 will likely be my next phone when available. Amd of course the iPhone is always in the conversation. I'm enjoying my time away but honestly I can't wait for Microsoft to just do something exciting. P.S. I agree with this article. The live tile UI is still just gorgeous to look at and customize. I really do miss the OS but I won't settle for what it has become.
  • The OS is fine, IMO, and it's clear in reading these comments that many would agree.  The lack of apps is what absolutely killed it.  Simple as that. 
  • Nope. What killed it was Microsoft copying Apple and their locked down, no choice, "we know best" attitude. That isn't what has made Windows great. Android gave Windows fans what they want while Microsoft tried to give Apple fans what they want.
  • Nope. It's the apps.
  • People also keep saying the app gap is a problem. Well it is now for sure, but if you look back at you app library over the course of all of those years we had a ton of essential apps for a while. I had all of the messaging and banking apps that I need except for my small credit union. We had, for example, Capital One, B of A, and Wells Fargo. If WM had continued to grow even at the slow rate it was going in the W8/W8.1 days we might even have more. At this point it is hard to be optimistic about Windows on Something Mobile. Still wishing that something eventually comes along though. I am currently using an iPhone and will look to Sailfish when it comes to Sony X sometime in October.
  • You named a whopping three banks.  Now go look at the list of banking apps in the App Store and in Google Play.  And out of curiosity, what is the name of your "small credit union"?  I'd be curious to see if they offer an app on any platform.
  • Indeed the WP8.1 saw the best days for MS. It was quite close to other platforms in basic functionality. They had close to 4-5% of the market. All they needed was to gradually improve on it. By now they would have had 3 major yearly updates. They started to have more and more apps. The app gap was not so terrible anymore. All they needed was to keep pushing it. But no, they had to come with W10M and this great idea of UWP. Now their UWP is dead because without mobile there is no "universal". And because they implemented that on PC now the PC stands alone on that and the developers who invested in UWP got screwed, again. All 8 of them. Would they further push WP they could have reached maybe a marketshare of 7-9%. That's not a lot but it's enough to keep the Nokia fabs going, maybe with a close to zero profit but not losing money either. Devs would keep some interest too. And then wait and hope the new day would bring some new opportunities and maybe their fate would have changed. At least they would BE in the market. Now they are nobodies. Yes, they still linger in the enterprise but I would not put too many bets on that horse either, long term. Mark my word, in 10-15 years Microsoft will be in every business book as an incredible case study of gross mismanagement, lack of vision and a long streak of bad decisions. They will be a great example to teach students of how not to run an otherwise sound company into the ground.
  • Live tiles are the best! When my employer forced me to give up my Lumia 950XL earlier this year, I was offered the choice of the iPhone 7 and the Galaxy S8. I tried the iPhone first and just hated that 10 year old static grid of icons with that great Apple innovation of a tiny badge with a number on it for e-mails. The Today screen on the iPhone at least gives some hint of at-a-glance information ala Live Tiles, but Apple won't let you use the Today screen as the default Start page. The total lack of freedom to customize the UI was why I ditched the iPhone. The Galaxy is a nice phone with a really cool screen. And because Android allows a lot more customization, this is the phone I've kept. I loaded all of Microsoft's services, ditched all of Google's, and found a widget that reads data on my home weather station and another with my upcoming calendar as my Start page. It isn't quite the same thing as on my Lumia, but it's mine. And being totally honest, I will confess that I'm delighted with how much more full featured some Android apps are than their Windows Mobile counterparts. Still, Live Tiles rock!
  • I love my Live Tiles! They're one of the big reasons that I'm still running my 950XL alongside my Galaxy S8 Active. I can't bring myself to fully switch over even with SquareHome2 installed and well-configured on the Android device (it's close, but not the same!), but the infamous "app gap" means I need to have the option to run those few apps I can't get on W10M right now. So maybe the reason we haven't seen the exploding tiles or other major changes to the Start Screen/Menu is because of the "retrenching". Perhaps a majority of the engineering team is still busy folding the ARM-specific features from W10M into W10 proper. Once everything is truly running on one core with the adaptable CShell UI fully implemented, *then* we'll see new features. Why write the code for new stuff now when it will be discarded in the near future anyway? It's been a painful wait while the consolidation and rebuilding of the foundations happen, but I have a feeling that we'll see some of these features make their way in RS4 or RS5 with that work finally out of the way.
  • How dumb to search the reason for failing in the live tiles! 🤣
  • How old was that video on Human Interaction Group demonstration?  I don't ever remember seeing Windows have such great functionality (In a production version I had)...It looks like that's what it was meant to have, but never totally had it.  I could be wrong though.  I do 100% agree, the problem was ALWAYS Microsoft.  What MS successfuly did was give us great hope that something amazing, different, fun to use, & a great ecosystem was coming...They also gave Apple & Andriod some ideas to implement in their own OS's.      I still don't understand why they never really gave it their all for very long in the mobile space.  It was like they were told not to give it 100%.  I also wonder if people (Most consumers) don't want the tile concept.  Maybe a few apps like email, social media, & texting be tiles...But the rest be some type of GUI eye candy icons.      Tiles were great, I enjoyed the concept, but everything being squared isn't exactly good graphic design for this use.  I'm not saying it has to be exactly the same as iOS at all  Even if the tiles were just subtely rounded & not so squared & flat that it would be more apealing to the consumers eye.  The current iOS & Andriod design has become subtely more flattened, but not as much as MS.  They are finding that happy medium...That 'just right' receipe.       I was 'all in' on the Tiles concept.  I even brought my wife over to be totally 'Windows everything'  - All devices.    Yes, you can customize it a lot, but you should have some of those more rounded shapes with more 'air' inbetween icons to be the first default start screen.  People can then see more of what Windows can do. They get most of the screen filled with boxes by default when first getting the phone & the impression to the consumer can be, "I guess this is pretty much what it looks like" As Jason said, maybe if MS took the smart phone business for consumers more seriously in the beginning & tiles were really pushed out to define the market, people may have used it more.    But all of that is behind us now.  MS mobile...on the phone...Is basically dead now.  If MS comes out with a foldable device, it won't probably be what most consumers want - Maybe businesses...Maybe.  I wonder if someone ever sat down & tried to guesstimate how much money MS lost because of their lack of taking the consumer smart phone market (Esp taking on the iPhone) seriously.  They have not only lost the consumer market war, it has bled over into the business world.  They have lost both smartphone markets.  It is slowly eating away from the consumer PC market as well by way of tablets (Using the same mobile iOS or Andriod as their phones) being able to perform many of the PC functions pretty well for most peoples needs.   This idea that they'll make a game changing device that is a tablet/computer first that has a telephony capability as a side feature isn't a game changer.  It pretty much exists today.  That's how I (and many others) mostly use their current phone anyway.
  • It's a shame to waste so many words on such a dumb suggestion.  Live Tiles were a neat idea in an excellent phone OS and user interface.  None of that could overcome Microsoft's failure to commit to Windows Phone and non-existent marketing effort.
  • Microsoft and Nokia marketed Windows Phone really hard. They just gave up marketing a few years ago because it wasn't getting them anywhere.
  • Marketing hard isn't the same as marketing well.  Also, have you compared the marketing budgets of the time with what Samsung spent.  Again...APPS.   
  • Live tile is the best feature in mobile phones
  • If you like Live Tiles, wait until you see Fully Interactive Live Tiles! Android calls them widgets and they can do all sorts of things. You can scroll through your emails or messages. See your calendar and interact with it. Play, pause and skip tracks for your music player. Fully Interactive Live Tiles are amazing!
  • Don't tell them. This a world of slightly technologically challenged people. They still believe square icons are the shizz, Belfiore is a demi-god and nutela is the new budda
  • I've seen widgets.  I even have a couple on pinned on my GS8.  What's the big deal other than keeping another app open in the background so you can interact with it??  Seeing the info and then clicking to open the full app to interact with it, is a different, arguably better, approach. 
  • Switched again to Android, unfortunately. My 930 is not working correctly and I can't replace it with any Windows Phone.
    I've bought a Huawei P10 lite. I miss live tiles a lot and integration of Cortana with Windows services and so on.
    But... The apps are very nice and well done on Android.
    The choice is endless.
  • I always thought that Cortana was superior and clearly it still is to Siri.  But Google Assistant is, IMO, the best of the three.  I've no experience with Amazon's Alexa, so I can't include it in my assessment. 
  • I  love live tiles and of course the OS.  You can slap a live tile looking interface/launcher on a lagdroid phone and it mostly works but it certainly isn't nearly as smooth.  The iphone interface I find to be rather blah.
  • I'm a Microsoft enthusiast. Since long time.
    Started with Windows 3.1, some Windows Pocket PC and Windows mobile 6 handsets, had Lumia 925, Lumia 1520, now Lumia 930. Own a Surface Book, Surface Pro, and many Windows 10 PCs.
    I'm not a casual Microsoft user.
    But I can say on Huawei P10 Lite with lagdroid 7 nougat like somebody calls it and there isn't any lag.
    A small, big, company made a very good smartphone for just 280$. Glass everywhere, metallic frame, lot of os optimization, battery last 2 days!
    I'm really impressed how smooth is the OS with a lot of app running.
    The same can't be said for my 930.
    You can clearly see the UI is running at lower FPS because it isn't fluid like the P10. Of course they have different hardware.
    930 camera is far superior of course comparsd to P10 lite.
    But in the last period the Lumia 930 crashed a lot of time.
    Phone become hot and battery lasted 8 hours max of very light use.
    Flash works randomly (software issue, not hardware). And apps were very slow to resume and to open.
    Hard reset, reflashing original Windows 8.1 then 10 didn't help.
    The OS has some bugs and flaws and it start being not stable and optimized.
    I really don't care actually if I use Android. I need just a tool for my daily work to accomplish my objectives.
    Actually Android is more stable and reliable for me.
    Microsoft made a lot of bad decision, in terms of marketing, developing and customer satisfaction.
    Now I have a malfunctioning 930, can't replace the battery, can't buy a new Lumia because they stopped selling them, and it don't worth the money because they are almost obsolete in terms of hardware and long term software updates and stability.
    I'm an enthusiast but I don't want to be a fanboy.
    I've already felt the pain seeing what Microsoft did to Windows mobile.
    I couldn't buy another Lumia nowadays.
    Because I've trusted Microsoft and supported them (Insider).
  • The live tiles and also the panoramic style of apps were ahead of its time. But people are too used to PC style icons and boxed apps. I found them really annoying and tiny. Panoramic really gave u that feeling of peeking through a window and you were looking at piece of paper on a mobile phone that u can scroll sideways. People are too dumb and want to be a slave to what is BASIC. That is what u get with android and iphones. Basic grid icons. At that point, microsoft had to give in and make Live tiles DEAD and basic because even other developers didnt make their live tiles Alive. So they became giant lifeless box icons. Panoramic apps also disappeared. God I miss Windows phone 7 Design.
  • It's all at Ballmer and Satya's feet. Ballmer mostly though, for the slow reaction to the market, Satya's for not doing enough to turn things around. But the damage was done by the time Satya arrived.
  • "Unintuitive??!!!" I have NEVER heard ANYONE say that about the OS. Who are these people and are they still using a Nokia 2250??
  • Live Tiles a problem? Who even says that? What's appalling is that in 2017 we still have technologically advanced phones whose interface consists on endless grids of icons like it's still Windows 95. That is so sad to see. And it's what should change, not Live tiles, which bring a fresh approach on an interactive home screen.  
  • You described none of the current platforms. I am not that familiar with iPhone, but I am quite sure the interface is more than just a grid of icons. Quick settings, widgets and notifications are easily accessible. Android and its Fully Interactive Live Tiles (widgets) certainly is a bit more than grid of icons. Microsoft's version of live tiles are the exact opposite of interactive.
  • iOS does offer folders, if nothing else.  I can't speak to whether or not it offers any element of dynamic content as do Live Tiles (limited though this content may be) and Android Widgets.
  • You proably never used a modern smartphone. So sad... Yeah, keep telling me how some squared icons are the 'fresh approach' and the ultimate answer to everything..
  • Really? I never heard ANYONE complain that live tiles were the reason Windows Phone/Mobile failed. MS was late to the game, never got apps, and rebooted too many times. End of story. Live tiles are a nice feature but they don't always work or update, even in MS apps. What is better to me is the ability to resize the tiles and make them transparent so you can customize the look and functionality of your start screen.
  • "What if" should be Microsoft's corporate tag line.
  • or JWs tag line, too many dreams without any content.
  • Live Tile's must always display the latest information, must have notifications for all apps, should be more interactive. Completely agree. But in my opinion, lack of apps and their updates are the reason why WP didn't succeed.
  • Tiles can be nice but are ugly when it's filled with all these colours and flipping constantly to gain your attention. It's too chaotic. I've been using it for years and sometimes I'll go to find something and I have trouble locating what app I want to launch. I'm sorry tiles can be good but they haven't changed much. Transparency and uniformity was a good attempt but no developer was forced to follow. Even MS didn't do their own tiles.
  • My Nokia 720 is still the coolest phone I've ever owned. Of course, when they took away the flipping tiles and the arty home screen in Windows 10 I stopped Windows Phone and started using iPhone ever since. Still missing the beautiful design though.
  • I'm not sure how many people have been complaining about the Live Tiles, but I haven't met any of them. Like many have said, its' one of the unique features that keeps me using a Windows mobile device. As for what apps make use of the Live Tiles...most of them do. I mean there's just something awesome about being able to see the home screen picture of the person that sent you something on Facebook, or Facebook IM. All the MSN apps make great use of them and the UWP apps as well. They make the Apple and Android UI's look...well rather boring. Microsoft's biggest issue has always been marketability.  For example, it's My Poeple app on Windows 10 is an amazing application but it's only Windows centric right now.  Could you imagine the popularity if it was integrated with Facebook or Instagram. Everyone I've shown my rendition of Windows phone to has been intrigued.  I think it's safe to say we know Live Tiles aren't the issue.
  • Windows Phone OS was awesome. Live tiles were awesome. Steve Ballmer is the reason for WP failure. He was a useless tool-bag. 
  • The expanded tile is much much better + productive than Action centre!  Focus on what's important :)
  • Live Tiles rule... a feature I wish Microsoft would implement is the ability to make a live tile out of any website.  I prefer using website over installing an app
  • Live tiles are merely a feature. A feature that, as it turns out not many people saw as a benefit.They are not the fault of Windows Mobile's failure, they simply didn't prove to have the benefit and draw users into the plaform. They are also not the future, merely a feature that benefits a limited subset of users.
  • We have to admit that the live tiles thing is either love it or hate it...
    But overall the live tile is good, just the design is not as attractive as the competitors. nowaday eye candy is such a important thing for average comsumer, MS really need to work out hard.
    And yes, the smoothness of the OS must be good too.
  • Live tiles is/was one of the true differentiators. Cool feature and concept.
  • Microsoft has failed to develop live tiles further. Still no interactive tiles present. Also tablet mode has been forgotten? Fullscreen start screen is garbage on 10 compared to Windows 8.1. We still cannot select multiple tiles. We have to drag each tile one by one.
  • Live tiles have alot of potential and every time i look up a grid of icons on an Iphone or Android smartphone I am reminded of old monochrome screens aeons ago suchas the classic 3210. Icons have not substantially changed from that time and when did the 3210 come out? 1999 so almost 20 years ago. 2 decades and the progress on interaction has been pretty much zilch. I have been saying time and time again Microsoft over reacts and in this case Microsoft's current management is THE problem. Ballmer set a course for Microsoft that would have kept it relevant and open up avenues for more franchises therefore increasing mindshare drastically. As well creating a platform (Xbox Entertainment Studios) allowing Microsoft to be able to showcase their and partner products through product placement in live action series for example. In addition this would have allowed franchises to be able to intertwine with merchandising for example Halo - Cortana speakers and allow the developers to push new characters thus increasing the story branches. Or Animation movies based on the killer instinct franchise to grow the gamer base and by extension sell more consoles which would also expand the Windows ecosystem. Then you have partner products suchas accessories and so on. Thus solidifying Windows as the most interacted operating system but they lost that now through moronic decisions. There are so many things they could have done in the consumer sector but no... they want to mothball into a enterprise-centric, risk averse company.
  • Come on. Putting a square around a grid of icons doesn't suddenly make it modern. Calling Android a grid of icons is ignoring exactly what made Android great. Android can be anything. Not only can a manufacturer take it and make it look and operate ANY way they want, the user can do the same simply by installing an app. Sure, most Android phones are a grid of icons. For whatever reason people seem to prefer that. They don't have to be though. The UI is so flexible you can literally make an Android phone look and operate any way you want. Personally, I have my most used apps pinned to my home screen with a fitness widget so I can easily see my activity for the day and a music widget so I can start and stop music quickly and easily. Notifications take care of everything else. No cluttering of randomly flipping images or gaudy colored squares. Just simple, quick and easy to use.
  • "Live tiles have alot of potential..." Umm, and this potential will be fulfilled when exactly?  They've had it in play for years now, and it's pretty much the same as it ever was. 
  • It's all just so f'ing sad. I miss my WPs. The most enjoyable phones to use for me. Breaks my heart. 
  • When a loved one dies, that breaks your heart.  The demise of WP doesn't - I hope.
  • Jason bro I agree with you.
    Actually due to live tiles still today Microsoft have a huge fan of W10M.
    But Microsoft dnt understand this as they were not fully concern with Mobile. This live tiles make Microsoft Mobile unique and stylish. We can see any update in any app without opening it. This Live style holds me to use windows phone lumia 640xl still today.
  • Indeed, W10M has still a huge fanbase. All 74 of them.
  • Failure of W10M is itself Microsoft.
    Panas and Nadella, joe Still we have to see more worst condition in future of W10M. Especially in 2018. I dnt know why this giant company dnt able to make a mobile phone.
    What ever if they dnt worry about there mobile services then why we should.
    What you think about this jason bro.
  • I used to love windows phone and I loved the OS. No sluggish as Android, but hell of a problem are the apps. Drop the stone. No apps, no OS. Basically.
  • It was never the tiles.
    It's the lack of apps.
    The Windows phone OS is terrific. The simple truth is users want cross platform functionality when it comes to mobile applications and they want apps to work on what ever cell phone they own. It's that simple.
    It's a shame because the cell phone market is boring as hell. Every new handset looks the same. Where did the all the innovation go. A better question is why do consumers settle for it. Maybe are all becoming consumer "Sheep"!
  • It was the tiles for me. Getting my first smartphone, I based my decision on cost, hardware specs, and the look of the OS. Apple was out due to cost, and it came down basically to the look of the OS for the decision. Android reminded me of my desktop Windows. Tiles took up too much room. I'm a photographer; the wallpaper is important to me. Tiles didn't stand a chance in my mind. Windows lost because of the tiles.
  • Dillan, you're the first one here to express my initial POV about live tiles. I love my wallpapers and the tiles blocked too much of it. WP8 UI looked claustrophobic to me, so when it was time for a new phone, I went from iOS to Android. But, I was never satisfied with iOS or Android. When tile transparency and full screen/tile picture options came to W10M, I waited for the OS to stabilize, jumped on a Lumia 950 sale and finally found a phone I could be happy with. It's a shame that Microsoft leadership lacks the vision and commitment needed to survive in the consumer smartphone arena.
  • I agree, it's not a UI problem, it's the Microsoft's marketing laziness that caused this situation. It's their lack of vision back then in 2007 in regard of smartphone usefulness. And later their poor marketing, the bad choices they made (exclusive carriers, exclusive markets), the habit of rebooting the platform every few years, those were some of the causes for Windows Mobile downfall.
  • How Microsoft picked up the iPhone in 2007 and didn't immediately recognize it was the future I will never understand. Google recognized it and they went back to the drawing board and built a solid strategy of improving on iPhone for their business model of selling to manufacturers. Microsoft waited years to just copy iPhone and put some squares around it.
  • Marketing was fine. But then all the points marketing put through, all those that people bought a windows phone for, that idiot Belfiore nullified with his love for iPhone and 8.1
  • The failure of Windows Phone/Mobile was a combination of many "mistakes" (I ignored WP and W10M was my first MS experience on a phone) : 1. "Windows" didn't ring very well with people. People use it on their computers because the alternatives were worse, but to use it on your phone?
    2. Live tiles were a bit too different. That in combination with a lack of a stable place to find all the notifications didn't work so well with consumers (I know it was rectified and it now works even better than the competition).
    3. Notifications were too unreliable (my WP friends always complained about them).
    4. The whole horizontal navigatable UI:s with large labels and huge contrast visuals looked really ugly in my opinion.
    5. Constant OS reboots.
    6. Limited and locked down like iOS, but with almost none of the advantages in the beginning. Especially the apps.
    7. Many features are limited to Cortana, yet Cortana only speak like 8 languages in total. Try saying norwegian street names (and similar) in english. It never understands what you're trying to say. I was really hoping for W10M, but it also failed because of quite a few reasons: 1. Really unstable at the beginning.
    2. Limited number of handsets.
    3. The constant OS reboots kept developers away.
    4. Consumers had already given up on Microsoft's mobile OS:s. The comments I got when I showed my Lumia 950 was all in the style of: "Windows Phone? It's dead and buried. Who wants it?" - combined with some laughter.
    5. All this talk about UWP, whilst still not releasing all its apps for UWP and instead focusing on iOS and Android.
    6. Microsoft basically killed it off by being vague. I jumped to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and now enjoy quicker apps, a camera which is lightyears ahead of the one found on the Lumia 950, Samsung Pay, etc.
  • Never understood the argument that Live Tiles are more informative than iOS and Android for example, and that is their advantage. Actually their not informative at all. You have to sit and wait seconds even minutes for them to rotate itself and show you something which is the exact oposite of "at a glance", and even after they show you something its a cut text that you cannot even interact with and still have to open the app. Most of the apps don't even have info on their tiles and are just pure icons with squares around them eating estate of the screen. Extremely pointless and stupid UI IMO. Never been practical, are not, and won't be. It is proven that grid of icons is what people want, love and are gotten used to for thousand of years. Why hide grid of icons under squares of ICONS and nothing more. On other systems like iOS you just have to light up the phone (not unlock it like in Windows, which is an additional step) and you see all your apps info in the notifications, which is the exact same thing as staring at your "Live Tiles" without the waiting for something to happen part. The other argument against grid of icons is that they are "boring". Aren't devices just a tool to complement our lives? I feel sorry for people that need to find entertainment in a home screen, and not the actual content. Live Tiles have always been camouflaged icons, with ****** excuse, that makes no practical sense. They're only purpose and still reason to exist is to be a differentiator and that's all. When you look at a screen with big ugly one golored squares, you immediately say "Oh this is Windows" and that's pretty much it. There is no bad advertisement, but in the case of Windows history showed this identification brings 0 value, not to say only negatives.
  • There are only a few tiles that can provide "at a glance" information.
  • This article sets up a straw man. I've been involved in this community ever since WP7 and I can't recall anyone ever calling live tiles "unintuitive". You tap them just like any other static icon. There is no difference in terms of how users interact with them. The typical claim was something entirely different, namely that live tiles are ugly! Particularly WP7 certainly had this problem, as they were either solid color tiles or whatever the app developer thought a tile should look like, which made most start screens look like noisy advertising billboards. It also lacked the ability to set a background picture, so it looked terrible in advertisements compared to the competition. Without a picture it also never seemed as personal. Joe Belfiore constantly stating how WP7 was beautiful wouldn't have been necessary if that's how a majority perceived it. It wasn't. This is superficial stuff really, but for the average consumer how it looks is one of the primary factors influencing purchasing decisions.
  • I loved live tiles. But I went over to Android because the apps I NEED (like banking)  were not available on the Win 10 phone. Worse - It WAS and then it was dropped without a peep from MS.
  • Hmm. Let's see. Do I want icons that hearken back to the days of Windows 1.0 (i.e., IOS and Android), or do I want tiles I can interact with and give me information without opening the app? Decisions, decisions.
  • It seems that every email I get from WindowsCentral is just another re-hash of a previous article going over the same of crap yet again. Can't you come up with anything original? Everybody should know by now (unless they are completed IT illiterate and living under a rock and haven't seen all the other rehashes of this topic) that Windows Phone failed because Microsoft screwed up with the launch of both Windows and Windows phone. They should have released the Windows Phones at the same time as Windows 8 on the PC, not months and months later, and then not a useless buggy version that had so many common features missing that Android and iPhone users took for granted. A mistake which they then repeated the same mistake with Windows phone 10, which was also buggy as hell.
    As I have always said since day 1, the most blatantly common sense approach would have been to launch Windows 8/10 with PC + phone bundles, marketing the whole integration and syncing, then folks would have been far more willing to give it a try and put their Android/iPhone to the side for a while. I have only ever heard people say positive things about the live tiles, they are more intuitive if anything and the whole interface is less cluttered. Android is a complete mess, icons all over the place, not even in alphabetical order, swiping back and forth through screens to find your app.
  • True that it is not tiles bu trather the current lack of applications which will not be overcome. I also HATE tiles on desktop and is the reason I use Classic Shell.
  • The real reasons why Microsoft failed on mobile: 1. OEMs have learned from their past mistakes. When the PC emerged the OEMs made the mistake to allow Windows to have a virtual monopoly on the desktop. The competition was strong on the hardware side and profit margins were minimal (5-10%) while Microsoft was charging an arm and a leg because it was enjoying its virtual monopoly and had no competition. 2. Software companies learned their lesson too. When a company controls the operating system, it controls everything that runs on top of it, and can and will abuse its powers in order to maximize profit. Corel learned that the hard way when Microsoft made sure the then very popular WordPerfect crashed on Windows 95 in order to push people to use Microsoft Office. Netscape, Java, Samba, Kaspersky and may other victims were not pleased with Microsoft's tactics. 3. When Microsoft launched Windows Phone it severely restricted which components the OEMs could use and that drove up the costs for the manufacturers. They didn't like that. Also Microsoft didn't allow customizations of the OS, so the OEMs could not differentiate their products. They didn't like that. Compare that attitude with Google's which allows anyone to get the source code and modify the OS as they like, or change the UI. I know some of you will argue that the OEMs have allowed Android to achieve a virtual monopoly, but Android is much less of a danger because it is open source. Google can't abuse its position much. If Google does that, the OEMs will simply get the source code and make a clone Android that has nothing to do with Google. There are already a lot of Android phones in China and elsewhere that run a custom version of Android. It's not perfect, but it keeps Google relatively honest. Android is not open enough for my taste but it is the most open widely used OS. But I think platforms in general and OSes in particular must be open source in order to prevent the company that owns them from abusing its dominant position.
  • The sooner people, and more importantly MS high management,  realize that whatever this moron Belfiore touches is ruined, the better.   How could someone who secretly admired iPhones, bastardized the OS trying to match it, ruined all its best differentiating features, and failed to convince developers to support his platform, be a successful platform leader?  It can't be. Simple as that.  Further proof, as soon as he started managing Cortana, the service lost identity, and stagnated. The only solution became to merge with Alexa, simply because he could not find a way for Cortana to compete. He lacks leadership, imagination, creativity.
    He is only good for fancy haircuts that do not suit his face. And before someone says that this is just a low jab, that is actually proof that shows that someone lacks taste, and understandng of what's good and suitable even for himself. 
  • The tiles rocked! They still do on my 950. But the apps just aren't there. I don't really understand that end of the game, but would love to see an analysis of how Microsoft lost with developers AND, in the US, with the carriers. It's whole life, Windows phones were always relegated to the back of the AT&T stores I ever went in to ...with the exception of the 1020 and, only briefly, the 1520. I would go in to get a new phone and be bombarded with why I should by a new iPhone...only to pull out whatever Lumia I was upgrading from to hear..."Oh. Yeah. I think we have one or two in the back..."
  • The reason that smartphones became popular was because they integrated several portable devices into a single piece of hardware.  The successful companies took note of this, included the latest available technology and made it available through as many channels as possible. Microsoft relied  solely upon their operating system and ignored the above.  Their first mistake was creating a phone with no LTE when LTE first came out.  They also were exlusive to one carrier at first.  Their cameras were one generation behind.  Because of their first misstep, many people either purchased iPhones and locked into the Apple ecosystem or purchased LTE Android phones and committed to that ecosystem. Microsoft phones never included technology that was exclusive.  There were plenty of opportunities to invest in high quality internal DACs, excellent antennas, wonderful new WiFi systems and other sensor tech that Microsoft ignored. In all other product ranges, I am a Microsoft fanboy, but in the mobile smartphone market, they are still years behind in hardware!  
  • Windows phone and mobile both failed only because Microsoft wanted to that happen, they got late to the phone market later Microsoft started to develop for their two rivals the same applications even with better quality and also they Never did any advertising on other countries, without ads your product don't exist to the eyes of the rest of the potential consumers in other words windows phone and mobile failed because Microsoft wanted that happens
  • The Major Problem in Microsoft is Promotion and Applications/Games. Both are in Zero/Bottom. When you build something then you have to Promote it and to Market it.
    If the customer doesnt know the product then will never buy it. Also when all the others Companies do Promotion and Marketing and Consumer doesnt know anything about Mobile Phones then he will gonna buy the one who hears more.
    All Advertisments on TV and on Radio are from Samsung and Apple. Also the all the Telecomunication Companies like Vodafone and other are Advertising New Devices like Samsung Galaxy S8 and Apple iPhone 7.
    So Microsoft if you read me, I must tell you that your mistakes are too many and are all connect it like a chain.
    All your Big mistakes Start from 2014 until now.
    You could been a Big Game Changer from 2012 with Nokia Lumia 1020.
    There was your Best Big Weapon.
    You could envolve it and make it every year Better in Hardware Specifications, Better in Design, Better in OS.
    You could be on the TOP of the Mobile Phone Chain.
    You could have build today a Beautifull Phone with Specs like below:
    CPU: 8-Core SnapDragon 835 (4x1.5 GHz & 4x2.5 GHz).
    GPU: Adreno 540.
    RAM: 8GB DDR4.
    SSD: 256GB.
    Rear Camera: 41 MP, Carl Zeiss Optics, OIS/DIS Triple-LED RGB Flash.
    Front Camera: 12 MP, Carl Zeiss Optics, OIS/DIS Triple-LED RGB Flash.
    Display Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Protection: - IP68 certified - Dust and Water Resistant Up to 1.5 Meter and 30 Minutes. - MIL-STD 810G - Grade Salt, Fog, Humidity, Transport Shock and Thermal Shock Resistant. Sensors: Iris Scanner, FingerPrint Scanner, AcceleroMeter, Gyro, Proximity, Compass, Barometer, Sensor Core, Heart Rate, SpO2. Bluetooth: 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX. GPS: A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO. Speakers: Stereo Bang & Olufsen Audio. Radio: Stereo FM with RDS. USB Connection: 3.1, Type-C 1.0 Reversible Connector. Battery: Li-Po >6.000mAh Capacity. Battery Charging: 3 Modes (Slow 3A, Normal 6A, Fast 9A). Wireless Charging: Qi/PMA. OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional. Microsoft Continuum Support. 
  • Yes, and a flesh-light embeded in your phone. What they needed was to have a business model and then execute it as flawlessly as possible. That's what they didn't have and don't have to this day.
  • it is The lost case. No sense to discuss and defend its prettiness, elegance and other graphical virtues! The fact is, it failed because there is no consistent and easy usability in it. I repeated it hundred times: too many tiles sizes, too easy to move them or simply loose off the screen, too hard readability. It is simply not acceptable by majority of people. I personally like it, but I see all its drawbacks and I spend too much time tweaking it. This is not a good candidate for a popular user's interface - just like Windows 10 start menu. Sorry guys, develop something else and start again. The World is not lost yet.
  • What claim? Who made it? I've never heard anyone make that claim? Article that invents a claim in order to then refute it.
  • I've seen lots of theories including lack of advertising, it was the tiles/UI, lack of apps, etc. Some theories have more validity than others no doubt, but the fact that you've never heard a particular claim isn't proof it was never made. 
  • "Russ Michaels
    It seems that every email I get from WindowsCentral is just another re-hash of a previous article going over the same of crap yet again. Can't you come up with anything original?" ABSO-FRIGGING-LUTELY. SAME SAME SAME SAME SAME. Because the truth is there is NOTHING to write about now until something new happens!!!
  • Live tiles are one of the reasons I still have a Windows Phone. They've always been one of the attractive features of the OS from the start. Especially now though.
  • I would love to imagne a time line in another universe where Microsoft has launched WP7 just 1.5 years earlier....... Windows Phone has evolved a lot and gained many features but unfortunately lost several features as well (as you mentioned "Me Tile". But for me it was entire "People Hub Experience"). I would be thrilled if some of these lost features will come back in future builds.
  • Live tiles is a great feature. Iphones' and Android's icons are plain and lifeless. Live tiles have information, notifications, it animates and is resizable. Those iphone and android users who thought windows is confusing must have not really used a windows phone. Windows users even survived a long time w/o notification center because of live tiles. Let's see an iphone or android today w/o notif center, that phone will be useless. The problem with live tiles is that it was never updated. It stayed that way and got stale. I've showed, and others as well, interactive live tiles many years ago. It showed great potential. We could have controlled music, or perform simple interactions through live tiles. But the biggest update since then is that it's chaseable. So dull. And things we could have all done through interactive live tiles are being scattered throughout the desktop. Now taskbar is getting more and more cluttered, filled with images of contacts, buttons and stuff and when you click start you will now be annoyed by the tile animations, because now they have become irelevant.
  • APPs!!!. That is what killed WP. APPs and nothing else. Forget about live tiles and customisation and what have you. Lack of apps is what made recommending WP impossible. People couldn't find their favourite apps. When they existed, they came with only 10% of the Android/iOS functionality. 
  • I just switched to a Galaxy S8 from my 950.  It's definitely a significant improvement over my 950 in terms of hardware, and Android does have some good features that Windows is definitely missing.  In some ways, Android is lightyears ahead, but sometimes it feels Windows Mobile is lightyears ahead.  The 950 is probably the best smartphone I've ever had.  The only real reason I got a S8 was the battery was better, and the 950 was getting sluggish.  I wish MS would release a new Lumia. 
  • UX killed windows phone 50% and UI killed windows phone 50%   UX: unfamiliar desktop experience iOS/android had a similar UX. swipe left/right on desktop to access multiple home screen icons can be grouped into folders WP had an endless scroll of tiles and tiles were not be able to be grouped which is 100% weird navigation from iOS/android experience the same experience affected WebOS too   UI: inconsistent UI the live tile was functionally very useful but, as it was new, people had a fear of change when wp7 was launched, microsoft should have replaced windows desktop icons to live time instead of introducing new start screen when wp8 was launched microsoft should have replaced windows icons to live tiles system wide even now, windows 10 should have tile desktop instead of tile start screen https://box.everhelper.me/attachment/wwATh8P1gSTdkjFz/WindowsOne.jpg    
  • You can't exactly group Android and iOS together in this regard. Well anyways. What you are focusing on is the future and what Live Tiles could be and not what they are. I'm not saying that the future of Live Tiles isn't good. When I imagine CShell Live Tiles don't quite fit for me personally.
  • <p>I think live tiles were intuitive, easier to use, more potent in terms of functionality and beautiful to look at. The real reason of failure of Microsoft Windows Phone is the lack of belief on the product by the Microsoft team themselves. They relied on research that was bound to give a picture that Android phones had put in the minds of the users. They didnt have the confidence of their own gut feel that this product would work</p> <p>So what Windows Phone really lacked is a leader who would back the product as if it is his son or daughter. So that lack of belief got translated to the marketing team, sales teams and also the product team. I cannot possibly find a reason why they have done away with the integrated people hub and the ME tile, which got FB posts and Tweets to the user just by a swipe on the profile. All the social media management tools of today are building that feature today. Imagine the social analytics Microsoft could have built on the integrated platform..</p> <p>Then they did away with the picture hub. Picture hub / Video hub were brilliant ideas but there was no statesman in Microsoft to back it.</p> <p>They they did away with Mix Radio, which was a fantastic app for music. Look at what all the music apps are doing today.. the same thing that Mix did much earlier.</p> <p>I really dont have the time to list all the blunders that Microsoft made. But one thing for sure that I would shout and say, Microsoft killed an amazing product because there was no Steve Jobs at Microsoft to back it</p> <p>To conclude, I will forever remember the tiles and all the windows phone I have owned till date. No IPhone and no android can come close to them in terms of user experience.</p> <p>Such potential wasted.</p>