Microsoft and the duo user Part I: Microsoft is building a "phone" for consumers

As Android and iPhone fans have eagerly indulged in yearly upgrades to finely crafted, powerful, broadly distributed, high-end smartphones many Windows phone fans have observed from the sidelines. Some have watched with patience, envy, and even anger as Android phone and iPhone users have had their pick of new devices — sometimes even satisfying their lust by replacing a perfectly fine year-old device that didn't need replacing.

Conversely, the last first-party high-end smartphones released to Windows phone "consumers", or the fans as the company's retrenchment strategy frames the phone's target demographic, were the expensive and not widely distributed Lumia's 950 and 950XL. Moreover, with no marketing (understandably) to the masses and what we are currently observing to be an undeniable effort to reach the business sector, Microsoft is seemingly enamored with the enterprise. So if Redmond really is targeting consumers, why does their business look like, well, all business?

Getting their business straight

Let's first revisit what looks to be the decline of Microsoft's consumer-focused mobile efforts. The limited distribution of the Windows fan-focused Lumia 950 didn't get a good response from consumers, nor did the "immature" OS powering the devices. It is probably an understatement to say that Windows phone enthusiasts, industry watchers and Microsoft themselves have endured a roller coaster ride of emotional ups and downs as Redmond's mobile platform has struggled for relevance.

Moreover, after several waves of layoffs, Microsoft has virtually shed all of the valuable human capital of what seemed to be a perpetually unprofitable investment in the Nokia mobile phone division purchase. This reduction in its mobile division has been compounded by withdrawals from emerging markets like India and Brazil (markets seen as the next billion).

It is worth noting that emerging markets as a target for its first-party smartphones had been previously acknowledged as a strategic investment for the company. Moreover, the sale of the company's feature phone division to Foxconn, also a product of the ill-fated Nokia purchase, provoked further doubts regarding the company's commitment to phone consumers.

If that were not enough, the release of the next high-end first-party "phone", or "Surface Phone" as it is popularly called, is not expected until around the first quarter of 2017. In addition to the months-long wait for the device the Surface Phone, like the incredible HP Elite x3, will be targeted at business customers.

The combination of all of these factors may indeed make it appear as if Microsoft has left Windows phone consumers flapping in the wind as the company has retreated to the familiar and secure bastion of the enterprise. In a superficial sense, this is true. But as is usually the case, the picture is a bit more complicated than what it appears to be on the surface.

End of the low-end

Microsoft's mobile strategy is in a state of retrenchment. This retrenchment is in fact a strategic move by the company. It allows them to continue to develop a unified platform across form factors while keeping the most vulnerable component of that platform, phone, safe from the devouring jaws of dominant smartphone rivals.

This retreat, as it were, positions the company to hone the cohesion within, and enhance the breadth and depth of the Windows ecosystem. It also allowed the firm to target three specific markets while excluding the company from the competitive rigors it would continue to face as a major underdog in the general consumer space. Nadella summed it up this way in a July 8, 2015, memo (opens in new tab):

"I am committed to our first-party devices including phones. However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention. We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family....We plan to narrow our focus to three customer segments where we can make unique contributions and… differentiate through the combination of our hardware and software. We'll bring business customers the best management, security and productivity experiences they need; value phone buyers the communications services they want; and Windows fans the flagship devices they'll love.

It is interesting to note that a mere two months after Nadella's statement, Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Leadership Team member, Chris Capossela, omitted the value segment from the listed targeted demographics in his statements about Microsoft's retrenchment strategy. On September 8th, 2015 Capossela had this to say:

Yeah, we've definitely retrenched...we've massively retrenched...For us in the next couple of years we're really going to focus on building phones that obviously showcase Windows 10, but we're going to try to build phones for two audiences. We're going to build phones for our Windows fans.We're also going to build phones for businesses. We know business customers want a very, very secure phone that's incredibly good at calendar management, at e-mail, at productivity, and Skype for Business, et cetera.And so we think those two segments are segments we can focus on and build a much, much better solution and much better business than we have today.

Focusing mobile like a boss

I believe Capossela's references to those two targets (Windows fans and enterprise) was indeed reflective of a decision the company had made by Q3 2015, to forego targeting the value segment, a decision which wasn't officially communicated until several months later. I believe this point was further reinforced by Panos Panay one month after Capossela's statements during Microsoft's October 6, 2015 Windows 10 Devices event.

Panay tacked a 68 second, lackluster introduction of the low-end Lumia 550 onto the tail end of an 18 minute and 46-second push of the Lumia's 950 and 950 XL and Windows Mobile's key differentiator: Continuum.

By the end of 2015 Microsoft had already shifted to targeting only the enterprise and Windows fans.

Yes, even after Roper presented Lumia and Continuum "like a boss", that Microsoft's making way for OEM partners by pulling back from the low-end was evident. This withdrawal, of course, left Microsoft with the identified target audiences of the enterprise and "Windows fans".

Those of you watching closely may have noticed that those audiences are the same targets of Microsoft's category-creating, industry-inspiring Surface personal and professional line of personal computers.

The surfacing of the Surface Phone strategy

Based upon Nadella's and Capossela's 2015 statements, it is clear that Microsoft's focus on the enterprise with a commitment to security, management and productivity is something that they had been firmly devoted to long before this year's recent layoffs and increased focus. As a matter of fact Terry Myerson's recent email which officially communicated a more focused phone hardware strategy reiterated that point:

Yet our phone success has been limited to companies valuing our commitment to security, manageability, and Continuum, and with consumers who value the same. Thus, we need to be more focused in our phone hardware efforts… I used the words "be more focused" above. This, in fact, describes what we are doing (we're scaling back, but we're not out!)

This more focused phone hardware effort is borne out primarily in the companies withdrawal of first-party Lumias from emerging markets like India and Brazil, which is a reflection of the firm's departure from the low-end.

Microsoft's "more focused" phone hardware efforts are reflected in their withdrawal from the low-end.

Of course, Microsoft's mobile partners, as we've talked about in the past are part of Redmond's strategy to bring a range of Windows 10 Mobile phones to regions and price points where first-party devices are not offered.

Rather than a major shift in strategy, this pulling out of the low-end and trusting OEMs to fill the gap is actually Microsoft bringing it's phone strategy in line with its Surface strategy as Nadella communicated was the goal back in 2014{.nofollow}:

"We will do everything we have to do to make sure we're making progress on phones...We are committed...Our first-party devices will light up digital work and life. Surface Pro 3 is a great example – it is the world's best productivity tablet… we will build first-party hardware to stimulate more demand for the entire Windows ecosystem… we will responsibly make the market for Windows Phone..."

This strategy is of course in line with Terry's deliberate wording "thus we need to be more focused in our phone hardware efforts".

Microsoft leaving the low-end brings phones in line with the Surface strategy per Nadella's stated goal in 2014.

The Surface, as a hardware component of Microsoft's personal computing strategy, has limited but intentionally focused reach in comparison to what inspired OEM partners have achieved with 2-in-1s in the industry. Microsoft's "phone" strategy, will clearly follow the same pattern.

To further this point, it is important to note that nowhere does Microsoft intimate that their phone software efforts will be more focused. As a matter of fact, Windows 10 is for everyone.

Microsoft is targeting Windows fans not Windows phone fans

It is worth noting that Microsoft is not betting the success of its mobile efforts on a single, breakout flagship hardware device, but rather the unified weight of the Windows ecosystem and the combined force of a cohesive family of Windows 10 first-party and OEM devices.

Believe it or not consumers are part of Microsoft's strategy for mobile phones.

This vast and cohesive ecosystem is being wielded by Redmond as a synergistic unified front of services and first- and third-party hardware devices that serve both enterprise and consumers. Believe it or not consumers are part of Microsoft's strategy for mobile phones.

As a matter of fact Nadella's and Caposella's exact words regarding Microsoft's target demographic for Windows 10 phones was not "Windows phone fans", but "Windows fans". Capossela expounded on that target audience this way:

We're going to build phones for our Windows fans. If you love Windows 10, if you love your Windows 10 tablet, or Surface, or laptop, we want to have a beautiful phone for you, something you'd be incredibly proud of that's going to have the same experience across your devices, the same apps will run on the phone as run on your Windows 10 laptop or tablet. And it's going to feel incredibly natural. And we really think the Windows fans really want a wonderful Windows Phone that will be a premium flagship phone.

Nadella summed up the phones target audience like this:

We'll bring…Windows fans the flagship devices they'll love."

One thing is made clear by these statements from Microsoft's CEO and marketing head: Redmond's duo user investments in the more popular aspects of the Windows 10 ecosystem will be strategically leveraged to target enterprise and consumer users of Windows 10 devices with a phone that fits seamlessly within the ecosystem that they use and love. This strategy fits in line with the notoriously misinterpreted words Terry Myerson spoke earlier this year:

"We're fully committed to that 4-inch screen, there will be a time for it to be our focus, but right now it's part of the family, but it's not the core of where I hope to generate developer interest [or encourage developers to invest in Windows] over the next year…There's no lack of recognition to realize how important that form factor is, but for Microsoft with Windows and for our platform it's the wrong place for us to lead.""We're going to do some cool things with phones, but this year phones are an important part of our family but not the tip of the spear."

When we look at these statements in conjunction with Redmond's expressed retrenched focus on business users and Windows fans we can see a path being forged to phone consumers from the broader Windows ecosystem and enterprise targets of Windows phones.

Microsoft's personal computing efforts have always transcended the boundaries between the enterprise and personal user environments. Popular tools such as Windows and Office, as well as hardware such as PC's and now Surface-inspired 2-in-1s have easily served a user at work and at home equally well. Microsoft's phone strategy is no different as seen in this excerpt from an email Microsoft sent to partners in May of this year:

We'll continue to adapt Windows 10 for small screens. We'll continue to invest in key areas – security, management, and Continuum capabilities – that we know are important to commercial accounts and to consumers who want greater productivity. And we'll help drive demand for Lumia devices.

More than one way to skin a cat, or reach the consumer

Due to a failure to garner meaningful market share via the traditional strategy of a head-to-head battle with entrenched rivals, Microsoft's phone strategy required an adjustment. These shifts were communicated by Nadella and began back in 2014{.nofollow}.

Microsoft is targeting the duo user in all of us.

Via the strength of a duo user strategy, a core business philosophy that permeates the firm's range of software, services and devices Microsoft has a valid and viable, though very difficult path, back to the phone consumer.

In essence, Microsoft is strategically forging a methodic, indirect path back to the phone consumer by targeting the duo user in all of us. With a Continuum powered category-defining Windows device that will likely be positioned more like a Windows PC with telephony rather than a phone, Microsoft aims to showcase Windows 10 on the small screen and target professional and personal productivity.

Will this "differentiation through the combination of our hardware and software", as Nadella put it, work? It will be a challenging, slow and fragile trek through the enterprise, the appeal of the broader Windows 10 ecosystem and partnerships rather than a strictly direct route to the consumer. Still, I'm optimistic. But time will tell.

While we wait, what are your thoughts? Sound off in comments and on Twitter, and meet us back here in part two as we delve deeper into Microsoft's duo-user strategy!

Jason Ward

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!

  • Thanks for reading folks!!! Microsoft's duo user strategy, via its depth and breadth of services that provide a range of both professional and personal productivity tools has proven successful for the company historically and in its present personal computing offerings. As the company is evolving its universal platform and portfolio of Windows 10 devices Redmond is attempting to apply that same core philosophy in this current environment. Due to a number of factors (some of its own devising) that prevented the company from gaining a solid footing in mobile phones, the application of the duo user strategy in phones is a challenging, slow and fragile trek through the enterprise and the appeal of the broader Windows 10 ecosystem rather than a direct route to the consumer. But make no mistake, Microsoft is after consumers! :-) Well folks, you know the drill, LET'S TALK!!!
  • Great read! +10-points for not starting a single sentence with "Indeed,"!!!
  • Indeed ;-) lol Thanks!
  • You're an eternal optimist, Jason, and I love you for it! Makes keeping the faith a little bit easier...   :-)
  • They need an amazing phone, and they need to start marketing. Many people feel surprised that Microsoft even has a phone when they see my 640. Many people don't even know! That's sad. It's sad because it's such a great OS. One more problem Microsoft must face is the app gap. People might take a look at Windows Phones and show initial interest, but when they discover there is no Pokemon Go or Snapchat or even Amazon app, they'll drop the phone and move on.
  • Agreed but not at the low end - I interpret the retrenching as Microsoft only wanting to play in a specific section of the market, as they do with the Surface line and stay away from the low end so that OEMs can do their own thing without having to compete. It's the same line of thought that would explaing why they cancelled the Surface Mini, it would likely have hurt OEMs at the low end of the market too much. There's still some interesting options on both phone and laptop/tablet that are 3rd party at a good price and it makes sense for Microsoft to stay away from that end of the market. At the high end of the market, only the Acer Jade Primo and the HP Elite X3 have appeared with no alternative to the 950 series. That's where Microsoft need to play, since without a flagship device it would be tricky to sell the platform to new users.
  • @skydiverian  I don’t agree with you. Look at the Blackberry. There is many people around the world who don’t have money for L950, but they want a WP from MS. Regards
  • Yeah !! Great to see the optimistic spirit !! Helps me to stick to the platform with a happy face !!, :)
  • Jason, great article! One minor nipick: shouldn't the comma in the tilte be after "consumers" instead of "Hey"?
  • You're half right. There should be a comma after "consumers", but the comma after "Hey" still belongs there.
  • If they pull this off it will be interesting how this process is studied in future business schools. When Microsoft set out on the Windows Phone venture they strayed from their core competencies' and pursued consumer devices vs enterprise software. Should be a cautionary case study of really knowing your company and if you want to pursue new markets know what you are getting into. While Microsoft is getting all the flack, Google made the same mistake when they bought Motorola.
  • Google never intended to buy Motorola devices. It was just a package attached to the patents they wanted. They kept patents and sold the rest.
  • Excellent article! When is part 2? Can't wait!
  • I'm a huge long time fan but it will take some convincing for me to believe MS has any serious interest in the WP consumer market.
    Many of their actions towards mobile consumers have bordered on contemptuous, and I have personally felt the burn on numerous occasions.
    If they have indeed refocused they must stop the rot now, not leave it into 2017
  • TL;DR: As consumer, I'm left without most popular games and next Windows mobile device ;) I've been thinking about this lately, and my understanding is: Microsoft may be after consumers, but in mobile, only if some OEM makes the devices and takes the risks. And that is the part where strategy fails. There exists 2 high-end devices tailored for enterprise (enthusiasts may also be interested), Lumia 550 copies with SD21x, and one midrange device in Japan. Attractive consumer windows phones do not exist. In enterprise, the landscape is completely different. Companies do not care so much about Pokémon Go or social circles (though if workers are given W10M phones, they do care about them and may not adopt those phones for personal use). If there is not an app for the task, companies can make it internally or contract from external developers. Maybe Office is enough to run most of the tasks. Remote machines work well in intranet and plausibly in 4G. Companies may have long and economical contracts for hardware, software and support. How laptop-replacing phone fits into this remains to be seen. Productivity does not sell many consumer phones. PC world is totally different. Many millions of existing users, many millions of existing x86 Windows PCs, huge variety of software available. OEMs can more safely manufacture standard desktops and laptops, custom computers and copies of Surface tablets (or 2-in-1 devices) because existing and coming apps, games and productivity tools will work in almost every device.
  • I agree... PCs and Tablets...  Microsoft wins.  When I want to get stuff done, I always use my Surface Pro 4 or my PC.  I take my SP4 with me everywhere.  My iPad is only for trivial couch surfing.  But phones, I am sorry to say is another story.  I have had Windows Phone 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.  I find I don't want my phone to just be an extension of my Surface.  Nobody really wants to do productivity work on a tiny screen anyway.  That's what the easy-to-carry very portable Surface Pro is for.  I want my phone to be more personal and have all the apps, even the silly ones like Pokemon Go (but also the not-so-silly apps like Robin Hood).  But that has never happened and I can't see it happening in the forseeable future.  For consumer phones, I just do not see a future with WP any longer.
  • Very true, the little bit of productive work that can be done on sub 6in devices is checking mails etc, can be done on android and ios too, thanks to MS laser sharp focus on those platforms.
  • Hands down, best author on this site.
  • Agreed -- excellent article, save for this minor slip-up:
    September 8th, 2016 Capossela had this to say:
  • Appreciate the support missionsparta and I amSpartan! September 8, 2016 huh, maybe it wasn't a slip up. Maybe I have time hopping Delorean. Lol j/k Thanks for the pointer. Fixed!
  • If you go spelt by word count, yeah. Too much droning on when it could be amazed in half the words, though, and I'm not a fan of the "series" articles that basically act as months-long summaries of the obvious.
  • Don't read it then.
  • I'll read whatever I please. If you don't like my opinion, don't read it. Really, that philosophy is so dumb, though. How do I don't like it if I don't read it? Why are people so scared of criticism and dissention that they want all of those who don't agree to hide in a hole? It's laughably insecure thinking.
  • If you don't like my opinion, then don't read it? Me saying don't read it if you dont like the guys work is my opinion.... Don't read it then. Its also one thing to say you disagree with what he is just pretty much bashed his entire style and writing.
  • Yes, and you praised his writing style. Why can't constructive criticism be present? I read it because the topics can be interesting, I'm just starting that the spring content could be better and, more importantly, I'm saying HOW it can be better. If you can't take dissenting opinions, that's a YOU problem, and I'm not interested in eating my time discussing your problems with you.
  • boringgg!
  • He didn't really seem to bash it, it's just not his cup of tea. He never called Jason a bad writer as far as I can see? Look, you like Jason's writing. Keith gave his opinion and you gave a kneejerk reaction in response, because he didn't agree with you. Doesn't make him wrong though. It's the same as saying "this car is awesome" and somebody tells you it sucks. Different opinions, no need to get personal - let's just agree to disagree!
  • @Keith You're here. You're engaged. Thanks for reading! :-)
  • Keep in mind that this is probably a better way for a lot of people to understand whats going on. Not everybody has English as a native language (myself included) and misinterpretations are easily made. Heck, I don't always understand whats written in articles and have to look it up: I could write up a killer article with fewer, more expensive words but, not everybody would understand the context. Just look at some of Daniel's articles. Nice and short but a lot of people don't seem to get it (usually from outside the US). Jason is just hammering on certain points that reinforce his article and removes any room for self-made conclusions. Personally, I prefer the "less is more" approach like you, but its definitly refreshing to sit down and enjoy a coffee reading a lengty article of good quality from time to time, haha. And most of what Jason writes could be summerized as "obvious" yeah. *if* you follow Windows Central daily and bothered to do some research. No offense intended towards others. There's a lot of people that don't find this as obvious as we might and start filling in their own conclusions on subjects that were told a few weeks/months ago. Just look at some of the reactions on articles. So coming from that perspective, I think his articles are great for the readers that pop in from time to time to catch up. Come to think of it, maybe its interesting to have Jason write a monthly "series" on whats going on behind the scenes and explaining why the choice was made. It's a bit like his current articles, but these usually pop up after a major outrage happened. I think it would be an interesting idea to have somebody cover everything thats noteworthy and try to explain in more in-depth articles as of why. Take Skype for example. Yeah, I get it, but tons of people herald the end because they don't seem to understand.
  • LMAO. The original guy bashes his writing for having to long of articles and should shorten it up. So the guy that comes to his defense writes and entire novel. Hahahaha
  • I wish the upcoming startup companies got more help,The thing I quite don't get and it's sad is that there isn't much support for Nuans Neo (it's great phone), if you read the KickStarer FAQ , you only get charged once they meet that goal and they also let you know when you'll be charged, I think kickstarter is a great fundraising website for projects, I backed the project with few others, just with much more people would, and the options you get when choosing how to back the project are great
  • You only get charged if they succeed, but you get nothing back if the product is delayed or junk. I almost supported the Wearhaus Arc headphones Kickstarter. They ended up being almost six months late. DayZ had one of its project/development leads bail. Mighty No. 9 was horribly delayed amd ended up downgraded trash. You get nothing refunded in those cases. That's why some don't like to touch crowdfunding.
  • Crowdfunding is basically like making a donation where you might get something cool in the mail after a while.
  • I see it more like buying a car based on a TV ad and hoping the transmission isn't trash or buying a shirt because it looked good in the window, without knowing if it fits. It's basically putting the burden of investment on the buyers, without the typical business model of reading the investors with the opportunity to make a profit. Kickstarter and the producers gets the profits without the risk of the investment instead. Only the customers are at risk in the business model. They managed to create a setup a business model where the people with the money don't have the power (once they agree to find something, that is).
  • In case of the Neo it is already a successful product in Japan. It's proven they have built the thing. As a startup, they need help to pay for the certifications in other markets. These certs are hugely expensive and they want assurance that there is interest from those markets before they expand. Not unreasonable and very low risk to pledge, IMHO.
  • wonder why Microsoft doesn't provide the money that Nuans needs to finish the KickStarter -- it is chump change for them and would pay dividends by creating an innovative w10 phone  
  • Why bother if people won't buy it? Obviously people won't buy it or else we wouldn't be having this conversation. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Ewww boring ios static icons and home screen! Cute girl though..
  • SO I am not one to rip on any phone device, its a personal thing and I total get the app gap for some people, but I must say, WP10, when comparing to iOS is beautiful! Just better on the eyes and so fluid. Android can be made to look pretty good also, I just will not use Google as I just do not trust them...
  • WM10 has stepped backwards in fluidity. Just look at the overscroll effect. In WP8.1 when an overscroll occurred, the screen images would compress slightly, then bounce back. In WM10, there is no compression, just a bounce that doesn't look natural. That's what Android does, and IMVHO is ugly. But you do know you can run Android without Google's services, don't you. Android is open source, so you can take the source code, compile it or your device, and eschew the Google services (which are not open source). Alternatively, just flash a pre-compiled custom ROM. Apps can be installed from F-Droid, an alternative to Google Play Store.
  • Please don't start mentioning or bashing other successful cell companies because our platform is behind the curve at the moment. I'm perfectly happy with my cell OS of choice and my 1520 running build 14393. I do not envy Android or Apple and respect them for what they have been able to accomplish.
  • Not bashing anything. Just calling it like it is. ios is boring. The phones might be nice and expensive but the OS is a bore!
  • No, you're calling it as you perceive it to be. I find iOS boring and stuffing, in many respects. It's when your state opinion as fact that the comments are questionable in nature.
  • Personally, the Apple iOS is boring, but it seems to work for a lot of "no-nonsense" people. I often hear people complain they get a "information overdose" when they use my phone for a bit. But at the same time, they mention how beautiful it is.
  • I like the fact that I get a ton of information all at once. I get the headlines, my next calendar appointment, my latest email subject lines, I know if I have messages and who they're from, weather forcasts, I could get sports scores if I cared about such things, and so many other options for Live Tiles. And I get all that in the span of about 5-10 seconds whereas if you're on another OS, you have to look through each individual app to get that information and you're losing a few minutes at least. Not to mention the fact that I can see my daughters beatiful, smiling face behind all the translucent Live Tiles.
  • You can get all that information and more with all the platforms. Widgets have been around for years and even iOS has them somewhere. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • After having used Android for a while, I don't see what live tiles do that plain old notifications don't. Except I don't have to wait for notifications to animate to get the info.
  • And notifications can be interactive. They also bring you directly to the info you are looking at instead of just opening the app and leaving you to hopefully find it. Widgets are even more powerful. App developers could easily make "Live Tiles" for their Android apps, but when functionality isn't suppressed, you don't make a Live Tile. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • My favorite thing about the start screen is how customizable it is. When I got my first Windows Phone (first smartphone as well) I removed as much as possible from the screen because it felt way too busy. Using the apps list was better for me at the time. Now I'm much more used to it, I like having many more live tiles.
  • Same here. But they like being entertained by my screen.
  • Yeah, it is :( Very solid but yes so boring. I don't feel like I can use it for long because of that.
  • iOS and Android screen design are boring. The concept is basically Windows 3.1 on a small screen...functional, but boring. I will in fact say that its boringness is its success. As boring as it is, it's familiar. People don't like change. Thank God there is WP for those of us who were bored.
  • This isn't an article. This is a freaking novella! ☺ I've been disappointed with Microsoft's previous marketing efforts. When the new hardware releases, they need to have a marketing campaign that sweeps across the world and conquers like the Huns.
  • HP is doing it right with the 47 countries release of the Elite X3, maybe MS should partner with them and have a wider release of their future devices. Even with the X3, the WP fans should be happy that they have a phone powered by the latest hardware
  • They could, given MS did some distribution agreements with other OEMs for Surface. It makes sense for business products more than everyday users, though, to me.
  • And here I am waiting for another Dell Venue Pro to happen. A man can dream, right?
  • On September 8th, 2016 Capossela had this to say:................woah you've been to the future. I didn't know you knew doc brown
  • Great Scott!
  • Thanks pasmanz, In the words of Marty McFly, "Thats heavy." lol :-)
  • I'll be watching this closely. My company may be changing from AT&T to Verizon. So the dual-sim scenario with 2x sim cards may not work with a dual-sim version for Verizon. Classically, GSM radios on these devices are locked out for USA carriers. If SIM1 could drive company CDMA+LTE and allow me to use my AT&T in SIM2, this could be a homerun.
  • Absolutely loved reading such a well written article. The subject matter will hopefully give a fresh perspective and a newfound confidence to those people that declare W10 mobile dead.
  • Nice article, I hope many consumers read this and walk away with a clearer understanding of why the latest decline in phone revenue shouldn't warrant, gloom and doom, but hope because it's a strategic move to better position Microsoft's phone business.
  • As if that makes any sense. It is going to be even harder to penetrate the market a year from now. Developers will be completely gone and any thing Microsoft releases will need to be revolutionary, otherwise it will flop just like every device before. More of the same isn't going to work. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Over the past two years, I've now transitioned from everything Apple over to everything Microsoft and I've been perfectly happy. In my house, I have two Surface pro 3's, a Surface Book, a Dell, a Blu phone with Windows 10, 2 Lumia 950 XL's, and XBox One and two of those Continuum hubs. It was a bit of a shock to my family as I broke them off of the Apple system, but now even they agree that Microsoft is currently building better products and thinking long term. I feel good about my choice to invest into it and I see the improvements made. We all enjoy the way everything feels similar regardless of the device you are on. I firmly believe Microsoft is on the right path now and I remain committed. All this coming from a one time, hard core, Apple guy.
  • Thank you for being open minded and honest about your previous platform of choice and looking at the long term strategic moves Microsoft is making and not bashing platforms like so many in here do along with trolls who use iOS and android who often come to this forum to boost their egos.
  • I've transitioned this way too. When I still had my iPod touch, I installed some jailbreak to make it look like windows phone. That's when I started shifting. IOS is good honestly, but it isn't for me. I now have a Lumia 950, a windows 10 computer, a windows 10 tablet, and a display dock.
  • Impressive article.
    MS is falling behind in phones for sure but then again they are not fighting at the same front as Android and iOS are.
  • So, MS's idea is to target on mobile the same segment they're targetting on "desktop" right now, leaving others to fill in the blanks? That's a very bold plan, I have to say. Let's see how it pans out. In the meantime, my 640 serves me pretty well 
  • I got my wife a 640 after she couldn't stand the Android phones anymore. Finally she understood why I was so hooked on WP. But neither of us had upgraded to 10 because of the disappointing desktop 10.
  • Desktop 10 is perfectly fine. Good luck running a grandfathered OS.
  • 8.1 works and is a lot better than 10 - and unbelieveably - more apps to choose from. So grandfather that! How's HERE's map suite working for you on W10M? Right.
  • I hope it does pan out well. We all saw how OEMS reacted when they bought Nokia. I loved my HTC 8X and my Samsung Ativ S. Here's hoping!
  • I'm really not interested in the speculation or overanalysing with this stuff anymore. The 950 life was shoddy hardware (to put it nicely) and half-finished software (to put it nicely). To put that forth as the flagship phone, after over a year without a flagship and three years without a new 900-series on AT&T (the only 950 carrier), was bad enough. Now, we get to sit on these disappointments (which would have been pricey if they were perfect...the way we got them made them laughably overpriced) for 18 months or more, a great scenario for those of us who got the AT&T 950 on Next to upgrade after a year. After being stranded on the 920 for three years and thrown a half-baked solution from there, I just don't care about being told "focus," "for the fans," "soon," "spring," or whatever. Until I see hardware and have a release date, this all means nothing. I want a Surface Phone, but I give it no credit until it's on a shelf and not a mess like MS has been for the past few years. Good that they have a vision, and it's a vision I have been in favor if for years, but it's just tiresome to have it all put forth in such a theoretical way.
  • why do you want a "surface phone"? it will be just a phone with a big price tag, same WP10 system as found in 950, same or a lil better camera as the 950 has so why? I still dont get this "hype" around a rumored but never confirmed project. I do remeber the BIG hope around 950/XL and the HUGE disappointment with it
  • Anything to back up your claim of a brand tax? Surface devices don't today have higher prices than comparable alternatives, do I don't see where your statement makes any sense beyond unfounded guesses. I want a Surface Phone because Surfaces come out as high-quality devices almost annually. The good build materials and quality and chance for things like pen integration and a kickstand would be great. The main disappointments in the 950, for me, were the stability of the OS (not an issue if the OS matures on newer devices) and the crappy shell that creaks and generally looks badly to me (scratches easily, shows prints a lot, smudges badly, etc.). The idea is that you don't have a question of purpose or quality with Surface. They aren't Apple devices, where you can look at the hardware next to the competition and find arguments for a brand tax. When they cost more, it is paying to actually get more.
  • This rumor about a "Surface phone" has been around since the debut of Surface tablets and has continued unabated. No one can say what it might have - other than a stylus - to give it any edge on the competition. But to be truthful, the zeaots here are not concerned with competiton or the reality of the business environment in which Microsoft operates. It's just about what they like, what they want to play with and hack. 
  • Are DJCBS and RODNEYEJ your kids? Your pathetic whining is boring
  • What? I don't have any kids. However, I have a relative with a psychology degree, if you need help with your hurt feelings.
  • He's got a point with the 950xx though. Those devices are... Well, they could've been better, to put it nicely. My backup 650 looks and feels more premium, and that phone only costed me €140,- compared to the €650,- I paid for my 950XL back in the days.
  • It's a pity the 950 range feels so cheap, especially when compared to the Lumia 800 which to me is one of the nicest handsets ever made (especially in blue).
  • To me, it's not even a matter of "feeling cheap," it's that the chassis of the 950 has proven to be of poor build quality. Not many complained heavily about the lack of a premium feel with the Samsung Galaxy line when it had a removable plastic back--that seemed to be more of an anti-Samsung argument. The problem for the 950 is that it gets really hot, the chassis slightly warps, and the case creaks as a result. It's really bad to have that be your top-of-the-line offering.
  • I agree on the 950 hardware and the software back in the days. The software is actually pretty decent at this point though... But I really don't like the 950 family. they look and feel cheap, even though the innards are pretty decent. I'm still waiting for a decent phone from another OEM. I even go as far as importing that Vaio Phone Biz because to me, that device looks like a flagship (specs aside).
  • They've got one more year for me.  If we go into 2017 without some decent hardware coming in the near ******* future, and with options that run on ******* Verizon, they can kiss my ass.  This **** is pitiful.  They're throwing it all away for lack of action.  Idiots.
  • Awesome article. I hope the subscribers to this site will read it with an open mind and not be clouded by their frustrations so that they can see that Windows 10 Mobile is just experiencing growing pains. I don't believe Microsoft has given up or is treating the phone division like a stepchild. I see the strategy and I believe it will definitely pay off.
  • Agreed it's growing pains, but I don't think it's intelligent or reasonable for a company built on software and Windows to hang its consumer base out to dry with beta software on a production, "flagship" device. It comes of as "a creaky chassis and frequent crashing is the BEST you could do?" It is a bad look, one MS is doing little to fix by calling the 950 "for the fans" and taking forever to get things together.
  • The way I see it is that it was a smart move to (essentially) re-do Windows Phone from the ground up while involving Windows Phone "fans". While regular consumers would not be fond of riding the wave, "fans" (in my opinion) would. So, they could have done Windows 10 Mobile amongst the engineers and whomever and presented it years later upon their approval and possibly lost most/all Windows Phone subscribers (because if they're being hanged out to dry now, can't imagine how they'd feel without the glimmer of hope Windows 10 has been providing). Or... They could have done it they way they have, which I think is a good idea. And, you know... Satisfaction is relative and subjective. I don't think view the 950/XL or OS quite like you do. I really don't see it being any different than Apple when they were first starting out. The first iPhones were shabby and lacked a LOT of standard features. But back then, people stuck with it because they believed in what was coming. And now... They've built a pretty decent product. But for a LONG while, it was frustrating to wait for the features to come.
  • Well, remember that this isn't the first try with MS. Windows Mobile predates the iPhone. Windows Phones started almost stuff years ago, meaning where the W10M life cycle does, starting at the WP7 release, is where Apple was at the time of the iPhone 5S. Do people think of the time leading to the 5S as where Some was FINALLY putting a plan together and preparing something for more than just the brand loyalists? Not a chance. MS entered the game 3+ years late, when they had two months of success in the market to follow. They met that with three OS reboots (WM6 to WP7 to WP8 to W10M), and they are spending 6 years trying to do what it took Apple and Google half the time to figure out--build a respectable app store and put together a long-term vision.
  • They aren't growing pains, they are being cheap pains.  What did Microsoft think would happen when they axed all the Nokia employees?  It's obvious Microsoft didn't have anybody capable of replacing a single Nokia employee including the janitors.
  • That's all well and good, but the way MS "retrenched" essentially removed then from the consumer market at the current time. By the time they and OEMs get their act together, whatever limited mind space they occupied will be long gone. That means even fewer apps than now. So you'll get your fancy new WM phone, but it won't have any extensibility beyond the core apps.
  • Granted, their status in the market, even at their peak, looked like a company pulling out of the market. They weren't showing much growth anymore, so they're planning to shift their focus from the low-margin budget phones that rarely seem to lead to repeat customers.
  • Exactly!  Windows Mobile is fantastic, but like Palm before them will likely soon be just dust in the wind.  Who cares if W10 is a great cross-platform OS if there aren't any phones running it?  If Google ever pulls it's head out of it's keister and decides to tighten up Android, there will be no reason to be on W10M.   The day I see current gen low,mid, and high end W10 phones available from at least 3 separate OEMs on Verizon is the day I will believe MS gives a damn about Windows Phone.
  • Guess you better pack up and leave now, because even if Microsoft releases the phone line-up you mention, Verizon is do far up apple and Android's butts that they won't carry any windows phones....bye Felicia!
  • Somehow Google (Nexus Lineup - 5X, 6P), Lenovo/Motorola (Moto X Pure Edition, Moto G (3 Models), and the Moto Z) have managed to put together unlocked phones that work on every carrier (including Verizon and Sprint) and are world phones with GSM and LTE bands for the world.  How come MS can't do this with any of their phones??????  Until they do they will never have appreciable market share in the US ignoring half the market with Sprint/Verizon.
  • Unless Microsoft gets Qualcomm CDMA Certification for Windows 10 for Mobile (via the Global Certification Forum), don't expect any devices on CDMA carriers anytime soon. It was a MAJOR mistake from Mircosoft as they did for most of the lifespan of Windows Phone 7 (only one device for every CDMA network, and most sold the HTC Arrive right after Sprint, while Verizon carried the HTC Trophy).
  • I agree with this. In addition to all the devices mentioned, even almost out of business Blackberry can still manage to get the the Priv on all the major networks(including Verizon.) They also managed to get advertising for the phone in stores and in print and Microsoft can't or chooses not to. 
  • It's impossible to tighten up android, like it's impossible to make it efficient. It was simply built that way, not to become a modern and secure mobile os after google bought it. Now it's so widely used because of piracy, low cost of hardware and because the only alternative is ios only found on expensive iPhones
  • Agreed, and it's not necessarily a problem. It's like asking for Linux to be reined it--that's not what the OS is meant to be. It's open source, it's meant to be ubiquitous. You might as well ask Windows to be bulletproof for security--it needs to be on too many varieties of hardware and has too many nefarious people trying to get into it for there to never be issues.
  • That's not true. Your thinking us limited. The beauty if the U is that can you leverage all devices of the eco-system. App developers would be stupid to ignore 350million and growing users. The % of that total of phones becomes less important.
  • That 350M might mean something if those machines had a credit card tied to the Store.
  • Well after having two Windows Phones on the trot. I moved over to android this year. The app gap being one of the reasons. And much better hardware at a cheaper price, than the 650, that I might have considered buying. My brother has just bought a Samusung. After having a 435 for a year. Doesn't have the apps he wants.
  • A 435....really! That's all we needed to here! Both of you have what you need, now make like a tree and leave.
  • While this path may win over business I don't think it will impact the consumer.  Why?  Because Apple and Android will respond by adding these modes to their own devices and that will likely serve to hurt the Windows laptop/desktop market more too.  However you look at it, apps are king.  They are the only reason users are on Android and iOS.  While pushing UWP over bridges may look a great idea, at some point I think they may need to bring Android app support back to life so consumers have a reason to stay on Windows and not an Android device.
  • From a consumer's perspective Microsoft's current windows mobile strategy requires bucket loads of patience. I just wish they'd communicate their plans/ ideas more clearly with us loyal windows mobile enthusiasts to make us feel a little more valued. MS's mobile strategy can often seem bizzare and stupid. A little more communication would help us understand their decisions, their strategy and keep us fans on board.
  • Totally agree with the lack of communication.
  • Even when they communicate they screw up. Messaging everywhere was exciting, I know it's coming in skype now. Project astoria was very promising. UWP is exciting but not really paying off as of yet. Lots of promises and hope but very little good execution. 
  • The abandonment of project Astoria was a disappointment for sure. Microsoft does what Microsoft wants, gotta love em for that I guess...
  • Satya has, ubiquitous! His favorite word by the way!
  • So, wait until early 2017 at the soonest for a worthwhile mobile phone and maybe a decent mobile OS. Or, buy and iPhone and Android which are just as secure and have access to all the same Microsoft services.
  • But then you have to deal with iOS or Android.  Yuck.
  • IOS is fine.  better than w10....
  • Oh heavens no, dealing with a solid feature set and a plethora of apps!? Perish the thought!
  • at least every app works as it should,  every app is available,  its stable,  its fast,  and works with every wearable etc.  I perish the thought of having to go back to the rotary phone'esque w10m.   it's crap!  IOS is miles ahead of windows in every implementation.  The big thing with windows mobile was live tiles...most of them stopped updating after a few hrs and you had to remove and reinstal on the home page....hardly awesome. 
  • The problem is, nobody cares about the Windows ecosystem.  The Windows ecosystem for mobile is awful, and it has no differentiators, because Microsoft has made sure the Windows ecosystem is available from iOS and Android devices.  I love Windows 10, but I virtually never use tablet mode on my Windows 10 devices, because there is nothing interesting there.  There are *no* good Metro/UWP apps.  None.  Zero.  Okay, there is one - the Nextgen Reader.  Yeah, that's going to drive market share. HP's strategy with the Elite X3 looks really interesting, but I just don't see how it connects back to consumers. If Microsoft wants to ever sell phones to consumers, they need an exciting, fun, differentiated mobile ecosystem, but coming up on 4 years since the Surface RT was introduced, they are still at square 1.  They have a very nice phone operating system (at least WP 8.1 is) and no ecosystem whatsover.  And they have no idea how to fix that.
  • You hit the nail on the head. I actually disagree on the ONE good app. Nextgen Reader imo sucks compared to Reeder 3 on Mac. Hyper for YouTube is the app that I think is the one saving grace experience and is legit best in class. 
  • Jason, you are by far the best author on this site. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft hires you for public relations head
  • These articles are just sad...
  • By the way, guys, try out pining a website to Start in the latest RS build. Big improvement and curiously not mentioned in the change log... ;)
  • We finally get a screenshot back again?
  • MS has retrenched to the point of no return for many consumers. Just how small of a market share will they be satisfied with? Few of the former users will ever come back.
  • @tom westrick then you need continuum dock pal.
  • I would hate to use full Photoshop on a five inch touch screen
  • I would hate to use full Photoshop on a five inch touch screen. And before anyone says "Continuum": no. I'll buy a laptop that can already do everything a Continuum powered phone can do and more.
  • Well i hope we see awesome things now that Redstone 2 builds will be mobile focused as they said :3 (even tho for my mobile phone i saw great improvments with Redstone 1) and i hope they make it so lumias with continuum can run Win32 apps.
  • 2017 had belter be a better hardware tear for us consumers, otherwise it's choice time, sadly android & it's great mix of hardware marred with poor storage & even crappier SD expansion woes (which I just loathe) or a deep pocket emptying for the "work s every time but restrictive, low storage n closed iPhone OS"
  • Another good article. Thanks Jason.
  • It's a nice plan, we will be here to see it through #lovewindows
  • So basically the next saviour up to bat is RS2 in 2017......
  • Then RS4 in 2019....Then....coming soon!
  • Lol...
  • Yeah, there's the problem. WP7 was the comeback in 2010. WP8 was the righting of the wrongs in the OS core in 2012. WP8.1 was the polish to get things rolling in 2013. W10M was the third reboot that would get it right, as MS had tightened up the experience with the Apple experience of controlling hardware and software in 2015. RS was the big update to get the OS into a dominant force in 2016. Now, RS has been split in two, the hardware cycle has been backed up 6+ months, and RS2 in 2017 is THE ONE. We've had, from my count of typing this, 5 points in time where an OS update was to put MS on top, and RS2 in 2017 is the sixth go 'round. We're 4 years past "soon," at least. We're now just at "eventually...maybe." It's why I've stopped recommending W10M. It's why I told my sister to go to Android, and told my cousin to stick with it, evne though I have no intention of leaving. It's gone far beyond the realm of reasonable to ask people to wait through 2-3 new app stores, 6 years, and a bunch of half-finished hack job releases like the 950 and W10M.
  • Soon came for me.  I switched to apple,  and polished OS systems.  everything works great,  unlike the hack job that is w10. 
  • Thank you 'Jason Wards' this editorial making all windows fans feel so refresh..
  • I wouldn't hesitate to buy a surface phone but honestly the app gap I think is the Achilles heel. I truly believe if it's wasn't for that WM would be right up there. There has to be way around it. Maybe MS should've invested the money to pay developers to just make WM apps. Imvho MS wasted money on the wrong things. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Maybe MS themselves should have made an example of releasing high quality exclusive software and services, ranging from productivity to learning to gaming. And by advertising those.
  • I am looking forward to see where Microsoft goes. So far I like it. Granted, it has been a rollar coster at times but a fun ride none-the-less.    One thing that I feel needs the most improving is Cortana. She still feels unnatrual to interact with. I cannot continue conversations or speak natural, I have to kind of say things just right to get a repsonse. Microsoft should consider buying the AI Viv if it is as good as it was presented that is.
  • Microsoft is going in the gutter for consumers.  Enterprise is their baby now.  the new blackberry.
  • I always enjoy reading your articles. You are frustratingly optimistic at times. Honestly I believe many consumers don't really care what the strategy is if their needs(wants really) for new flagship hardware are not met and the app ecosystem continues to lag behind the competition. One of these problems needs to be solved. I think it's easier to ignore the lack of consumer based flagship devices IF we had the same app catalog as rival platforms. Or it's easier to dismiss the app gap IF we had more than one flagship choice that's only supported by one carrier.(especially when flagships and compelling midrange devices from rival platforms are available on multiple carriers--US problem) I left when things with the McLaren fell apart. I would like to return to Windows 10 Mobile when one of these problems are solved. I truly admire the patience of Windows Phone fans who didn't get out like I did.(I had been using WP for 4 years prior to my first Android phone) One picture at a time -- LG V10
  • When I read the paragraph below, I can tell you guys Microsoft is building a windows 10 phone, a phone that will give you the windows 10 desktop OS we all love, don't know if its trough CONTINUUM or another way, but we'll all get our windows 10 OS on the go! The same windows 10 we are using on our desktop/laptop. More than 16 millions software will be there for us thanks to our windows 10 smartphones. and yes! this is the only way for Microsoft to win back the smarphone market. Windows 10 mobile & universal apps only are not enough.  "We're going to build phones for our Windows fans. If you love Windows 10, if you love your Windows 10 tablet, or Surface, or laptop, we want to have a beautiful phone for you, something you'd be incredibly proud of that's going to have the same experience across your devices, the same apps will run on the phone as run on your Windows 10 laptop or tablet."
  • This part is intriguing ... "the same apps will run on the phone as run on your Windows 10 laptop or tablet". That sounds like more than just UWP?
  • Yeah! What I think is that people are not complaining about the apps gap for devices that run windows desktop os, right? And this is just because windows has so many apps, more than 16millions, even if they are not available from the windows store. So if Microsoft really wants all of us to buy their surface phone, we should be able to enjoy the maximum of the 16millions apps like on windows tablet, laptop, desktop, the same apps run on all devices. I don't care if I have to connect the surface phone to another display to enjoy the true windows 10 desktop os but at least the option should be there. Seriously talking windows store only can't save Microsoft and it like a waste because 16 millions apps are there which give the ability to Microsoft to build a true pocket PC even if it has to be connected to another display
  • Great article Jason. Appreciated your info, and view. Seems many people forget only a few years ago most people had land lines and fax machines. The work and ingenuity to have all these computers with their peripherals communicate with one another...and us, well it still amazes me. We've come a very long way in a short time. Unfortunately it makes some people assume it is an easy road, like some app that you just install :)... I love my Windows 10 phone (950XL). As a small business owner that travels...Windows 10 is fantastic. At home I use 3 laptops, a tablet and 2 desktops all on Windows 10. The oldest laptop (9 years) and is quite able to operate with W10. I'm grateful to hear Microsoft will continue with its mission to be there for both enterprise and the consumer.
  • This told me nothing
  • What you smoking? I don't want any!
  • Didn't you write this story already? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Microsoft has a marketing officer? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Jason, You are one optimistic guy. Personally I find your writings too long but hey each to their own. What I cannot agree with is that MS are on the right path. I have been a fan of windows phone since pocket PC but even I have given up on them now. The way I see it is on several levels MS is like a rudderless ship. They will almost have to wait a generation for people to want to pick up a windows phone. They have major issues with attention to details, WP 8.1 was turning in to a polished OS, 10 is a dog’s breakfast and who knows what the anniversary edition will be like. The constant flip flopping of stuff, be it Xbox one features or windows phone features they appear untrustworthy. Yes, credit to them when they listen to user feedback, but a company like MS should not be getting itself into these situations in the first place. Yes, we can all make mistake but MS makes far too many. Insider program, now credit for MS for trying this but in actual fact it made them loose focus of the customers as they now think their Fanbase is all the need to listen too. Trust me most user don’t want to run preview builds. Finally, the App situation is way out of control and now even worse than ever. Yes, I get it’s all chicken and egg. But now we have users of window phones. Loosing apps on a weekly basis as developers drop support on 8.1 and focus on window 10. For your average user they don’t even have an upgrade yet to windows 10 on their phone. How do you think average user feels? If window 10 was supposed to be production on the released of the 950 etc why has that not rolled to all upgradable 8.1 devices yet? Average users don’t care to follow blogs and sites on tech they just want a phone that works. What they don’t want is a phone the gets progressively less useful as time goes by.
  • I am in full agreement with you. WP 8.1 was really great and then we seemed to have gone backward. I am also tired of hearing about this app getting added or that all getting added and when I look further into it, it's in the preview program.  An app is not "available" until it hits production! And I'm not interested in joining the preview program because I want a stable device for daily use.  But it seems I can't even have that.  I'm on my second Lumia 950 because the first just kind of stopped working and AT&T couldn't figure out why. It seems to me it was never the device because a lot of the same issues are still on my new device. I am  so fed up with it I am for sure abandoning ship for an android device. Since I am stuck with my Lumia on AT&T next I will continue to play with it here and there but I need to have a device that works.  Half of the time I can't even open my contacts without having to restart the device first. Hell, even Microsofts apps are better on ios/android than they are on their own damn devices! How does that make ANY sense? I can't be productive on it at all! I love what Microsoft is wanting to do with their grand vision. But I think I am out until we get to the end of the line and see the results.
  • If MS doesn't ****, they're off the pot in 2017.
  • Being a windows phone fan i just ordered a 950 xl.  Microsoft is targeting Windows fans not Windowsphone fans Does that mean i am going to be sidelined soon?
  • Your 950XL runs the Windows10 mobile OS right out of the BOX so you will get all the new MS "Universal" apps and any upgrades to your 950XL's Windows 10 operating system. However when you want to buya new Windows 10 mobile Microsoft made smart phone you may have to buy it DIRECTLY FROM MICROSOFT's store. I do not know if AT &T or T-Mobile or Verizon will carry any "Surface" smart phones that are rumored to come out next year. Microsoft has many OEM partners that will make Windows 10 mobie smart phones. Microsoft devices reseller partners like AT & T, best buy, and others will sell Windows 10 mobile smart phones.
  • It's a big leap to think this will make much of a difference and it's a shame as I'm seeing reral improvements in Window 10 Mobile, the OS, apps by Microsoft and apps by 3rd parties.  I especially don't get the scaling back in Brazil or the complete dropping of the low end - it's subjective but based on my own app usage stats, the windows phone market in Brazil is good and there are plenty of users.  Same for ditching the low end handsets - isn't the 550 outselling the 950 and 950xl and 650 combined?  I know there is less money in these devices, but if these users then spend money in the store or on microsoft services, it's surely a win, not to mention if they like it and tell friends or family members it's good. I suppose the idea is 3rd party manufactures can make devices for these markets, and i'm sure a few will, and i fully support having less low end than they did in the last years of Lumia when a cheap handset was released every few weeks it seamed, but anyway. Going from over abundance to a vaccum doesn't actually help things Just occasionally, microsoft needs to make the case that windows 10 mobile is good and has features and experinces that are worth something. That is the number 1 most important thing that will convice consumers and the tech press that microsoft cares about mobile, be it advertising, using or highlighting the platform at developer events - not just ow you can use xamarin for an app to android, but how that app is alos UWP and here's the app running on windows 10 mobile (maybe even throw in the occasional "oh and by the way, the windows 10 one hooks into cortana providing extra features"). Anounce a garage project app that does something cool on windows 10, including mobile (maybe even lock screen enhancements) or just some thing. not all the time, not constant, we know where the tech world is, but it's the absence of anything that is leading people to believe MS doesn't care, and the statements by nadella and chris Capossela ​don't fully cut it without being accompanied by something more tagible.
  • Great article Jason! Honestly, I personally don't care about the consumer market any more. Microsoft switched gears to focus on the consumer market when they went WM7. And where did it get them? Not far honestly. Windows powered phones were around 11 years before the first iPhone. It was mainly unknown because it was only focused on business customers. I had to contact the business sales teams at the phone companies to buy them, this was Verizon back then. What I foresee happening is something along the lines of the PC. People chose the PC to use for their personal use because it's what they used at work. The days of the BYOD look to be numbered. It's cheaper and easier for companies to provide phones for their employees. That movement has already started. I have a 950XL, a Surface Book, a Surface Pro 3, an Xbox One and a HoloLens. Everything is running on the fast ring. I love my ecosystem that I have created for myself. I don't see the unfinished OS that people complain about. Maybe because I understand that the OS will NEVER be done, it is now a live growing mechanism. I also don't experience the "app gap." My bank has an app, my insurance company has an app. My security system has an app and so do my credit cards. All first party, official and non beta.
  • Microsoft ending support for WP8.1 effectively killed Windows phones for good. Already struggling hp offer is dead. Surface Phone is dead. Corporations that bought Windows phones will feel cheated. Consumers the same. MS is even now selling WP8.1 devices. For corporations long time support is essential and they wont be making the mistake of Windows phone again. Consumers are no less forgiving although economic hit is smaller.
  • In my mind MS have always had this in mind if the "phone" bit didn't pan out, a plan B if you will. With making Windows 10 one core, then even if the phone wasn't working the tablet side of things would benefit from the improvements made for phones as it's one OS. With Threshold 2 meant to be all about mobile I can envisage Windows tablets starting to finally make a dent in sales of Android tablets and iPads as people look to upgrade to something more functional. Who even knows, if MS can get enough people onto Windows 10 developers might finally make an effort even if their apps are being written for tablet users more than phone users. If that happens then the app gap that killed Windows Phone may well eventually be history. Sure it's hard to imagine now & most people would say getting an app in a couple of years is of no good. But you have to think long term with this, MS may have lost the battle, but the war will last for years. I'm generally not optimistic, I think most people see MS as a dinosaur on it's slow way to extintction but there's a glimmer of a chance they'll survive and flourish if they can turn things around. So phone battles lost, time to focus on the next wave on tablets. As for the "Surface Phone" I can see that pitched as other Surface devices, so instead of "the tablet that can replace your laptop", it'll be "the phone that can replace your tablet". Which by extension is also "the phone that can replace your laptop". It could be interesting, they pitch it as your tablet, but people end up replacing their phones as well with it. It'd be amazing if they could have some sort of flip screen or scroll screen so that it could be used as a 5" phone and a 10" tablet, but I don't think the technology is ready for such a leap yet.
  • Im not sure what to expect from the next WP. I still love the tiles and the general layout of WP, but I dont really like WP 10 that much. I loved the navigation of menues in older version of windows phone. No little hamburger icon to tap when you are on the go, you just swipe left and right to get to the next menu. That was convenient, and really what a phone should do. Now what? Is my phone's start screen going to look like the Windows 10 start screen in tablet mode? That doesnt sound great. It would be great for every app to work across all platforms, but what apps are those? There are some good ones in the Windows store for sure, but they are obviously missing some key apps and games. Its not just about catching up to what everyone else has, either. Its about getting it FIRST, or at least within a reasonable time of other platforms. Until MS can convince app developers to create the same content for their platform as others, they cant win consumers. Not even Windows fans are going to come back to WP if they know they will never get Pokemon Go, Clash of Clans, and all the other popular games. Im not saying the store is devoid of great games, because there certainly are some, but they also need the cross-platform hits. I have a 950 right now and its alright. I really dont want to go to Apple or Google, so ill hold on to this phone as long as they keep pushing updates, but yeah, not overly enthusiastic about the futrue.
  • x86 on Surface Phone? Why isn't it happening?
  • What chip? Intel doesn't really make one that would work. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Because Intel has given up on mobile for now.
  • Yes, this seems to be the strategy. I hope it works, and in 5 to10 years from now both Android and IPhone end up with single digit market share.
  • Then in 5-10 years I may come back. I cant have a buggy barely working device until then.:(
  • Exactly I was thinking same
  • I've always liked the computer first with a phone tacked on idea since the Pocket PC days.
  • The 640/650's are fanstastic low end devices and would love too see someone keep pumping them out them out to the masses to the point where they can sell them below $100.
  • "Microsoft leaving the low-end brings phones in line with the Surface strategy per Nadella's stated goal in 2014." This surface stratagy that Nutella spoke about in 2014 was to AXE all cool features,  buy crappy web based business,  and destroy windows mobile devices division.   I guess he's bang on to getting there.  another few months and there will be no more windows mobile.   He will be finished with his stratagy then!
  • By wordcount, 60% of the article is a rehash/summary of old news. Please write these articles only when you have something new to add.
  • I enjoyed the article. I look forward for new Windows phones in the not too distant future. I don't understand how some people don't get the "retrenching." This period will be key for MS moving forward.
  • Good Synopsis once again Jason... MS needs to find a way to focus user/consumer sentiment to help consumers drive content into the ecosystem. Certainly XboxOne as a consumer hub is leverage in addition to PC to provide polling to take to service providers and prioritize UWP development. Have placeholders in the Store that gives consumers a direct feedback route for requesting non existent content and then roll out prioritized on boarding teams to expedite development...
  • Thanks for the read Jason Ward but I have to say this feels a lot like that girl you gave your phone number to would call and she never does.
  • They're not incredibly important to developers or customers - and therein lies the problem.   
  • "...looks to be the decline of Microsoft's consumer-focused mobile efforts." Really? Looks? It's OVER! Honestly, the obsessives on this site and a few others are the only ones with an interest in Windows 10 phones. The rest of the world moved on. Big time. 
  • Say the same thing when you visit Greece...
  • Jason Ward: You write like a tech-writer wannabe which essentially means, you can't write. I know they pay you by the word but no one is paying me to read your sloppy, wordy, poorly editing and constructed, non-sensical, pie-in-the-sky BS. 
  • @Techbell Yet despite all of that, you're here. You must like something! :-) Thanks for reading! :-)
  • MS can do everything right and still fail in mobile.  That is what must be so fustrating for MS.  
  • Maybe they aren't doing everything right. Maybe they are doing it completely wrong. If it was actually the right thing, it wouldn't fail. It definitely wouldn't fail so spectacularly. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Talking about the OS on Mobile's, wondering what happened to Meego OS that was used on Nokia N900???.. By the way I still have that Handset all in working condition but have a problem with New simcard not complying with that old Sim slot. And also I liked the way it worked on that OS. Can that Be Resurrected by Nokia once again and make an Awesome come back??? If they do I'd like to have crap free OS from rest of them in the Market.
  • This article is the "Expectations" part in an Expectations vs Reality meme. This is the "Reality" part.
  • I think Microsoft is maaking a big mistake only selling their windows 10 mobile smart phones to Enterprise / businesses and Windows smart phone  fans like myself. What will happen to Windows smart phones is they will become NICHE limitted products. Microsoft should give the 650 a C-USB connector for "Continuum" and a metal surface case, and rename it the surface 790 and give the MS 950 a metal case and lower it's price to 400 dollars and rename it the Surface 990 and allow AT &T, T-Mobile, Cricket and  even Verizon to sell them to the general public. Verizon Windows smart phone fans need a new Windows smart because Verizon now only sell the Lumia 735 windows 10 mobile OS smart phone. let them at least sell the Surface 790 with a C-usb connector for "Continuum" operations 
  • You have that backwards. Verizon decides what phones they sell, not Microsoft. Microsoft has no say, especially since they have a terrible track record in mobile sales. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Microsoft's return to mobile will not be a single event or moment. They have a solid strategy with a commitment to their whole ecosystem. As each piece of the system matures then the consumer will drive change as they upgrade and adopt into Microsoft's vision. If a singular event typifies this change, it will only be evident in hindsight. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Commitment? Did they have a commitment to Windows Mobile 6 users? What about Kin users? Windows Phone 7 users? Lumia 900 buyers, did they have a commitment to them? Windows Phone 8 users that didn't get updated and now they aren't even supporting apps for? They had a commitment to Nokia and totally failed them. Why you would trust Microsoft at all when it comes to mobile, I do not understand. They could easily dump Windows 10M in six months, and it very likely they will. They have no sales and no way to turn that around. Anything with W10M will flop and they know this. You cannot say they are committed at this point, even they said it isn't their focus. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Windows phone is doomed, MS keeps making the same mistakes.  So they are hunkering down and providing us the software we need?  I call BS.  Firstly the entire continuum thing doesn't make sense.  Do I want a watered down UWP app when I'm on my desktop, aka my windows phone connected to a large monitor/keyboard/mouse?  No, I want the x86 version with all the functionality that has.  The other obvious caveat is if I already have a monitor/keyboard/mouse setup then I'd most likely already have a PC there, heck there are mobile windows "sticks" which are much more powerful than windows phones, run x86 and don't force  you to carry around the huge continuum brick adapter.  Now do  I want a UWP app on my tablet?  Maybe, maybe not.  Depends on whether I'm in a tablet mood such as sitting on the subway, or in a laptop mood such as sitting at home with a mouse, or even if it's a 8" tablet versus a 12" tablet.  I see some utility there, but missing x86 is still very bad.  UWP apps remind me of MS other great failure, windows RT, and if they cannot learn through what should be 20/20 hindsight then there is  no hope for them.  Certainly the success of the surface pro lineup shows that consumers are interested mostly in running x86 and full windows on their devices.  Which brings up another avenue of failure for MS, reliance on the oem's.  Windows tablets were junk until the surfaces came out, and even then it's taken the oems years to catch up.  We are just now finally seeing oem creations worthy of being put next to the surface pro series.  So MS will leave it to the oems to release overpriced plastic junk like what HP just did?  Yeah good luck selling those HP.  Maybe there is a chance if the surface p hone has some success and spurs the oems to create something worthwhile, but then it will most likely take them years to once again catch up.  The surface phone should have been released a LONG time ago. I'd like to make one thing clear, I am NOT advocating x86 programs running on the tiny smartphone screen, only when docked to a larger monitor/keyboard/mouse.  That would truly give us one PC to rule them all finally.  Another aspect they need to speed up is porting Android apps to UWP, oh wait they canceled that.  Maybe the iOS project will not be canceled.  Although it baffles me why Microsoft doesn't throw every single possible resource at the app issue.  What I'm supposed to believe that Amazon pulling their app secretly means they are working on a UWP one?  With no notification, explanation or hints from MS?  Yeah right.  I'm looking forward to the surface phone, but it's just going to be a very nice, shiny **** mainly because of the app market, or lack of it.  Almost zero progress on UWP this past year, yet we expect them to suddenly UWP the majority of apps by next year?  Anyhow I'm ranting now, I am a devoted Microsoft consumer and love windows 10 and my surface pro 4, but I'm just frustrated at their complete ineptness in the mobile world.  Worst of all is the broken and bleeding consumers they leave behind every time they make an error.  Those poor souls stuck with windows RT, stuck with a lumia phone, stuck with windows mobile 8, getting integral stuff slashed like Skype support.  Sure the surface phone will make some waves, but after UWP fails MS will abandon surface phone users as is their pattern.  
  • Completely agree, make an x86 full Windows phone and be done with it. People would flock to it.
  • I'm fed up with waiting for MS to figure out what they intend to do with mobile. I bought a 920 the day I could order one from ATT, and kept it for 3 years without much issue. I finally side-graded to the 830, but after it developed hardware issues (admitedly my own fault for dropping it too many times and not using a case) I had to get another device. I tried getting an international unlocked 830, but it cam from China and wouldn't work properly on US networks; no 4G or group messages, everything reverts to Chinese when reset. So as I am dealing with this phone that won't work, despite my adoration of the OS, MS makes the annoucement they won't do much of anything with mobile for at least another year. I cannot use a WP device for my work as they are not supported. So I am faced with using an already outdated phone even though I liked the OS, but it isn't supported by my job, or getting something newer that is supported. I had to jump ship. I tried Android and hate it. I had one I used at work for the work-specific apps I needed to use and it was okay, but I wasn't using it daily. I got the Huawei P8 Lite and despised their skin, and the US phone has a different chipset than the rest of the world so it cannot be easily rooted. Stock Android works okay, but there are still things I dislike how it does them. So I am now using an iPhone 5. I still hate it, but it does at least work consistently. F Apple for locking your music, even files THAT I OWN, behind iTunes. F Google for not making it easy to transfer music FILES to your device. I do not want to stream my music Google. And I want to keep my playlist intact when I move these files over. F MS for giving up on mobile, their fans, and for being so late to the grown-up mobile OS party. Windows Mobile should be about even with Android if MS had gotten around to making it better sooner. It looks way better, and for me, fucntions a lot better. But people want apps, and when there aren't any, people do not buy your phones. F mobile phones right now. All of them suck. Where's the GD Telegraph office!?
  • Just make an x86 full Windows phone and be done with it.That's about all that can save any type of a Windows phone now. I really can't understand how it came to this; just when it seemed MS was gaining some traction a few years ago and their market share was rising for some inexplicable reason they suddenly couldn't get along with US carriers and carriers overseas (although not sure how their mobiles sales model works outside the US) and now you can't even find a carrier with a decent Windows Phone and their user base has virtually disappeared. Now even if I could get an Elite X3 through Sprint I don't know if I would go back to WP anymore. Amazon just announced they're ending their WP support and I imagine many others will soon also. So MS can say they still want to get phones into their fan's hands all they want but when all the developers start dropping WP support due to no user base no fan will want one anyway. But do an x86 phone that truly is a PC and make it available through carriers in the US and I don't see how it couldn't succeed. You close the software gap immediately, they don't have to worry about going down a costly dead end developing and maintaining another OS like Windows RT or WP (let alone idiotic hardware acquisitions like Nokia that cost them how much?).  It doesn't even seem like it would be that difficult versus building a new phone model. I know it is much harder than I am making it sound, but if they can make a 7" full Windows x86 tablet why can't they shrink it down to a 6" screen and make a full Windows x86 mobile phone out of it. The 1520 is already a 6" WP phone, heck, make it a little thicker if you need to, if it's an x86 a little extra thickness would be fine for most people considering what it is. People will know the OS is here to stay and have no apprehension about the platform dying (like I feel about WP now). Yes, you will tick off some current WP owners, but if Blackberry is any indicator of what is to come they'll be screwed in a few years when WP is abandoned anyway. Make that device and people would flock to it.
  • Are you hurting that much for confirmation bias that you need to manufacture consent with these unnecessary thinkpieces?  Let Microsoft dig themselves out of the ditch of confusion they keep digging themselves.  This has got to be one of your longest pieces of propaganda yet.
  • well Jason's got to eat. may even have other mouths to feed. i've been watching just how much better some apps are on other platform. i type in spanish and english. by necessity. with bi-lingual support, Instagram removes the comma from the keyboard. seriously, no comma. a couple of other apps I use are missing key functionality that the apple / android versions have. i'm even noticing the same thing in the tablet space. with my Lumia 2520 orphaned (which is annoying as it spec'd like my Lumia 1520 phone), not able to run Win10 puts me in a pickle.. as apps get migrated to UWP, the versions on my 2520 stagnate. So yeah, when I get another tablet very soon, i'll have a decision to make. watching the ease at which some apps work on some Android tablets with more features than their windows counterparts... I'm leaning towards the Galaxy. the MS great convergence and all the stuff that comes with it has been on the horizon for about 3 years now.... probably won't arrive soon enough for my upgrade cycle...
  • "well Jason's got to eat"
    Then he needs to go farm and get off this verbose yet two dimensional basura he's promulgating on Microsoft's behalf.
  • What about just shrinking the surface and incorporating the phone . I would like a 6'' screen version so i can play my steam games on it . I would like the clip on keyboard to be replaced by another of the same phone if i want . The 2 phones would clip together and make a single phone . Use the 2 joined phones as a single screen or 1 as the screen and 1 as the keyboard . The 2 phones could be processor linked to make it more powerful etc . I would like it this year please .  
  • Uh well our work has been told by MS that it is phasing out WM completely. We've gone from purchasing WP's to buying Android's because of it..
  • @Chingalongz That's an interesting anecdotal statement. I'm curious as to what the exact wording is that your employer recieved from Microsoft regarding WM. I ask because that claim is in direct contrast to the emails Microsoft sent to partners(excerpts above) indication continued support of partner devices, the platform and development of new first-party devices. With devices like the HP Elite x3 running W10M which is just hitting the market, backed by one of the most respected PC OEMs, coupled with the business channels HP will deliver the device to business customers, I find your statement odd. Of course there are other OEMs as well.
    Is it possible you misunderstood, or the message morphed,(like the popular telephone game :-)) by the time it reached you? I find it difficult to believe Microsoft told your employer that their phasing out WM completely, particularly since WM is in essence Windows, is constantly being developed(just got a new build yesterday) and runs on phones and small tablets. Understand I am definitely not accusing you of lying. I think maybe some information may have been misunderstood or miscommunicated. I would encourage you, if possible, to get the exact wording that Microsoft communicated to your employer and please feel free to update us with that if you're so inclined. Thanks for sharing. :-)
  • I had HTC touch 3G with Windows Mobile 6
    Then HTC HD7 with the new WP7
    Then Nokia Lumia 820 with WP8
    Then Nokia Lumia 1520 with WP8.1 Upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile, and regreted the upgrade.
    Now I use a Nokia Lumia 930 Gold Edition with WP8.1 I provided that history to avoid fanboys bashing... It makes me sad to see a brilliant and diffrent Mobile-OS at the death bed... That Curry Fart Nadellat is the one to blame for its illness and death.
    Microsofth sufferred big time after the founding Genius Mr. Gates left MS to the clown Balmer, and the suffring continues now with the spicy-fart Nadella, "who buys books and never read them" as per his own confession, which show how brilliant he is. For WP to be successful, MS just needed to reach to an agreement with the Tech-arm of the NSA (AKA Google), or simply fry them with patents war until the submit and seek peace.
    But unfortunatly Mr. Curry Fart and the Clown Balmer before him, are too craven to to go for the right path.
    Taming google, would have ensured the needed suppot form all other smaller developers, like snapchat etc... Instead Mr. Curry Fart uses an iPhone, and surrenders MS last weapon in its arsenal (MS Office) to the competition, and persue his geek IT engineer instenct to transform MS into a customized ICT solution provider for Businesses. that isn't bad thing, but it is not the core strength of MS. Optimisim is good, but too much optimisim is another term for blind idiocy. Curry Fart is the one to blame for the deterioration of WP and MS demise in the near future, kick him back to his engineering job, as he doesn't/didn't disply any leadership or visionary qualities. and spend a billion to digg up a real inspirational leader. PS: English is a 2nd language to me, I appreciate any grammer corrections.
  • A little harsh but most of it is true. To rephrase some of it, Ballmer nailed any good relations with Google, with his "Scroogle campaign". He was happy to launch a WP 7 Os extremely limited, half baked, lacking even the most basic functions, in a period when they could not afford to do so. Then, coming to the user base, how happy they were promoting the Lumia 900 only after a few months to declare that is stuck to WP7.5 (7.8), and even after that statement, they were still marketing this already outdated phone. The move to WP8 cut the user base deep, and the dev interest also. WP8 came to fix the horrible OS that WP7 was, and it did in most part, user base was growing despite the fact that the newly launched Lumia 920 was having freezing and reboot issues. WP 8.1 came with many improvements while taking away good stuff that users loved, but the user base continued to be at least acceptable despite the fact that Lumia 1020 and 925 reported freezing on this new Os update while waiting for the fix for months. Then Nadella came with his hate over Nokia aquisition and the entire mobile division and started to change things. the result: a broken mobile OS launched with extreme bugs, even on publicly sold devices: x50s, devices that were launched with a plain design and a broken OS, older windows phone 8 devices that were promissed to be updated to 10 way too early, before they could realize that the new OS is to heavy for them. While now, windows 10 mobile has improved a lot, the damage has been already done. As I've said when they launched the x50 phones, you cannot simply launch a phone with a completely broken Os and expect users to like it, this means lack of respect. You cannot lie to users, promissing things that you are not sure about, you cannot simply reboot your platform 3 times and expect users to continue to trust you. Microsoft has made many errors, many OS iterations launched with heavy issues that took them months to fix. While windows 10 mobile looks to be the best when talking about bugs (the current builds, not the first ones since launched publicly on x50 phones), it still looks to work slower than 8.1, animations have a pretty big amount of lag, many design flaws such as that horrible circle template for People Hub contact photos, plain and simple action center with no minimal blur/transparency effect, broken VPN, a key for business use, high battery use, enforced automatic updates despite the fact that some builds are worse than older ones etc.
  • Good article. Well written and explained for everyone. But there are a few things that are facts, and proove that MS still misses the target on phones. MS is talking about their business focus. Well, business phones need to have a great email client, calendar, some basic enterprise used apps, VPN support, email encryption etc. On most part these are available on windows 10 mobile, except one, that is still half baked and broken: VPN. Try to use a L2TP VPN connection with a trusted paid provider on your windows 10 mobile device, create new connection and connect. It will fail with different error codes. As you can see, the VPN section on mobile does not have the advanced settings needed for most of the vpn providers such as Allowed authentication methods, encryption level etc. PPTP connects unecnrypted. Then only one that seems to work ok is IKEV2 and this one not all the time. Very often I've noticed the traffic not being sent through VPN, because there is also NO Send All Traffic switch..nice eh?. As a business purchase responsible I must choose a device model for the company. How can I choose a windows 10 phone if the VPN part is broken? And it has been reported for months without any response or fix from MS.  This is one thing that prooves MS does not seem to take this division seriously, even for business. VPN was working perfectly fine in WP 8.1, both L2TP and IKEV2. In 10 mobile is not. why? on the edge of the aniversary update and is still not working despite the fact the users have been screaming at MS about this. The company I work for has purchased Lumia 650 and 950 phones for employees. Everything works: skype for business, exchange mail, calendar, some inhouse baked apps...the only thing that was not tested is VPN, not yet, but it will be because we use it. How is the multi thousand euro investment in these devices will look like when they discover that VPN functionality is broken?
  • I totally understand the " Retrenchment" strategy. It's nothing new. Retreat,regroup and back to the drawing board. The problem I see with this strategy is how long can you stay in retrenchment mode to the point when you decide to attack the market again you're still remembered and your brand is still being relevant and attractive enough. Or when you finally decide to make the comeback you already missed the bus. You make your war cry but there's no one to battle with. It's like the old(bad and very distasteful) jokef of  a guy sayiing " Hey dude, the war is already over" to a war veteran who's waking up from a war related nightmare. I can understand that Microsoft want to get things right with this rumored surface phone. But 2017?? I think it's still a gamble rather than a fair and safe deadline.  Especially with the Anniversary update hitting the rest of the windows devices in a week.
  • As long as google withholds it's services and official app, you aren't going to have a mobile platform.  So unless the author talks about that, i have no idea what the point is.  It would be the same as a PC not supporting office back in teh 90's.
  • Hi Brian I spoke about it in the 4 Part The Untold App Gap Story here: :-) Check it out when you get a chance and thanks for reading! Don't forget to read part two of this series which posted today(7/26/16) Part 3 will post 7/27/16 at 12pm. See you there!:-)
  • "As long as google withholds it's services and official app"
    Google isn't "withholding" anything - it's simply not contributing; Microsoft has failed to adapt to that.  Google does not dominate the iOS user experience the way it once did as competing services are beginning to chip away at it.  Few (if any) of those services were developed by Microsoft.