Why Microsoft's mobile story is so profoundly confusing

Microsoft's shifts in short-term objectives are also to blame, but I'll address that later. There has been little consistency in the narrative surrounding the status of Microsoft's mobile efforts. That narrative has been dutifully communicated over the years by a number of writers, techies and various outlets. Much of that content is not straight news echoing Microsoft's declaration of its overall strategy, however. Redmond is notoriously cryptic about its moves in mobile.

Thus, the majority of what permeates the web regarding Microsoft and mobile are personal assessments based on sparse information and the state of affairs at the time of writing. And though most of what's written are based on the same data, it's filtered through the perspective, subjective perceptions and analytical aptitude of individual writers.

This has led to a seemingly unending cycle of articles declaring Windows phone and Microsoft's mobile efforts as dead; followed shortly thereafter with contrasting views by the same writers when some "new" information about some "new" plan is discovered. There's often a return to a dismal assessment when fortune seems to turn again against Microsoft in the form of departing apps, lost partnerships or some other calamity. And the beat goes on. Is Microsoft's mobile strategy as volatile as this vacillating coverage portrays? No, it is not.

A post-smartphone perspective provides context

Let's look at it this way. Weather and climate are two different things. Weather is a part of the climate and represents a distinct atmospheric state over a specific area at a specific point in time. Conversely, climate can include a variety of weather conditions over a long period. Many Microsoft watchers seem to view and respond to Microsoft's mobile efforts according to the "weather" rather than the "climate."

Within the context of its long "climate" view, Microsoft has frustrated users and writers by modifying aspects of its phone strategy multiple times over the years. This admittedly makes following Microsoft's mobile story challenging for some. Furthermore, it's clear that the company's smartphone efforts have failed.

Despite these realities, the company's overarching and decades-old mobile strategy, to bring a telephony-enabled mobile device with the full power of Windows to market has remained unchanged. Microsoft would have continued pursuing a post-smartphone device even if it had succeeded with smartphones.

Microsoft's mobile strategy is still on course

Responding to weather vs. climate

So why has most coverage consistently equated Microsoft's failed smartphone strategy to a failure of, or assertion that a mobile strategy does not exist beyond phones? Particularly when the underpinnings of that broader mobile strategy such as a unified platform, context-sensitive hardware and software, Continuum, full Windows on ARM, Cellular PC investments and explicit statements about a commitment to mobile by way of a non-smartphone device and a promise to create new categories are clear evidence to the contrary.

One reason for the disconnect is that most people did not or do not see Microsoft pursuing a mobile strategy that transitions beyond smartphones. The distinction between the smartphone space and the mobile space that Microsoft is targeting with a device that is more a PC than phone, but with telephony capabilities, was not on most people's radar (until recently).

Without the benefit of that perspective, Microsoft's failure in or abandonment of smartphones invariably appeared to be a total failure in and abandonment of mobile. Thus, most coverage of Microsoft's mobile efforts has been reactive pieces to distinct events (the weather) rather than broader proactive analysis addressing the big picture, or "the climate."

Seeing Microsoft's mobile strategy requires big picture perspective

We need a big picture perspective

Most analysis of Microsoft's mobile strategy is not presented within a big picture context. Thus, the response to specific events, or news results in an (often negative) extrapolation of that new data into sweeping generalizations about the entire scope of Microsoft's mobile strategy.

For example, when Corporate Vice President of Operations Joe Belfiore recently confirmed Windows 10 Mobile had no future, most people rashly and mistakenly stated that Belfiore confirmed that Microsoft was done with mobile. Windows 10 Mobile and Microsoft's broader mobile strategy are two different things, however.

Why Joe Belfiorie's statement don't contradict Pockert PC vision

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A long, or climate view, provides the benefit of context for current news because it always keeps the strategy goal in view. Thus, current "news" is always viewed relative to the defined goal. This allows the narrative to remain consistent and avoids the ups and downs that characterize this topic and confuses readers.

If most people had a long view, they would have known Windows 10 Mobile would be being replaced by Windows Core OS on Microsoft's next mobile device which will have a pen and inking focus. Belfiore's statements would have aligned with that knowledge, and the knee-jerk response of "Windows-on-mobile is dead" could have been avoided.

Furthermore, if this big-picture perspective had been consistently applied over the years, Microsoft's decision to shutter phone hardware and other controversial decisions would have been placed in that larger context as well. So, though there would have been valid criticisms of those decisions, virtually all of the articles that declared Microsoft is done in the mobile space based on those choices could have been avoided.

Is Microsoft's rumored Surface phone a reimagined Surface Mini

Project Andromeda: Digital notepad seen from afar

The crests and valleys that characterize the narrative of Microsoft's mobile strategy are on a high at the time of this writing. The "good news" regarding Microsoft's Project Andromeda, a foldable mobile device that is not a phone, but has telephony and an inking focus is making its rounds.

A long view of Microsoft's mobile strategy provided us with a view of this vision years ago, however.

Did Microsoft give us a glimpse of its Surface phone vision

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An analysis of its long-term investments, rather than reactions to short-term events, revealed (long before Andromeda rumors surfaced) that Microsoft is bringing the diverse power of Windows 10, from inking and potentially mixed realty to a non-phone mobile device.

Of course, under the consistent deluge of bad news about Microsoft and mobile, to those who see things from a news-to-news basis, assertions that Microsoft was not done with mobile and early descriptions of what has since been revealed as Project Andromeda likely seemed delusional. Now consistent with the reactive nature of the Windows and mobile narrative those who were convinced Microsoft had no mobile strategy are now discussing Project Andromeda - Microsoft's mobile strategy. Readers need consistency.

Responsible storytelling

With a story as dynamic as Windows-on-mobile, we all need a big-picture perspective. I'm not saying we all must share the same opinion. But if a person has big picture view, he can fit "news" within that context and give readers a consistent rather than reactive (and often changing) message.

Sadly, most Windows-on-mobile coverage has been reactive and as a result, inconsistent. Most people follow where the latest leaks, rumors or news blows absent a broader context. This confuses readers. Though unpopular at times, our big picture analysis of Microsoft's mobile strategy has painted a picture that is being borne out in what is currently known as Project Andromeda and Core OS.

Microsoft's CEO hints mobile device headed for enterprise

Writers need a consistent narrative, readers a mature and discerning mindset, and Microsoft should stay true to its commitments. Admittedly, no one, not even Microsoft sees everything. That's why there were shifts in short term objectives while Microsoft's overall goal remained unchanged. When we create a narrative based on such shifts, rather than the overarching strategy, however, we create the ever-changing and confusing narrative that is the story of Microsoft and mobile.

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!

  • nothing to be confused about, the platform is dead
  • Windows Phone will never be dead on Windows Central--it's forever undead. lol
  • OK, so here is the real issue for MS, even if they bring in a new Surface Phone, or some other cool gadget..... I wont be getting one, nor will many other former MS fans.  After years of buying Zune's, Band's, and dozens of windows phones and other MS related items, i just dont trust them to stand behind their products.  I don't want to buy a gadget that will not fit into an ecosystem and MS seems unwilling (lets face it, they have the money) to create an actual ecosystem of products.  After years of being a windows phone fan, I finally traded in my 950 for a Samsung Galaxy s8.  Hopefully someday MS will learn and will focus on their ecosystem but it would take a lot for me to change back now. 
  • Sadly, with the current leadership, I don't think they care. It seems that they have a mindset of "we know what you want better than you do".  Microsoft, wake up. We want a PHONE. 
  • No actually, we don't want a phone. I have been saying this for a long time now. We want a pocket PC that happens to be able to make phone calls.
    It's a huge difference. This is the point where Cellular Service Companies relinquish control over the hardware.
    it gets separated and they are relegated to being just an ISP.
  • You want to carry around a keyboard, mouse and display so your phone can be useful?
  • Do people really want a PC in their pocket?  Many people think that they already have a PC in their pocket with their smartphone. People are just trying to read the tea leaves when it comes to the Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Team.  I'm not sure that MSFT even knows what's going on.  Why would the CEO state that he misjudged the consumer market and admit that he's let people down.  Reading those tea leaves, he could have just said - we have plans and left it at that.  Instead he admits mistakes so can we be sure that they have a new category defining device? With Continuum, you had basically a PC in your pocket or very close.  I just don't get the business case for this mythical device.  To be able to use it as a PC, you need input devices.  How far can you get with inking?  I know there are some folks on here that ink all day but that is a very small percentage.  Less than the current number of W10M users.  So, you need some other input devices such as a mouse or keyboard.  Now you have to stuff those things in your skinny jeans.  Next you need some kind of display to take advantage of your pocket PC.  Good luck on getting that in your skinny jeans.  The reason smartphones work is apps.  With apps, you are limiting the input to specific types of activities and you can control the display more.  How are folks imagining the display and input will work with this mythical unicorn device.  And this is assuming that the device is consumer focused.  That would be a big mistake on the part of the Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Team because it would be DOA.  No one has confidence in MSFT's ability to follow through in the consumer space.  However, as screwed-up as focusing on the consumer space would be, that is just what I think the Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Team will do and they will fail AGAIN! So, where they have indicated they will focus is on the Enterprise.  If they go the Enterprise route, what is the business case for the Enterprise to jump on this bandwagon.  They can equip their workforce with a $1K laptop and subsidize a BYOD approach.  The mythical unicorn device will at least cost $1K and that doesn't count input and display devices.  If the unicorn device is going to be used for a mobile/traveling workforce, they basically need a laptop peripheral for their workers to do their jobs.  That is an additional couple of 100 bucks.  Does the Enterprise want to pay for the overhead of dealing with cell/data plans?  Now they can just cut a check after making an employee prove that their cell phone costs were work related.  Where is the savings?  Will productivity be increased by 2X? It could be very cool tech but I'm not sure that a pocket PC buys anyone anything.
  • People are stupid and have no idea what they want until they try something.  Only a few of us had smartphones 10 years ago and most peolpe then assumed that they didn't need one.  We don't know what Microsoft may release but they have to try as computing will be mobile.
  • It's called Windows as a Service (WaaS), but Satya Nadella has just thrown out millions of dollars if not billions of dollars in technology that will never be recovered, but may get some iOS or Android fans to buy into their modified implimentations.  If I were an investor, I would be calling for his resignation.  I won't support MS ever again, and I thoought 3.1 was an amazing product for the time.  I understand that they have their hands in a whole lot more than just OS development, but when you drop the ball on an ecosystem that millions of people have bought into just because you didn't think there was room or need for another product that basicallly does the same things as the other two industry leaders, you just told your supporters that you don't care what they think.  And believe me they've done that more times than I can remember.  I guess capitalism is more important than consumers as long as the stock holders are making money, then you can ignore your fan base all day long.  It's politics as usual.
  • Meh, too long.
  • This is the point where Cellular Service Companies relinquish control over the hardware.
    That's kind of a US-only thing. Almost everywhere in the world, cellular carriers are just a dumb pipe, just like an ISP. Except for losers who can't afford a phone and pay it off monthly through the carrier, then they are a dumb pipe and also a loan shark for losers.
  • Losers is a bit harsh, but I get your meaning.
  • U pay more if U buy it straight out in US
  • But MS have made sh*t ton of money, THEY don't need a phone
  • Well said !!
  • Couldn't have said it better myself. And if MS and assorted techmedia think MS can pull off some sort of "enterprise mobile" strategy, they really aren't paying attention to what has already happened in the enterprise. Enterprise mobile is BYOD Android and iOS, and has been for quite some time now.
  • The Andromeda mobile device is apparently targeting at the W10 users rather then the WP fans.  It is a pocket tablet with telephony.  If it has a phone dialer, it would turn into a new mobile catetory eventually.  The folding tablet would provide respectable app support which includes W10 apps, web apps and progressive web apps.  It is a phone when folded, a tablet when unfolded, a desktop with Continuum, a notebook with ink/pen, a MR Viewer or potentially a portable collaboration tool with Whiteboard/Teams.  With OEMs involved, it could carve out a new mobile category never seen before.  It is a 'productivity on the go' device with phone features.  It should appeal to all the W10 crowds, especially in the enterprises.  This is MS' last chance to get back to mobile, and they better do it right.
  • Why? What would the point be? You would deal with a terrible phone experience just so you could also carry around a poor tablet experience? Then, if the correct peripherals were available, which is a big if, you could also have a mediocre desktop experience. Why bother? What is the point? An iPhone and Ultrabook do this better.
  • The point is that the cellular pocket tablet would offer the upcoming one billion W10 users (eventually) an versatile form factor which will be 'always connected'.  This pocket device would enable the W10 users to do their work and communicate at anytime and anywhere.  There are several Android OEMs are also working on their foldable phones, but it would make most sense for the W10 plarform.  Since Windows own the desktop PC space (91%), especially in the enterprises.  With a pocket tablet, the W10 users don't have to carry their 3-lb laprtops all the time.  Just reach to their pockets if needed.  With a phone dialer to do phone call and messaging, they can do all other things on the tablet with larger screen real estate.  All my needed apps will be provided thru Windows Store, hosted web sites and PWA which can only grow. Recently, I started using Tablet Mode on my two desktops and one laptop.  I found it is much improved than the early days.  It is far more efficient than the Desktop mode after I configured the Start screen similarily to my WP screen by using Groups and Live Folders.  All my frequently used apps are one click or one tap away just like on my L950XL after booting up.  The less used apps are all stored in the Live Folders under each Group for easy app locating.  I use Dell touch monitors for my desktops, so life is even easier.  So even I'm forced to switch phones, I'm still using Live Tiles, pinning features and full customization on the W10 PCs.  The WP experience will never leave us.  When the Andromeda mobile device arrives I would definitely configure the pocket tablet screen the same as that on my PCs with an unified experinces across all devices.
  • A 5-6" phone will only unfold to ~7" with a weird aspect ratio. No where near useable as a productive Windows desktop device. You don't see 7-8" Windows devices for a reason. Recent rumors are also stating that Windows Core will not be "full" Windows. It will be Windows 10S basically and without legacy components. It will be very cut down. UWP/Centennial apps will be the only option for X86 and it won't be able to upgrade to Pro. Who knows if that is accurate, it does make sense though.
  • MS has patents for duel screens and triple screens which could expand to 9"-10" screen in theory.  But initially, I think they would start out with a duel screens design and go from there.  They would probably license the Core OS to OEMs, so you could see all sizes and shapes later on.  If the users plan to do serious work or editing, they can always take their laptop with them. I imagine the Core OS will be a light weight version of W10 since it is a modulized version.  CShell will make it fit with devices with different sizes.  With the upcoming 5G network, foldable display, and the more power efficient mobile processors (7nm, 5nm and 3nm), all sorts of new mobile devices will be introduced.  One thing for sure, they will go way beyond the boundary of today's smartphones.
  • https://www.surface-phone.it/windows-core-os-dettagli-inediti-spiegazion... If you are interested.
  • "All my needed apps will be provided thru Windows Store, hosted web sites and PWA which can only grow." IOW, there still won't be any MOBILE apps.  So you would still need a phone.   You are drastically overestimating the audience for "full Windows in my pocket".  Yes, the hard core Windows geeks here would by such a device.  But who else would?  "Windows mobile " is totally off the radar screens for most people and businesses.   Also, there will never be 1 billion Windows 10 users.  There aren't even 1 billion Windows 10 devices.  The vast majority of people still using Windows desktops/ laptops already have "a versatile form factor which will be 'always connected'."  It's called a phone.   As phones become more powerful, the need for laptops - and particularly desktops - decreases.   10 years ago, everyone in the house had their own laptop running Windows.   Now everyone has their own phone (which is NOT running Windows BTW) and there is maybe 1 Windows machine in the house for the few things that can't be done (yet) on a phone.  Plus perhaps an iOS or android tablet or 2.  That pretty much covers whatever needs to be done these days.  Windows is no longer a growing market. 
  • Here's the problem: already you need iPhone or droid just to set up a router. They don't even write app for PC. So how is this going to help?
  • I completely agree and am looking forward to it.
  • I would buy a surface phone with the right specs in an instance. Even pay up to $1000 for it. Android drives me crazy every day.
  • @Urbautz, you know, a year ago I felt the same.  I like my Samsung but I still loved my Lumia 950.  But, the issue for me is that MS has a long history or abandoning products that I just cant forgive at this point.  I love my Surface Pro, it is everything I want in a computer and more and I am sure the surface phone would be awesome.  I am just not sure I can trust MS to follow through for the long haul and not just drop it.  Killing the Zune really undermined my whole desire to utilize MS but I sort of got over that a little.  Then the Band was dropped and I was right on the edge.  Windows RT got dropped and I just sort of accepted that but when they annouced the demise of the phone, I went to the AT&T store that day and bought my Samsung out of sheer frustration.  I am not sure what it would take to bring me back.  I hope they try to bring us all back but honestly as time goes on and I buy more apps and other accessories for my Samsung, it seems less plausable to but a new windows phone, pocket pc, or really any other gadget that MS makes.
  • I agree compleatly. I did the exact same thing, and am loving my Galaxy S8 too!
  • Perfect. Exactly how I feel... well minus the band... I wasn't that dumb ;-)
  • Even if Microsoft didn't kill Windows Phone, there would be no more feature updates for 950. It's a 2 years support policy like Samsung, LG, etc.
  • NW.JS? Well yeah, Electron is the bee's knees.
  • Armin19 Windiws is the platform, and wundows isn't dead.😉What platform are you referring to when you say "the platform is dead?" You seem to be falling victim to the fallacy outlined in the piece. Micisoft's mobile strategy is not constrained to Windows Mobile or Windows Phone. Windows on ARM, Windows Core OS will power the project Andromeda first party and OEM devuces in the digital journal pocjet PC categiry it initiates. Windows isn't dead😉
  • I think the fact that in the most recent investor's conference call the CFO stated that certain numbers were due to 'Microsoft's exit from the mobile space" has convinced me that they are indeed "out of the mobile space". Certainly that doesn't preclude a telephony enabled device, but that strategy was tried before with the integration of the HP Touchpad and phone devices so that you could make audio and video calls through the Touchpad if you phone was paired to it. Even though the system did work with some other devices too, the strategy failed.
  • This entire article just seems like a variation of several previous articles on the same topic.  Yes, intelligent people UNDERSTAND the distinction between MOBILE and PHONES.  We understand that phones are PART of mobile.  And most of us aren't saying a mobile vision doesn't exist beyond phones.  I'm saying it doesn't thrive WITHOUT phones.  And it seems clear that, for the CONSUMER market (because I don't care about the enterprise customer, mostly because there's no real reason to separate the two anymore) the PHONE aspect of the MOBILE vision for Microsoft is now Android/iPhone only.  All other categories of mobile for Microsoft appear to be pointing toward tablet-ish devices.  Personally, I think the foldable device is about as stupid an idea as it gets.  It will bring with the more or less the same level of mobility as smaller tablets, but not be nearly as useful a design as a tablet and not have the advantages that a smartphone does (e.g., real one-handed usability).  I already bring my SP with me most places except for leisure, in which case my PHONE is the absolute best design form to use in mobile computing.   So, whatever idea Microsoft has for a hardware form factor for "beyond phones", I seriously doubt it will be a contender with more than a niche group.  It probably won't see even as much play as Windows phones do now.  As Microsoft transitions to Windows on ARM, the usefulness there will best be seen on more 2-in-1 devices.  ACTUAL usable screen space that's NOT broken up by a stupid fold, full Windows, long battery life.
  • Hi Scuba Dog, sure many people understand the difference between Mobile and phones, but as I stress in the article, the reactive pieces and responses to short-term news or events where many people, writers and outlets equate an abandonment of smartphones as an abandonment of the mobile space proves that a significant number of people, many with a platform to influence others, don't and/or haven't made the distinction. Hopefully you caught that this was the gist of the article. Not advocating whether or not this strategy was the right one or would succeed.
  • But can you guys find something else to write about?  I mean really, how many more of these articles about the phone/moble efforts being dead are we going to get?  You're doing the "write thing" but being very redundant at it.
  • I'm not sure how often you visit the sight PayeDay but we write about a LOT of different things. Just check out the home page. Our phone section isn't even at the top of the page. And here's my pieces where I'm covering AR, disability issues, making money with Bing, Microsoft's lack of consumer focus and more: www.windowscentral.com/author/jason-ward Also as my reply to Scuba Dog and others points out, this piece isn't about "phone or mobile efforts being dead" as you say, per se. I am very clear in the thesis statement in the opening, the supporting statements in the body and the closing statements in the conclusion that this piece is focused on holding writers accountable for how they post reactive pieces to news and events about this topic, absent a big picture context, that ultimately creates an inconsistent and confusing narrative. Sadly, most commenters seem to have missed that clearly stated point.
  • They don't have much else to write about. The get all clicks on Wards' more of the same articles and on android phones articles. I'd like to see an article like this from Ward in which he explores why HE has been so confused about windows mobile during the past year or so.
  • The perception of failure has little to do with the distinction between news weather and strategic climate. Microsoft defeated itself by being a ruthless corporation and a monopolist. OEMs are not fans of Microsoft. Microsoft has a heavy hand. OEMs cannot differentiate their offering of a Windows machine from that of a competitor to the point where Apple is the one computer manufacturer that actually rakes in a whole lot of dough. The same story applies to "mobile" and that's why Surface has surfaced. It's the right appraoch. OEMs have gone the route of Android and abandoned Microsoft because Google offers a very light hand with few demands while Microsoft offers a heavy one, always in control. OEMs won't flock back to Microsoft because Android offers them what they desire--freedom. With the reality that Google has become a major OS player it's obvious that the Surface approach is the right one. Only problem for Microsoft is that it suffers from an image problem. Under Bill Gates' leadership it was a serial monopolist, frequently abusing its monopolies to disadvantage competitors and users. It got so bad that they had to pay out 3/4 of a billion dollars to Netscape. Had Microsoft not won the browser wars I bet we'd be looking at a Windows Mobile/Phone-dominated mobile world. That ruthlessness proved decisive in dominating the non-premium computing market. But, that same ruthlessness is what gave OEMs the bad taste in their mouths that they wanted to run away from. Look at Windows 10 devices. Each laptop or tablet is pretty much the same and they copy each other like crazy. Differences do not remain. Devices are largely interchangeable. The same cannot be said for Android. Certain Android OEMs offer implementations of Android that are successful at targetting different types of users. A certain user prefers "stock Android". Others like all the bells-and-whistles that Acer offers. Others still like the features that come with a Samsung. These are ways that OEMs can create a distinction from other OEMs in the Android sphere. Microsoft does not allow that kind of differenatiation to happen (and, thus dampens the opportunities for profits).
  • The correct strategy is for you to stop writing until you have something concrete to write about. No one wants a repeat of Wharton Brooks.
  • The fact that many writers are writing reactive posts absent a big picture context is a very concreate topic. That's why there was a deluge of articles form a host of outlets claiming Microsoft confirmed that it was done with mobile when Joe Belfiorie confirmed Windows 10 Mobiles imminent demise and the company not making smartphone HW. Many of the same outlets and others then contributed to another deluge of articles after more "news" of Project Andromeda confirmed a folding Windows Core OS devices, that is not a phone with telephony abilities. Now those writers and voices that said Microsoft had no mobile strategy were all over the web and social media writing about Microsoft's enterprise-focused, folding device mobile strategy.🤔 Reactive reporting. This piece is a concrete address or indictment of that type of writing that failed to take in the big picture. Had those writers taken a big picture view they wouldnt be creating and contributing to conflicting messages, and an everchanging narrative. Their big picture view wouould have applied the Andromeda information to Belfiores statements, precluding the unnecessary Microsoft-has-no-Windows-on-mobile-plans articles. Thus, this piece, holding writer accountable is something concrete to write about.
  • I still think they're going to be so late, almost nobody will be interested anymore. Even enterprise devices need apps. No amount of talking up vapourware will convince me that MS has it going on in mobile. They were building the market share they needed to convince developers to get on board - outside of the US, at least - and then they majorly dropped the ball, and burned all their customers. Who, by the way, have jobs! Consumers work in enterprise! They have opinions about the IT equipment they use at work! It's going to take a huge commitment from MS to get any kind of mobile share going again. Unfortunately the experience thus far is that they don't stay the course when the going gets tough - and it will be really, really tough.
  • Yeah they were the laughable at the time and even more so today.
  • I would, just for the schadenfreude.
  • Jason, you are being silly.  Our frustration with Microsoft is its fascination with windows.  Did Apple try to make a Mac Phone?  Why did HP invent the iPac?  What happened to Palm?  The list is endless.  Why did Google invent Android?  Where is Intel in all of this?  Oh yeah canceling Atom.   Mobile required a change in mindset that Microsoft has never fully understood.  Will Windows arrive on a mobile device?  Sure it is called a surface.  Easy to carry around.  But a Window's powered mobile device with the ability to make calls?     Dude it is almost 2018, almost 30 years since the first consumer mobile phones were available.  My wife got one because she was a teacher and they gave a discount.  That was in the mid-1990's.   Microsoft once had 40% of the cell phone market.  Now they have zero.   All Microsoft should say is we want you to be able to manipulate most of your information needs using windows.  Thus we now will build a bridge between the smartphone and the windows powered cloud ecosystem.
  • I think this is the first time I've actually wholeheartedly agreed with you ScubaDog.
    This whole enterprise/consumer thing needs to get sorted. Enterprise users are consumers too and I doubt they want to carry a separate device for work and pleasure. Windows phones fans are burying their heads in the sand and if/when a foldable pocket pc with telephony is released they will buy it regardless thinking they're getting a next gen phone which it won't be and be severely lacking in apps etc once again. It's going to be an overpriced, niche device that very few people will buy and those who do will likely be very disappointed with.
  • Microsoft didn't advertise enough and Developers didn't support it. I'm sure articles saying Windows mobile is dead would put people off investing in it, but I personally think as much as I hate to admit it, it was DOA. It's just taken a few years to Decline into the state it is now.
  • Microsoft couldn't adverise itself away from the problems it created. By the mid-2000's it was a well-established monopolist with a reputation for abusing its monopoly. Apple, by comparison, was the clean fighting underdog so it got to eat the premium breakfast. Google popped up and gave device makers an option and the OEMs liked that option because it was free from many of the restrictions that Microsoft placed on them. No amount of marketing would make Microsoft's sins disappear. Only time and pennance would do that. But, now Microsoft is going down the same monopolistic path with Windows 10 S*** so they really don't deserve a second chance. ***Their edict that Edge is the only permitted browser and that Bing is the only permitted search engine harkens back to the worst days of the 1990's and 2000's when Microsoft used its monopoly to harm Netscape. Microsoft hasn't learned that its reputation for success also works against it. And, Bill Gates doesn't get that the spirit of the law is as important as the letter of the law. He may now give away money, but, he destroyed people illegally and unethically to make that money.
  • You talk about monopoly this monopoly that but seriously Microsoft had to bail out Apple because they were failing so much. You act like android is a god sent but its the most insecure garbage OS that's out there. It doesn't have a fluid OS and everything is frankensteined together with apps. It's just like the platform its built off of where you get a bucket of parts and have to assembly your OS to make it functional. Yea MS has its shortcomings but they take strides to make the world a better place with their initiatives and programs. Not like Google who just wants your money and to use your data so they can sell it to companies for more money. Your illogical rants are unfounded.
  • I think MS bailed out Apple in the 1990s because Apple sold a lot of copies of MS Office. It wasn't charity but good business.
  • Microsoft bought shares in apple which they sold later on for more than they spent. It Definitely wasn't charity.
  • Oh I know ms bailing out apple wasn't charity. They had to bail them out so they wouldn't be acused of being a monopoly again. It was all business.
  • At the time Apple's existence was MS's best defence about being called a monopoly.....
  • @Annullator: I think you're misreading what I wrote, and, it's amusing to see the pot calling the kettle black with rants when you rant without considering the big picture. In no way is Android great. But, it's good enough. Apple provides iOS which early on established itself as the best. There is no need in the market for another OS that is the best (which is what I presume you're implying was the case with Windows Phone/Mobile). And, iOS has kept the lead over Android. Android was good enough to outcompete Windows Mobile/Phone in the early days. Then, once the snowball started rolling Windows Phone got crushed. As for Microsoft bailing Apple out--there was no bailout. That was good business. Apple was underpriced at the time and was one of Microsoft's most lucrative markets for Microsoft Office. It was only time before Apple got their footing back and would start outperforming, and, outperform they did. Microsoft has made good money on their investment in Apple.
  • Not sure how this relates to my post to be honest, besides every company has bad practices, some learnt from them.
  • Double post!
  • While I appreciate this article and the window into the possible future envisioned by Microsoft, I have already determined that my next device will be an Android phone when I can make the switch. It will be up to Microsoft as to whether I feel comfortable enough to take another chance at some point in the future.
  • Yes.  Some writers should take some blame for Microsoft's failure.  Instead of questioning some of Microsoft's moves and calling them out on it.  Some writers just played along.  Not wanting to ruffle feathers.  As Microsoft took away features some writers didn't make a big stink about it.  It was like ho hum.  Nothing to see here.  They were only interest in the "perceived" new thing that they thought was coming along. Even back to the early stages of Windows Phone the argument of apps vs. sales of WP.  Writers stuck on the apps situation rather that discussing the sales of phones.  Especially in the states.  I remember going into Verizon, Tmobile, and AT&T stores and whenever I asked about a Windows Phone the sales person always tried to push the iPhone or Android.  Most of them didn't even know how to use a Windows Phone.  There should have been a concerted effort by Microsoft and those writers to point out the need for sales clerks to push those devices. Writers should have lambasted the Lumia name.  There certainly was something better than that.  Also, what was confusing were all those Lumia devices.  The naming structure was terrible. And not calling out Microsoft for seemingly caring more about the other OS company than their own.  Yeah some writers could have done a better job of not letting Microsoft off the hook so easily. 
  • Then the vast majority of Microsoft's press writers deserve that blame. They didn't call Microsoft out loud enough for their unethical and illegal practices back in the day. Ultimately it's Microsoft who deserves the blame, however. They are the ones who acted illegally and unethically and they are the ones who gained a reputation for ruthlessly breaking the law to make a quick (billion dollar) buck. A $750 million USD settlement with Netscape was the icing on that cake. That reputation and what it was evidence of was what sank Microsoft's efforts to expand into a new market. Apple and Google helped in that effort, but, ultimately it was Microsoft itself that defeated Microsoft. And, rightly so. Microsoft was a nasty company. While they sometimes improved the world of software, they also frequently acted in ways to harm it. Look at the complete stagnation of browsers from 2000 to 2005. It took years before FireFox was good enough to take on Internet Explorer. For five or six years Microsoft did NOTHING to improve Internet Explorer because they had illegally won the browser wars. That reputation was front-and-centre with early adopters of the iPhone. By getting an iPhone you were also able to stay away from the corruption that Microsoft represented.
  • Jason, I have read that same description in almost every article you have written for at least the last two years "telephony enabled device" or some variation of that. What you are describing is called a smartphone, and MS isn't going to redefine them now or ever for that matter. What is happening and has been happing for the last two decades is that computers are getting smaller and more portable and phones are getting larger and more powerful. This convergence will eventually lead to personal computers in our pockets that we use in lieu of the mulitude of devices we currently use. It's just a matter of time before it's typical to connect our phones to larger monitors and peripherals to use them as we now use PC's, or simply connect to them using the cloud. The point is that MS dropped the ball and it's very unlikely they will ever recover. Partnering with Android is the only real option they have at this point for doing anything substantial in the mobile space. Stop making it seem like there is some grand vision that MS has and will eventually wow us. The reality is the platform is dead and you should just accept that the way the rest of us have.
  • Whether it wow anyone or not is not the point, nor my objective. Its simply what I believe and what recent reports about Project Andromeda, confirm MS is doing. They're making a non-phone device with an inking focus with telephony abilities, If that wows you so be it. If not that fine as well. As I've said in the past, this may or may not succeed. I'm not advocating that it will succeed. Just stating what they are doing. That's a distinction some are not making.
  • So, you're describing a tablet? My Surface 3 already has a SIM card and even it's own phone number so that I can use the internet anywhere. If i really wanted to I could easily make phone calls with it, let's say with Skype, but then why wouldn't I just use my Galaxy Note, which is more powerful anyway? They are not reinventing the wheel here. It's almost like they are trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist, unless I'm missing something here.
  • It is still a phone, even if it unfolds into a small tablet. Microsoft just doesn't have the experiences or software for either configuration. Being able to run windows when plugged into a monitor doesn't make up for the other experiences.
  • Hello Michael,  The important thing to note here is that in general, people are not fully satified with just a Smartphone. The current smartphone as it stands requires you to still have a PC or tablet to be fully productive. I believe there is a market opportunity for device that works for both scenarios. If anyone is in the position to deliver on that, it's MS. So, don't expect a tablet like device or a Smartphone like device. Expect a new category as Jason stated, one that will suprise,  the same way Surface continues to do. Now the other important thing is to get the apps people use everyday on there, I'm confident MS knows this and can solve the app issue, having a big picture perspective is not just putting current Android apps on a device, it's adding new features and use cases to applications for an ever chaning tech world, and those new abilities requires new code/programming and platforms to be successful. MS knew the risks of WP and they took it to help us along but now we must leap to the next iteration of the smartphone and we know danm sure it's not just another slab of sillicon with apps, it will be more than that. But who will make those big bets? Currently not Apple, Not Samsung, It will be MS and the future will surely prove me right. Let's see where we are in a few years. In the meantime, enjoy your iPhones and Androids, pretty soon you will wonder how we lived with those.   
  • Productivity, as you call Windows, requires a 10"+ screen with a keyboard. Even a 10" screen isn't great with Windows, hence you don't see many 10" laptops these days. How is that device going to fit in your pocket? Surface never surprised anyone. It certainly didn't set the world on fire. Windows sales are still down and the Microsoft Store is dying. The Surface Pro 3 was a cool device but nothing since has been interesting at all.
  • I think you are missing something, but ultimately, it depends on how we define the term "phone". It seems you have a very hardware centric view of what constitutes a phone. If it's small and has a cellular radio, then it's a phone. Period. None of the OS companies see it that way though. For them it's the OS that defines what it actually is. If it runs a simplified OS, that is designed to be maintenance-free, with a heavy focus on protecting users from themselves (a consumerized OS), then it's a phone. Otherwise it's not a phone, even if it has a cellular radio and is small. That's why what MS is working on is NOT a phone, as it will include all the complicated legacy windows stuff that most people would simply rather not deal with, and which corporations employ IT staff for. That's why Jason is right about the big picture, MS is still active in the mobile space and what they are working on is NOT a phone. Beyond that (when we get to the details) I think the nerrative being communicated is poor to terrible, but that's a different story.
  • Unfortunately, MS failed at the one real viable option they had for mobile devices. Windows 10 Mobile was MS's viable option. They should have focused more on improving Continuum, adding more OS features and added inking. I mean, how difficult could that have been. Samsung has been doing inking with the Note for years. All they really needed to do was stand behind their product, but they didn't, not really. The reality is now, and I've been using Windows Phones/Mobile since the beginning, MS has lost the consumer market for the foreseeable future. MS has come up with many new and exciting technologies that either, fall to the way side or another company implements and markets the technology better. MS is too cautious and to slow for the consumer market. I will give them some credit, though. They tried to change that, but their constant misdirection, restarts and not being truly supportive of their own product is what killed Windows 10 Mobile. Devs didn't understand or trust MS's direction and the few OEMs that were onboard with MS were left with their pants down and MS didn't have the decency to give them reach around. MS lacks true follow through with their products. Until they learn to truly follow through and stick behind their product.
  • SO that would be a big phone.  Stop with the symantics Jason.  A non phone device with "telephony"  is a ******* PHONE....
  •  I have a desktop that I can use Skype to make calls, does that make my desktop a phone?  I don't think so.
  • Ok....so whats mobile about it...if you cannot use it as a true phone...meaning the exact way I use my iphone as a phone it's DOA.   being mobile means small/  less than 6", have all the functionality my iphone has through apps etc.   if not...again DOA.  
  • I don't think it's symantics .. the device is more than a smartphone just as the "smartphone" was more than a phone when people said stop playing symantics, its a phone? Also, as I understand it google is working on an identical project to do the >exact< same thing .. the OS scales itself to any device so that probably will introduce a new category name versus just having the phone with (app)lications on it
  • Take your logic one more step.  I have a chip implanted in my hand.  Step into any "public" car.  Touch the wheel and say "take me home"  and off you go.  On the drive you say, "call my wife".  At some point, AI and info will only live on the cloud.  All the devices you use (car, computer, monitor, ATM) will respond to your Iris, finger print, face, or voice and do what you ask.  For those that need the horsepower (keyboard, mouse, screen) and security, they will have their own personal device. No matter how you slice the analysis, your unique identify will open the cloud of information to your demands.  The more demands you require?  The more devices at your disposal.  Didn't anyone watch Star Trek?  What is the little broach everyone wore?  A cell phone?  A universal comunication device?  What about the little salt shaker Bones circled over your chest?  A mini MRI?     PC's don't run on DOS.  How long did it take MS to pull DOS out of Windows?  Windows 98?  Clearly, MS would have much preferred to have 30% of phones running Windows.  But they don't.  MS has moved to the Cloud.  They are just trying to extend their cloud software down into Android and iOS.  MS wants you to process as much of your info demands on their cloud ecosystem.  Without a windows phone, MS has a much harder time.
  • Windows 98 was still DOS.   Windows NT was the non DOS version, and that began in 1993 or so.   Windows NT went on to become Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8.1 and now 10.  
  • If Microsoft was serious about this, there would be no good reason to stop producing phones with W10/M. Showing their commitment, continuing to release phones and keep some semblance of support and dedication would be important. These devices would still work with UWP and would help to keep the platform alive and spirits up. With these decisions, it is quite obvious Microsoft has no serious plans for creating phones and no serious plans for UWP. Just waiting for them to announce that UWP is no longer being developed.
  • "Microsoft has no serious plans for creating phones and no serious plans for UWP. Just waiting for them to announce that UWP is no longer being developed." UWP is the future of Windows. The reason that Windows 8 and 10 have surpassed Windows 7 in terms of stability and security is the technology behind UWP. However, in the user space UWP is a failure because its interface is a mobile one being shoe-horned onto a desktop paradigm. Despite the fact that Windows 10 is installed on the majority of active Windows computers the Windows Store lacks good software. I keep looking and keep leaving empty handed. The software I use a desktop for is all win32-based. Any efforts to port that software to Windows 10 have come to nothing and I find the quality of the UX/UI of UWP apps to be really, really mediocre (and, I even have a two-in-one laptop and a few Windows 10 tablets so I even get to use UWP in the terribly mediocre touch-mode that UWP apps implement). And, if I'm going to use a mobile-oriented application, I'll use an iPhone or an Android device. I'm not going to saddle myself with the frustration of using a poorly designed Windows 10 UWP app simply to save my iPhone's battery.
  • The problem with the big picture, which I am convinced many WPers (especially the diehards) want desperately to engage with, is that MS rooster up the plan at EVERY POSSIBLE STAGE and have done since they started with a massive lead over the competition. Heck, there was no competition when they started. Double-heck, I remember starting with the Atari Portfolio pocket MS-DOS device (I think it was steam powered?) back in my yoof. Apple were not even close back then, and Google wasn't even conceived. I mean, the web hadn't been invented and the internet wasn't something ordinary people had access to. The only common theme to come out of Microsoft's big picture plan has been disappointment and routine abandonment for customers. You see, with such a dedicated commitment to beggaring about their customers a certain expectation will be developed. At this point, it is self generating. Like most regular victims we now feed in to this big picture plan that MS consistently demonstrated and we pre-empt the abuse, we prepare for it in our articles, posts and in our expectations. I've just bought in to Mixed Reality. Do I expect to get a beating for it? Sure I do. That's my life as a Windows fan and customer and it is reflected in my posts. People often tell WP fans they need to accept that WP is dead. Problem is, many of us expected the platform to die when we bought our devices. We were ahead of the game and acceptance was well in advance of the fall (creative or otherwise). Being practiced MS victims though, we followed the big picture plan as ever. Microsoft no longer has fans in the way Apple and Google has. They now have victims, and that dynamic is very different. We will not be shouting about their latest fantastic product anymore, we'll just stay in the corner of forums like this and cry about it. The more appealing the product, the greater the coming pain will be and so the more we will cry about it. They need to consider that in their approach, because we are all in a tragic relationship here which will eventually end in a bloody disaster without help. I fear that neither partner in this has the will power to turn things around. And no, MS doing the equivalent of going out for a paper one morning and never coming back is not going to result in an amicable break up and a healthy approach to technology going forward. At some point they need to either agree to counselling or make with the alimony.
  • Well said Andycalling. Well said.
  • Hints are everywhere. Abandoned mobile phone, continuum, one core, Andromeda, WOA, etc. It's the context that are misunderstood.
    Put it another example. Is Kinect dead? Just because MS stop providing adaptor to xbox? I think Kinect is being used, in holo lens. People like to jump to conclusion.
  • It's a pavlovian response at this point. We know the punch is coming again, so we flinch early.
  • Ms kill windows mobile, I get out of there ocho-system, next device will be android... I would install chrome OS on my PC also if only steam and gaming would work on the platform...
  • Does this mean we have to sit and wait, for MS to bring out some revolutionary mobile device some time from now, while others around us are enjoying their Pixels and iPhones and Samsungs?? Right now, right here in the present, MS failed its consumer crowd. That's all that matters.
  • Nope. We can go join those happy Google and Apple people. We don't though, many of us, because we love Microsoft and we still cling to the idea that we can change them if only we can learn to be better customers, like the article says. It's our fault, we deserve the beating and we just go off and make Nadella another sammich to say sorry. Here comes Mixed Reality, so I hand over my wallet for another MS raping. I give it a year.
  • I'm going to do my part and see the emperor's new clothes next time.
  • Next time... I'm always saying that.
  • Here is my more condensed version: Satya is an idiot. the end
  • I'll condense that further: The End.
  • Why isn't Microsoft itself communicating this message? If a false narrative is being told to the bublic why not correct it with a simple tweet? The analogy to weather and climate is ok I guess but with weather you have smooth transitions from one season to the next etc. etc. with Microsoft they kill one strategy then there is just a gap with nothingness and then they try to introduce something new. This frustrates us users because we are left in limbo for long periods waiting for the "weather" to start again. They could have easily kept Windows Mobile going until they could provide us users something new to transition to. Don't make me have to invest in the iOS or Android ecosystem and then ask me to come back when you have figured out your new strategy.
  • MS victims don't care about the weather. We're all locked in the basement 'cause we made Naddy hit us again. One day we'll learn to be good customers, but until then we'll just have to take it.
  • You're assuming that Nutella knows what he's doing and the evidence to date is that he has about as much substance as Nutella spread .... tastes good but just not healthy at all.
  • Ah, the insanity plea. He doesn't mean it, he just doesn't know any better, right? And if we hadn't looked at that Chromebook he wouldn't have lost his temper in the first place. We were asking for it.
  • Microsoft could continue investing in phones, manufacturing phones and updating the mobile system for arm and 64bits as on the other platforms. The system was starting to get nice. Resisting still to catch an Android, but if there's no way, it didn't.
  • I don't see any form factor succeeding for Microsoft in the long term without android/ios-mac/linux app package support included. Make a true OS to rule them all. Support for all apps from any platform would be king.
  • I still think that right now a mobile strategy without phones is doomed. 5-10 years from now it will probably succeed. But to say in 2018 that you have a mobile strategy which does not include smartphones I think it is not to be believed.
  • Smh. Based on many of the comments,some people obviously don't understand what you are trying to say in the article. It's not that hard. MS has and (has had for quite some time) a plan for something beyond a "phone",when it comes to their overall mobile strategy. Writers have missed that point and/or failed to acknowledge that or keep it in mind when publishing articles,thus helped to paint a much more negative picture of MS mobile (phone) efforts then the reality. I get it. Thanks for the article. SN: When writers keep saying "Finally",whenever addressing Windows it also paints a bad picture. Just keep it upbeat. For example. If Snapchat came to Windows Phone. The article would've read: Snapchat finally comes to Windows Phone. Instead of: Welcome Snapchat to Windows Phone! Cut that "finally" crap out!
  • We wear makeup, we're slapped for being a tart. We don't wear makeup, we're punched for not making an effort. If only we were better customers. I'm sorry Naddy, please sell me an MR headset. I do love you, honest. We can make it work.
  • Thank you mswindows101. You get it.🙂 The thesis is clearly stated in the opening, reiterated in the body, and revisited in the conclusion. Sadly, it seems many readers are still missing the point of the piece😕
  • We get it Jason, we let Naddy down again because we don't listen and we just don't support him enough. Personally, I've bought a WinMR headset and a new powerful Windows box to make him love me again. I hope you've done similar?
  • There were a bunch of things that killed MS's mobile (phone) efforts. From MS,Google/Apple,devs,fans,the EU,writers and media. I could tell you how all were involved in murder. However that would require a lot of typing. lol
  • Yep, we were asking for it. Doesn't matter how much effort you put into your apology though, somehow the black eye we made him give us always overshadows it.
  • Well as I fan I do not include myself in the category that helped kill MS's Mobile.  I purchased 8 phones, 2 Bands, 1 SP3, 6 speakers, Zune/Xbox Music/Groove subscriber, 3 Xbox units (that doesn't inlcude the original Xbox unit I still have), 3 Kinects.  MS mobile played a big part in all of those in how I connected to those devices.  Microsoft slowly but surely was killing off Mobile but some people didn't call them out on it.  True fans were pointing it out constantly, but they were called names or naysayers or haters.   But as a fan, I hope there is some type of mobile device that is still forthcoming.  Because I refuse to move to Android or iOS. 
  • You are partly right.  The tech writers and the hardcore fans are the ones to blame the confusion on.  They keep insisting despite evidence to the contrary there is some mystical new platform that is not a phone that MS is working on.  It is just so revolutionary we don't know what it could possibly be.  But that is not true.  It is either a tablet or its a phone.  There is not some niche for a third thing somewhere in the middle.  Phones killed off the small tablet market because they have gotten so big it there is no benefit to a small tablet.  It was apparent enough that MS killed off the surface mini at the last minute.  Maybe it is a folding device but then you just have a tablet that can be made to be slightly smaller to work as a phone.  But with all the downsides of Windows Mobile/Phone/10 on Arm/Whatever you want to call it flavor of the month to go with it and the only benefit is maybe full blown windows on a smaller tablet?  Maybe I don't really see a market for that though.  And even then you are years from seeing a foldable solution ready for primetime. No the fault lies with the writers and the enthusiasts that despite MS sometimes blunt point sit and grasp as straws and tiny slivers of information looking for the  evidence that a Surface Phone or Windows on Arm will be the savior of Windows on phone devices. Like it or not smartphones are a huge huge market and its not going to vanish one day overnight if it changes it will be a slow and evolutionary process.  Microsoft has shown no success in getting the market to move to UWP; no success in making a mobile OS platform that people want to use; and they haven't even really tried in the phone hardware market before they killed that off.
  • I call it a pocket PC. Not expected to change things over night, or over a year, or event two years. Not intended to go against iPhone or Android as I said multiple times in multiple articles. It will be a pocket PC, not magical, not make MS an overnight success in mobile. But it will be a device that brings PC power/versatility to our pockets. It will gave telephony but don't be a focus. It will coexist with current smartphones. It will initially target the enterprise and long term move to consumers is the goal. Will it work. I don't know. But that is what I believe the plan is.
  • Didn't they already do that with the Atari Portfolio? I mean, it's just the same plan as ever. I think we all noticed some time back. It's just we're pretty much at the same stage of that plan that we were at when it was first started in the last millennium.
  • Ya but its a tablet......thought Ive seen many articals saying tablets are dead (expecialy win 10 tablets) ...so why make a tablet.
  • Surface is a tablet. Surface book detached is a tablet. Microsoft is still making tablets, and OEM partners making 2-in-1s "in the Surface image" are also making tablets. Tablets are not dead, they're just different.
  • i see. It will be "Pocket Surface" and i still do not understand why few millions windows phone fans is not enough of an audience for ms to support, to keep interested and engaged into the platform, modify and improve the interface and devices, not 10 confusing iterations per year, but one, better than before. listen to suggestions and develop on them. This is evolution. iPhone didn't fell down on Earth from the cloud. It was a solid effort to improve what ms started, but stopped halfway. And under no circumstances should leaders of ms show on the stage branding other phones in their hands. They are to blame, for their lack of vision and faith in their efforts to bring something better, ingenious to the World.
  • Surface P?
  • Well leaving aside the fact we already had Pocket PC's and they were eventually smited by the combined might of Android and iOS I think we need to look at very carefully why Windows as a platform is succesful.  If you look at it in that light it is because 1) It can run legacy software needed by people in some fashion 2) Gaming 3) Productivity applications that are for extremely limited audiences I may be missing some so feel free to expand on that. So if we take these categories lets see where this is useful in a mobile world: 1) Lack of legacy applications is almost a boon to 'mobile' OS's.  iOS did not need to rely upon a vast market of software at launch it created it when the App Store was released a year later.  Android followed suit.  There was a lucrative and and relatively untouched market that made app developers flock to these platforms and develop solutions that fit what users wanted.  I feel most users are satisfied at their mobile app solutions overall especially by their more streamlined and simple update process and clean user interfaces that are enforced through the tighter control Apple and Google exert on their market places. Likewise these apps being new and designed with strict guidelines in mind can be updated easily and kept running relatively quickly with low amounts of power demand. 2) Gaming I think is where the PC still really shines I am a PC gamer at heart though and thusly biased.  Mobile gaming while in my personal eye is inferior in a lot of ways (Mostly due to controller limitations) have really moved gaming into a much larger audience then it had ever been.  For better or for worse Mobile gaming can be a lucrative business.  In addition I believe the Switch is showing success at the whole mobile gaming market in a way that is only possible with todays mobile technology. 3) Productivity applications are still needed by businesses and theymore or less share a circle with legacy applications.  A lot of these programs have been around forever and need some beefy hardware to run or specialized hardware even.  They fill a very specific role and they usually dominate that market.  I think a siginficant number have gone to the cloud however where possible and these applications have been shown they can run on a phone device or tablet just as good as on a regular old PC. So taking those scenarios (and like I said maybe I missed some) that is why Windows dominated the PC market and continues to dominate I do not really see a possible way forward that MS can go that will entice end users.  The Surface is not marketed as a tablet but as a laptop that can maybe be a tablet when necessary.  Likewise UWP apps which was supposed to bring Windows into the same future occupied by Android and iOS has largely stayed dormant and the best thing MS came up with so far is wrapping up applications to run on UWP restricted platforms.  Indeed I feel all the things that are good about Windows is in the end also its weak points when it comes to mobile devices.  I think whether you agree with him or not Nadella is correct in that MS future lays in the cloud.  They can offer services to a broader enterprise market and to a lesser degree a consumer market. MS largest mistake was the same as its competitors at the time.  They responded slowly to iOS and tried to foist more of Windows CE onto the users who wholley rejected it.  WP7 was the perfect OS I feel just too late by the time they got around to releasing it.  If they had responded more quickly and harder they could have filled the role that Droid did and fill in the markets that did not want AT&T phones but wanted an iPhone.  But it is all in the past and I think MS days are numbered in terms of OS's and hardware.  I think they will always be around or at least for a while but they will slowly become more sidelined as user and business preferences change.  
  • Jason, what do you think about this idea. While there were many turning points in the downward spiral that is windows mobile, to me, it starts with them first charging handset manufacturers for the OS, once they realize that mistake, they were behind, because they didn't have the handset volume on the market and no one would write apps for them. To reverse that trend, they need(ed) a strategy to incentivize handset manufacturers to build windows mobile phones. Wondering if Microsoft could have (or would in the future) offer to slice off a piece of app revenue from the store for handset manufacturers. It would be a way for them to continue to make money on devices sold and give the reasons to keep devices up to date (where android is such a mess). I just don't feel that Microsoft has thought "out of the box" enough on solutions to the problem.
  • Don't tell Naddy that when he gets home from the pub, please. It'll only make things worse. Just buy a WinMR headset and stay quiet.
  • I hated to give up my windows phone, but I did and moved to a Pixel XL. I don't miss my windows phone at all now. Matter of fact, I own my own business and do most everything on my phone. I use my Surface about once a week. Cortana means nothing to me anymore - I still use OneDrive, but could drop it anyway for another solution - and honestly, if the software on my PC (quickbooks) worked well on an Android tablet, I would move away from Microsoft along with many people that run their business or live on the road like I do. Microsoft is becoming a lost thought in the consumer small business world. One more article by Jason Ward that we obviously don't get his point on will not change things.
  • If people are confused... if the story is confusing... Microsoft has only themselves to blame for doing such a horrendous job of communicating their intent. They have been absolutely terrible at trying to get their message across.
  • Oh c’mon... Like M$ cares anything about what the costumer want... M$ is the only one to blame in all this WP platform situation. We costumers only have the fault to believe in every lie and decive that the company spits out... Next “station” is the XBox division. Every spokeperson that issue an interview says something in contadiction with the previous one...
  • They did.... Then they elected Nadella to lead, and then consumers became... Meh
  • I finally gave up and went to droid phones for my company. I loved my Windows phone but the lack of apps and the lack of phone choices along with no clear path foreword from Microsoft finally defeated my resolve to stay with Windows phones.
  • Even the last Terminator couldn't help in brightening the story
  • Android is Microsofts new OS. They have been profiting from and supporting it more than WM for years. They will eventually kill windows all together in favor of a more “Controlled” OS. The power and freedom of the past will give way to dumb devices masquerading as smart ones in the form of Android. Most of the power in devices will be used to farm data from users while the user willing sells their soul “information/thoughts” for the chance to send a message to the friend sitting right next to them.
  • Just wanted to let you know that there's a letter missing in the paragraph: An analysis of its long-term investments, rather than reactions to short-term events, revealed (long before Andromeda rumors surfaced) that Microsoft is bringing the diverse power of Windows 10, from inking and potentially mixed realty to a non-phone mobile device.
  • How EXACTLY is a Smart Phone different from a Mobile Device with Telephony capabilities?  They are both more computer than phone... they both have an OS... they both run software... they both text and both make phone calls... WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE!?  I keep hearing about this... people even seem to "understand" that there's a difference... I say no there isn't... it's a spin on the same thing and we are taking the bait!  
  • The "difference" is that many here seem to believe that unless a device is running "full Windows 10", it is not really a computer, and is just a toy.   The reality is that no one but OS geeks buys a computer to run an OS.  The OS is not the goal, unto itself.   The folks buying the billions of Android and Apple phones have no idea what an OS is. Nor do they care.  They just want to run the apps they want to run.   Period.  They just want to know that there will be new phones next year.  They are not worried about software "ecosystems" - what a stupid expression.  
  • Smartphones with mobile focused OSes hit are limited in the scope of desktop computing, based on UI and what the OS currently supports. Microsoft's Windows OS is a full desktop OS capable of the breadth of desktop computing currently iOS and Android cannot accommodate due to platforms built around a mobile paradigm. The trend is toward more complex complex, computing that continues its evolution to encompass more desktop computing scenarios. Apple knows this, that's why they tried positioning the iOS l-based iPad Pro as a true PC. This is also why Google has tried to bring Android and Chrome closer together to accommodate a more PC experience. Currently Windows is the only platform with a true and robust desktop solution of the three. The challenge Microsoft faces is bringing a desktop OS, via Core OS and CShell to a mobile form factor and context. Without a current mobile presence, as I've pointed out multiple times, Microsoft's challenge is the lack of a robust mobile ecosystem and developer support. So the strength Apple and Google have are robust mobile platforms, developer support and ecosystems. But the weakness they have are OSes that don't have a strong desktop solution to accommodate more robust computing - the direction the industry is moving in. Microsoft's strength is a strong and robust desktop solution, but a limited mobile platform. So Microsoft has what Apple and Google want, and Apple and Google have what Microsoft wants. No ine has the full solution. Now had MS succeeded in mobile with great dev support, robust store etc, it's Universal Platform and context sensitive OS via Core OS and CShell, and Continuum would have provided them with the most comprehensive computing solution. Absent that mobile success their still pushing thier strategy hopeful to grasp what they can. So the mobile device they position will be a PC of sorts, and positioned as such. Telephony will be another capability, like any other app, but it won't be a phone.
  • Jason, you are voicing what I call the 85% solution.  I can achieve about 85% of the peak technology performance at a realitively low cost.  Once I start to demand more than 85%, my costs rise.  If I try to achieve 95%, my cost skyrocket. A smartphone provides 85% of the poputaltion with 85% of their computing needs.  The ARM chips are not as powerful as a desktop iCore Intel chip.  But it does not have to be.  Similarly, in the 1980's,the PC provide 85% of the people with 85% of their computing needs.  But with the repalcement of the twisted copper wire with a radio, th number of people needing a computer device exploded.  Apple figured this out in 2000 with the iPod and the iTunes marketplace.  All they did was attach a radio to the iPod (and someother stuff as well), which they turned into a almost $1 trillion company.  Remarkably with less than 20% of the market.
  • "So the strength Apple and Google have are robust mobile platforms, developer support and ecosystems. But the weakness they have are OSes that don't have a strong desktop solution to accommodate more robust computing - the direction the industry is moving in." So Apple has no strength on the desktop? Hmm. what about macOS? While a small percentage of their overall profit margin comes from Macs now they still run a solid OS that goes head-to-head with Windows 10 without breaking a sweat. Microsoft is throwing out the baby with the bath water. Windows 10 is a solid OS but its interface is less than stellar, especially when it comes to touch. There's good reason Apple has never introduced touch to macOS--it's a distraction. Us desktop users use the desktop to be productive. There are well-established paradigms and operating procedures that have been honed by three decades of GUI/UX/UI experience. Apple proved that touch could take the world by storm with the iPhone. Microsoft has failed to show that touch can take the desktop by storm. Windows 8, a decent touch OS, was a disaster. Windows 10, a mediocre touch OS, has failed to take the touch world by storm. If an idea works, it catches fire quickly. There's no evidence that the Surface line have caught fire. Yes, they have a loyal following and are a good line of products. But, they're not that thing that people are looking for the way iPhones and iPads are.
  • "The trend is toward more complex complex, computing that continues its evolution to encompass more desktop computing scenarios." Whaaaaaat? Huh? The trend is towards more complex computing? Really? The trend is towards automating as much of the computing experience as possible. While that may be more 'complex' computing, all that requires is more powerful processors, not the ability to turn your mobile device into a desktop-like thing. Ten short years ago you'd have to manually compile a slideshow of photos to turn it into a video presentation (the first automated slideshows were appearing at the time). Now, with the click of a button, algorithms turn your photos into a pleasing slideshow with appropriate transistions. Google does all sorts of fancy and often appealing things with the photos you upload--automatically. That's the opposite of a more complex user experience. It is richer, yes, but it is simpler than it used to be. It's bringing the potential of computers to the masses. Continuum is not the answer the world's ills. Microsoft has failed to demonstrate how Continuum will allow for a richer computing experience that is radically different. I really don't need my smartphone to double as a desktop. I really don't.
  • Hi Ed. Do you use a desktop or laptop at all? If not, hundreds of millions of us do. Though Continuum and UWP isn't where Microsoft wants or needs it to be yet, their goal is that a mobile device can be a PC. I know you're not visualizing something beyond "your phone being your PC" but that's OK. Microsoft's goal, whether it succeeds or not, is a long-term vision, which won't happen tomorrow and for which the groundwork is just being laid, is where a pocketable device can be multiple devices. It may or may not succeed, but that's the long term plan. And we're talking years of product and software iteration and building infrastructure. So no worries, your phone is not the realization of that vision.
  • @Jason, I use it all. Desktop (Windows 10). Laptop (Windows 10 mostly, on occasion MBP). iPhone. Android phone. Windows tablet (x 2). Android tablet. I've also seen things come and go. Continuum is DOA because Microsoft doesn't get touch. They really are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. They're imposing the touch paradigm onto the desktop. Desktop users don't use touch. It's not a natural fit which is why Apple--the master of UX/UI design--has stayed far, far away from merging their iOS and macOS lines. The synergy simply isn't there, and, if the synergy isn't there for macOS and iOS it also isn't there to support Continuum. As for the long term vision bit--I don't buy it. Microsoft does have staying power. I concede that. They stayed with Windows Phone five years after it was moribund in all but a select few markets. It's now completely dead. One thing you forget (I'm guessing you're maybe half a decade to a decade younger than me) is that, as you age, your eyes deteriorate. In most developed nations the average age of the population has crept above 40. That means that the average consumer with money to spend also has eyes that are deteriorating. Small devices, while convenient, aren't particularly useful. Anyway, you are good at beating the Continuum drum. You do good analysis so keep up the good work. Only thing is that you're often slightly off base IMSNHO.
  • Lol...Thanks...Well all I can say is that we'll have to see how things will ultimately pan out. As I concede in the piece, none of us, including Microsoft sees the full picture. Also I'm curious. How old do you think I am?
  • But without a phone the ecosystem is incomplete.
  • Key word, Jason. Transition. All things in life go through a transitional phase. In the case of Microsoft, if they had played and pushed the smartphone market to a point where developer were willingly picking up UWP. Then the ultra mobile PC will have a tonne of apps out of the gate, along with their mixed reality platform. But what they did do? The opposite, so now this transition to mixed reality and ultra mobile PCs will have a very, very hard time. Under the current leadership, I am afraid it will not be given the time it needs to be to profitable. But this is not the first instance of failed transitional phases. WM 6.5.x to Wp 7.x to Wp 8.x and to WM10.x. Each phase is filled with a litany of mistakes, burnt bridges and poor implementation. Sure each had their perks but it picked at Wp8 and plateaued at Wp8.1. Which is when they started to rely on telemetry data. Remember the live lock screen showcased to the world but it never was given the chance to succeed?. Cortana was amazing on Wp8.1 and it went down hill after that. There is just so many examples. So yes, the transition to the next stage of computing is dependent on the current phase of computing - Smartphones. But as long Microsoft continues disparage it's own UWP platform for short term profits, don't expect many developers to willingly pick up UWP. Not to mention W10 growth has plateaued, they need smartphones for growth where UWP make perfect sense... but well yeah -at this point it becomes a circular argument. Some of us can see beyond the curve, objectively, subjectively, in first and third. This comes with experience and willingness to understand ones own cognitive bias before anyone else. Once you address your own bias, it enables you to see wonderful things.
  • Have you ever asked how much Google or Apple pay Microsoft in patent royalties?  Do you think this may influence Microsoft's thinking when planning their mobile strategy?   It has been obvious for a long time that the end game was to put full Windows OS on everything.  Why play around with multiply OS variants when one is much easier to manage.  The big challenge to date stopping them from achieveing this goal has been the close tie in with Intel.  Intel has not had a very good processor offering in the mobile space.  It does not shrink down well to a pocket sized device.  So when I hear that Microsoft are releasing Windows on ARM I can finally see the end goal in sight.  Real Windows OS on everything. The only thing to fully complete the vision is Pokemon Go! for Windows.  
  • With MS's investments in Launcher, Office, OneDrive, Cortana, Edge, etc, why not make it possible to run Android in a virtual machine under Windows 10 on a "Surface Mobile"/ARM? Thus customers get apps and Win 10 on the same hardware, with possibilities of data integration. Of course, it would still be necessary to find a use case for such a system so that users actually would use the Windows side of the system.
  • There were trying for that approach at one point but it was abandonded for some reason. I think the thinking was that "why would you buy a Windows Phone to run android apps"... or possibly "why would developers port their apps if they could do that?" Of course, the corralary "why would you buy an andoid phone to run MS Launcher and MS apps" *isn't* considered ridiculous. Personally, I think MS stumbled in mobile with the introduction of Windows 10, but they could have recovered. Now, not so much even if they wanted to.
  • "Of course, the corralary "why would you buy an andoid phone to run MS Launcher and MS apps" *isn't* considered ridiculous." It's not a corollary. Bringing the Android Run Time to Windows Phone would indeed bring the Android apps to WP. However, it would kill developer interest in UWP/Windows Store apps. If you can develop once on Android and have the same app run on Android and on Windows why would you continue to develop Windows-based apps at all for the desktop? It would end Microsoft's vision of transitioning desktop Windows from legacy win32 to UWP, in essence leaving it with a system stuck in a 1990's paradigm while Apple has long since moved on with a modern (i.e. Unix-based)  operating system. From the consumer side it also wouldn't make sense. If you're going to run Android apps, why not run them on Android where they're designed for the UX/UI instead of on a third-party platform? What you termed corollary is a much less dangerous strategy for Microsoft. Developers still have a reason to develop for desktop UWP/Windows Store and mobile users still can be invested in the Windows ecosystem while using iPhones and Android devices (and, make no mistake, aside from the lack of ability to release a launcher or the ability to displace Safari as the default browser, you can bet dollars to doughnuts that Microsoft will target iPhones with higher quality developers than it will Android).
  • Maybe I wasn't entirely precise, but what I suggested has *nothing* to do with what MS has tried in the past. What MS has tried in the past is to have Android apps or iOS apps run *within Windows 10 (Mobile)*, i.e., to install Android apps in Win 10.
    My idea was to instead have two independent OSs installed: Full Android, with Launcher, etc., and standard Win 10. Thus, to actually run Android apps under Android. Then, to run Win apos -- switch to Windows. These OSs can interface via OneDrive, etc. Thus, my suggestion is very similar to buying a Mac, and install Windows, too, on the Mac. When running Windows applications, these are run on the Win OS, and not on OSX. Ok: it is possible that someone has attempted to do this in a hack, but I don't think this is what MS did with their various bridge initiatives.
    Perhaps not a smart idea?... it might reduce development of UWP apps. But I don't really see how this can be avoided anyway, with MS out of the smartphone market: if the "Surface Mobile" is not a smartphone, and people are supposed to buy additional hardware to run Android, why not combine the two in one piece? Then at least customers would save some money. Also, the whole idea of a not-a-smartphone Surface Mobile is to develop new uses that standard smartphones cannot handle. If not, the Surface Mobile is dead anyway. So I don't think my idea would be an UWP killer... the "problem" with such a hardware is it would require more RAM/ROM.
  • Long story short, Microsoft is idiotic company.
  • "Long story short, Microsoft is idiotic company." That makes money hand-over-fist.
  • The irony of walking into a Microsoft store yesterday and asking for one of the remaining Alcatel IDOL 4S phones. Even the MS folks didn't know what it was and since there was no display they had to scramble to find their manager, confirm that indeed the system said they had one in stock and then took 20 minutes to actually FIND the phone. For quite some time now, the HP has been the only phone on display within the stores and the online situation isn't much different. Went to the Apple store afterwards with my son who wants to upgrade his iPhone and there were 20+ iPhone X & 30+ assorted other iPhones on display waiting to be viewed/handled, as well as knowlegable sales staff. Although there were no iPhone Xs to be had because they were sold out (not hidden in the back room like some step child...)  We *almost* walked out with a new iPhone 8, but he decided at the last minute that he couldn't decide between the two (8 or X) so he deferred until the X was back in stock. Vastly different experiences.
  • That's what happens when you're brand focused, by being brand focused Apple shifts alot of devices (in this case phones) and the experience taps into the psychological element - you are more likely to buy a product from a company with whom you have had a positive experience. Microsoft on the other hand, not so much brand focused when it comes to certain hardware and devices.
  • @TechFreak1 "you are more likely to buy a product from a company with whom you have had a positive experience." You sum up the Apple branding experience but miss one important point--it's Apple's philosophy that brings people back because that philosophy is what creates the conditions for that positive experience. In my 30 years of following tech I've always experienced Apple's products as "just working".. You could get down to business right away and do quite difficult things with minimal effort. Windows 7 and now 10 have eroded that advantage on the desktop considerably (to the point that I am now a 99% of the time Windows user), but, even now Macs enjoy an advantage. Apple has one of the highest loyalties in the business, including and seemingly paradoxically software developers because they provide a consistent experience year-after-year. It's that consistency that convinces people to continue buying Apple's products and has made Apple the most profitable large hardware company on the planet.
  • @ED the new guy. Point taken however personally I feel, philosophy falls under 'direction' of a brand by extension product experiences. Which is why companies talk about 'design philosophies' when it comes to product design which enables people to have positive experiences. Which then branches into trend analysis and potential trends through artificial growth (marketing campaigns) alongside organic growth (driven through word of mouth). The latter is more prevalent due to social media these days. Plus at certain price factor, a device becomes a status symbol, 'look at what I'm using'. Hence the sub conscious bias that expensive products are better than cheaper products. Depending on the context, that may be true i.e laptops. Whereas with watches for instance not so much, as the primary function of a watch is to tell the time. A £20,000 watch will do the same job as £300 watch, however the sub conscious element that 'i have something you can't afford' has no price tag. Hence why £20,000 watches still sell despite being nonsensical in the grand scheme of things.
  • Why Ms doesn't tell us this things directly is a mystery. They destroyed themselves. But for me it doesn't matter so much. I use my 950 because I love it. When I'll find something more convenient I will take that. If they can't figure it out they'll lose even people like me. But that's their problem.
  • Whatever Microsoft is building we already know it’s not going to work, they will not support it and it will go the path of the phone. The PC market is shrinking, all apps are going cloud and if you can’t do it on a mobile then it’s not worth doing. The big mistake was Microsoft said they are a software company not a hardware company. This is going to kill off the entire company, Xbox is now in free fall as it also has an app gap. People who purchased them as an entertainment device are starting to come to terms with it and look at other products. The exit from music sales, the soon to come exit from movies. It’s all winding down. The question is will they be able to sell it off or will the company just die.
  • What a hilarious comment! Whether MS has any clue about how to make consumer products, their bet on the cloud is making big bucks for them.
  • "Microsoft said they are a software company not a hardware company" That is what they are. That is what they've been for the majority of their existence. Apple and Microsoft have existed side-by-side for three decades, sometimes as partners, sometimes as competitors. Microsoft has entered into the premium market with Surface to provide a "brand" that can go head-to-head with Apple. That's wise and has remediated Microsoft's image somewhat. But, they have a long way to go to compete directly with Apple. Microsoft has a decades-long legacy of being a monopolist. While it succeeded business-wise it also succeeded in planting in people's minds the seed that Microsoft is ruthless and unethical. With Bill Gates at the helm Microsoft had to fork over three quarters of a billion dollars to Netscape because they illegally used their monopoly to destroy Netscape, thereby harming the users of the early internet. Now that Bill Gates has left they are no longer synonymous with corrupt, but, they do not yet fully understand why Apple enjoys the highest customer loyalty in a business otherwise characterized by extremely low loyalty.
  • Those idiots will soon kill off Skype, Cortana, Bing...then surface and xbox. It is a habbit for MS to simply ditch things and do not give a damn about it. I seriously think of selling my Xbox 1 along with the account that has many digital purchased games, and go to PS4.
  • So it was just another case of people reporting personal biases and calling it news. It's become the norm in several areas beyond technology. In reporting Microsoft's mobile strategy, more assumptions were reported as fact as opposed to pointing out they myriad of unanswered questions which was the ACTUAL news as opposed to requrgitated assumptions having few sources to substantiate. True, Microsoft could have communicated more effectively but reporters using carte blanche to pass off opinion as fact is a slap in the face of journalistic integrity.
  • It is ALL MS's fault, why can't they just directly talk about their plans? Why leave so much up to speculation? Why be so damn vague about it? It is REALLY ridiculous how MS has handled mobile and is %100 their own fault for everything.
  • Well you said it and that really represent the views of most of you folks writers and analysts of trends and tech innovation. However, knowing that Microsoft is always ahead 1st before anyone in this work of the mind Transformation, peoples like us never mind your own opinions. We rely on our own self believe. The killer i know is coming and must come it must be from Microsoft.
  • i just got away from windows 10 phone BUT I  got my new phone on a 2 yr next plan so if a new windows device does come out i can pay it off and go back to the thing from microsoft.
  • It was a sad day when I moved to Android.  Although the S8 is good hardware, Android is well not near as nice as Win10 mobile IMO.  We've been told Win10 mobile is horrible so I think Android Nougat must be something, I was very disapointed.  No icon message notifications, even on native Google apps?  I have to use a horrible Samsung apps to get an unread messages icon idicator?  Have you used their horrible built in apps?  But I guess this is life now, like the other sheep moving through one static app screen to the next.  My kids will never know Win10 mobile, what a shame.
  • Nadella didn't see why Microsoft was in mobile, not recognizing that Microsoft were in mobile before ANY of their current competitors. Microsoft have built their empire on Operating Systems. When people needed desktops, Windows ruled the world. Now most people can do pretty much all they need to via their phone or a tablet. They hardly need a laptop, never mind a desktop. From dominating desktop market, Microsoft are struggling to exist in mobile. A mobile world running iOS, Android, Chrome, but not Windows. I don't understand how Microsoft threw mobile away. Strategy doesn't seem to be the word for it, unless you'd call a pack of dogs tearing themselves apart, a strategic option.  For me, two miss-steps stand out  1 Microsoft have mastered the Osbourne effect - announcing the next version which will be so much better, but not having it available to buy. Sales of the existing halt as everyone waits for the new shiny. Or goes to rival systems. 2 Carrying on Nokia's strategy of chucking a blizzard of handsets out the door, all similarly named, some low specced. Confusing customers. Wasn't a lesson from Apple to make ONE desirable object. In the months after Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia, out came so many Lumias. Some with decent specs, and some budget crap, tarnishing the brand. Then there was promotion, or the lack of it. On desktop, you had to make a real effuto go away from Microsoft. Not so in mobile. Plenty Android devices plenty cheap. Or for a little more each month, have an iPhone.  Finally, after the wait, Windows 10 mobile appeared. And it was a buggy mess that's still being put right.    
  • "Nadella didn't see why Microsoft was in mobile, not recognizing that Microsoft were in mobile before ANY of their current competitors. Microsoft have built their empire on Operating Systems. When people needed desktops, Windows ruled the world." I'm sure Nadella fully understood that Microsoft was second-only to Apple in entering mobile since he's been active with Microsoft since the early 90's. He took over the helm of the Microsoft juggernaut long after iPhone had come to dominate mobile and Android had captured the attention of the bulk of OEMs. FYI Apple and Microsoft have had a mobile line of devices/OSes for the same number of years over the last quarter century--the iPhone and even the iPod did not come out of a vacuum. Apple had shipping mobile devices in 1993, before Microsoft even had its own mobile OS with shipping devices. Apple has been developing mobile devices starting in 1987, a full 20 years before they finally had a hit with the iPhone! "I don't understand how Microsoft threw mobile away. Strategy doesn't seem to be the word for it, unless you'd call a pack of dogs tearing themselves apart, a strategic option."   They enjoyed a brief period where they translated their desktop success into mobile success. But, you have to remember that BlackBerry was still HUGE at that time and Windows Mobile relatively small with few handsets of note. Apple hit a home run with the iPhone and came out with a compelling product that did what users needed it to do. Microsoft may have had a headstart but Apple is the company that finally provided a mobile device that "just worked", no training required, no tech savvy required. "Wasn't a lesson from Apple to make ONE desirable object. In the months after Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia, out came so many Lumias. Some with decent specs, and some budget crap, tarnishing the brand." That is a lesson Microsoft has learned well. That's why the Surface exists. Few devices that do a decent job (albeit with enough problems to cause a well known consumer ratings organization to reccomend against their purchase).
  • So, having been involved with MS since the early 90's, Nadella has been a participant in the demise of mobile. Explains many things. Is he, in his heart of hearts, unable to see why MS was in mobile? It's the OS and the entry point for computing. Nadella has skin in this game it would seem. In his time at MS he has been involved when MS  mobile ruled the world. Let's ask him the really important question ..... why did MS decide to leave mobile? What was his role? What was his participation in decisions to leave mobile. Is he so naive to think that hardware, in the form of the computing power of handsets, would overwhelm his desktop  and is he really intent on driving MS down the IT pecking order?
  • First, that device in the video was amazing. I would buy something like that. I actually do have something like that, come to think of it. It's a Galaxy Note 5.  Samsung has had software like that for years now. It also comes in a larger form factor known as the Galaxy Tab 3. So, even if MS puts something like this out, they already have a lot of competition from one of the most popular mobile devices ever. I'm not bashing, just stating facts.  Maybe MS should have just hired Nokia to build and sell their products instead of buying the company. . BlackBerry seems to be doing very well now that they have gone down that path. The KeyOne is the most successful product in years. Samsung or HP would be great for something like this. Microsoft just doesn't seem to get mobile. They don't play very well with others. Hand it off to someone else like BlackBerry did.   
  • I'll say this forever: Dear MS, just release Android ROM's for lumia phones and save us from this torture. Since you won't succeed the platform, give us a hand for transfer us to a living OS. It can't be that hard. I dont want to waste my Lumia 950's hardware and pay for a new phone, it is powerfull enough for running android smoothly.
  • Microsoft thinks, they should bet on their winning hardware, desktop tablet and xbox. Let me tell you something, desktop is dead, tablet is semidead, same as notebook, and xbox is on a bad path, due wrong exclusive games. The future is obvious, if microsoft don't go back at mobile, they will loose everything. The idea of one ecosystem is not bad at all, I use my xbox as a pc right now, and it has plenty of good apps. The key right now is the app support, a developer that can do 1 app for 3-4 different devices without any added effort. But, it seems like a short hype, because nobody wants to loose time to make apps for a pc or an xbox.
  • All of this talk about a "post smartphone era" is absurdly premature.   Smartphones are less than 10 years old.   PCs are over 30 years old.    The truth is, we are just now entering the post PC era.   PCs used to be the center of consumer computing.  They were literally called Personal Computers.   But a phone - or even a tablet - is WAY more personal.  Because you can take it wherever you go.  It has a camera and microphones to record events.  And 57 other valid reasons.   Smartphones are NOT going away any time soon.  Certainly not in the next 10 years.  Yes, MS completely missed the train, but everyone else is doing just fine.  Plus, as phones become more powerful, the need for Windows laptops - and particularly desktops - decreases.   The idea that MS is going to revolutionize everything with a tablet that can make calls (IOW, a big phone) that is running Windows 10 - of all things - is patently absurd.   People are moving away from Windows, for various reasons.   Not the least of which is that there are no MOBILE apps for Windows.  UWP is going nowhere, and developers are leaving by the bus load, so there will never be any MOBILE apps. 
  • I work and see more people with phones, tablets, and devices to do everything.  They don't use a single MS ecosystem, no outlook, no skype, no office, no windows 10 desktop, they dont own a pc.  When they go to look for a computer they get an ipad instead.  I have literally worked with people that havent seen a windows desktop in their life.  Sad part?  They are now or will be soon the majority.
  • Exactly.  Windows has become “what you use at work to run Word and Excel”.  Outside of that, consumers have no need for it these days.  Therefore, a “telephony enabled tablet PC running full Windows 10” will go nowhere.  It will be seen by the general public as Yet Another Windows Phone - most of whom thought that “Windows Phones” were always running Windows. 
  •  what of the assertation that Windows needs to have a vibrant developer community working to fillup in the store. Without this Windows is going nowhere. Windows Mobile, we were told, was vital to this and the closure of windows phone means that this impetus has gone and the end of Windows as an operating system is on the cards... however flashy it now looks, it is only serving old x86 programs from a bygone era. 
  • "Old x86 programs from a bygone era" is exactly why I don't get the people here who claim that "full Windows 10 in my pocket will be a game changer".   Why?   Who is asking for this?   Exactly what x86 programs will be useful when you are on the road?   More importantly, how will these old apps be installed?   Hookup a USB DVD drive?   Wow, that is really forward-looking.  Bring along ancient hardware to run your ancient software.  Can I bring along a CRT monitor too?  A serial mouse?  A parallel port printer? It all sounds like a desperate, last ditch attempt to remain relevant in a mobile, wireless world.  
  • HP was on the right track with the Elite X3. What MS should have done, and I said it the first day I saw continuum....is allow x64/32 emulation via continuum.  So that real work could be done.  When not in continuum limit it to 'mobile apps'  but all the UWP to know so that it can go back and forth.  So say...excel, i can do quick edits on the phone.  Put it on continuum it is now the desktop app. Not to mention they missed a big boat by not bundling the phone with the xbox  for free, and make the xbox app on the phone actually usable and not take away functions. Apple is winning because they have a connected ecosystem, my phone rarely works with the pc.  Hell i get a news notification on my pc, without a mic installed it now freezes up my start menu.  Why is this a problem?  Because why in the hell does me clicking on the notification open up the start menu and tell me to go look on my phone for the fracking news.  If I have the news app installed, the damn thing should take me to the desktop news app.  Not freeze up my startscreen saying cortana can't hear me....only works again with a reboot. The ecosystem is clunky as all F.
  • Microsoft couldn't have done a better job of destroying customer goodwill if it had tried. Surely the costs of continuing to produce a couple of smartphone models until it was ready to launch something better wouldn't have cost the company as much as it has lost as a result of lying to Windows Phone fans. Not easy to forgive a liar.
  • I agree consistent story telling helps the reader. But before Jason, or any MSFT blogger puts the blame on oneself, I do think we have to consider MFSTs inconsistent strategies over time too. How is a reporter even to start making sense of all the naming lingo Microsoft has made over time transitioning from windows mobile 6.x OS and windows mobile devices, to windows phones and Windows PHone OS 7 and and then back to wi dows "10" mobile, again. And that for the smartphone OS. It is no wonder things got lost in translation along the way. I think Microsoft keynotes over the last two years have been far from transparent. We all had to read harder between the lines more than ever. And the mobile strategy with Microsoft is still far from clear. I think it is only understandable that bloggers content is confusing at times. But consistency and less click bait would help keep perspective. Windows mobile as dead, in my view is a personal journey, and everyone's perspective is generally different. While many seem to have transitioned, in their writings, away from 10 mobile, I still find myself finding the OS more productive and stable over time, oddly. So I'm confused about the outcry of the dead platform, compared to my experiences of daily use. I do however sense that microsoft often.behaves as if they're lising what important right in front of them, while the seem preoccupied with the next idea. This while the older idea, seems yet again, half baked or partially done. I think this trend is increasing, fast. I find this mindboggling, especially when they're opened up the dialogue with a bottom up approach, to adress many issues, yet the end result shows, many messages don't seem to get across somehow. The mysteries of Microsoft! Exciting! Magical? Who knows?  
  • Who's really responsible? The more I read comments on this article, the more I realize it was Windows Phone/Mobile users that killed the platform. I followed Windows Phone since the last few Windows Phone 7 devices came out. And I was excited enough about it when Windows Phone 8 came out that I bought a Nokia 920. I even bought stock in Nokia. I became a staunch supporter of Windows phone, and kept up with the latest news. I honestly can't tell you that I can remember a bigger bunch of whiners than most Windows Phone users are...were. Even though Microsoft delivered enviable features time after time, nobody was ever happy. It seemed to me that no matter what Microsoft did it was never good enough for Windows Phone users. Is Microsoft perfect? Certainly not. What company is? How many of you are? Was Windows Phone perfect? Certainly not. Is any platform? I'm not suggesting we should have gathered around a circle to sing Kumbaya. But the negativity got so bad I wouldn't read comments on articles anymore. So instead of going online and complaining about every little stupid thing, I talked it up to my friends and showed them all the great features Windows Phone offered. Most people were very impressed. I'm not intending to pat myself on the back, but if all of us had been more supportive it might have gained a better foothold, and we might still be using a fantastic operating system and great hardware. I've been using Android for the past few months. I can't tell you how much I miss my Windows phone. It was just easier to use and seemed so natural and smooth. In the end the apps won out and Android seemed to be the best alternative. And while I like some of the features Android offers, I still believe Windows Phone/Mobile was much better. I'm sure I'll be accused of sticking my head in the sand. But while you were bashing Windows phone, I was making suggestions to Microsoft for things they might want to consider changing. And I was pleasantly surprised when they listened. Things rarely get better unless the criticism is constructive. So, when the next whatever-Microsoft-is-making device comes out, I hope we'll be more supportive this time around.
  • If/when another Microsoft device comes out, there will be no one around to care.   The majority have moved on.   Supportive?   How much more did I have spend on dead end devices to be "supportive"?   I had a 920, 2 icons, 2 1520s and a 950 XL.  Windows phone users were very passionate and supportive.   I sold them all (except 1 1520) and moved on to Apple.  I am typing this on a 13" iPad Pro.  It is extremely nice.   I also have a 6s plus iPhone, and an 8 plus is coming tomorrow.  The difference is, these are not dead end devices.  All will be supported for 4 or 5 years.  There are loads of available apps, cases, accessories etc.  Don't talk to me about being "supportive".  Don't blame the users.   This situation is ENTIRELY Microsoft's fault.  
  • ^this
  • It is not the users fault by any means.  Just talking about my phones ability was enough to get people intersted....the next question...oh wow where did you get it?  Online from MS.  So I can't get it at the store....nope.  Cases? Amazon.  Not at walmart? Nope.  What about apps?  Well we had some but MS keeps dicking around with emulation...So I hope we get it.  Oh ok then.  And I lost them, cause they couldn't freaking get one.  Unless they went to cricket and got a cheap 50 buck phone instead of the 950xl. And screw you about support, excuse my french, but I do take that line we are responsible personal. As an owner of the SDA, PDA, one of the very first winCE based phones, the HTC HD, the HTC 8x, the 925 (three of them) a 640, 640xl, 1020's, 3 1520's, a 930, 950, 950xl, 4 alcatel 5.5in, 4 alcatel 4s's.  Supporting a family of 7 users on their windows phones.  Talking great about the hardware wherever I go, showing off continuum whenever I can....even so much as throwing continuum on open tvs at walmart, costco and more to show it off!  Don't forget my multiple band 1's, band 2's, purchasing two surfaces, laptops, being an insider for desktop.   Don't for once tell me or the users we killed the freaking damn phone. We demanded more from a company with the greatest minds.  And they got killed by a startup OS that even Samsung didn't want to buy at one point.  Says alot.
  • It is just hard for people to get the message that Microsoft has been profoundly incompetent in this area. We keep expecting them to do the sensible thing and invest and fight to keep things going and moving. They bought the farm then let everything on it die by neglect. It seems writers are listening with their head to the patient's chest for signs of life. Observers are expecting the doctor to do something clever to save the patient. No one can understand that the silence is just that silence, nothing much is happening. Microsoft will make money from other stuff Office and the Desktop is still important. They missed a massive opportunity but if one thing Microsoft is consistent about and that is missing massive opportunities and Nadella follows the tradition. If people still are waiting for Elvis that is fine but I have to break the bad news that Elvis is dead.
  • Spot on comment.  But even better, great name lol.  
  • I have seen more google home commercials in one week than the entire life of windows phones back to win7. MS is pathetic at ads for mobile.  No one cares because no one sees it.  They think they can stick their name on it and go d**k waiving and people will come. They did that to the Zune, Band, Phone, Groove and more.
  • "Mobile" means phones. Period. When the hell are you and Microsoft going to realize that? That's all that matters. All people want from their Mobile device is a phone with apps. Based on what you are trying to convince us of and what MS is trying to turn Mobile into, Any 8" tablet that makes calls or has Skype installed is a Mobile device. Yeah I guess it is, I can take it with me when I go somewhere. But I can take a 17" laptop, an Xbox or hell, even a fold up chair with me wherever I go. That doesn't make them mobile.  Throwing phone capabilities into something that doesn't fit in your pocket doesn't mean you are in the mobile space. The fact that they are trying so hard, and apparently have succeeded with some people already, to convince us that these things are Mobile devices is pathetic. At least with the Surface they did try to create or atleast advance a new category of devices. They are trying to convince us they are doing the same thing now but they're not. They're not crating any new category here, they're just trying to create a new definition for things that already exist with added phone capabilities.  This is not mobile. Mobile to 99.9% of the every day person out there that spend their hard earned money on things is a phone that goes from their pocket or purse to their ear. It has apps and games on it and takes pictures and selfies. That is what "mobile" is. There is nothing MS can do to change that and there is no twist you can put on this to change what "mobile" means to people either. This is like apple telling people they are holding their phones wrong. MS, and you, are trying to tell us we are defining "mobile" wrong.  I may love this device (assuming it happens) and spend1500-2000 bucks on it. A lot of others on this site might do the same. Doesn't matter. Doesn't change a thing. Phones are Mobile..period, and without phones MS has no Mobile presence and no future in the consumer space. And no device MS is developing is going to fill that category. There is nothing confusing about any of this. MS and apparently some tech writers, are the only ones who just don't understand.
  • Hi Awhisperecho A smartphone is mobile. A tablet is mobile. A laptop is mobile. Of those mobile devices only one, the smartphone, is a phone. Many types of devices can fit in the mobile space. Smartwatches, like the Apple Watch which now has telephony is mobile. Smartglasses like ODG's S8 and S9, which are the first devices to have used Qualcomms Snapdragon 835 chip, are mobile devices. ODGs CEO sees adding telephony to smartglasses and shared it will add a production cost of $6 (which shows he's seriously looking into it). The Apple Watch with telephony is a Watch. It's not a phone. But it IS a mobile device. ODGs smartglasses, if telephony comes to subsequent models will still be smartglasses. They won't be a phone. But they will still be a mobile device. A Surface Pro with Skype, using just voice or video is using telephony capabilities. Its not a phone. It's a PC. But it's still a mobile device. Many device types can exist in the mobile space, execute telephony capabilities, but not be a phone. Even new categories that have yet to be presented.
  • Ohh awesome. Now is when writers who didn't know what the hell they were talking about for years act like they know what they are talking about. 
  • Hi Tjalsma I've described a inking focused pocket PC with the full power of Windows for years. Project Andromeda is an inking focused pocket PC with the full power of Windows. (Core OS, not a neutered version of Windows like W10M).
  • I am starting to think these types of articles are almost like a click bait to get comments to make the writer and story seem relevant when we all know it is the same old story written in a "different" way. Maybe we all just stop commenting on them and they will go away like Microsoft's mobile ambitions.
  • Hi fly_branch Please post the link here where I've written a piece where I hold writers and others with a voice accountable for posting pieces and making comments that are reactive to short-term shifts or events without taking the broader context of Microsoft and mobile into consideration. That's what this piece is clearly about. Please post the link here where I've written about this before. Here are all my pieces in one place to help you find what you claim I've written about to make things a little easier for you: www.windowscentral.com/author/jason-ward
    Thanks for reading. 🙂 And if you didn't read it in its entirety please revisit the piece😉
  • Hey fly. You're just NOW starting to think this?  Annoying articles, annoying self indulgent opening, annoying and (for the most part) completely inaccurate "analysis". 
  • Please provide a well articulated point by point rebuttal analysis.
  • Your link made my point. Same old same old. Maybe you should read them again.
  • Please post the link here where I've written a piece where I hold writers and others with a voice accountable for posting pieces and making comments that are reactive to short-term shifts or events without taking the broader context of Microsoft and mobile into consideration.
  • In short, MS management has no idea what they are doing. You are wasting a lot of words and time on a simple issue!
  • If MS can't even get the tablet mode on a Surface Pro to be seamless how can they get even a smaller PC that fits in a pocket to work well? Also, most of the Windows 10 apps are really buggy and aren't well supported. I think MS has some hard years ahead.
  • Put a fork in it until further notice, they should probably be re-assigning you to other projects at this point.
  • Please post the link here JimmyFal where I wrote an indictment against writers who write reactive pieces absent a big picture perspective in mobile. Here's all of my work: www.windowscentral.com/author/jason-ward You'll find quite a diversity of work and I love to see your comments on the pieces where I wrote about Microsoft embrace of blind, deaf, paralyzed, and people with autism, and the tech the company brought forth to help them. You're also welcome to comment on the pieces about smartglasses, AR and VR, Microsoft and consumers, Quantum computing, AI, Microsoft's platform strategy, Microsoft's partnership with Qualcomm, Microsoft's contributions to the world and much more. I'm not sure that I see your comments on a wide variety of "projects" I have covered. The content is there. Which is a contrasting reality to your snark which suggests to me that you're not aware of the breadth of content I write. You're welcome to comment on that other content as you have chosen to comment here.😉
  • The snark is actually directed at Microsoft. I'm fully aware of your articles, and have commented a lot less in general on this site, mostly because I'm pissed at Microsoft for abandoing a passionate base of which I was once one of the most passionate. I used to have an enormous respect for what Microsoft taught me, never give up. I am a MIcrosoft fan, because as young boy I wrote a letter to Bill Gates, and I got a phone call in return, and some free software to boot. That was the Microsoft that inspired me. Now I see a company that has a user base of 400- 500  million, many of them are consumers, and all I see in the mobile space are Google Play Store and Apple Store. They quit. When they come back with something other than total silence I wlll start listening again. You keep up your passion on your end. Don't let words absent vocal tonality, get to you.  JF
  • After two decades of windows phone devices I finally turned my hip Elite x3 in. Samsung Note 8 the device that rules all. It's marveled, pen ink dual cam, full integration with me Samsung Book 12". Both pens work on both devices. Our bussines forces me trough airwatch mdm agent. Outlook does not work with me business mail account, not supported. After 4 days of tweaking the phone structure and installing Microsoft launcher the feel of its mine is back. The Note 8 is a great device and all my home demotica at home works better then before. Part due to a faster phone, but for most the availability of apps io web apps. On the w10 phone it did work but now it flows. A few things did finally pushed me this way. One for most killing Lumia. Two Killing me band 1 and 2. Three Garmin not working on W10M, even with a great garmin app, Bluetooth concistently failed to sync the watch. Four no new devices. The list is endless and all weather related issues, short term failures of Microsoft starting and killing devices. Groove is the latest big mistake. Onedrive not working as it should be on the Note 8. One sync a playstore app saves the day. Sync a folder from any place in the Note 8 to any place in Onedrive. Full control on mobile data to a large SD, finally. Onedrive should work on a phone like the Fall 3 update on me Samsung Book. The weathet changed from me to Droid, my hart is still at Microsoft for the big picture. The future is promising, but will they ever understand consumers.
  • article #21998 from Jason saying the same thing again.  Guess he needs to earn his check somehow.
  • Actually Sandstorm you must not have read thoroughly because the thesis of this piece was laid out in the opening, consistently revisited and supported throughout and reiterated in the closing. The focus being that the press and vocal techies have been reactive to "Windows phone news", short term events, without having a long term view, which causes the consistent ups and downs of the Windows phone narrative we've seen over the years. I stressed that absent a big picture view (Microsoft's goal to bring full Windows to pocket), most writers, outlets and anyone with a voice have made sweeping declarations about Microsoft's mobile investments or lack therefore based on shifts in short term objectives or announcements. I gave the example of Joe Belfiorie's confirmation of Windows 10 Mobiles imminent demise leading to many writers and others stating that he (Microsoft) confirmed Microsoft was done with mobile. But anyone looking beyond a news-to-news perspective knows that Windows 10 Mobile and Microsoft's investments in mobile are two different things. We've been reiterating W10M would be replaced by Windows 10 on mobile (Core OS) for months. Sadly, members of the press and others (which again was the focus of this piece which many seem to have missed) failed to have that perspective and pushed out articles that Microsoft announced its done with mobile based on Joes comments. The focus of this piece was how the press and voices on social media are reactive to short term events, absent the broader context, and thereby provides a disjointed and inconsistent narrative. Please reread, it seems you and some others missed that point though that's how I opened, restated it throughout and ultimately concluded the piece.
  • It's Sunstorming there Jerimiah.  :)  And you have written the same article in different ways for months now.  THE SAME ARTICLE.  The end.  Find something else to do.. it's worn and tired.
  • I actually do quite a variety of topics Sunstorming (sorry I got your handle wrong earlier)😉 from inclusion of people with disabilities, earning money with Bing, Smartglasses, Microsoft CEO admitting to abandoning consumers, AR and VR, Quantum Computing, Edge computing, iPhone X and more. Here's my work: www.windowscentral.com/author/jason-ward You're welcome to jump in and comment on any of those articles. Since you're looking for something different as you visit the above link you'll see a piece that posted Monday about MS embracing people with visual impairments and one that posted Wed how MS is embracing the hearing impaired. You'll also see one about MS embracing people with autism and another about MS embracing people with ALS. Perhaps since you're looking for something "new" from me, you can visit these recent and/or a diversity of older pieces that you'll see at that above link and you can add thoughtful comments to them. You state "this topic" is getting tired but you comment here.🙂 Yet, I have a LOT of other content there where I'm not seeing you comment. You are welcome to jump in on those pieces Sunstorming and let you voice be heard! Also if so inclined please paste the link to the article where I wrote an indictment against writers who post reactive posts absent a big picture perspective🤔
  • For me if there's actual "news" about Andromeda or actual "phones", I want to hear about it. Someone who commented before me said the foldable device would be stupid. Initially I might agree. But then again, I've seen what Panos can do. If HE believes in it, then at minimum it will be beautiful. Usability? Who knows. Had there been articles about a big smartphone with NO calling capabilities that apple was thinking about making, people would have murdered it in the comments. We all have our opinions. But then Steve Job announces a big smartphone with NO calling abilities...aka a tablet. And a LOT of people use them. We didn't know what we wanted/needed until we saw it. Until it was in front of our faces. So again..initially, I'm not sure if I'll want a foldable pc in my pocket that focuses on inking. But who knows. Im open. I'll gladly pay for a beautiful device with a beautiful OS.......on Verizon.
  • And what exactly Panos can do? Immitating Apple in every possible way and not telling the number of Surface devices sold publicly?
  • What can Panos do? At minimum...create beautiful devices. That look and feel nothing like Apple devices.
  • Yea, everybody can create beautiful devices (copying Apple btw, and talking about minimalism, just like Apple for the past 30 years). Difference is in the "feel nothing like Apple devices". Yes they don't, because they are **** compared to Apple devices. Apple devices are a perfect symbiote between hardware and software with optimizations beyond MIcrosoft's abilities (just look at Final Cut Pro). Surface on the other hand are just cool hardware and abominated by Windows, just like any other OEM. Not a single difference. Microsoft creates the software and the hardware and absolutely 0 symbiosis between these two, just like any other OEM. So what's exactly the point of this beatuful hardware? (aslo beaty is in the ey...) I like HP Spectre
  • You guys should just follow my blog then. LOL Consistent message/analysis and I predicted many of MS moves over the years months before MS made them public and days to weeks before news outlets published their news/views. Although you'd be bored to death if you read my blog since I don't publish unless there's something major brewing at MS. All analysis are based on the developer tools/announcements made public and their implications for short & long term. OK, enough self-promo. I think there is nothing wrong about the way Windows Phone is portrayed actually. Unlike BlackBerry's RIM OS & WebOS, MS did not actually kill WP. It will be supported to 2019 at least. Future Mobile efforts are focused on Win 10 and IoT. I foresee Win10Mo stacks to trickle into Win10IoT as embedded microcontrollers become more powerful. But ARM SoC are rapidly gaining capabilities so much so that the next gen Snapdragon will be faster than Atom x7 in overall performance (INT, FPU, GPU, SIMD.) After Win10ARM tablets and laptops launches, I'm hoping to see mentions of more mobile cellular stack added to Win10 RS4, which may indicate MS is ready to launch the mythical Surface Phone/Mobile/Foldable/whatever. ;)
  • To say that MS hasn't essentially killed WP is just plain silly. Just because there is no RIP date doesn't make it any less dead.
  • At least the weather has forecasting.  And people talk about the weather. MS had not W10m strategy.  Ironically, they are going to go the way of Nokia - living in name only.... Trends in weather form 'climate' Like the Dinosaurs they failed to adapt to the climate....and will go extinct.  The world will forget the desktop OS and all spawns of it.  Xbox can't live alone.  Cortana will say her last words.  Their cloud strategy will be out competed by the evolving clouds (Asia) Welcome to the Android period...where the mobile OS grows into the world OS... Sell W10m to someone innovative!  Sell it to HP...give it to Amazon, cut a deal....    
  • you are seriously reaching lol. all the things you talked about are hail mary's for Microsoft. Cloud and Office is where Microsoft is at right now. Anything connecting MS and anything "mobile" related will fail. 
  • I see many intelligent comments in this thread being down-voted. I think you guys don't get it. MS is a software company. When we talk about Windows Phone, we're talking about 2 things, the hardware and the software. In this case, Jason is talking about the software, which MS license to OEMs to make hardware. The OS and the software stack that goes with it is the key to any hardware, like how Android and its Shell defines the user experience more than the hardware over the long-term. There will be NO more Windows Phone coming from Microsoft ever. This is the part that you guys are angry or ecstatic about. I get it, it's upsetting and confusing, made worse because MS refuse to share their mobile plans in advance ever since Steve Elop stepped down. Angry if you were a fan and ecstatic if you're a hater. However, on the software front, Joe Belfiore has publicly announced that no further features will be introduced in the Win10Mo OS. BUT, the OS will be kept up to date until 2019 so all current Windows Phone will still work fine at least until 2019. This includes future API changes made to Win 10 which will be back-ported to Win10Mo to allow interoperability with Cortana on Win10 and other features coming to RS4/5/6. Indeed, the handover feature in Android and IOS is actually in Win10Mo FCU. My Lumia 950XL and Elite X3 are all working fine now on FCU, definitely NOT dead or bricked. You seem to relish that fact but don't get that MS will eventually release a Mobile device that has phone function with full Windows 10 running on it. They just wouldn't say when and how. Look at MS history, the Surface family of hybrid laptops is a DIRECT result of almost 10 years of the "failed TabletPC" experiment. Look at where we are now. I owned an Acer TabletPC and currently own a Fujitsu TabletPC and a Surface. I'm looking to buy the Surface Pro LTE too. Don't call my sharing the MS history and potential future silly. That would be short-sighted. ;)
  • Nearly all Windows phone users DGAF about squeezing a Windows PC into the pocket. The experience of WP was vastly different than a windows computer; if that is the next route, good luck to Nadella getting enterprise on board... no consumers will be interested, and the BYOD option at companies won't get this device much traction unless employees are forced to use a company-supplied secondary device. Project Astoria was Windows Phone's only hope. Now that I have an elitex3 and have experienced the best w10m offering, I've concluded that tge L1520 on 8.1 was the highlight.
  • Talking about the bad press, yes it's all their fault, all the time! It's a shame that their own executives embrace Android and iOS and dreaming that the enterprise will support them now. Nahhh!
  • Well, Jason I have enjoyed reading your articles over the years, and I have enjoyed your imagination of what could have been. But I do believe now that you are just fooling yourself about a truly mobile windows (ie w10 pocket PC, aka phone device) surface in the foreseeable future.
    Without the other things people expect (ie apps, programs at phone scale) in an ultra mobile device even stuff like off-the-charts inking and x86 will do nothing to win them market share.
    It would be nice if they could/would just hire HTC or LG to make an Android powered Surface Phablet and skin it with Metro launcher, great inking, one note, and other enhanced MS service tie-ins... But they won't. Arrow and MS launcher would be so much better if built in.
    They're already going all-in on Android anyways. It's all about cloud and services and 365.
  • Well, Ruster, I appreciate your support🙂 but my "imagination" has absolutely nothing to do with what sources in Microsoft have divulged (as I'm sure you've read) regarding what the company IS doing with Project Andromeda.
    What my "imagination" or better put, analysis provided, before those sources information was put out, lines up with what those sources provided.
    Now, a distinction you must make, which I find myself continuing to have to reiterate, is that my PRESENTATION of what Microsoft is doing is NOT a claim it will succeed.
    Thus, "rebuttals" that: "Microsoft is not planning that Jason, because here are the reasons it won't succeed." - are not an accurate argument against what I'm presenting.
    Microsoft IS investing in Project Andromeda as we speak. Whether it makes it to market (initial enterprise focus) and ultimately succeeds is the question. There is no question if it is a real project.
    The McLaren was real and was canceled, and Microsoft won't launch what is currently Project Andromeda unless they feel everything lines up.
    So no, I'm not fooling myself. It is a real project. I presented analysis to that effect before confirming information was brought forward. I'm not claiming it will succeed, just that the strategy exists.
    I think the frustration, feelings of betrayal and cynicism of some cause many to miss the simple statement I'm making and presume a presentation of information is an advocating that it will succeed. That is not the case.
  • if you are just presenting information and I guess we have had an overdose of the same, with no new updates. Appreciate your recent(other than this) pieces not related to this surface unicorn.
  • Techiez thanks for the support. It seems that many have missed the point that this piece is focused on the inconsistent reactive reporting of writers.
  • OK. Not buying your analysis -beyond just this article. You're not now, and have not in the past, just 'read the news' but have tried to divine some grand, sweeping mobile MS victory out of the various tidbits of info coming from MS. I not buying it anymore. You're leaps of logic and projections of MS 'strategy' have not equated to reality in any substantial way so far... I don't have a usable MS phone (ultra portable W PC)... Too bad, as I think wm8.1 won't be topped. Luckily, I do now have a very useful Android Pocket Computer (ie a phone). Good luck to you.
    I agree with others here that even if MS launched a small computing device now, chances are I would steer well clear of it. PS not sure its healthy when you use your own previous articles as references of proof or of previous 'facts revealed'.
  • I would argue that my analysis is actually playing out in what we're hearing about Project Andromeda. Now your rebuttal seems based primarily upon your feelings of potential success. I'm not saying it will succeed. Reread this and other recent posts if you doubt that. So your description of me expecting some "sweeping victory" is not what any discerning reader will see in my pieces. You see a presentation of what MS is doing and what their desired or expected outcome is, often with my deliberate acknowledgement that it may or may not succeed. So your rebuttal to the piece seems based a lot on the fact it may fail. Simply because success isn't guaranteed doesn't mean it isn't the strategy they are attempting. Again, Project Andromeda is a real project currently underway at Microsoft.
  • Nice try Jason, but FFS stop dreaming and smoking whatever you are smoking. MS FAILED monumentaly in the consumer space with almost everything, almost. They have lied over and over again and still they keep delivering mediocre quality. No matter what kind of pocket PC they come up with, who on earth would be stupid enough to trust their money into it again?? Tablet experience on windows 10 is sub mediocre, their presence in the phone business was a total embarrassment and their leader has zero vision over what a customers is. No matter how hard you fans try, MS dug their own grave with the never ending crap talking and lies. I will never swithc back to a company that I can no longer trust, a company that above all others, more than any other company there, gives no damn about the quality of the products and has ZERO respect towards me as a customer! I work every day with this pathethic windows 10 junk and every day I ask myself what on earth are they doing with this OS?? If you like being a guinea pig, a lab rat for MS, that's fine, it;s your life, your time, your call, but do not assume that everyone is on the same page! Many of us have had enough of being free beta testers for MS's mediocre environment.
  • Mmgn, please reread the article this is a focus on or indictment of the inconsistent and reactive reporting of various writers.
    I opened with that, reiterated the point throughout and revisited it in the conclusion. I even stated in the end that all writers don't even need to share the same opinion as long as their narrative has a big picture perspective and is consistent. That at least provides readers with a consistent narrative.
    Like many here in the comments, you seem to have missed the purpose and focus of this piece though the thesis is clearly put forth in the opening.
  • Jason, disagree with you, you call your analysis the big picture but MS actions are not consistent with the same, you still bet on UWP, XAMARIN etc, while MS has moved onto inteligent edge and sees serving android customers as its sole consumer focusses strategy, also the so called mobile focus is nothing but another compting device, that will be in someone's pocket ALONG with his smartphone. asn as you said its about context so when a writer says MS mobile efforts are dead in context of smartphones, its is valid and it is true.
  • Hi techiez, I'm aware Microsoft is investing to intelligent edge, Microsoft Graph, Office 365, AI and the intelligent cloud.
    They're also investing in Project Andromeda, a Windows Core OS mobile device. The two are not mutually exclusive. Microsoft blew it in the smartphone space. They know it. We know it. The company knows it needs to ve in mobile BOTH in every manner in which mobile is represented, i.e. other platforms, currently **smartphone** and tablet platforms iOS and Android AND a first-party non-smartphone mobile platform - the enterprise-focused Project Andromeda. The first is accomplished via cross-platform apps and incorporating other platforms into the Microsoft ecosystem via the Microsoft Graph as I go into detail here:
    https://m.windowscentral.com/microsofts-platform-computing-strategy-may-... Now as we know MS failed in smartphones and has been vocal that its future efforts won't be a smartphone, and Project Andromeda is consistent with that.
    So MS isn't positioning this as a smartphone against iOS and Android by any means. There is no expectation of blockbuster transformational sales. It is a presence on a mobile device, with Core OS, focused on the enterprise. That fits within my description of how such a device fits on the intelligent edge as seen here:
    https://www.windowscentral.com/what-intelligent-cloud-and-how-does-it-af... Also here:
    https://www.windowscentral.com/surface-phone-partnerships-esim-and-edge-... Now I agree MS needs to leverage its resources to build its ecosystem (to benefit all of Windows not just mobile) as I wrote here:
    https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-can-address-app-gap-these-tools... When you consider its investments in edge computing, the benefits 5G will bring to edge computing and AI, and even Progressive Web Apps which MS is investing in, we see moves where UWP, via the Westminster Bridge will come into play. MS is positioning to take advantage of PWA combined with Westminster to help build its ecosystem. Its support of PWA is a proactive move for UWP. Finally, if a writer is talking about smartphones and is aware (or maybe even unaware) that Microsoft has investments in mobile beyond smartphones, but states Microsoft is no longer pursuing mobile because it is no longer pursuing smartphones, their report is not acknowledging the broader context of Microsoft's non-smartphone MOBILE investments. Consequently, his report inaccurately communicates a message that Microsoft is entirely done in mobile. It is that kind of reporting that has led to the confusion this piece addresses. If a writer means smartphones and ONLY smartphones in that context, his knowledge of a broader mobile space should help him shape his messaging to specify only SMARTPHONES since he should be aware Microsoft is pursuing a mobile device beyond smartphones. Failure to do so leads to articles from numerous outlets telling thousands of readers Microsoft is done in mobile. Then when sourced information about something like Project Andromeda comes to the forefront, these same writers grab onto that and now they have to fumble over their previous language or assertion that MS was done in mobile. Now they have the challenge of trying to backtrack and explain to thier readers, well we meant smartphones, or if they were just unaware of Microsoft's investments in mobile, they have to use language like, "Well it looks like Microsoft hasn't given up yet." In a nutshell, their narrative is constantly shifting, which is the indictment I put forth in this piece.
  • But again, as I mentioned about context.
    Finally, if a writer is talking about smartphones and is aware (or maybe even unaware) that Microsoft has investments in mobile beyond smartphones, but states Microsoft is no longer pursuing mobile because it is no longer pursuing smartphones, their report is not acknowledging the broader context of Microsoft's non-smartphone MOBILE investments. Consequently, his report inaccurately communicates a message that Microsoft is entirely done in mobile. It is that kind of reporting that has led to the confusion this piece addresses. If a writer means smartphones and ONLY smartphones in that context, his knowledge of a broader mobile space should help him shape his messaging to specify only SMARTPHONES since he should be aware Microsoft is pursuing a mobile device beyond smartphones.
      Would you agree that even the audience is expecting info about smartphones, so when someones says MS mobile efforts have died to an audience looking for a smartphone, then it is true. if tomorrow MS releases a courier like device which is foldable and with telephony I expect its price around 2kUSD, Joe B has hence said that this device is targetted at enterprise, just like Hololens. a niche expensive device. It probably aims to be the next BB, a CEO phone. So whatever mobile strategy MS is pursuing is entirely irrelevant to the smartphone users. now as we all agree that this is a new category, so cant blame writers when they say MS mobile/smartphone efforts are done.   Btw are you referring to Zac's articles, when you say writers are confused  ;)
  • btw i do hv to add, most writers dnt do MS new in depth
  • Hi techiez first no im not referring to Zac at all.😎 I would say yes that much, not all of the audience is expecting smartphones. Some see the bigger picture and are looking beyond phones. My position is that responsible coverage would be to provide knowledgeable and broad context that takes in the bigger picture, informs the audience and possibly helps them see things they may not have seen. And places the audiences expectations within that broader context. In so doing, nothing's lost. As I pointed out, when writers don't do that they often have to backtrack and amend their perspective when new information comes out. This makes the story, or narrative confusing and inconsistent for readers.😉
  • I think you are missing the big picture here. MS is pulling out of OS business. They'll continue supporting Windows on PC mostly for business users. People expect OS to be free, and home users have already switched to phones. Nadella was right in saying Windows 10 was going to be the last version of Windows. Azure is Microsoft's next focus and they seem to be doing OK there...  
  • Well, it was very clear to me when they bought Nokia and started to make devices. What happened then, that I will never understand.
  • They didn't have the software to make those devices compelling or the drive to build new software for them.
  • Microsoft offline stores globally, microsoft and 3rd party apps with future, every year new gen. and more new kind of devices.   
  • As always, Jason writes well. I understand what he is saying...but at this point it sounds like he has to fill some sort of article quota. I don't envy him, trying to find stuff to write about Microsoft mobile stuff. Once upon a time MS and Nokia made great phones and had a very nice UI. They were gaining traction and had a chance to beat iOS in many big countries. Then MS bought Nokia and it all fell apart.  Now it has fallen apart after a years long trainwreck in slowmotion. I understand that us readers need to be "entertained" while MS comes up with something cool and that is why we have these articles. But seriously, let it be. Nobody cares about Microsoft's mobile stuff anymore. For those of us who used to care, we either moved on to Android because our MS phones died (or we needed an app) OR our MS phones haven't died quite yet. Wake me up when it's all over and there is something truly interesting to check out.
  • Hi Andreaskj, I appreciate the support. But this article is not to fill a quota😉 As the recent deluge of articles following Joe Belfiorie's tweets about W10M reveal, articles that claim Microsoft claimed it is done in mobile, many writers are reactive and don't consider the bigger picture.
    This is evident in that shortly thereafter another deluge of articles followed after news of Project Andromeda was reiterated, and writers now claim Microsoft is NOT done in mobile. This in an ongoing cycle.
    Writers are inconsistent and reactive. This piece is an indictment of that reactive writing, that does not consider the big picture, that ultimately presents an inconsistent narrative.
    I think this piece, despite your assessment, was worth writing and holds writers accountable to being consistent, to having a big picture perspective and to not being reactive in their writing without a thoughtful consideration of the broader context.
  • It will be DOA without UWP Windows 10 File Explorer. Period. With a consistent touch interface without all the legacy UI elements and crap programs it will be a game changer. But until then..
  • Absolutely tragic what's happened to Windows phone. I loved my Lumia 920. Great phone.
  • Part of the confusion is the fundamental dishonesty of Microsoft. When Nadella took over he talked about 3 phones a year for different market segments and Continuum being the differentiator on phone. No marketing or promotion. When there were no announcements on phone in 2016 Terry Myerson said they had no focus on phone. In 2017 when they pushed phone into the feature2 branch they emphatically denied it was all over for phone. Did they make any announcement over the end of Windows Phone. No. How did we get confirmation. Well it was Donald Trump style as JoeB answered a tweet from a random person. This is customer disrespect. People spent $500 or more on products and they deserve more than random tweets and journalists postulating on a potential strategy that might never happen at some point in a future where current devices don't work. Microsoft now say work is mobile. That's true. But most people now associate Microsoft with work. The thing they do to earn a living. Carrying an iPhone or Android device is personal and "not work". For consumers Microsoft is not a brand you buy for personal use except for the Xbox. Most people look at work and home life as different. Positioning a Windows 10 mobile device that isn't a phone says work and enterprise. Thus I think this Surface Folio is dead on arrival in the consumer space whatever the argument on merit. I think its more accurate to say Windowsphone was the last chance for Microsoft to remain relevant in the consumer space.
  • I am totally with you Stephen. I go so far to believe, M$ is the compyny with world's worst marketing. M$ has a product that everybody needs and uses - this is still the 'normal' OS ( we will see how fast it will be replaced by a real Azure ) , so in fact they do not need marketing. Also for enterprise customers it s fact, that companies simply need computers, and along they get M$ software built in. So most of M$'s business is running without marketing efforts.  So when they would need good marketing, for example to launch an M$ phone they are just believing that this product will sell like Windows or Office (or OneDrive, what is a noncost - gift along with Office in fact). So it can not be that a Windows phone can be a success when M$ acted like it did.
  • The words tactical and strategic jump out. Every business does these things and sometimes at a very simple level and sometimes at a very sophisticated level. Add another word, communication, and this makes a very big difference. Not all businesses do communication, and of those that do not all do it well at all: Microsoft sits firmly in this camp regarding their mobile strategy, how it is perceived outside of their business and how they handle the transition from current to future.
  • Well one thing is dead for sure. The news headlines that say "Windows phone is dead."
  • "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows". They said it clearly. Microsoft's new operating system is called Azure. Microsoft Azure is the OS of the future, an abstract operating system with great full of "apps" Marketplace and a way to install these apps, run your software, Office, soon install games and play with their new streaming service, possible integration with multimedia subscription providers like Spotify, Netflix and others and also unlimited storage for your personal files. The OS of the future is no longer a software that you install localy on your machine, it is an abstract entity that does exactly the same. People just need to recognize it and understand it. They will find a way to interact with it from end-user hardware, through a browser (os) like chromeOS or something small and tiny as a local OS like that. Microsoft Windows is no more. The current OS of Microsoft is called Microsoft Azure. It's not that "Nadella doesn't give a damn about Windows or consumers, and all he cares is Cloud", he and his team think abstract and are visionaries. Cloud is an abstract infrastructure with every property of a local Operating System that people know now. Nothing is different. The only difference is that is no longer installed on your machine and the payment for it is based on subscription model instead of pay once for OS. Windows (and local OSes) had its good 30-40 years run. Now it's time for the people to move on and think in an abstract way. "Windows" name as a brand is going to be dead and forgotten in the near future. AZURE on the other side is pretty cool and sleek name for Microsoft's new, current and only OPERATING SYSTEM. I know its hard for you to understand the concept, but I cannot explain it simpler. And just for the fun, let me scare you (the people that cannot think or recognize this abstract idea and future): Windows, as a whole, not only W10M and other SKUs, is on life support. In 10 years you will be talking about Microsoft Azure just like how you are talking about Microsoft Windows now. It's just an abstract OS. Install your apps, games and favourite programs on it :)
  • Best comment on this thread.  Much better than the article itself (low bar, I know).  
  • Hi reomw and gcyoung I touched on some of what you're saying in these three pieces: If Microsoft is the platform for everything does it really need a phone:
    https://m.windowscentral.com/microsofts-platform-computing-strategy-may-... The future of the PC is a family of devices connected by an intelligent cloud:
    https://m.windowscentral.com/modern-pc-redefined-family-devices-powered-... Microsoft's cognitive services are making AI in our image:
  • Jason, can you please unfold my theory (that is not actually a theory but pure fact and you know it) in a full article? Thanks (you can give me credit too :D )
  • I bet it will be in 5 years from now not 10...
  • First of all, that's what Google is already doing with its Chromebooks. But more important: Chromebooks of course do have an operating system. And most important of all: Chromebooks with Chrome OS are tied to Google's cloud. iOS-devices are embedded in Apple's cloud. And to which OS will Azure be tied, when there will be no Windows? Microsoft is losing the whole mobile business sector to Apple right now. If there won't be a Windows on PC in ten years, what will there be else? I tell you: iOS devices using Apple's own services through its cloud. And Chromebooks using Google-services. Azure needs a basis from Microsoft, not because of the "operating system"-aspect, but because of the ecosystem! Without an ecosystem of its own, there won't be a reason to use Microsoft-services in the long run. Because Apple WILL build strong alternatives to Azure, because they want to be a big player in the business sector. Google is already an alternative to Azure, and they won't stop selling Chromebooks and making Chrome OS better and better. In ten years there will be much more iOS devices and Chromebooks, and there will be much more companys using Google- and Apple-services. And that is why there won't be many left who are using Azure. If Azure will exist at all by then. This is something that Nadella and his crew don't understand yet.
  • Jason, you keep writing about "a telephony-enabled mobile device". Why are you so sure about the telephony-part? Do you have informations that this is really something that the management of Microsoft wants? Because for me as an outsider I don´t see any indications that Nadella and his crew are interested in anything telephony-related any more, except for extremely vague statements that may or may not mean anything at all.
  • Hi TJRS please read this: https://m.windowscentral.com/microsoft-andromeda-foldable-device
  • Weren't the telephony APIs removed from Windows like a year ago, publicly?
  • I am an avid fan. Up until today I am using my Lumia 950XL and lumia 1020 not as a camera phone but as a daily drivee for my usage. Haven't got issues so far and i am really loving. I am hopeful and still waiting for Microsoft plan on mobile division 😊
  • Their strategy will fail. Make no mistake. They failed consumers. I love note 8 and want it badly. But I refuse to pay the price they are asking for it. Note imagine this new device from MS... look how much surface products cost and those are PCs yet still full of bugs (little maybe, but still bugs). I am not going to pay over 1k euro to have a chance of beta testing... MS needs to step up their quality department, slow down the development and deliver products with superb quality. Even my beloved surface book has build quality issues! It scratches coating on the area where the pen is located... I am not trying to bash MS, I want them to pick up and succeed, but they just don't put their best in it. Like the people app... Recent update of Skype changed Skype messages into SMS and it can not be changed. Did they even bother to test stuff before they push it to production? I am a tester and this was embarrassing bug. New feature and bricked by first update. Like seriously? They need to wake up, have their time, test, test, tune and deliver something fantastic. I don't need rushed products which will only anger customers and that leads into cancelled products like band for example... Come on Microsoft, 2017 was a year of failure so make 2018 to be your comeback!
  • You miss the forest for the trees. Microsoft has not signalled the end end of Windows mobile they have signalled the end of Windows for consumers. They have let go of the foundations of an ecosystem in the chase for the next big thing they gave up on the hard work of building the core applications that drive success with consumers. It is Google Maps, Spotify, Alexa and the rest that is our future and if it is won't be on Windows.
  • Jason Ward is Ralph Smart of Microsoft.
  • Yes Yes Yes Mr. Jason Ward, I think you are right. I also believe and I was so angry in past years about, it is among other reasons the fault of the many  commentators, that the story of Microsoft mobile  ended so inglorious. Because the many editors of ' normal ' media have little knowledge about IT, they simply recorded the mood created by the pseudo-wise comments of the self-proclaimed IT professionals commentators, and they were delighted to have negative information being able to write. The information chain to end users was perfect then. And this was also very much in the delight of Mr. Nadella. Because when he was still in ‘second row management’ it was not his wish to start Windows Mobile and Nokia cooperation in the way M$ decided. So he always wanted to kill all efforts of M$ in this direction. When I look back to all this, I am still believing, that Win10 mobile is the better basis for mobile phones, and also hardware like the 950xl is still in the flagship range. By the way, very opposite to the many many comments in IT press, the 950xx and Elite x3 phones are the phones with the most stable price in the world. Samsung, LG, Iphone etc. are loosing much more from original price.
  • It's been clear for a long time (since the launch of Windows 10) that Microsoft has been playing a long game in mobile. The article is right about weather/climate. And like climate change there are people who deny that MS's mobile strategy exists.  If you view Windows 10 mobile as "beta software", you get a beter frame of reference for the climate level view. Clearly they had missed the mobile phone boat, and their phone software was released as an incomplete hot mess (watch the reviews from the time) I personally don't think it ever was a concerted effort to take on Android and Apple but rather was a test bed. And the insider program and fast ring are just more explicit versions of the same. I think the lessons learned are being folded into UWP and there isn't a need for an explicit mobile OS any more as the capability has been built into one core. (A bit like building 4WD into a moving car, while the press laments about how they don't have a 4WD model)  I think this is going to be interesting to watch whatever happens. It's a winning strategy, (Apple still hasn't figured out how to cope with the fact that the Surface runs desktop software and not apps). I think you are going to see some similar advantage for Microsoft whenever the final mobile product emerges. 
  • Yes, interesting to watch, like a car accident.  Not interesting to watch when you invest hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a company's hardware and software platform, only to have ever single one of them having support abandoned after a year or two, and fewer mainstream apps that are available, or likewise, get killed-off over time.  Imagine Betamax times 10, and going on for years....  MS just released a Cortana device, years after others.  No TV device yet.  No phones.  And this idiot thinks people are going to walk around with a HoloLens on their head as a phone or pc replacement?  Or, instead, want to make phone calls with a foldable mini tablet stuck to their ear?  This company can't get out of its own way, consumer hardware wise. If there is a way to miss the boat or totally botch things, MS is on it!
  • Watching the comments here, it is clear that many people either don't want to hear what the writer was saying, or that they are completely bent on the destroying the public's image of windows, which makes me wonder why they are even on "windows" central if all they do is attempt to verbally sabotage the readers opinions of MS.
  • First with touch and now with the microphone imbed in the Touch Keyboard for on-demand voice-to-text (w/o dealing w/ Narrator) in Fall Creators, my PC now has, outside of telefony, the core features of my phone that I use all the time.
    . So the only thing my phone does better than my PC is SMS. Once my cell-phone based SMS is fully integrated into my PC (history, search, direct access to it), I will have a fully mobile, smartphone  "climate" in all my devices.  As for my phone, if it were a true PC, I'd use it more than I do, perhaps reaching less often to my tablets. A foldable device would bridge those environments perfectly, actually.
      So there's not much distance between my PC and my phone, and I can't wait for full integration, something only MS has the capability to provide.
  • Yes. It is up to the point there will be no need for phone number. I used Skype as default text message and Mobile PC with LTE is the end game.
  • MY SMS solution for work is a system called RedOxygen which integrates an SMS no. w/ my desktop Outlook. Unfortunately it's not seamless between phone and Outlook, but it's incredibly useful to have it completely integrated in my Outlook in/out boxes and contacts.
  • "So there's not much distance between my PC and my phone, and I can't wait for full integration, something only MS has the capability to provide." Hasn't Apple had this for some time now?
  • Yes, of COURSE Apple has had this for years.  But since windows fans have an irrational hatred for Apple, they don’t realize this. 
  • Instead of just dropping the project i guess microsoft should work more on making windows phone a better device with less bugs and more features
  • Cut in Paste... Repeat. C'mon Man! You can do better! You should write more about the demise of UWP. That is becoming Microsoft next failure! If it has failed already.
  • I never wrote an indictment against writers who write reactive posts without a border context.. This was the first time. 😉
  • @ITMedCEO I'm with you. UWP is on life-support despite the fact that it's the future of Windows! 1. Windows 10 is installed on hundreds of millions of computers yet Microsoft felt compelled to rename Windows Store to Microsoft Store? 2. Microsoft felt compelled to buy Xamarin so it could have a cross-platform development presence that would also allow devs to target UWP while targetting their primary OSes, iOS and Android? 3. Microsoft feels compelled to add WPF (effectively Windows 7/win 32 support) to Xamarin, their cross-platform development tool? Point three (3) is the most telling of all. I certainly do not like UWP/Windows Store apps. I've looked hard and have left empty handed each time, disappointed by the low-quality of the interfaces. Windows 10 applications are tablet apps designed to run on the whole screen. That's not how I work. And, I imagine that's not how a sizeable percentage of Window's customer base works. I've only ever installed two things from the Windows Store: trivial games for my children; and, UWP XAML apps to help me learn C# :). If I had to choose between running Windows 10 S (i.e. UWP-only apps) and macOS I would shell out for Apple's hardware and go back to Macs in a heartbeat because, to me a tablet is play thing and whole screen apps are for play time, not for work time! And, I can't imagine I'm the only person out there who works with more than one application, or, more than one window at a time (I have seven of them open now... of course, I do have a 2500 x 1080 monitor :).
  • Once again, you prove that Windows is what you use at work.   For the rest of your life, use something else.  iOS, OS X or Android.   Welcome to the new reality. 
  • they need windows 10 in cars, smart tvs and home automation (fridges, washing machine...)
  • Yeah man.  Can't wait to be updating my AV software on my microwave oven.   
  • On washing machines? "Hey Cortana, fold my socks"   Wouldn't that just be awesome?
  • It would be, except that Cortana would Blue Screen when a sock disappears in the dryer.  
  • One thing that bothers me, and causes me to lose faith, if they are planning on reentering the "smartphone" or mobile space, why kill groove music? It doesn't add up. Jason, anyway to explain? Why wouldn't they just keep the service going to bridge the gap?
  • No, the confusion is not your fault, rather Microsoft itself which stands on the top of the Confusing Companies...
  • That's good and all. But we'll only know when MS let's the cats out of the sack. And they have to do it just right from the very beginning. Which is even before any launch.
  • Windows Central will rule even after abandoning of Windows Mobile . Hail WINDOWS CENTRAL, LUMIA . 📱
  • Yet they can't fix the god dam windows phone app that's been broken for months. They're no better then MS, apathy rules.
  • Microsoft's goal remains unchanged.... Goodbye.....
  • I'm still confused why Phone related stories still have sky high number of comments and the other articles so low? 🤔
  • Because the site used to be called "windows phone central". It's where we die hards came for phone specific news. As Microsoft changed, the site content and even the domain name did too. Still....we come for the phone news. Everything else is.....just everything else.
  • I know. That was a rhetorical question.
  • Because phones are all that matter these days.  Laptops and desktops are so 10 years ago.
  • hmmm....could we interested in our phones more than other items? "New Pocket Sized Windows Mobile Device Launched on ARM devices OR New Mouse Pad Dust Cover Technology announced by MS" What is more appealing?
  • Is this a trick question?  Neither is appealing.
  • MS's mobile plans this....MS's mobile plans that... start over, start over, wipe the slate clean, start over, big plans for foldable device, UWP, Core, Ink, blah, blah, blah I don't really have to worry what Google's plans for Android are, because it is just working now, stable, and improving all the time. Why should I as an average mobile device user have to LITERALLY WORRY about what the plans are for my chosen eco-system. You lost me on this issue, Microsoft. What have you done for me lately?
  • From what I can read in this discussion,it appears that Windows phone is dead but Windows Mobile is not,.It had gone on recess.
  • The thing that Microsoft is failing is being loyal to the customer. They have let us down too many times, and a new super device will not fix that part. We can't trust Microsoft when it comes to devices. They have broken their trust to us to many times. The only thing than can do to mend this is Microsoft getting on their knees and ask the fans for forgiveness. And make sure they won't break the trust anymore. Only then some fans will come back. I don't know it i will.
  • That is my concern as well...can you trust MS to bring out a product, then leave you hanging.  Their strategy is not clear.  Consumer space, business space, both?  One OS?  Mobile OS?  Xbox OS?   MS has made great tech and lead markets.  Now it seems they do not.   The Surface is doing well, but mobile devices like phones dominate.
  • No for-profit company is loyal to their customer. They are loyal to their owners! I'm not saying this to denigrate Microsoft; simply to point out the reality of the situation. Apple is not loyal to its repeat customer base. It happens that its repeat customer base expects something from Apple and Apple is able to deliver that something since that something allows Apple to make profits for its shareholders. What so-called fans of the consumer-oriented Microsoft expect from Microsoft I do not understand because Microsoft is performing exceptionally well for its shareholders! It just happens to be that these fans of consumer-oriented Microsoft are unable to deliver the goods for the shareholders because there are surprisingly few fans to be found of that side of the company. Having spent the past 30 years immersed in the ecosystems of Apple's Mac, and, more recently Microsoft I have a reasonable handle on the overall industry and the respective users. Apple, throughout that time, was the underdog. It serviced a niche market but it serviced it exceptionally well. Microsoft serviced the broader and low-end market and did it reasonably well. The reality of the companies' respective situations dictated their approach. Microsoft ended up in an effective monopoly situation. Apple had a monopoly in its own right, but, it was a much, much smaller market (1/15th-1/20th that of Microsoft's). As the underdog for most of its Mac history Apple had to earn its customers' loyalty time and time again. As such, its products were focused on keeping that customer base happy. It HAD to keep the customer base happy because it was relatively small. If people didn't like what Apple was offering in the Mac, they could jump ship to the cheaper up-front cost Microsoft OS-running computers. The operating system (Mac) and the quality and ease-of-use of applications that ran on that OS were the reason Apple could charge premium prices for their hardware and earn their shareholders a good living. Microsoft was different. It quickly dominated the "clone"/low-cost/PC market in terms of OS penetration (by the mid-1980's). Customers had little choice but to run Microsoft's OS. If one didn't want to run DOS or Windows the only viable option was Mac which meant substantially higher up-front purchase costs or some really, really obscure speciality OS which meant no software whatsoever. Microsoft instead engaged in anti-competitive actions and was able to ignore its customers needs to a much higher degree than Apple could--and it did. Instead of winning the browser wars by exclusively making Internet Explorer a better browser than Netscape Navigator, for example, Microsoft focussed on (sometimes illegally) out-muscling Navigator by privileging it in Windows or by striking deals to exclude Navigator from distribution (with, for example, AOL). Microsoft created a reputation for success, but, its success came at other people's expense. The Bill Gates-lead Microsoft of the 1990's would very much be a company that Donald Trump would love: "I win because you lose." It was a recipe for success since Microsoft had a monopoly and it ruthlessly wielded it, but, it also left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths that would later come to haunt it. When Apple's iPhone came out it hit at an opportune time. Microsoft had received a minor rap on the nuckles for its illegal anti-trust activities in the early 2000's and, narrowly dodged the breakup bullet that felled the Bell telephone monopoly that had so harmed phone customers for all those decades. Plus, Microsoft had to shell out 3/4 of a billion dollars in a lawsuit to Netscape (you don't get to pay the better part of a billion dollars in damages because you did the right thing by a competitor or by customers). When the iPhone hit in 2007 that meant you had two rather different companies running around. Apple had had recent consumer successes with the iPod and was still very much the underdog in people's minds. Microsoft had the consumer flop of Windows Vista, and, in many circles was known as the nasty, 900 lbs gorilla. iPhone was something new. It married a functional touch interface with a reasonably powerful portable computer. Apple blew open the pocket computing and communication market that BlackBerry had cracked open--thereby legally out-competing (and effectively destroying) BlackBerry. Android piggy-backed on Apple's success to become the low-cost alternative that Microsoft would've been a natural fit for. In the mid-2000's Apple's consumer star was rising while Microsoft's was stagnant or setting. The consumer side of Microsoft today is a very different type of company thanks in no small part to Nadella. He recognized that the ruthless, illegal business-as-usual approach of the BIll Gates' era was not doing Microsoft too many favors and implemented a much more consumer-oriented approach. Windows 10 is finally a serious competitor to Apple's macOS. It's still extremely rough around the edges but it's much, much better than it used to be. Of course, he also recognized other opportunies and Microsoft's lofty shareprice demonstrates that vision.
  • Look I don't care about ms mobile strategy. I just use my win 10 phone until I find something else I like. Simple as that. Now pass me the peanuts and who knows a Surface Phone in the near future and if not then some other phone when my Lumia 950 XL burns in the middle of my hands while I play Minecraft on it with my two kids.
  • Folks let's be pragmatic about this MS CEO Nadella killed Windows smart phones because to him they did not sell well in the Market place . Folks Mobile devices are more than smart phones. they are Tablets,  2 in 1 devices &Ultra book/ Laptop computers, Microsoft's strength is in these devices not smart phones. The most we can hope for is for Microsoft to indeed make the foldable 2 screen  MINI-Tablet with a Cell phone inside it's case  for people to send and receive voice calls. I hope Microsoft does make this device but do not count on it Microsoft may just kepp making the current type of "Surface" devices that sell today. I use a Windows smart phone and would like a 7 inch  PC Tablet & Cell phopne Hybrid device maybe Microsoft OEM partners will make one
  • Nadella is almost certainly the most visionless CEO I have ever seen. It is as if he had to tear down anything his predecessor did. Phones are still the entry point for computing. If yo cut phones then you will see the consumers of laptops, tablets, destops dry up and business will inevitably leave as employees effectively tell them to dump MS and move to other platforms. Nadella is a dill.
  • Nadella visionless? MSFT $26 in 2012. $83 in 2017. I think that speaks volumes to just how visionless Microsoft is with Nadella at the helm. The operating system market is a much more vibrant part of the computer industry, in no small thanks to the rise of *nix. The only OS of note that cannot directly trace its ancestry to *nix is Windows. And, despite losing the mobile OS war, Microsoft is now more profitable than ever. Besides, if phones were the gateway drug to get people onto Windows and Windows was an important part of Microsoft's income, then Microsoft's valuation should've gone DOWN, not UP since 2012.
  • @Ed the new guy,  Being a bean counter and having vision are two entirely different things...The current C.E. DOH,  while raising stock prices through slash and cuts, as well as selling peoples personal data aquired in the business facebook purchase hardly screams visionary to me.   It is just good with a calculator and willing to not give a **** about his employees.
  • Jason, I wonder if there is an article in here somewhere about how many times trust can be broken before it's irrepairable? You can write about what the MS strategy might be this week but there is a sizable part of the old mobile market, including me, that says fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. I cannot imagine what MS will have to do to get me back to some future device-software package. Too many BS statements, especially from Nadella. Almost single handed he has destroyed trust in MS from this little black duck.
  • Hi Long, "Ask and ye shall receive"😉. Here you gou: Will jilted Windows phone fans buy into Microsoft's mobile vision? https://www.windowscentral.com/after-blowing-mobile-should-microsoft-be-optimistic-windows-phone-fans-will-embrace-its-mobile
  • Hmmm.  MS, let me tell you, now, there's one thing I really don't want to use, now or ever: A nine inch folding PC to "type" on, or such a monstrosity to hold to to my head to make phone calls from.  So ridiculous.  MS could have adapted Android or created an emulator or something to allow Android apps to worn on WinMo.  Even if they would have to pay google to access the app store.  So many awful failures....
  • IPhone new models coming soon will be just that and bigger I own the samsung galaxy s8 right now. Yes it does feel hella big in my hand. 95 percent of phones I've had were Samsung. I still have a lg620 from 2010. No service but good for music from sim card.
  • remember guys it's 'Mobile First, Cloud First...' 
  • I always laughed at that.   You can't have 2 things both be "first".  Clearly, one of those was first and one was not.  
  • You mean MoClo First...or is it Cloubile First?
  • Lol Cloubile.   Nice.
  • "Responsible storytelling."  That is oxymoronic.  Ward has been spinning yarns on MS's mobile plans for years.  Seems he's finally admitting it.
  • MSFT has no stomach for consumer oriented products...their recent graveyard of abandoned products include Zune Players, Zune Software (XBox Music/Groove), Surface RT, MSFT Band, Windows Phone, etc.(all of which I purhased and still use today) ...it would have helped if MSFT properly marketed these superior products and give them the proper support, but alas they got caught up with internal politics and lack of a clear strategy...For the future I will think very carefully before I purchase a MSFT branded hardware product. I had planned on getting new Surface Tablet or Surface Laptop but this purchase will be made with another OEM. MSFT has spooked me. It will be a very high-end model, just not a Surface. I am also in the Amazon ecosystem and will continue that because Amazon gives strong support to its products most of which I use. My next mobile phone with be the latest Samsung Galaxy Note because MSFT has seemed to throw its full support to Android.   
  • All of the products you listed failed due to lack of sales.  If MS sold 30 million Zunes per year, it would not have been canceled.   As an aside, I swear I still don't "get" the zune.  I have a couple 16gb zune HDs (refurbs on eBay for $50 each).  They are incredibly clunky to use.  The buttons on the side should be volume up/down buttons, NOT buttons to turn on the screen, then use the on screen volume up/down buttons. Dont get me started on the zune software that you install on windows.  It makes iTunes look user friendly.  Once you figure it out, it's fine.   But it's a steep learning curve.  
  • Your opinion is very interesting, as someone who had used iPod's and hated them and iTunes even more Zune hardware and software were a huge breath of fresh air to me. The hardware just worked (and still does) and the software was leaps and bounds ahead of iTunes. I felt iTunes was unusable 10 years ago and still feel the same way today.
  • i know there is a lot of discussion around windows mobile but is windows it's self falling behind, i'm looking at a chromebook now they have android apps. windows 10 apps is a joke really there's less than there was in windows 8. universal app have a slow uptake, just annoying that apps are not on all devices such as there is an Amazon app on the xbox but not on the pc
  • My Hp Elite X3 is just sitting there i rarely use it plus i ended up with 2 of them i now use my iphone 8 plus or my galaxy s7 edge im hoping to return the hp i bought at the microsoft store for a s8 plus. dont know when ms will show its mobile hardware strategy but ill be waiting to see in the mean tim e ive moved on.
  • There is no confusion.   Microsoft completely missed the mobile train.  They bought Nokia, then shut it down.   They have lost billions of dollars with their "mobile strategy".   They have "retrenched".  They are now out of mobile.  Period.  Developers and users have moved on.   The only remaining confusion is with tech bloggers.  A "telephony enabled tablet PC running Windows" is a.................................wait for it....................Windows phone.  It has as much chance of succeeding as any other Windows phone did. That a major tech company (well, they WERE a major tech company) is still - in 2018 - thrashing about, trying to come up with a "mobile strategy" is absurd.  Yes, I'm sure Microsoft has been playing the "long game".  They MEANT to lose 10 billion dollars, and be in a distant last place.   It was all carefully planned.  Rebooting their phone business 4 times in 10 years was the plan all along. 
  • Hi everyone! I have tutorial how to bypass FRP the Lumia 950 XL here: https://youtu.be/4RQtSq0oqDM
  • Narrative? Hey, it's all about how much you can sell of something. They failed and full stop. If you want to write long articles showing how good your English is, be my guest.
  • That's cool and all, but the thing is that all of us who have windows phones have no way out than to turn to android and ios. I don't care much what MS WILL DO, I care about getting a phone now or in a few months. And there is no windows phones in market anymore (other than old stock leftovers). I will use my 650 as long as I can but I don't see any other way than switching to android with arrow launcher after that.
  • Its not going to happen. Microsoft was in mobile since 1996.  That is 21 years.   Not even sure why I ever bought into Windows Phone.  On paper, it looked better than Android.  The functionality was better.  The UI was better.  Live Tiles was not better but it was different, it was interesting, when ti worked; I enjoyed it while it lasted. Even if you go by Windows Mobile, which is 2003, that gives Microsoft a 4 year start over iOS, 5 year start over Android. Apple was not even in the space until the iPhone.   Write a milllion articles. There is no logical reason why a company with as much money as Microsoft, enough resources, and some of the smartest people in the world working for it to have failed spectacularly. I could see if they jumped in the game late.  But Microsoft was doing R & D with phones and portable devices over 20 years.   The ONLY reason this happened is that they don't have the stomach to built up something slowly over time.  They had a hit with Windows over 30 years ago and they expect everything to happen within a relatively short period of time.   Had they stayed the course in 2010, with no reboots, they could have just now found success 7 years later.  They would have Apple's marketshare by now, and there would be true competition in the marketplace.  No reason they could not have 15% by now.  Plus they were killing it overseas. They had greater marketshare than Blackberry at one time. They need to take a page out of Apple's playbook and do with Windows what Apple did to create Mac OS X.  Give us a Linux distribution.  Give us an Android phone, or a phone based off of that Linux distribution.  That is the only thing that is going to work at this point.   There may be some future in virtual apps, or apps that do not need to stay installed, cloud apps that disappear when they aren't being used, whatever, and Microsoft could start over.  Something seamless that just works and consumers don't even know what is going on, just type in the service you want and it just happens.  But the app thing is not going to work,neither will anything that relies on apps.   A foldable device is not going to be a differentiator.  Samsung and Apple are going to beat Microsoft to market on that one.
  • Foldable Android phones are here now.    https://www.att.com/cellphones/zte/axon-m.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_4_T2srI1wIVAk-GCh137wLUEAEYASAAEgIcJfD_BwE#sku=sku8570458
  • Newsflash MS has been plugging away at Mobile for 20 years and they have nothing to show for it.
  • There was good market share in Europe but since the US market share was bad they pulled the plug. PWA's would hell but they are 2 years too late for Windows 10 Mobile and there is no new hardware. Unfortunately I have had to get a Samsung Galaxy S8. I will keep my 950 going while I can but I will have to move to the S8 at some point. It is a shame because could see Windows 10 on ARM running nicely on the S8. Maybe someone from XDA will get it working on the S9.
  • Back in 2010, I saw demos of Windows Phone at a .Net user group meeting. Even back then the MS person was telling us that MS's goal was to run a full version of Windows on any size device. That's why I signed on. I love the interface (I.e. Live tiles) far more than anything the competition was offering. I'm now looking forward to the realization of that goal in 2018 with Windows 10 on Arm.
  • I think the best way it would be to transfer the experience of windows10 mobile to windows 10 and make windows just like the universal apps it runs. In other words, the interface scales according to the screen size and core of windows can run on both Arm and 86x processors. This way they dont compromise too many resorces but they keep the platform relevant. I would also outsource the design of hand-held devices with windows 10 to third parties to create a diverse set of devices for different porpoises. For example cheaper devices can only run universal and the system in minimal. Premium devices have the ability to run full windows 10 with support for 32 bit app visualisation in continuum mode. This mean the mobile device can scale up to a normal windows 10 interface. I think Microsoft should not kill mobile platform if it really wants windows to be universal