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Microsoft is committed to Windows phone (they just have a hard time showing it)

Windows fans have been assured of Microsoft's commitment to phone. But certain decisions such as limited distribution of its latest premium phones cause fans to question this commitment. Is Microsoft really committed to phone? And can 100% commitment and what "looks like" half-hearted support coexist? I believe the answer to both these questions is yes and here's why.

"I am committed to our first-party devices including phones. However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention. We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family." –Nadella July 8, 2015

300 vs. 300,000

"We are Spartans!"

This was the impassioned cry of King Leonidas from the popular film 300. The battle-hardened ruler, like all Spartans, was trained relentlessly in the art of battle from his youth.

Early in the film, Leonidas receives a message from, Xerxes, king of Persia demanding Sparta's surrender. The Spartan king responds by kicking the Persian messenger into a well. He then sends a defiant message back to the Persian overlord. Xerxes, responds by leading an army of 300,000 strong against a committed band of a mere 300 Spartans led by Leonidas.

Leonidas, however, is confident that his committed troops and the execution of his well-laid plan will lead to Sparta's victory. The warrior-king's strategy was to use a narrow passage called the Hot Gates to funnel the enemy into a manageable "human stream". This strategy, he knew, would enable his smaller force to hold the larger army at bay until a greater number of Spartans could be summoned.

3% vs 97%

Phones

Apple and Android dominate the smartphone space with a daunting combined share of 97%. Microsoft's Windows Phone hovers just beneath 3%. The mobile war is on. And though some have already named the victors, Microsoft with its 3% share is committed to Windows phone. And like Leonidas and his 300, Redmond has a plan, and they are making a stand.

"We're going to build phones for our Windows fans. If you love Windows 10, if you love your Windows 10 tablet, or Surface, or laptop, we want to have a beautiful phone for you, something you'd be incredibly proud of that's going to have the same experience across your devices, the same apps will run on the phone as run on your Windows 10 laptop or tablet." -Capossela Sept 8, 2015

Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Capossela, clearly communicated Microsoft's commitment and approach to the smartphone space. Like Leonidas, however, Microsoft is fighting this war from a purely defensive position.

As a result, the way Redmond approaches the space will look vastly different than how its rivals position and market their smartphones.

We must keep this in mind as we evaluate Microsoft's mobile strategy and performance in the market.

That said, Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is clearly referenced, by Capossela, as a key component of Redmond's phone strategy. For Microsoft, Windows phones, unlike rival's smartphones, are not a "standalone" device. The UWP and universal apps make Windows phones part of the Windows 10 continuum. Consequently, Microsoft, who is dead serious about Windows 10, is also dead serious about Windows Phone.

Showtime

It is said that we spend time on the things that are important to us. If that's the case, Microsoft's commitment to phone was confirmed on October 6th, 2015 during its Windows 10 Devices event. A full 18mins and 46secs of the 85mins and 42secs spent presenting on its six flagship devices (including Xbox) was devoted to Lumia. That's 21.8% of the event that Microsoft's head of engineering for premium devices, Panos Panay, and Executive Demo Lead, Bryan Roper, spent passionately presenting Windows phone. See the full video (opens in new tab) from Microsoft or watch the whole thing summarized in 5 minutes below.

(The full presentation with Nadella's closing totaled 96mins 14secs.)

Note the approximate times devoted specifically to each device.

  • Xbox: 2mins 56secs ~ 3.5%
  • HoloLens: 7mins 0secs ~8.1%
  • Band: 10mins 33secs ~ 12.3%
  • Lumia: 18mins 46secs ~ 21.8%
  • Surface Pro 4: 21mins 29secs ~25%
  • Surface Book: 24mins 38secs ~ 28.7%

What may be surprising to some is that Microsoft committed more time to Lumia than it did to Hololens and Microsoft Band combined. Furthermore, the only devices that received more stage time than Lumia were the highly anticipated Surface Pro 4 and Microsoft's new "ultimate laptop", the Surface Book. Still, at only 2 minutes and 43 seconds and 5 minutes and 52 seconds more, respectively, Lumia garnered a respectable share of the day's attention.

Pumped

"If you want to be productive at the top level. If you want to consume entertainment at the top level. These devices are built to let you do it." –Bryan Roper, October 6, 2015

Panay's and Roper's passionate presentation of the Lumia 950 family was a powerful complement to the time Redmond devoted to the phones. Panay gave an engaging 9 minutes and 57 seconds rundown of the devices specs and capabilities. Roper continued with a memorable 8 minutes and 42 seconds demo of Continuum. Panos then returned for an additional 1 minute and 8 seconds summary and the intro of the Lumia 550.

With phrases like "I'm so pumped at what we can do" and "God I'm enjoying every minute of it," Panos communicated his, and vicariously, Microsoft's passion for these phones. This passion was clearly transferred to the audience in that during his first 10 minutes on stage, the audience erupted into genuine applause six distinct times. That averages to applause about every 1.5 minutes. That's impressive.

This is my phone!

Roper's 8 minutes and 42 seconds on stage took the ripples of excitement Panos generated and created a wave as he hammered home the power of Continuum.

"I'm going to keep hammering that back on you; this is my phone, pushing this experience."

Roper demoed Office, multi-tasking, the task switcher, keyboard shortcuts, use of full HDMI and full 1080 video with full, robust ground shaking audio and more all powered by his phone! Roper's passionate demo fully conveyed Microsoft's commitment to serving the dual user (work/personal) with its Continuum powered Lumias.

The excitement was so contagious that Windows Central created T-shirts with Roper's likeness and famous phrase.

Like a boss

No show

Clearly, Microsoft is committed to Windows phone. However, because their underdog status requires that they fight this war from a defensive, rather than an offensive stance, that commitment isn't always evident.

Redmond's strategy to forego the mass-market to focus high-end devices like the Lumias 950/XL toward Window fans and the enterprise necessitates a tailored and reserved approach to the market.

Reduced carrier partnerships and a greater dependency on Microsoft retail to distribute Lumia is a manifestation of this strategy.

Currently, ATT is the sole US carrier selling the Lumia 950. Thus many fans who are excited about these devices have found it difficult to reconcile Redmond's professed commitment to these phones with their limited distribution. Particularly since this strategy looks very different than the "phone on every carrier" and "massive marketing blitz" offensive strategy of Redmond's rivals.

Indeed, Microsoft is committed to Windows phone. Their retrenching efforts just makes it hard for them to show it.

Fighting in the shade

When a Persian messenger told Leonidas, "Our arrows will darken the Sun." One Spartan replied, "Good, then we'll fight in the shade."

Microsoft has exhibited similar tenacity in the face of adversity. Since their 2010 "reentry" into the smartphone, space detractors have called for their surrender as they've strived beneath the shadow of iPhone and Android. Microsoft however, has only dug in deeper.

"For us in the next couple of years we're really going to focus on building phones that obviously showcase Windows 10, but we're going to try to build phones for two audiences."-Caposella 9/8/15

It's telling that Capossela continually asserts that Microsoft is focusing on two audiences, fans and enterprise, rather than the three Nadella mentions. In omitting the value segment, Capossela as Microsoft's marketing face, may be intentionally communicating to Microsoft's OEM partners that space, which has proven most successful for garnering market share, is now open.

Microsoft's purposeful retraction from the low-end where it has nearly 100% of the share of Windows Phones is an invitation for OEM's to embrace this segment.

Panay's "stand-offish" introduction of the Lumia 550 after his dynamic 950/XL presentation seems to confirm Microsoft's new position toward the low-end.

As such we'll likely see another drop in Windows phones sales akin to the recent 54% decline (hopefully following a Lumia 950/XL induced surge in Q4 2015) in the future as this plan plays out.

Windows phone is about Windows 10

As I shared in Microsoft is positioned ahead of the curve in mobile Redmond is transforming the mobile space. Where the competition is exercising a show of force and numbers as Xerxes and his army did, Microsoft as Leonidas and the 300 Spartans, are funneling the mobile space into a new paradigm.

Microsoft has built an agnostic cloud platform upon which rival's apps run and app data resides. They've also designed a platform agnostic device management platform for the enterprise. Redmond's positioning of cross-platform Microsoft-branded apps also ensures that users are growing accustomed to Microsoft's solutions. Microsoft is becoming the mobile platform in the new "device-less" age.

This strategy is coupled with Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform and first-party devices. Furthermore, per Nadella, Microsoft experiences will be best on Microsoft devices. This claim appears to have been proven by Continuum enabled devices like the Surface and Lumia 950 family of devices running universal apps.

Thus just as Leonidas' Spartans, Microsoft is positioning users between its own "Hot Gates." As hundreds of millions of iOS and Android users upgrade their PC's to Windows 10, the potential appeal of the new OS on one side, and the familiarity of Microsoft cross-platform apps on the other, are designed to have a "funneling" effect on consumers.

Microsoft is using its ecosystem to "funnel" users toward it's first-party devices. Taglines like "the phone that works like your PC" may prove particularly effective among users who enjoy the Windows 10 experience on PC.

Phalanx

Spartans used a battle strategy that involved a tightly unified Phalanx. Every member of the troop was essential for the survival of the whole. Windows phone, as part of a larger whole, is positioned to benefit from a unified platform. Nadella made that clear.

For those that question Microsoft's commitment to phone, the firm's creation of a family of high-end Windows 10 devices which includes phone is an action that speaks louder than words. By showcasing a range of first-party devices, Microsoft provided a broad platform that developers can target, and OEMs can emulate. Again, the UWP ensures that any point of entry into the Windows ecosystem leads to phone.

Of course, Microsoft doesn't exist in a vacuum. Despite careful planning, many factors affect sustainability and potential growth of its 3% market presence. Their retrenching and defensive approach to the market is their acknowledgement of this reality. Limited distribution, no costly TV spots (yet) and a targeting of very specific markets are the results. So yes, Microsoft is committed to Windows Phone, but because of these factors, at least for now, they have a hard time showing it.

Still, this strategy may prove effective in keeping rival's total domination of this space at bay until more Window phone fans can be "summoned." Particularly from a growing base of potential users who love Windows who Microsoft is counting on also coming to love Windows on phone.

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!

477 Comments
  • As always thanks for reading now let's talk!!!
  • What are the new policies Microsoft made too lure developers?
  • Cancelling Project Astoria obviously wasn't one of them...
  • It hasn't been cancelled.
  • Yes it is :)
  • Thankfully. Islandwood seems better anyway
  • The only reason Windows Phone is still around today is because of fans like us (and fansites like Windows Central, etc.).  Microsoft has bungled, botched, and basically... surrendered in mobile.  The only reason they haven't shuttered it completely is because they know that there would be an internet revolt against them.   And, personally, I think the biggest enemy to Windows phones is Satya Nadella.   Our last best hope is that Panos Panay can create a Surface Phone so great that it resuscitates the platform.  If not, I think it won't be long before Windows Phone is "zuned."
  • Buying the world's largest phone company, only to put it on the back burner, does create the appearance of a shift in focus. Corporate ADD seems to be an issue at MS.
  • What if I told you the old guy bought something, got kicked because nobody agreed with him buying it, and especially not the new guy? Amazing, eh?
  • Buying Nokia was a defensive move. If they hadnt, no one would have been left to make Lumias. WP would have been really dead. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I think it had to be done. I never for a minute thought that MS wanted to become another phone OEM. All but Apple are struggling.
  • Absolutely untrue.  Buying Nokia was another Ballmer blunder - one of many made during his tenure as CEO. Ballmer thought - incorrectly - that Nokia's brand and worldwide reputation and marketing muscle would push through the Lumia product line in areas where Microsoft had no significant experience doing business. Sure, they flooded India and Africa with low-end phones but that's ultimately not the market. They essentially cannibalized Nokia and spit out the rest only to allow the parent company to once again get back into the smartphone market and resume selling Nokia handsets. The fact is, there's nothing Nokia offered Microsoft that the company couldn't do itself. Microsoft has long designed its own products and outsourced their production. Nokia designed inhouse and produced their phones in their own factories. Microsoft shut down most of those production plants and is outsourcing to China which is what Apple and everyone else does. It was a $7 billion+ mistake - a big company write-off that they'll be paying for in the years to come. 
  • When did Nokia start making phones again? Or are you just trying to be dramatic?
  • 2016.
    You know that very well ;) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Or they will stick their Name on whatever foxconn makes and send their fanboys screaming.
  •     You're both right. Buying Nokia was a costly mistake but one that Microsoft HAD to make. Outside of Nokia/Microsoft, name one OEM that has released a WP device every year for the last three years. I can't think of any. Can you? And can you imagine what would have happened if Google had bought Nokia? Because let's be honest, Nokia was going under regardless. They, like Blackberry and Windows Mobile before it, failed to adapt when the Android and iOS operating systems started picking up steam (I would mention Palm in this but their last OS was pretty good, they made the mistake of making an exclusive deal with Sprint). WP would have been dead and Google would have just kept the patents and sold them off a few years later, just like they did with Motorola. Nokia had the hardware expertise (because no one wanted another Kin) and Microsoft had the software (Symbian was years behind the curve) and money. It was a match made in heaven or hell depending on your viewpoint.
  • "The fact is, there's nothing Nokia offered Microsoft that the company couldn't do itself." And the other way around too. Windows Phone did absolutely nothing for Nokia, but if Nokia was free to go with what was popular in the eyes of the consumer, Nokia and Samsung would have been battling it out right now. For years there wasn't a single Lumia on display at stores in my country. The moment X and XL showed up - without any major advertisement - you could find them in all the stores! People were HUNGRY for an Android Nokia and what they delivered and then pulled the plug was the lowest of the low with weak hardware; looked like WP as an unfamiliar interface and STILL I see them in people's hands here. Can't really say that about Lumia even though there has been tons of marketing. Nokia should have made droids alongside Lumias. We would have bought the Lumias, and others would have bought the droids in droves, keeping Nokia AT LEAST where Sony is now, definitely in better shape than Nokia today.
  • @Paul Kinslow:
    "Coming soon™" to a phone near you except ones running Windows...
    I don't think anyone at Microsoft, especially Nadella, has used the "Works best on Windows" claim for quite a while now. And even if they did; who cares, if their actions show otherwise, with all of their apps working better on iOS across the board.
    @Jason Ward: Your metaphor of an army funneling enemies into a narrow death trap is quite telling for Microsoft's strategy. But I don't think it's very desirable to be stuck in a fatal situation...
  • Besides they all died in the end... I sure hope they show more commitment to this than other projects they've had...
  • Thats short sighted.  Who out of Apple, Google and Microsoft owns the largest IP..Its MS by a B I G way.  Nokia has some very important IP, MS had an inside man, Nokias price was low.  What would have happened if Apple purchased Nokia or Google did.  We would scream at MS for losing the opportunity even though they had an inside man!  They are damned if the do and damned if they dont.
  • Except Microsoft got ZERO of Nokia's IP/patents. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Woah! Where'd that come from? Would it be possible for you to please provide a source link or something so that i could learn about this from there directly?
  • You can't provide a source for something made up/meant to troll users.
  • Unless that source was made up and then troll even more.
  • Prove is still exists. You can't because not even Microsoft is saying anything about it and it was to debut by the end of the year. I say that toungue-in-cheek, but it is disturbing that MS has been so quiet about these tools that many hoped would rescue Windows Mobile from an app-pocolypse.
  • Silence doesn't equal nothing is happening.
  • Well I remember MS saying at the begining 2016 we'd start hearing more about it and considering Windows 10 Mobile is just about to be released, it kind of makes sense.  I did always feel it would have made more sense to push it more months before Windows 10 Mobile release but I can also see why they would choose to wait till after.  It gives them more time to perfect the development tool, while the OS itself is developing with less glitches and running more stable.
  • Well i think even if they dont have a squat on mobile, but still appear as if giving a damn on it would encourage a lot of people as well as devs to adopt the platform. In reality they have much more and having a hard time to show it is not going to help when you are stuck in between a rock and a hard place( android and IOS). I think they should communicate better, and maintain trust( looking at you onedrive). What if one day they coolly let out a blog post saying "since only some people are using windows phone, we've decided to turn off the life support"? The one drive fiasco is seriously creating some doubts in me about MS as whole.
  • MS really doesn't care about W10M. It is just a placeholder for the phone market segment until they can figure how to make an opportunity there. They won't even try to make an opportunity by getting apps or market share in the current environment. They have given up on that. The focus of Windows 10 is the legacy PC market and the touch-enabled tablets and convertables. If MS is already committed to supporting those platforms (which they clearly are and shoudl be), then the W10M stuff comes along for a very small incremental cost, especially if it is made up of ported PC apps, low-design, high margin hardware and little to no marketing. Sound familiar? And what if somethign happens in the future that would require MS to have a phone platform? What if "the next thing" needs it? Well, they'll have it on the back burner ready to go, just like they've been telling us for months.
  • Absolutely correct. Anyone can see MS's true level of commitment to windows phone (which is close to zero) if they are honest enough to call a spade a spade. Sadly, many people will defend them right up 'til the very end, for one reason or another. That's their right, of course, but the contradictions between what MS says and what they actually do is alarming.
  • Glad you woke up like I did. Loving my Xperia Z3V Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • So why are here since you have given up on WP?
  • That's where I always scratch my head, what are all those defactors and deserters still doing surfing windowscentral.
  • It's not WindowsPhoneCentral last time I checked...
  • Yeah, but you like get into the phone articles to troll or strut around with your new android. Like who cares. except were wasting valuable time reading your irrelevant chatter.
  • Always nice to see your articles..
  • Show it by giving a release date...
  • How is your comment from 13 hours ago when you posted this article few minutes back! :/ What sorcery is this?
  • Different time zone.....
  • No, it literally says 14 hours ago, in the app it showcases how long ago somebody posted a comment, regardless of time zones. Guess it took him that long to actually write the article itself. Great read regardless :) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Most likely it is a timed publication. He submitted the article 14 hours ago with the comment, and it was just now published after editors took a look at it.
  • The editors left all those extra commas?
  • In other words, it's a continuation of the "coming soon" strategy.
  • Except lately they have been actually delivering. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • They've been delivering not quite finished things with fixes "coming soon". The wait is indefinite and often lengthy, even when the issue is a missing feature that once worked just fine on a previous release.
  • Point out one other platform where there's not fixes "coming soon". Just one.
  • Perhaps the issue is the impression we get while being a part of the Windows Insider program. A simple issue or problem is pointed out by many enrolled in the program, multiple builds are released without the problem or issue being fixed, and then the RTM is finally released without a fix. "We'll get to it later" appears to be the attitude followed by a tweet that a fix is "coming soon" shortly after the RTM release. Meanwhile, Insiders are well aware that the issue had been ignored for many months with hundreds or thousands of Insiders pointing it out.
  • @Paul Kinslow: Is there something specific you're refering to? Most bugs I know of that they said they're working on, generally do get fixed. Moreover, if something isn't fixed yet, it doesn't mean its being ignored. It could simply be more difficult to fix or its just not as high a priority as other bugs. Personally, I've been happy with the progress and have found each release to have fewer bugs than the last.
  • Most of the times people claim that Windows is on this "We'll get to it later" track cant provide much proof of it. Its a good idea they agree with so they think it must be true. But in todays world, what more do you need sadly?
  • I'll note a few that seem important for release day first impressions on either or both the desktop and mobile OS: Menu consistency throughout the OS, lock screen or start menu lag or the transition between the two, presumed features delivered in a time frame as was indicated that they would be (Edge extensions, project Astoria support), consistency of light and dark theme throughout the OS, inconsistent or dual upper left and lower right menu controls, no option to choose an alternative to the much disliked circle photos, etc, etc. These are just a few first impression items off the top of my head. Technical and internal items are much more numerous, but new users will take a bit longer before they find those things to become frustrated with.
  • I agree that your list of items could be worked on, but how is that evidence that MS does not work on issues and improve their software as they go along? There are a whole host of features and issues that were taken care of between Win 10 launch and the big update now for instance.     I just wonder why so many like to claim MS does nothing but continuously push things off until later. Honestly, I think its because they allow more of the development process to be accessible by the public than say Apple or Google. For some reason, people that participate in the insider programs are the first to spread the idea that only MS has a steady stream of improvements and new features for their products, spinning it as a terrible thing. Windows is a big piece of software and it contains a lot of legacy baggage. That means it will take a long time to get a clean slate in areas like UI consistency/icons in every nook and cranny. The good news is that even as they are criticized for not getting enough done quickly enough, they do still get things done on all fronts.    
  • I agree that they are improving many things on a continual basis. That's not the point. As a diehard fan, many remember the polished, beautifully designed and consistently smooth experience we once had on far, far lesser spec devices. We gloated to others about these things in comparison to the laggy hodgepodge of ideas that was Android. Since then, iOS has become evermore polished, and Android has become better as far as lag and polish also. Meanwhile, our beloved OS has slowly been turned into a laggy hodgepodge of ideas.
    Many of us fans who were involved in the Windows Insider program wanted to see a polished and well performing end product by the release date to rival our nostalgic days of yore. Instead, we're seeing a half-baked work in progress that reminds us of what we didn't like about Android. The fact that MS didn't get to those things we felt were extremely important before release makes me cringe at the thought of recommending this product to someone. I wanted it worthy of a whole hearted recommendation, and I think many others did also.
  • @Paul Kinslow: What *you* find extremely important is not the same as what others found extremely important (you don't speak for *all* Insiders). Also, you have to keep in mind, stability is easier to achieve if you have less to deal with. The more you add, the more issues that can occur. You can't ask for more features and then expect the exact same experience you've had previously. There are articles going around stating Windows 10 Mobile may be the most advanced phone OS available. So, you may feel its half-baked, but W10M can do things others can't. Yeah, there are some things that seem small that some people miss and don't understand why its gone, but sometimes their logical place is no longer logical. And just because it was there before doesn't mean it makes sense or is super easy to keep it there now. I honestly feel like Microsoft's Insider program is a double edged sword. Now when someone suggests something, they feel Microsoft is obligated to fix it by the next build otherwise they're obviously ignoring the 'will of the people'. Anyone who is a developer knows that 'small' features are anything but, especially depending on your development process. I feel a lot of Insiders who aren't developers are unfairly judging Microsoft because in their heads so many things "should" be easy. You don't need to be a diehard fan to remember how stable Windows 8 was. However, Windows 8 was far from being a full fledged OS. It was so barebones compared to now. it's like talking about the stability of DOS versus the stability of Windows 10. The capabilities of Windows 10 Mobile is ridiculous compared to Windows 8. It's unfair to judge their stability without taking that into account. I mean, being able to run the *same* application as Windows 10 PC? Windows 8 "universal" apps weren't universal. It was code once, compile twice. Windows 10 Universal apps are code once, compile once, even publish once. That's *magnificent*. I don't think people understand that.
  • Lol... What you refer to as "what You find important" was typically among the highest requested of user feedback items. Each item has an up vote score total, if you were unaware. The "we" I refer to were all the hundreds or thousands of others who shared my opinion with an up vote.
  • there are millions in the insider program... so i say again, what *you* find important isn't necessarily what others find important. what bug are you so bummed about anyway? as that was your original complaint, not features, but fixes. but even so, if not a bug, what feature? many of the highest voted things not implemented generally were given reasons as to no implementation.
  • If you knew the translations errors that have found in the RTM version of Windows 10 in Spanish would change of mind Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Well both Windows phone 10 and 8.1 are missing basic features that both other platforms have...8.1 is stable but has no real quick launch system. 10 is missing txt message search from 8.1 and terrible stability. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Agreed Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Indeed. Coming soon (TM)
  • I for one am happy about "coming soon". The alternative is nothing new on the horizon.
  • Wow! MS work is easy... Just keep giving false hopes and keep developing for iOS/Android... Because in the end... most of us 3% would have to move to them and MS wants us to use their Apps/Services
  • @jason did you do a masters in English? Your articles are just like treats! They surely grab attention.
  • Still (over)using those exclamation marks, I see
  • First off, I'll say it, Panos sucks. Complete fake enthusiasm in everything he says. A completely scripted, contrived speech on everything he presents. The Lumia was the worst. There was nothing passionate in his voice. He's just cringe worthy to listen to. Roper on the other hand was real, he wasn't trying to sell you something he was trying to show you something he thought was seriously cool. HUGE difference.
  • They were both annoying.
  • You're both even more annoying....
  • I saw Panos had real passion in the surface demos, he was much less passioned about the phones, but his style is a bit stand offish. its like LOOK AT THIS THING WEVE DONE JUST LOOK AT IT!!! ITS SO AWESOME IF YOU'D LOOK AT IT
  • I find no issue with Panos having real passion for surface and less so for lumia. I mean, are parents as passionate about someone else's kids as they are about their own? even if they're both really great at whatever?
  • Panos is really like that. I met him at a small Surface 2 launch event and he was just as pumped and passionate.  It's ok for people to love what they do and be passionate about it. If  you don't feel the same way about what you do, maybe it's time for you to find something else
  • Totally agree with this. But I think many people buy it all the same.
  • The Panos you saw and the Panos I saw must have been two completely different people because Panos was awesome and passionate...
  • Interesting, had the opposite experience, type cast TV shop character with too much hat VS real person's passion that still would not fit the sales person, and still was un-Ms-like powerfully commercially convincing. And all that without a turtle neck, left me impressed
  • I don't know if he sucks, but I got the same impression that he wasn't too excited about the phones. Roper was Boss =)
  • lol people will hate on your comment, but this article does not reflect the initial reaction from Windows Central after Paney's presentation of the new Lumia devices. I distinctly remember there being a general agreement that Paney did not come across as being overly enthused about the new Lumia devices. You know you're in trouble when one of the main Windows sites has to publish articles like this one ascerting that MS is all in with Windows Phone.
  • Panay is the best thing that happened to Windows phone in 5 years. Period
  • All of those 300 Spartans (except 1) died, so is that what you are trying to get at here?
  • Those 300 Spartans fought long enough for reinforcements to arrive. So some early adopters that are fed up may leave but the platform will by then be gaining momentum and survive by attracting new users.
  • Yup, and Daniel is Leonidas.  That makes Jason Dilios? =) Lol sometimes it feels that way for Daniel, the sole believer except hope he survives to see the the reinforcements coming :) Where's the phone codenamed spartan? haha  I'd buy it.
  • Not a phone, but a browser called: Project Spartan :D
  • Not exactly: at the beginning the Greeks were around 7000, after Xerxes was informed that there was a passage to bypass the Greeks block Leonidas retreated the bulk of its forces and remained there with his three hundreds Spartans, four hundred Thebans and another couple of hundreds, totaling around fifteen hundreds. Most were killed not all but one. Furthermore no reinforcements arrived, the Persian marched and conquered Athens as well but later lost a naval battle at Salamis; Xerxes fearing to be blocked in Europe withdrew back to Persia.
  • Glad someone is willing to be a sucker. History repeats itself, the future of Microsoft depends on it Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That's what I was thinking, too. As is often the case with analogies, they aren't thought all the way through.
  • @lippidp: As is often the case with analogies, you're really only supposed to use the part of the analogy the author tells you. Anything beyond that is pointless. *No* analogy works if you 'think it through' far enough because in the end, you're comparing two different things, so in the end, yes, they'll end up being different. You take something someone knows about and then use that as a comparison to make it easier. Beyond anything the author intends is a mindless exercise.
  • I know what you're saying and agree, but it's not too much of a stretch to use the outcome in the analogy and apply it, is it? Of course, it's all in good fun. I'm gonna get the 950 either way!
  • But if the analogy comes from movie's telling of an historical event, and said movie took many liberties with the facts, and was actually a love action version of a graphic novel, it's still a good analogy.
  • Yeah, but they won the war.
  • That movie was so bad....and had a lot of inaccuracies...   So then again, I can see the similarities.
  • I was coming here to point out this very thing. Did we not consider the irony of the fact that, while it was a brilliant fight and military manuever etc... they DIED as a result? Is that really the message we want to take away here? "We'll beat the big bad guys, but we'll be too dead to enjoy it!" :)
  • Thank you Jason, your articles are always interesting to read, and present and support very compelling points. Brilliant!
  • You make your whole argument about statement Microsoft made at least month ago while they just made a different kind of statement last week. Yes I'm talking about OneDrive this said it all. To tell the truth windows fan boy shouldn't be upset because when they upgrade it to 30 Gb it was just to alleviate the misery of apple boy with their own icloud. I guess MS strategy didn't pay off with the apple boy now they are rolling back. I'm a windows fan but I'm no sheep, I'll denounce MS when I have to.
  • Onedrive has nothing to do with phones. They never promised unlimited storage if you bought a phone. The unlimited storage was related to Office 365 subscribers. Of course, dropping the storage from 15gb to 5gb was a bad move
  • Erudite and informed as ever, Jason. Pleasure to read
  • That was a good analogy, Microsoft as 'Spartans' 'fighting in the shade' - a strategic move on their part. And I see that with Windows 10 as a cross-platform experience, not confined to a device. I think Microsoft is really shifting how software's and hardware's will be used going from now on. So, with that part of your article, I agree 100%. I don't see the relevance of breaking down the actual time spent on the presentation of Lumia - it felt laborious and unnecessary. Mainly because the marketing strategies Microsoft uses to promote Windows 10 is, other than in the U.S., India and Europe, weak (that's if it's even evident in a place like, say Southern African countries like South Africa, where Lumia's are sold with all carriers/networks and experience a somewhat large consumer base). Unless you work in a store (I.e. A carrier/network store) , no one here actually really knows about the Lumia 950, it's not even advertised as "coming soon" in promotional media from carriers, like other flagships are. So, when December hits,which is the biggest consumer month of the year, how will Microsoft position it's wonderful windows 10 ecosystem wrapped in a gorgeous Lumia 950, if there isn't enough publicity around it enough to inform the consumer ahead of time? Who is Microsoft targeting, how are they targeting and implementing this strategy? To those of us who cannot go to Microsoft event, or watch it because it will consume like all of our data, we have to check updates on windows central or win beta. Microsoft does need to look at who talks about their tech globally, and who doesn't - that's a bigger problem for windows phones. Here, we all know Windows 10, but mostly or, even, only as a desktop /laptop/tablet OS. There is no coverage of windows 10 mobile. And we have people who buy Lumia's who also do not know abt windows 10 mobile. In short, MSFT needs to see that repositioning it's approach should be unified and evidently so, not just surface pro and books (which aren't sold here), but all of it's awesome tech as one marketable approach - if ALL of this makes sense (excuse the dexterity here and there ;-p)
  • @Cojo101: Your second paragraph makes me think you didn't fully understand what was in the article. They mention who the target audience is and also mentions why there's no media blitz and phones on every carrier. The target audience are windows fans and enterprise.
  • As always I enjoyed reading your article. As you wrote about platform agnostic Microsoft - how do you think the reduction of onedrive free capacity is fitting in this picture?
  • unless they ever give numbers for individual departments, we'll never know for sure. my guess is onedrive was hemorrhaging money. people forget that microsoft can only lose so much money...
  • The problem is, as a fan, I've been shut out of Windows 10 here. I have Verizon, and it's not even possible to buy it full cost through Microsoft and put it on that network. What percentage of Windows Phone fans are already forced to get an Android device this year because Microsoft isn't even supporting that core fan crowd.
  • It seems like Verizon is pretty much anti-Windows at this point. You'll probably need to consider a carrier switch or get used to no Lumia devices. Posted from this here device.
  • no... Verizon Wireless isn't supporting you. Why are you giving them a free pass in all of this? Do you think Microsoft just decided to disable CDMA to spite you? No, the phone is physically capable of being on VW's network. VW has to approve it though. They're the gatekeeper and their relationship is anything but friendly. Microsoft tried and VW failed. It was VW that held up all the firmware updates. Maybe MS can try harder to appease VW, but honestly, I feel like it wouldn't really matter what MS did at this point unless they gave paid VW off and I doubt it'd be a reasonable amount of money.
  • Verizon is, by law, forced to activate all devices that are compatible with the network. Check the FCC 700 Mhz ruling. Sure Verizon can create all sorts of obstacles (not carrying in store, putting in back of the store, giving customers trouble etc.), but they can't deny activation.
  • Do they have activate it on other bands?
  • Is the shirt still available?
  • Hi Jason, Thanks for the article. I'd like too know your thoughts about how OneDrive's reduction interacts with this Microsoft's commitment with Windows Phone. Thanks
  • most likely unrelated. the onedrive action was platform agnostic entirely. my guess it was a financial move as its likely onedrive was losing money hand over fist.
  • Always a pleasure to read your articles Jason, and this one is no different. Very informative on MS's adopted strategy and I do believe that they will start with upping their marketing efforts too. Just hope that its not too late when they actually do.
  • This is a tremendous article, really nice depth and love the tie in to what we think of as the best display of tactics and strategy with war.  One thing I'd think of differently after reading this a second time is that it might not be defensive to fall back in the US to one carrier and to MS' small core fanbase rather than reaching out.  They aren't "suring" up their fanbase which I would think of as defensive.  If they were doing that, this would have by hook or by crook been in each carriers' stores, and likely taken a loss (thus defense).  In other words, they would have made adoption (continued use) easier, not more difficult.  They didn't.   They are - at least tactically - working with one uber carrier, one that has shown it will work in exclusivity deals in the past, which is strategic in itself. And they'll sell their product themselves, they will fully own the user's experience. They created not just a phone, but a tightly coupled hardware ecosystem, one that will cost real dollars.  It's like the play on the Surface/Surface Pro - they don't include a keyboard, it's not a generic 9v type plug, the docks aren't remotely usable by anything else, the keyboards don't fit on anything else, it's not cheap .... and thus, like iPhone adopters, we find ourselves as those that bought in and will continue to - locked in.  I am thinking of Continuum when I say this but it could apply to the certain ways that W10 only exposes Windows Phone integration features. So this article makes me realize that MS is on offense here.  It might be a small play but they aren't trying to move from 2.5% to 3% in marketshare, they want to see 1.5% market share lock in.  And give them treats, they've already enabled them as "insiders", make them their product ambassadors, and THEN go after a percent here and there with other carriers as they launch a "Surface Phone" or something that has a "well now they are making ~that~, I'm in."  And if they can get the Enterprise to buy-in in that time, as security becomes more critical and iPhone/Android don't exactly light that aspect of the IT space up, then they don't have to wait for that "well now they are making ~that~" moment, they can get the product, it's ecosystem/ingetraton in users' hands, without individuals having to foot the bill. So it's funny for me to read the article, then some of the comments that talk about MS not caring because of their alignment with only one carrier.  I don't see it that way, and I say that as a Verizon customer leaving in a week to AT&T to chase a phone.  Because I am a fan, and I like what MS has cooking here.
  • microsoft have to stay in the mobile phone business cause if they dont people will eventually move to the companys that offer cross platform, its one reason why most of my friends used iphonews but had desktop windows.  Now they all have iphones, ipads and macbookpros.  All itll take is android to release a os that can do everything windows does and supot games and youll see people fly off windows very fast.  I know after the onedrive changes i certainly would. 
  • Guys follow Windows Phone topic on Quizup. It's fresh and new.
  • No. Just because you advertised it. Priv screen goes up
  • I really want the phone but I have my concerns with this. I won't repeat the normal recycled complaints but I just would say that being committed is one thing. I'm committed to continue to want to go back to Window for a phones but it's not near a priority and if the Priv keeps impressing me I'm gonna miss out on the 950XL and I'm okay with that. I had cash in hand ready to buy and then time and anticipation ticked away. Priv screen goes up
  • "Priv screen goes up" What does this mean?    
  • Blackberry Priv's screen goes up, as in, slides up when you want to reveal the keyboard.
  • But why put it as your signature? You might as well just say "lock screen goes on." Stupid.
  • World first problem. I'll get on that for you. Priv screen goes up
  • Thanks man. lol
  • actually, shouldn't it be Priv screen goes down? Because when you're done with the message, wouldn't you then want to *hide* the keyboard? It just seems like a weird concept. Like... no one really understands why you put it in your signature as such. It's fine if you want to advertise that you use the Priv, but at least make it in a manner that makes sense. "Sent on" or "Sent with" make sense. Yours is backwards. Maybe if you opened each message with that I guess?
  • Are you talking about blackberry priv? Read arstechnica review. It's apparently a really bad phone.
  • aitt is currently using one, are you claiming Ars knows what's better for him? LOL
  • And reviews say Window phone is a waste of time. And people said the 950XL and 950 are horrible designed phones... *shrugs* Priv screen goes up
  • I've read many good previews of the phone from Android and ios users. If you haven't seen it in person you won't understand. But ars has really good reviews and really in depth with benchmarks and everything. They never give bias. But if you like yours by all means. I was simply stating just in case you were contemplating but seems you already got it.
  • I like the Priv more than I did my Note 4. I tend to not look at certain reviews and provide my own opinion from real world use. And this is in my top 5 easily. There's some bugs that need to get kinked out but I currently have no intention of returning for the 950XL currently. I think the 950XL could be a great game changer, however I think I will give MS one more year to vastly improve on what they have already done. Once again, however had the phone been released or I was able to prepay for it, the Priv would be obsolete in my possession. I'm one of those people that's if I really like something I will not wait. I was ready for it and bought the wireless display for continuum but the anticipation started to dwindle. Priv screen goes up
  • Yeah I think the excitement of the announcement had been dwindling for me too. They announced way too early. If they announced and had them ready their sales would probably sky rocket. But now the press forgot them and is focusing on stuff that is actually available or coming as expected. In Canada there is no news on when you can buy them. I really want the big screen. Samsung is already going to announce the s7 soon. It's sort of sad.
  • Agreed. Priv screen goes up
  • Wouldn't it be priv screen goes down since you put that at the end of your post? after finishing typing your priv screen has already been up for you to type is it not?
  • Whatever works for you buddy. Priv screen goes up
  • Uh... Is there a bug in your phone? Why would you want the keyboard to appear after you're done writing?
  • Yeaaah,it should be 'priv screen goes down' or 'priv keyboard goes up'
  • I make a comment about 950 and people care about a sig. Lol nothing has changed in the comment section here. Priv screen goes up
  • What's the point of a signature if you don't want anyone to read it?
  • Nope. People using other devices still come here to tell everyone that they won't be buying Microsoft products. Nothing has changed, indeed. Posted from this here device.
  • MS own people are saying the same thing. I don't tend to care to wait and gripe. I buy what I like. Whether it's MS , Android , or whatever. To each their own. As I said if the 950XL had came out in October I would have had that in my hand, but I guess that was overlooked since my Priv screen goes up... *shrugs* Priv screen goes up
  • And priv battery goes down....and Priv hardware heats up....Priv camera makes noises... Despite complaints of others about hardware issues...enjoy your Priv man.  
  • Shouldn't it be "Priv screen goes down". Since your done typing?
  • Had an opportunity to play with the priv today. I so wanted to support BlackBerry, but I went with the LG v10 instead. It just feels better put together.
  • As a Verizon customer with no option to move to another carrier, I've moved to Android for now. I want the 950xl but have no options for the foreseeable future. I'll gladly return to Windows phone once Verizon gets a 950 variant other a classy Flagship and the App gap improved when they FINALLY utilize Astoria and Islandwood. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Finally gave up. Migrated half my family to ATT on the 640's for cheap, just waiting for the 950 announcement to get me and my wife off completely from VZW and all onto ATT. Will I be able to do so before my Dec bill at the end of Nov?
  • I'm stuck with Verizon too. Planning to take my ICON long as it'll go and hopefully in spring things will be clearer with Surface phones or whatever the new moniker will be. I feel others pain though.
  • Isn't shifting to another operator a better option than begging a stupid operator to get a phone of our choice. Yes, coverage is a main factor but what's the use of coverage when they literally control or restrict your choice. How come US is so behind in telecom when it is ahead in everything else :\ so much power given to an operator.
  • Depends on the situation...mine, my work graciously pays for my phone and I can upgrade (buddy) any time...perks. So for the indefinite period, I am with Verizon.
  • "Yes, coverage is a main factor but what's the use of coverage when they literally control or restrict your choice."   I'll tell you "what's the use of coverage".  It's necessary to use the device.  Believe me when I say that the W10M fans on Verizon that want these phones would love to switch carriers for them.  I know I would.  Problem is service.  Without good service, it is stupid to switch to a carrier just for the freedom to choose whatever phone you want.
  • I signed up for a 2GB off contact deal with ATT buying a 640 for $60 to test it around home and work. Seemed fine, just like VZW so I went for the whole smash. There's perception, and there's reality...
  • The reality for me is that AT&T in downtown Los Angeles, at my location, has such poor reception that I had trouble sending a text message much less making a call or using any sort of data service. Verizon and Sprint, on the other hand, have excellent service here. I spend most of my day at this location, so moving to AT&T isn't an option for me. I'm stuck on Verizon with my 928 until something else comes along on Verizon or I move jobs and the location has decent AT&T service.
  • at the end of day you are going to get apple after android 
  • IDK, but Verizon just added a $20 activation fee for it's device payment plan
  • (they just have a hard time PROVING it)
  • Dedication... Windows is massively marketing Cortana, to the point that several key features are directly conected to Cortana functionality, but Cortana isn't available to a HUGE percentage of their customers.
    Not to mention Bing services (and rewards)...
  • Bing rewards is nice and fun to be a part of, but people make it sound like they're missing out on something huge. With normal use Bing Rewards is a few bucks a month. (maybe about $3) It's nothing to write home about.
  • I've earned so much from Bing rewards. Gotten so many apps for free, music, TV(Hulu), Amazon gift cards that have totaled up enough to buy me a pc, etc. It can be a huge deal if used.
  • It takes about a year to get about $95-$120 or so in amazon gift cards... and that's if you put all of your credits towards Amazon gift cards and don't miss out on *any* credits every day. Don't get me wrong, I like the service, but it's not *that* big. Especially when they cut how many points a gold member can get from bing pc searches (used to be 30 a day for PC searches then it got cut to 15). The most you can get some days is 30 to 32 points, but usually averages out to about 28 points a day, with 25 being the minimum possible amount you can get a day. It's great for small things though like getting Hulu for free each month or occasionally getting windows store gift cards, etc.
  • If you are comminted, change so if you are using windows phone you get  unlimited coud backup for your photos free. Start giving something for services to windows phone user. If windows phone dies in long run so does windows. You better get mobile thing going.
  • That's point.. WP ecosystem is damaging the brand image of Windows PC ecosystem.. Many people says that Windows has no future like WP. It'll die. I wish if Microsoft read this comment
  • hmmm great article still not convinced to buy lumia 950/950xl because of ugly design......i would hold on 1020 or buy 930/925 because i love oled so no L830....
  • I don't have a problem with the designs but I do agree they could have made it much better. Maybe metallic body etc.
  • The screen is absolutely beautiful. The case can be replaced. Mozo already is selling out of cases. More will come to market. It's a truly customizable experience other phones don't offer. Other phones wrap cases around. This is an actual replaceable cover.
  • The screen is horrible; flat and with a rubber lining to grate your fingers at every swipe! Pure Lumia 630; it screams low-tier to high heaven, no matter the resolution, brightness or sunlight visibility! The main reason I may skip this phone... I love the feel of the curved screens on many of the old Lumias; I HATE the screen on my work-issued 630!
  • http://faixamobi.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Mozo_Lumia950_950XL_1.png
  • Are you suggesting he put the case over his screen so he doesn't have to see it?
  • It's the all new one tile interface
  • These phones should be mandatory purchases for windows users or they should be kicked down a well and banned from Microsoft services (joking). I've said it before, support the platform or watch it burn...
  • At this point I'll only support the platform when it deserves it. Which it doesn't currently.
  • platform aint gonna burn because we dont support it gonna burn because microsoft doesnt act fast ..we love windows that doesnt mean we want to invest our time,money on device which have everything instead of good standard design what else oh ya, OS have grey color everywhere and no interactive tiles for music,no music controls on lockscreen and action center, no translucent action center like on desktop, no split screen,no third party keyboard (swiftkey)........iam happy with my apps collection on windows....i want to support platform but windows mobile aint ready still iam trying my best i have lumia 1020,lumia 730, on my pressure my frnd bought L640 for his sister,now arguing with him to buy L830 as he want to shift to android....iam planning to buy either L930 or L925 or wait for some good looking real flagship device with oled scren instead of some mockup nexus windows devices which plays god role to show case platform features.....
  • Looks like all other phones today Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • htc one A9 iphone mockup looks better than these
  • No. That's the funny part about the crying about the design. Everyone seems to want the new phones to look like some other phone. The Lumia line clearly does not look like "all other phones" today. I'm in Japan where nearly 30% of the phones are iPhone. Think about that. Japanese OEM produce a ton of Android knockoff phones. No one design dominates and Samsung has only a marginal presence. All the major carriers heavily advertise iPhone.
  • Just wondering if you've seen it yourself or are you going off of pictures and videos?
  • In my country 950 is priced directly against LG G4 while having better specs. 950XL is priced lower then SGS6. That's maximum of what MS could have achieved with these phones. Adding metal = dead phones.
  • In my country isn't even interest by the 950 and Microsoft don't understand what is doing really how wants sell more phones and get profits if don't get a worldwide strategy of market in my country Chile the strategy of market is a joke only low ends and high ends zero also even a phone the 920 in a operator got abandoned by both Microsoft and the carrier so got stuck in cyan looks like don't care a damn by user satisfaction right now to the person who have the 920 that is stuck in cyan is thinking get a android and never anymore an windows phone , mobile, I don't even understand why Microsoft still getting focus on BRICS countries where doesn't went good at all in sales according the latest statistics so don't really see any interest of Microsoft in the world more than a bunch of countries and the rest of the world gets discriminated Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Article was great, I enjoyed reading it. This gives me hope that Windows Mobile is going to be amazing.
  • I really feel like they really don't care. I feel like the community is just so strong it's hanging on and Microsoft is doing small things to appease us. I had to jump ship tbh. I have the new Droid Turbo 2 coming my way and im very excited for everything to just work and know whatever app im looking for it'll be there. However I do look forward to keeping my windows phone on the side and continuing to see it grow, and hopefully succeed so I can come back to it one day.
  • I have the same feelings. I just hate Google's services and I think Android is so ugly even stock. I might jump ship too though. Just a cheap one because sooner or later they have to get proper app support and then I can hopefully switch back. PLEASE :(
  • Omg spoiler alert.... Nah jokes was a great article
  • I'm not trying to be mean and I'm sure you put good effort in writing this, but this just reeks of fanboyism. I have noticed there are a lot of apologists on this site defending Windows Mobile. The bar has been set sooo low. If you go to Macrumors, everyone there is blasting Apple for the Ipad Pro. Keep an open mind. That's why I don't take product reviews here seriously. Much rather go to mobiletechreview.com for that.
  • This! As soon as I read the first lil bit I only saw it as a very biased (fanboy) article. Not long ago another article on here even highlighted how Panoy was obviously underwhelmed by the phones. Almost embarrassed to talk about them because his team didn't work on them.
  • So the site has various perspectives and you still scream bias? When an article doesn't read with all the doom and gloom you want, it's fanboy? It's an article giving perspective to a stategy. It's well written, thought out and backed up. That's more than I can say for the fan boy name-calling and accusations. Posted from this here device.
  • What various perspectives are you talking about? Cause all I see are positive ones. And what is this strategy you speak of? And if you call a reference to "300" or quotes from employees a backup, I can't take you seriously. What are they supposed to say? Windows sucks? Keep an open mind buddy. For example, I love the Surface Pro. I own a L920 and it is pathetic. I own an Xbox and it it's awesome.  I know this is a Windows site, but damn, give credit where credit is due and complain when they deserve it.
  • Someone gives you an example of the biggest fan of Windows on this stie (Daniel) and how he's been very cautious about W10M, very cautious about the new phones, and believes Panos did *not* sound enthusiastic about the Lumias. Do you listen? No, you still say everything is positive. Commenters have been across the board from windows lovers to windows haters. You point to a negative article about the iPad Pro (not even sure if its an article or commenter, but whatever) and what, that's what you expect to see on all fan sites? Negative reviews about everything? And you have such a high standard for evidence because *things that actually happened* don't count. Quotes from people who are the head of their departments, gave presentations on MS's behalf, actually have inside knowledge of the company, or ARE THE FRIGGIN' CEO himself don't meet your standards? The article is *filled* with evidence and a point of view that counters your own. Yeah... you're right. The article is the one who is closed-minded. Also, keep in mind, this is literally a site for fans of Windows. There's going to be a bias. Period. To expect anything else is ridiculously stupid. You think a phone that's over 3 years old is pathetic? Congratulations. You must have an open mind. And you think people on this site don't complain about Windows all the time? Are you only reading every third comment?
  • Hi @Engineers thanks for your input. The strategy which is being referred to is Microsoft's shift from investing resources in a mass-market approach in regards to their smartphones. I've actually lid out in a series of article called "High and Lows: Microsoft's SmartPhone strategy" my analysis of Microsofts strategy. The industry is very complex and there a many components, Microsoft, rivals consumers etc that affect Microsoft's approach and performance in the market. As such the series is currently has 8 installments. There is also a supplemental series I wrote called "Perfect(Windows)10: Microsoft's Mastermind CEO" which is actually a detailed presentation of Satyas long term vision as he put it forth in July of 2014 and how. Though many readers saw the title "Mastermind" and perceived the series as a praise of the CEO, it was actually an indictment of much of the industry and fans who attributed what "looked like" a shift in long term strategy at the end of June 2015, which was ACTUALLY an objective of Nadella long term vision telegraphed last year. Some of those things were pulling away from the low-end deluge, refocusing on core markets and more. I refer to those things in this piece but if you'd like to see my analysis of the strategy Microsoft has been and is executing here are to series: Highs and Lows and Perfect(Windows)10 that should help:https://doc.co/GTX682 What you are seeing MS doing now strategically is investing resources in building an ecosystem of which phone is a part. Windows 10 is a continuum that runs across hololens, rasberry pi, PC, eventually. Band and phone. It is the growth of this ecosystem that will, in MS's estimation help phone to succeed. Going head to head against Apple/Goole with phone is no longer(at this stage viable). Lack of apps(this less mass consumer appeal) and lockin makes it virtually impossible. The strategy is to get users into the ecosystem whether through PC, cross platform apps etc as put forth in this piece. Phone is an intricate part of the ecosystem and MS hopes once users are in the ecosystem via other means Windows on phone may appeal to them. That's the strategy I see and put forth in this piece. Again for a more comprehensive view check out the link I shared. Thanks for the discussion:-)
  • I can understand the situation, but they also need to understand mine as well. I have to buy a new phone, as my old phone is simply not cutting it for me. I initially wanted to go between Nexus 6P and Lumia 950XL, but with very little info and hands on with the Windows Phone, I am not sure what to expect. Also I just don't understand how Microsoft is so focused in making quality apps for Android and iOS and release subpar versions for Windows Phone. I am guessing they are making a contiguency plan, which does not put much confidence on a consumer like myself who is trying to jump into the Windows ecosystem, 
  • HTC one m8 sales have been going up pretty high. Probably why there's an a9 windows one on the way.
  • No they haven't, and no there isn't.
  • At least the I could check out the 950XL in stores, the Nexus phone was nowhere. I really wish Google opened a store, at least on their campus
  • first of all windows mobile is not about apps atleast windows 10  its an ecosystem like apple bla bla in short.........you have windows laptop/desktop etc windows mobile will make you're day.....for eg you can send text from laptop instead of searching for mobile....new messaging and phone app is great with skype bulit in.....hope one day i can make call from mobile through laptop....photos sync directly to onedrive then you can view on windows desktop photo app viceversa.....onenote/word/powerpoint/excel everything will sync...so its juct about ecosystem vs android mobile os......iam just anger upon microsoft because from day one they are slow slow slow to adapt current market and react.
  • Apps are a huge part of the ecosystem.
  • Apps in this day and age decide the ecosystem.
  • Well, their departments have the same pressures other developers do. They need to appease their biggest audiences. However,  i feel your pain though in regards to waiting for phones. It's a fine line to walk when saying "oh, just hold out a littler longer, our phones are coming, i swear"...
  • We are the 3%
    And doomed to fail, just like the brave Spartans BTW the Lumia 550 is much more important for the future of Windows Mobile than Lumia 950. The sales numbers really don't lie, there is miniscule sales of high end Windows Phones, and all the OEMs have left. Microsoft only future is to build up from their massive Asha line, though MS Services, and get those Asha users to migrate into low end Lumina 550s.
  • lumia 550 vs 640 = same price, 640 wins
  • Or just remain the minority. It's not like we're going to lose some epic battle. MS isn't going to stop with phones. They just aren't. It's been echoed over and over and over.
  • Yes, because shareholders will definitely allow Microsoft to keep wasting their billions on a flopped phone strategy. Sure. That's definitely how Corporations work. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Its becomming a broke record at this point - the OS is awesome.......it just needs APPS at the same time as IOS and Android, and more Developer support.  If a developer can submit a .apk to Google Play, and to Microsoft stores at the same time, we will be in luck..........if it takes hours and days of changing code, etc, we are screwed, and nothing is going to change.  Same goes for IOS apps.  I love the fact that they are making bridges, to get apps from other mobile platforms on WP's running W10 Mobile.........but, unfortunately, unless they are submitted, and approved to the store, nothing is going to change.  If i am going to a conference, and there is an IOS app that i have to download, and I cannot use the immersive experience due to using a WIndows Phone, it really sucks - I deal with it, cause i despise IOS, and am somewhat tolerant of Android......They need to advertise, cut developer fees, and create incentives for developers to port to Windows Store, and not only port, but maintain the apps.  They are at a point where they cannot charge for this stuff.  Its what made WIndows Phone tank in the first place back in the day - they were charging licensing fees to OEM's, and Google was not - Android was not nearly what it is now back then - MS made their decision way too late to stop charging licensing fees, and now we are all stuck at 3%, with $hitty developer support (THANKS TO THOSE THAT ACTUALLY DO SUPPORT THE PLATFORM).
  • A big one is allowing google ads on the new platform for developers. It pays way more money than the current one. But only windows 8.1 supports it right now. So going to 10 lowers ad revenue at this moment.
  • Using adblock is the solution to block google ads. 50% of their ads are never seen my friend.
  • I'm talking about developers generating revenue with in-app ads.  Right now google ads is not available for them to use within windows 10 apps they create.  Not ads on the web.
  • You do have to make some changes before compiling your Android app and uploading the APK. For many apps these changes might be small enough that they don't really have to fork their code and maintain two codebases. However, the Android bridge is only for Windows 10 Mobile. It doesn't result in a UWP app, so you're only targeting the 2.5% of WP users and is that really worth any effort? With iOS, you have to make more changes and from what I've seen you need Visual Studio and Windows to do it. It does end up as a real UWP app but it's more effort. Developer fees are $19, for life, that's cheaper than even Google Play Store and you can get promo codes to avoid paying even that.  Also, while Google wasn't charging a license fee for Android itself (as it is an open source project) they were charging a fee for using their services. So if you wanted the Google Play Store, Google Play Services and other apps on your device you had to pay them. Microsoft stopped charging licensing fees a long time ago and it made no difference (well, it brought in small OEMs like Blu, didn't matter to Samsung or other big OEMs)
  • "Microsoft experiences will be best on Microsoft devices. This claim appears to have been proven by Continuum enabled devices..."  I love this because I remember a time when a lot of us were complaining about all the Office updates that Microsoft was pushing to iOS and Android, while leaving Windows 10 mobile and Windows 8/8.1 apps in the cold.  Now, after seeing Continuum, and the full scalability of these apps in Windows 10 mobile, it is completely true that for the best Microsoft experience, you need to be on a Microsoft device. I for one am glad I had to wait a little longer for a far superior experience.
  • True until MS allows Office for iOS and Android full access to Continuum
  • The devices have to support that functionality. Right now they don't
  • What? Do you even know how Continuum works or what it is?
  • continuum is just a joke......who will buy mobile/display/mouse/keyborad/dock to use non full version os.
  • Very few people who already have a recent laptop or desktop will bother with Continuum.  It is not about replacing all the tasks that a full PC can accomplish. It is about extending the capabilities of the mobile OS and simply making the phone more useful by removing the physical constraints of a 5"-6" combination screen/keyboard/touchpad.   But there are millions of people who have very limited computing needs.  They use only a smartphone, or a tablet or a chromebook.  The mobile phone is a "sunk cost"; you're buying that anyway.  So you're really talking about maybe another $200-$300 for dock and inexpensive monitor, keyboard, mouse.  These make it much more comfortable to write emails, work on documents, browse the web, consume media, etc. (i.e. what most people do on a computer, most of the time).   Personally, I have an ancient Windows Vista-era laptop at home that is used for nothing but email, web, netflix, music, occasional Office docs; that and Windows updates (always freaking updates).  It is connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse.  If I get a new Lumia I will finally toss that POS laptop or find someplace to donate it to.  Why do I want to bother with updates, maintenance and the unnecessary power consumption? Another example- my father in law.  He's 75 and gets along okay with his smartphone and an old iMac.  He uses the iMac for email and web browsing because he finds the small screen on the smartphone too limiting.  But at least once a month I get a question because something has gone wrong- a plug-in here, a download there; something is causing a beach ball- all the usual issues with a tired old desktop.  I would love to see him replace that thing with a dock and a monitor.  Maybe he spends $200 on a monitor (decent for him).  That would be much cheaper and easier than buying a new Mac. Or how about a junior high or high school student?  They're getting a phone anyway.  Give them the old monitor, keyboard and mouse or get them a new setup.  Now they can work on their documents and do research at home; they can also do all of their usual smartphone app stuff, just on the big screen if they so choose.  Save the laptop for when they go off to college and will be spending much more time working on the go.         
  • Unless can get flash player and shockwave besides full java then continum will be very limited Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • yeah... i remember people saying that about android, ios, and windows phone...
  • There are so many scenarios where it'd save businesses so much money to just buy people a phone and a terminal setup. What would be great is if you could pipe the phone capability into a Cisco phone or something. Plug it in at work, and boom, you have full office capabilities. Unplug it and boom, you have full office capabilities on the go.
  • Why is everyone still talking about 3%? It was less than 2% last quarter.  And what's even worse: Blackberry only sold less than a million phones but made twice as much revenue as Microsoft did. Plus Microsoft's ASP is a totally terrible 108$. Also there is a mistake in the article: Multitasking wasn't shown with Continuum. Because there is no multitasking for Continuum when using a Lumia 950. You can switch between apps but they don't multitask in between (they just get frozen in memory). Multitasking will only be introduced with Continuum for Surface Business Phones.
  • That was sales but oddly market share stayed stable. I've seen accounts ranging from 2.7 to 3.2. The last one, comscore I think, said 1.7% sales but that it held at a total of 2.9 market share with no change overall and that's with no new devices and people knowing new ones were soon to be released. Not too bad overall. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I have read that the Priv will be Blackberry's last phone as they are simply losing money and are not in Microsoft's financial situation to continue at a loss until success is gained. To be honest, I have read about the death of Xbox and Surface products due to large financial losses, yet they have both turned around and will not be dying anytime soon, if ever! Blackberry is like Nokia, in that they were not clever enough to build up a portfolio of successful products and only concentrated on their phone sales success (though Nokia did have other divisions that are now profitable but could not support the phone side financially at the time). I think with the perseverance that MS applies to making services and products successful, WP will still be around well after Blackberry has gone.
  • Microsoft paid about a billion to replace defective XBOX consoles and keep that product alive. They wrote off nearly the same amount with the Surface RT. Ballmer was the one who decided to keep going after both products until they were successful. He also wanted to buy Nokia, which resulted in a much larger loss. Satya was against tat move. He might think they lost too much on phone hardware and decide to ditch it. I really think Panos will attempt a Surface Phone and if that doesn't get some traction it will be the end of Microsoft phones. I don't think Satya has the same patience and willingness to stick with something until it works
  • Yes, multitasking was shown as you can still use your phone...   Edit: To clarify, in continuum, you can have an app open on your phone and one on the monitor. so, there was definitely multitasking. I'm not sure what you're referring to. Moreover, even with only one app on a screen at a time, that's still a form of multitasking.
  • I'm hoping we see an update Windows 10 Mobile that allows split-screen apps.  iOS 9 allows this and also picture-in-picture.  These would be great features for Continuum (and maybe even on phablets).
  • From what I recall, iOS 9 on the iPad Pro allows this. Does it allow it on phones? As it stands now, all Windows tablets support split screens as they all run full Windows 10 for the most part.
  • Microsoft needs to cut the time from announce to release down to two weeks max. By the time devices are available, nearly all the excitement is gone. Historically, enough time passes that when a new device (phone) is finally available it no longer feels like the latest. Same with phone OS updates, which is mostly carrier interference, and hopefully will largely go away with W10M.
  • +1
  • 1. That already happened with the Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and Microsoft Band 2. They were all available within weeks of announcement 2. Microsoft has a device event, which is in October. So they announced the phones in it even if they didn't have a firm release date because the OS is not ready. They're not gonna have a separate event/announcement. 3. Also the iPad Pro was announced without a firm release date either, and is now available after around 2 months. Apple Watch was released much much later than announcement too. Things are getting better and going in the right direction, let's look at the positives.
  • But it's the phones that are particularly vulnerable to delays...
  • That is true. However, this is how I look at it. The problems phones are facing now are like the problems the first Surfaces were facing, with the pre-order problems, unavailability, shipment issues, etc. It doesn't help that the newly announced phones are not really a 100% Microsoft product but something that is left over from the Nokia era. And it doesn't help either that the number of WM users are low. Like Surface doesn't have those problems anymore, and we got quick release dates for the new versions and more availability, I think the same will happen with Windows phones, specially when a true Microsoft phone comes out, whether it's called Surface phone or somehting else. For now, Microsoft came out with these phones just so fans can have something, with great specs, instead of nothing. I'm sure their goals is not even to sell many of them, because they're not ready for prime-time. This doesn't mean they're not committed to it, it's just that it's not ready yet
  • Agreed.  I've lost interest.  Was excited, but with the questionable mobile OS and delayed time... I'm jumped ship
  • Unfortunately, I've lost interest also.  I was very excited at one point.  Too many delays in hardware & OS updates....blah...blah. I've been with Windows phones for a couple generations.  I've jumped ship also.  I'm not saying I'd never come back, but that will be much further in the future now.
  • Great article. I agree in seeing this view of the place w10m holds in the grand picture. Also loved the 300 reference, which is also pretty accurate.
  • This was a great read for me, thanks.
  • Perfect perfect article. Echoes exactly what my thoughts are People have a hard time getting their heads around the idea that long-term strategy sometimes involves short-term sacrifices, or that sometimes you gotta do stuff that seems ccounter-productive (Developing Microsoft apps for other platforms) Satya has been making so many good moves since he took charge of Microsoft. I'm sure what he's doing with mobile will make more sense in the future to people who can't see the vision now Enjoyed the read very much!
  • Satya if don't get focused I'm the worldwide instead of sell phones to India, China, Russia and Brazil definitely will still stuck in 2%marketshare windows phone one of the things that made get android fans and market is that is like the coke, it's sold everywhere and to everyone is liked and its democratic a thing that windows phone is failing in, can't pretend only sell a phone in a market segment and only in two countries that was what killed to BlackBerry they only did business phones and only to Canada, united states to Chile only at 2005 arrived the first BlackBerry. Was BlackBerry In here but didn't offered much than only a smartphone with qwerty physical keyboard and push e mail Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I sure hope they're telling the truth. I've been seriously considering getting an iPhone if T-Mobile or Verizon doesn't have the 950 XL by the time my contract ends (April 2016).
  • 950xl is unlocked with full GSM networks.
  • I wouldn't count on the 950XL being on VZW. However, by that time, we may start hearing about the Surface phones... if that is indeed the case, i'd suggest holding out for that (no one *needs* a phone when their contract is up). Plus, you can get the 950xl on T-mobile right away anyways, so if the surface phones are farther off, just get the 950xl and put it on tmobile's network.
  • Talking talking talking, we are tired of words, where are the actions. Actions speaks louder than words, MS intend to do vice versa. Wake up maaan
  • Better you go to sleep!!
  • "That's 21.8% of the event that Microsoft's head of engineering for premium devices, Panos Panay, and Executive Demo Lead, Bryan Roper, spent passionately presenting Windows phone. "   Nothing about Panays lackadaisical presenation of the 950/xl was 'passionate.' Did you watch the same presentation I did!? Dude pulled the phones out of his pocket for only two brief times during that 21.8% of time; meanwhile he was carrying around a Surface tablet like it was glued to his hands. Even Bryan Roper was lushing over Continuum, not the phone.
  • Well, Roper was there only to talk about Continuum. What do you expect him to lush over?
  • I was referring to this article trying to point out that Panay and him gave passionate presentations about the phones for 21.8% of the event. Panay wasn't passionate and Roper wasn't even there to talk about the phones.
  • What are you talking about? Continuum is a feature of the phones! How was he not there to talk about the phones? It's like saying that when Panos was talking about the Surface Pen and Surface keyboard, he wasn't talking about the Surface Pro.
  • Continuum is an W10 OS feature, not a device feature. It has been demoed since Build, so nothing new.
    The interest shown in Windows Phone devices was dire, especially as WP sales and any profits are driven by low end Lumina 5xx and 6xx devices, I was frankly disappointed by Panos aptitude towards the Lumia 550
  • "Continuum is an W10 OS feature" ... yes, a W10 OS feature specific to only capable devices.  There will be existing devices receiving W10 updates that are not capable of running Continuum.  The new 550 won't even be able to run Continuum.
  • Bingo! Microsoft had nearly 20 minutes to talk about Mobile, and they spent half of it talking about Continuum, which we'd already seen demo'd at Build and at IFA (just a few weeks earlier).  So we got maybe 10 minutes on the new flagships, with some of that wasted talking about antennas(!).  Almost no details about the camera or build quality or blah blah blah.  So yeah, I would agree that Panos Panay did not give a passionate presentation on phone hardware.      
  • to be fair, it was emulated at build as the hardware didn't exist yet. belfiore said it on stage at the time that it was all emulated. we were seeing the real thing on stage with roper. though to the overall point, i'm in the camp that panos will be more passionate talking about his own children as opposed to the stepchildren that were forced onto him...
  • Spartans were betrayed by one "fan" of them... I really hope that MS show that they care about his fans and after W10M get RTM we get things first than iOS and Android.
  • The thing is that whilst on the wp the work needs to be made from scratch, on other platforms, the devs just need to build the apps and then it's done. The difference is the most notable, because I think that once the os will be finally more stable/polished they will be able to focus the efforts towards the apps on windows too. They are actually inserting one by one, all the good features that were already present in wp8.1
  • Yes!
  • iOS and Android is where most people are now. Even among Windows PC users. That's why Microsoft focuses more there now. It makes sense because the goal is to get the most people possible into the ecosystem, not to WM for now. Putting too much time on Windows Phone users is not a good investment. It doesn't mean they ignore us, it just means that it's not as good of a Return On Invetsment for the whole ecosystem (and this is the important part). Growing the ecosystem is good for us too, but it's only so in the long-term, not the short-term. I hope that makes sense, even if I understand it's frustrating, even to me, because I'm a Windows Phone user too.
  • The masses are never going to invest in an ecosystem if they believe the company doesn't give a shit. And this isn't a startup company with no money. They can afford to throw in more resources to windows phone.
  • "The Masses" aren't the target...yet. Stop thinking Market Share and you'll understand.
  • the ecosystem *has* to come first. that's the pain windows fans are feeling, but we believe it'll pay off in the end. they said so themselves. the masses aren't the target audience right now. yeah, they're releasing a cheap w10m phone, but that's simply so one exists, not because they want to take over the market. its a difficult fight that windows has. but if they want to succeed, you can't throw a bunch of money at it and hope something sticks. you have to be strategic. the amount of money microsoft would have to throw around to get everything where they want it is astronomical. i don't think you realize how much money that would cost. they can't afford to buy the future they want. they have to earn it.
  • How many tens of billions of dollars do you expect Microsoft to spend on a phone OS, when other OSs are just as capable of running thier software where they make most of thier money?
  • God...rarely,read such a long article, but it was interesting indeed ;)
  • Ya @lumiacanada twitter and facebook is dead since april
  • Jason Ward you should find a job at Microsoft's PR.
  • My only concern is when Microsoft chooses to ditch its own platform and go for other platforms first when to comes to bringing high quality apps and updates. Take for example Skype. At the end of the day phones is all about apps. If your own services are way better on other platforms than your own and also widely available, why will a user come to your platform and buy a windows phone. Now that exclusive feautures like Cortana (Hey, Cortana already availableon android), offline navigation in HERE maps also gone, name one good app/feature that windows phone users exclusively have on Windows Phone platform?
    There are many apps too that are available and launched on other platforms first. I am happy to see Windows 10 Mobile and have high hopes but not untill Microsoft prefers to provide services to other platforms and leaving behind it's own platform.
  • Short term: - make your software and services available to 97% of the market.
    - make W10 available to the majority of PC users. Long term: - the familiar UI, services, ecosystem etc facilitate WP uptake The Ecosystem, Live Tiles, Efficient and Secure OS along with the deep integration on PC and Tablet are the uniqueness.
  • That´s something only fans appreciate... the other 97% is happy with what they use.
  • hence why it was pointed out in the article that they're aiming for the fans and enterprise first. they have to grow slowly. if they try to expand right now, the app gap will kill them. too many people will return phones cause of no snapchat. they need to build that ecosystem first. that'll take time. same thing happened with android, took a year or two before it started turning around. now the fight is even harder, i don't think it'll fix itself quickly, but with any luck, maybe it'll happen sooner than we hope. when android & ios got office mobile first, i was disappointed. however, seeing what they had in mind now is amazing. but more to the point, if they lose the ecosystem on android and ios, then everything is lost. they only have a chance if the ecosystem is strong with a lot of users, which means they *have* to serve android and ios well.
  • What I think we're forgetting is that the Microsoft apps for Android and iOS are the money makers. Microsoft is gaining "Market Share" by invading the competition. They make Software, their core business. So if premium apps from Microsoft show up on your buddies iPhone he starts thinking Microsoft. The same thing that's on his PC. Now all that Microsoft needs to do is keep polishing Windows Mobile. The seeds are being planted.
  • The story of 300 versus 300,000 is nothing but Hollywood glorification and it's politically driven...
  • Apparently you don't read history.
  • LOL Maybe he/she should be working in Hollywood.
  • I enjoyed the analogy in the article, but 300 vs 300,000 is a bit of glorification, as netmann states.  There were several thousand Greek troops at Thermophylae from multiple city states keeping the Persians at bay.  The Spartan contingent of the multiple thousand troops was the famed 300.  IIRC the Persian numbers were estimated around 250,000 by Herodotus, but modern scholars think that was over-inflated.  When it was determined that the stand at Thermopylae was going to fail, the 300 Spartans stayed to hold the Persians back for 24 hours to give the other fleeing Greeks time to escape and warn their cities about the impending Persian invasion. 
  • This is the comment you choose to leave, lmao! This is what you got out of this article? Man, you got too much (or probably too little) going on in that melon.
  • Jason, great article - worth the time to read it. thanks. and thankyou for pointing out something i didnt realize or isnt apparent i think to a lot of people: the time allotted in October 6th 2015 event for Lumia phones was almost 22% of total time and was only rivaled by the time allotted to Surface Pro4 and Surface Book and overshadowed Xbox and Hololens...
  • Hololens is still very much Alpha stage. Xbox has its own keynotes, so of course it wouldn't get much time. So its a no brainer that Windows phones had such a time allocation.
  • to be honest though, that hololens presentation made quite the impact. i'm surprised they actually were able to up their demo since their last one. i'm glad to see they're still surprising us.
  • What a load of drivel.
    Windows Phone failed because it could not attract enough Apps. No Apps, No consumer interest, No Sales, hence Failed Platform. Period. And no UWP does not change this game. The desktop and Mobile app markets are orthogonal, and there is no Developer motivation to develop a new UWP, or migrate an Android App for a failed 3% platform.
  • WP is number 2 in some countries. Apple have made $billions from just 15% of the smartphone market and considering WP is 8% to 12% in some countries, just a bit more success could change everything. Guess MS will continue to support WP until it is successful, as they have previously done with Xbox and Surface. I think your perspective is more a fail than WP.
  • No you are confused. Microsoft actually supported Xbox by taking losses to make the Xbox great, they bought their way into the market. With Windows Mobile they half ass everything they do. Go download Xbox 360 smart glass on Windows Mobile then on Android and try to login to a different Xbox live account than your windows phone account. Then tell me who they are supporting. Love my Xperia Z3V BTW. Thanks for not updating my lumia Icon Microsoft. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • you think microsoft isn't taking losses on windows phone? there's only so many losses you can justify though. it took xbox awhile, but they lost much less money than they have on windows phone though. i don't know why people think microsoft has enough money to magically fix their issues. they don't. microsoft has an ecosystem and they need to keep people in that ecosystem. most of those people are on android and ios. so they need to keep those. its unfortunate that windows phone comes second to them, but that's the reality if they want to see windows phone survive in the long term. if the ecosystem fails, windows phone's success is simply out of the quesion. office mobile is catching up. xbox apps are catching up. once they have a platform to build on, they'll slowly use that to lure others away. maybe enterprise first. where the app gap is less of an issue. fans are already there. once you have enough of a base, a few developers will experiment. if they make enough money, it'll attract others, especially since it'll be a market that isn't exactly "flooding" with quality apps (yeah, its getting better, but lets be honest, the app gap is real for enough people), so it's easier to stand out. this is a long game, not a short one. to expect money to fix everything is a mistake.
  • EXACTLY.
  • Great analysis. It's just that Microsoft is trying to reduce the app gap that haunts it by virtue of Windows 10 on 2in1s or tablets like Windows 8 before it. Why so late to bring Windows 10 mobile on par with the competition? Why so slow pace? Why always a step behind full windows and two steps behind competitors? Have Microsoft been left behind in race of rapid software development or taming the behemoth that was desktop windows was really that time consuming to work on same level as its mobile sibling?
  • Mircosoft has always been a desktop software developer. I don't think they're yet as efficient as doing mobile. It should change with Windows 10, since they both have the same bones, but Microsoft being more efficient at desktop is not a surprise.
  • Yes, this is what gets me.  If the W10 and W10M codebases are so similar, as soon as W10 RTM'd, they should have moved as many resources as possible into W10M to get it ready.  It doesn't look like they've done that.  It's like an amateur operation.  The 950s will launch with what is essentially a beta OS.  That's a joke.  It's apparent that W10M is way down the priorities at Microsoft.
  • no, that's not amateur hour. amateur hour is assuming simply because an OS went to RTM that it doesn't require continuous development (especially since their big sales pitch is that windows 10 is always going to improve and always be developed and enhanced).
  • Yes, it requires continuous development, but not to the extent when actually making the OS to begin with (that's why I said "as many resources as possible").  And if W10 and W10M are really so close, then any work done on getting W10M up to scratch would surely benefit the W10 codebase too. Instead of "enhancing" W10, get W10M out the door.  The platform is dying, the longer they take to bring out a new version, the more people leave.  If it launches in less than a month in the same kind of state that the insider previews are in, then it's going to be panned, and rightly so.
  • You can't just throw people at a project and expect magic to happen. And have you seen how many people are still complaining about W10? It's far from being in a safe position. They did move resources to W10M after W10 was released (hence the more frequent builds for insider). I just don't see why people always assume that its not enough. How would you even know? Are you basing it solely on time? The number of people on a project isn't the only thing that drives a development schedule. Work done on W10M does benefit W10 codebase... but the exact same thing is true the other way around. So why not support the larger audience as well? They can't let W10 die for the sake of W10M. The problem is, the best thing for the platform is to go slowly. And that's not the best thing for lots of people however. They get that. We get that. It's not for everybody. They said they're targeting Windows fans and enterprise right now. Not mass audiences. There are plenty of fans willing to wait.
  • "The chicken (eggs) is invested in breakfast. The pig (bacon) is committed to breakfast."  Micrsoft is invested, but not committed - Verizon being the first and last case in point.  Microsoft could take the phone through certification and sell it direct.  In fact, I believe they have to in order to show that they can do it. Its existential for their Mobile aspirations.  Hell, Blackberry's making the effort with the Priv.  At this point, Microsoft is about the only OEM NOT going the universal route.....
  • OMG, now I feel really hungry and really want some bacon and eggs :)
  • Glad your paying attention...I also like how Sony xperia can do remote wtf happened there Microsoft. No commitment at all... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • you cannot get anything onto verizon's network without verizon's approval. there's no test that microsoft just passes and boom, verizon has to allow it on the network. it's the one thing verizon has in their pocket that gives them the authority they have. they claim its in the name of safety. i say its in the name of monopoly. and clearly their marketing is working because you still blame Microsoft. and i'm sure you blame microsoft for how slowly verizon updated to denim (and look it how long verizon took to even update a nexus phone... the galaxy nexus. is it a surprise nexus isn't popular on verizon anymore?). we may be fans of microsoft for still believing in them, but to think the lack of windows phone on verizon wireless is totally MS's fault is just blind.
  • I feel like this same article / argument is posted every other week. I think this alone is a sign that things are not going well for windows phone.
  • One of the major rules of propaganda/public relations/public affairs/etc. is to keep saying it until it's all the public sees, hears, and (most importanly) believes. We were all born into a similar system of this behavior and have beliefs because of that until we are individually mentally capable of stepping outside of those spheres of manipulative influences we've been subjected to over our lifetimes to evaluate the "why" of it all. It's just a distraction from the reality of the "burning platform". I hope to be proven wrong about my skepticism of Windows Phone, though.
  • Where the fuck do you come up with all this? Great knowledge, great research, great great article!
  • Even if windows phone was sucessful with 10% market share their ecosystem would still struggle bcoz of iOS and android. Its better to make ecosystem first. Universal apps can make a difference. Proper updated social apps are the main reason WP is struggling and also marketing. Though apple hypes things with marketing which Microsoft now is trying with the surface. Windows phone also needs those enthusiasm and that enthusiasm can only come when ecoystem is great.
  • Agreed!
  • Universal apps will NOT make any difference. Unless devs are committed to the platform and give more attentions to their apps, instead of leaving them to rot on the store, then there are hopes for Windows phone. Otherwise, going universal is just looking good on paper.
  • universal apps still makes it easier on devs to reach a larger number of people then just windows phone users. that alone can help. yeah, some apps are stricly phone and may not make it, but games and things that work well on tablets or even the xbox one will increase the amount of apps. the more apps, the more likely people will come over. once you get enough people, the rest of the apps will fill in slowly. so they make a difference, just not *the* difference. there's a difference. =P
  • Interesting article. Now lets see those phones.
  • MS's decision to not go mass market and production was a smart one, my assumptino they understand this device is not a game changer is not going to move the needle.  Not gonig to invest the $$ in inventory when they know the carriers are not going have much demand for this device.  While they made one model available to ATT, the best decision is just to sell them direct via their 1st party stores.  Int he end, the app problem is still a major problem.  People can say "how many apps do you use" "what apps Wp doesnt have", etc etc, the same old stuff.  There is an app problem and it is real.  WIth universal apps, they need to get the app situation squared away to make it close to parity with ios/android before committing $$$ to creating a new device.  The next 6-months going to be crucial on this end, without it, whatever phone they make going forward can be the best spec'd device, but without the apps, it wont work.  Hopefully they can figure it out and hopefully MS can make a true device that isn't the lumia .
  • App are coming. Even Deviantart made official app. :) i myself don't use Instagram or other social nonsense so its not problem for me. :) I love the OS. and more apps will come.
  • That is you, there  millions upon millions that use instagram and other apps that are not on WP and show no signs of coming.  One be snap chat, then you have all the obsure apps like apps for credit unions, etc. While you dont care or avoid using social media for whatever reason, my assumption is for every one of you there are probably 100 that do use it.  WP may work for you, but clearly does not work for the 97% that use ios/android. The % likely not getting tha tmuch lower anytime soon.   People been saying the apps are coming for years, it hasn't and the ones that do, are low quality and do not get updated.  The app situation needs to be resolved first, nobody knows if it ever will.     
  • The apps are coming, they have what I need, blah blah. God, I've been hearing this for YEARS!
  • Even the new Universal Facebook app is still working like crap and you are still having high hopes??? Is time to leave this poor platform.
  • what universal facebook app? i still only see one facebook app for PC, and two for mobile (beta and not beta). Edit: I know Facebook announced a universal app is coming, but as far as I know, we're still waiting on it.
  • Exactly
  • Well, get android or iOs then and stop whining?
  • 300  - spoiler alert !!!! incase someone is yet to watch this movie :)
  • The only difference was that Spartans were professionally trained and were more than capable of defeating anything that comes their way. Windows Mobile on the other hand has very little to differentiate itself. No mobile payments, limited availability, no apps. Camera? IPhone 6 camera is pretty damn good. And something tells me that beyond preorders, microsoft stores will not carry 950 models or very limited number.
  • "We're going to build phones for our Windows fans... we want to have a beautiful phone for you, something you'd be incredibly proud of..." I consider(ed) myself to be a Windows Phone fan from the get go.  The 950's are not phones that I would consider to be "beautiful" nor anything that I would be "incredibly proud of".  However, in the end, it doesn't really matter because neither of them will be available on my carrier.  I'm an iPhone fan now.  Microsoft can learn a lot from Apple about catering to their fans.
  • You must wait a little longer... be patient.. you can change now if you want, but im pretty sure you will come back to windows phone next year, because it will be the best phone and OS ever made.
  • That's the problem, @DMuela.  I've been on board since 2010.  Windows Phone was my first and only smartphone until this year.  I've been around the block with this 'wait and see... be patient" mantra too many times.  MS lost me and I'm not likely to come back.  Once you leave and see what it's like to have apps, it's way too hard to go back.  I continue to visit Windows Central because of my hope that MS will pull it together.  I haven't seen anything yet that will draw me back.
  • I disagree. I had iPhone and switched to Android for the original Droid. People told me I was crazy. And yeah, the app gap was real and for a loooong time. I went from the Droid to the Galaxy Nexus. That's where my hate for Verizon Wireless started to grow. If you have a problem with your phone getting updated or not being available? Trust me, its probably not the phone maker's fault. I switched from the Galaxy Nexus to the Lumia 928 (and eventually the Icon). I still haven't looked back. I have a Nexus 7 tablet with Marshmallow. I know what's out there. I just don't miss it. There were apps I was disappointed weren't on Windows. But I realized I didn't need them or that there were plenty of apps that were just as good, if not better, that did the same thing. Maybe it wasn't from some big company, but they worked. I like where Microsoft is taking mobile. It's where no one else is going. If you want to sit and stay still with Android or iOS, then fine. Be happy not moving into the future. But I see possibility with Windows. I see innovation. I see promise. So I'm investing. Microsoft is the little guy here who is capable of disrupting everything and they seem to have every intention of doing so. I mean, to see Apple follow in Microsoft's footsteps (iPad Pro... really? Apple Pencil?) is a sight to be seen and a sign that things are changing.
  • Wait a little longer..... a little.... that's from WP7 till now for myself. Yet, the Facebook app is still as crap as before. Instagram is still forever in BETA. The only app which worth mentioned is Whatsapp because at least the devs are paying a little more attention. Till now, I still have yet to see any regional apps like banking apps in my country for Windows Phone. I have switched over to iPhone, and I'm glad that all the Resuming crap is over.
  • Apple can afford to cater to fans. Microsoft can't dictate its own terms. Apple can because of the user base it already has. To say Microsoft can learn from that is misguided. That's like saying the old ma & pa book shop on the corner that's doesn't carry every book you want can learn a thing or two from Amazon.com.  Microsoft is a giant company, I get that. but their weight in the mobile world is very little. Don't expect them to just go leroy jenkins into the mobile fight.
  • Great article. Enjoyed reading it a lot!
  • I read this for its entertaining value
  • Soooooooo... Using 300 as an example: Remember that hunchback that was Spartan to the core but rejected because of ill fit with the others? He defected to the enemy which led to the Spartans defeat. So if MS first party apps are the "hunchbacks," apps that weren't so great on Windows Phone but awesome and debuting on iOS/android (sway, office, Skype, groove music, etc) can we then expect the same conclusion? The defeat of Windows Phone and becoming dead in the market?
  • I might be only one who is really just happy about Windowsphone :) I would love to get L950.
  • Me too, although having used 1520, i'd probably go with 950XL :)
  • Great! :)
  • cool
  • Fantastic article! Ancient wars, new world tech, struggle & triumph, and good wording...what eles does one need.
  • Apps.
  • burn
  • Fan or not, i feel like everyone should find that funny. Edit: I'm a fan and desperately waiting for the 950s... so please don't shoot me.
  •   Love this article. So Verizon, is being and has been, a bit of a dick, however they control a huge user base. The reality is Microsoft has not earned the right to set terms yet. They need to gain more of the market share, like the iPhone did. Yea, Verizon and others are intentionally making it harder but it's their weight to throw around. Microsoft needs to stop this "toe in the water" approach and step up! They are a big company and they have a great platform. It's like they are second guessing themselves to the point of stupidity. They need to pay the "ransom" and build the market! If they are not going to fully back this effort the platform will fail. Why would companies maintain apps for a product that has less than 7% of the market? I am currently a Verizon customer but I plan on switching to another no mater what platform I choose because of Verizon's lack of business ethics. I'm not looking forward to joining the Apple Cult nor deal with the Android clutter but Microsoft is not giving it's loyal supporters any choice. Microsoft, all that power and no balls to take a risk. Sad. 
  • Well said! Excellent comparison with the 300 (even though I'm not a fan of the movies), it really brings to life the situation.
  • Those Spartans lost the war against the Persians. I appreciate Microsoft's strategy and generally think it's sound. However, relying on Microsoft stores alone and AT&T as the sole carrier is a big mistake, in my opinion. If the goal is to expand marketshare then consumers need to be exposed to the phone. That's not going to happen with AT&T's pitiful support and you're never going to see a rush of people flooding Microsoft stores. I don't want to be negative here, but that's just the reality. Consumers will go out of their way to get an iPhone because of the brand Apple has built around it. And even with that level of irrational demand you can still walk into a Walmart and pick one up. The only way Microsoft can gain traction is if their phones start appearing in retailers everywhere, with distinctive kiosks that invite consumers to play with the phones. The point here isn't to create an overnight success, but to build positive momentum.
  • That's not the goal though. They can't expand their marketshare with the devices and OS they have now. Only apps can expand marketshare. They need to till the soil to get those apps to grow. Its unfortunate, but while yes, you have the chicken & the egg problem with apps+developers and an audience, the apps+developers really do need to come first. so they're making moves to solidify windows fans and enterprise. if they can strengthen those two stalwarts, then maybe they can push forward. However, terms aren't always about money. Sometimes its about numbers and Microsoft may not be able to guarantee the numbers Verizon wants. I'm a little unsure about Tmobile and Microsoft though. I'm honestly surprised about it. I feel like something may have happened behind closed doors maybe? Unknown, but a little disappointing since I feel like they had a decent relationship up until then. Microsoft will *lose* if all of the sudden they started selling everywhere. You'll get too many returns when they can't get the apps they want. VZW complained about that already with the 928. I had to convince Verizon to sell me the 928. You can't burn your vendors like that. They *need* the ecosystem first. That's what they're doing with everything else. Make that strong and Windows Mobile can slowly fall into place. It's an important piece, but its also important that the pieces go in order. The last piece in assembling something doesn't mean its not important.
  • It is a very frustrating thing! They did a similar thing with the 1520, & 1020. It just sucks for so many supporters looking to get there devices with no way of getting them. Not everyone can purchase an unlocked one out right or switch carriers to get them. So yeah it feels very much like they are leaving so many supporters left behind! I've been with windows phones from the start, and I have to say this might be where I switch OS, and it's NOT by choice! I really like windows phones just wish they could have showed a little bit more support to the supporters on other carriers and stuff. Or maybe talked about how maybe they couldn't go to ever carrier. That would have helped the abandon feelings to so many supporters. I know TMOBILE wanted the devices but was told no, also read the Verizon won't even let people bring unlocked 950/ XL to there Network.
  • well, we know tmobile wanted the devices, but we don't know what terms. microsoft can't speak ill of the carriers because they still will need them in the future. so they can't burn bridges by saying "tmobile was a butt" or something like that. so we really won't know what went on that caused there to be no 950 on tmobile.
  • And Greece went on to rule the world.
  • For a while.
  • This makes me go emotional :(
  • I am starting to see more Windows Phones on TV shows (and not just CBS shows.)
  • I saw a man use Cortana on Hawaii Five-O
  • In Bones, Bones was using WP 7.5. Also there was Surface tablet in daredevil.
  • Surfaces are everywhere in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Another one of these. :) Glad to see though you agree that MS/Panos were not "dissin'" or "not owning" the 950/XL at the launch, unlike some,,, kkrrhhmm.. prominent tech bloggers seem to think.
  • Pointless words unless they come from Microsoft with accompanying action.
  • I thought they did.. ;-)
  • Thanks for the write up.  Frankly, none of this should be of any surprise to anyone following the events of the past few years.  This is about long term gains.  
      Side rambling: I wonder what effect the nay sayers and the "gimme gimme now everything for free" segments of the Microsoft community will have, though. Reading comments and the forums is not as exciting as it once was.  Sure, people can had different opinions and perspectives, but its becoming somewhat of a poisoned well.  I wish they would just depart the community - I'd almost be willing to bet those same persons, though members of preview programs, did nothing to test or contribute to the preview process.  Everytime something comes up its a travesty and a total fail this in spite of the risks and knowns involved in previewing things.  Imagine if those bad seeds finally leave and spread their taint to would be adopters?  Imagine if they work in a capacity to influence decisions at a mass scale.  Microsoft may be playing a long game, but it seems like that disappointed part of community may now be their biggest enemy.
  • Apple announce the iWatch and iPad Pro and no release date - Hey that's so cool...no one complains. Microsoft announce the 950's without a release date and it's the end of the world and WP is dead. The haters gonna hate, hate, hate but we can shake it off and just carry on being MS fans - I love my 930 and SP3 and am aware of all that's iDroid and Sapple but choose MS because it suits me. Guess, like you're saying, those whiners will leave and the fans remain. That's what Microsoft will build on and I'm happy to be a fan :)
  • No Apps... No buy... DOA
  • Prefer more complete applications I get on my Surface Pro 3 and Continuum than iApps and iToys like the iPad Pro that's just a large iPhone that cant make calls - just saying :)
  • Continuum only supports office and email, until they get more programs in on that it's a pretty pointless feature.
  • good writing and analysis brother! keep it up.
  • They need to find a way to better show it. I have been pretty iffy on if I wanted to get the 950, seems very stop gap to me, but I had settled on "yes, i'm going to get it." then my wife switched from her 920 of 3 years to an iPhone 6s. I don't like Apple, I don't really like iOS, in fact even after switching she still likes her 920 better, but... she's sticking with it, and honestly, I'm kind of jealous of it. I think the next few months will show us where this platform is really headed and if we don't see much improvement I'm probably going to bail for a *shudder* iPhone. It pains me to say as I'm all in on the Microsoft ecosystem and have (and want) to stay here as a Windows platform developer. But for instance, seeing Skype Qik work better and have more features on iPhone was like a slap in the face and has really taken away my optimism for Windows Mobile as a platform. Go ahead and downvote me now.  
  • @Paul Kinslow:
    "Coming soon™" to a phone near you except ones running Windows...
    I don't think anyone at Microsoft, especially Nadella, has used the "Works best on Windows" claim for quite a while now. And even if they did; who cares, if their actions show otherwise, with all of their apps working better on iOS across the board.
    @Jason Ward: Your metaphor of an army funneling enemies into a narrow death trap is quite telling for Microsoft's strategy. But I don't think it's very desirable to be stuck in a fatal situation...
  • The spartan analogy is very clever and very much true for wp. enjoyed reading it.
  • I can be productive like a boss, but I can't set IP settings manually....... in 2015. I really want to stick to my 930, but can't stand that such a basic feature is not avaiable even with Windows 10 update. Yeah, I know the workarounds with MAC address and everything else, but why bother setting the router if it's easier to change settings on the phone?
  • In Europe Windows phone holds a share of over 10%. If Asia and Africa with millions of cheap, low end Androids (about 80% of them) is hold out, the market share looks much nicer. But MS... Marketing! That's what got Samsung big, not their quality. Do marketing like Samsung and deliver quality!
    Haven't seen one single tv ad here for ages, how would anyone but the most interested even know WP exists?
  • Windows 10 Phone/Mobile (whatever they want to call it) is not going to be like 300 spartans. That story isn't even a cogent allegory for Microsoft's position in the smartphone competition.  Enormous, unwarranted assumptions have to be made assuming "back up" is certain to be on the way in the form of other users. Nice try, but cut the crap. Microsoft's position in the smartphone competition is like that of a cornered booger unsure if it will take to being picked by the client or stay put for a later picking attempt, though that next picking attempt may not result in a satisfying pick and require more picking by the client to get more of the booger out.  Based on the Insider Feedback I've read, users are having to follow suit to keep picking and poking at the OS to experience the most basic satisfaction out of W10Mobile in routine use of the core operating functions. Many things still don't "just work" cleanly throughout the OS (e.g. text selection). Windows 8.1 GDR 2 actually was great but Microsoft has yet again decided to gut progress made from WP7 to WP7.5 to WP7.8 to WP8 in favor of a weakened UI that did not need to change if the newer W10 underlying unifying code could have supported a rewrite of the same UI. For the very few people who use Windows Phone, they only take it as seriously as Microsoft. But because Microsoft doesn't ever seem to demand consistency of itself in making progress, it often appears to non-users as a mess of a company that is using the Windows Phone platform more as a quasi-skunkworks than a real mobile solution AND IMPROVEMENT upon what the others are doing, and not just a differentiator for differentiation's sake. I have been using Windows Mobile since WM5. The platform has only gotten dumber, though more touch-friendly.
  • Frankly, I would prefer buying a phone at the Microsoft Store rather than a Verizon store. However, the phone I buy would need to work on Verizon because they provide the coverage I can depend on, and AT&T does not. I switched to an iPhone for the apps I need. When these apps appear back on the Windows phone, I would be happy to go back. I do have an Icon ( activated ) as my "backup line" so I do keep on top of the advances. As Win 10 comes out, there is one other area that needs coverage: messaging with iPhone. Yes, we have standard SMS, but iMessaging is more than that, and since every other member of my family has iPhone, I would be out of the loop with some of the texting, and that is not acceptable. So, moving to Windows Phone again means having apps that "do the job". I'm not blaming this on MSFT. I believe they have done all they can to entice such development. However, it is the reality we find, and if the apps are not there ( ie. Chase banking ), it limits capabilities I now use on my phone. If the phone can be productive, as I need it, I really don't care about market share. Time will reveal if the new efforts yield success. I hope so.
  • Anything other than the apps you like on iPhone? I'm curious as I've been thinking about it
  • I have the 6+ and I do like the screen size.  I have 9 business related apps that are not available ( covered ) on Win Phone at this time.  The phone is OK and the battery life is excellent, but aside from the apps, there is nothing that says "Use me instead of a Win Phone".  The phone has its quirks just like any other device.  What it doesn't have, which I really like on Win Phone, is integration of features across apps.  For example, the People app has a clean interface, is easier to read, and integrates social media on Win Phone.  For a phone, the Win 10 News app is much better than the new iOS News congregator.   The Icon camera is a better quality than the iPhone.  However, the apps here are critical because this is my communication "out of the office".  Oh ... and my Band does not have voice with the iPhone ... yet ...
  • Ok thanks. I'm very hesitant between the two. Even if not a lot of people are excited abotu Continuum, I plugged my laptop to the TV to use Kodi and have a free screen on my desk where Continuum would be perfect. The live tiles, the customization of the start screen, and Glance are something that I really like too, same with the camera, and the fact that I have a 128 GB SD card that I can't use on the iPhone. Being on the insider program and being able to test new features, specially the ones integrating with W10 PC is cool. But iPhone has the apps like you said!! It's really the only thing I might move to Iphone for (the design is really cool too, but I can cope with some nice back covers for the Lumias). I guess i'll just have to evaluate my priorities and see what works best overall Thanks for the feedback P.S. Wireless charging too. Damn! Are apps really more important than all of this combined??
  • I recently switched to an iPhone as I'm on Verizon. I held off for quite a while and then saw that there are wireless charging cases for the iPhone (Spigen Volt if anyone is interested). As I sit here, my iPhone is sitting on a bright yellow Nokia charging pad. I miss the live tiles and the ability to pin a contact on the main screen. Beyond that, the iPhone is actually better than I expected.
  • Ok thanks for the info! It's getting more confusing to make a decision by the day. I always use my friends' iPhones when I'm with them to test the device and see if I like it. It's cool for many reasons no doubt. But it's also pretty boring to me. We'll see we'll see
  • As I said earlier, it has to do with apps I actually use day to day.  1)  I work part time in real estate.  The "key" for lockboxes is an iPhone app.  I've had long discussions, but they are not providing a WinPhone version.  I need the key to serve customers  2)  I have some security apps that are available on iPhone but not WinPhone.  I do use them regularly.  There are no alternatives available.  3)  My business accounts are with Chase.  I made the switch when Chase pulled the app from WinPhone.  They have coordinated features not offered by other banks, so I'm rather stuck there.  4)  I have Starbucks on my Band, but to load the account, we need a Starbucks app.  For the life of me, why is this one not on my Win Phone ?  Sometimes I'll buy coffee for a number of people, and may need to refresh my account which I do immediately on my phone.  Again, we have no alternative.   So, in my case, those apps are the reason I'm not using a WinPhone as my primary, but I would love to.  My point to this is your choice should be based solely on what actually best suits your needs, and works in the way you are most comfortable.  If you focus on what you do, rather than aesthetics, you'll know if you can stay with WinPhone or need to use an alternative for the time being.
  • Yep, got it! And thanks for the info. Was just thinking out loud in my previous reply, kind of a way to organize my thoughts and priorities But I can 100% understand why you switched, and I would have done so much more easily if I was in your case. For me, the app problems is not so much professional as it is out of convenience. For example, the Miami app for parking is not available on WM. I can call the number and pay for parking in about 45 seconds, but the app makes it convenient in about 5 seconds. Most dating apps are missing apart from Tinder. Again, would be cool to have them but not a deal-breaker. Some cool productivity ones too. Amazon same-day delivery, which is on Android and iPhone but not WM. Nothing I can't live with, but pretty nice. Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts. Will have to consider the options. A good deal or bundle might sway me in one or the other direction too (Lumia+Dock or special bundle with Band 2, iPhone with a good discount)
  • The support for gestures and multi-pressure touch is pretty nice on iPhone 6s. Ironic that MS started with a beautifully fluid, gesture driven OS and stripped it out for W10M, and cancelled their 3D touch phone 18 months ago.
  • Yeah that's true. But 3D touch from Microsoft was a different concept, not the same thing Apple came out with.
  • It's great to make on of the best OS for the ecosystem, but if you don't have devises to run it, it's pointless.
  • Well, you can give whatever cute heroic history stories you want to compare it to, but the truth is Microsoft is cutting off its user base by limiting the only good phones they have to ATT.  From someone that had a Zune, Zunepass (recently canceled due to the migration to Groove) I am likely to leave the Windows phone market soon as well.  It's been a fun ride Microsoft, too bad you had to end it so quick.
  • That assumes Microsoft went that way on purpose.  I would suggest it is far more likely that Microsoft knew Verizon would sandbag the phones, make absolutely no effort to sell them, continue to use them to switch people to droids, and essentially make life miserable for any MSFT reps who needed to work with that company.  They have done this all along, and no new phone will change their behavior.  It's a pattern that stems from the very highest reaches of that corporation, and it will not be altered no matter what MSFT does.  So why send your staff into virtual hell ?
  • Because if you want sell you best phone in America, you have to go through the biggest/best carrier and that is Verizon hands down.  Apple and Android both make it work, Microsoft should be able to as well.  What I believe is that Verizon rightfully so had the upper hand in any negotiations and asked for a higher profit than Microsoft was willing to give.  Also, same argument for Sprint and sorta T-mobile.  Only going on one out of four carriers is not a good distribution plan period.  If they had other good Windows 10 devices coming to the other carriers it may be a different story.  It's not all of Microsoft's fault, but it is up to them in the end.
  • Jason, your articles are always awesome, but no Sway this time??? In regards to MS... I am on Verizon and have an aging Lumia 928. I've been waiting since June (when my contract was up) for the new Windows Phones and surrounded by iPhone/Android-ers that question my platform choice. I am proud to stand by my choice, if my choice (MS) stands by me. I've been waiting for what feels like an eternity for a new flagship device. MS finally has one and I can't get it!!! WTH!!! These phones are supposed to be for "Windows Phone Fans", aren't they? I hope MS knows that whenever they do figure this "phone" thing out, that they will have a tough time winning back the old customers like me that feel like MS left them...
  • What a load of crap. "Statements" made by Microsoft, or any other company for that matter are meaningless without action to back it up. Look how their "promise" of unlimited storage turned out.
  • It wasn't a promise.
  • There is no such thing as "FREE" and when something that is offered is abused, there is no obligation to continue.  However, you can have unlimited storage if you want it.  You are just not entitled to have it for free. 
  • Good article. This is clearly a momentary tactical retreat. They've learned that you cant push Windows Phone hard enough to make it work. They done the advertising blitz, the TV product placements, the celebrity endoursements, they've paid developers to make apps, they've made apps for services so they didnt have to. None of this has moved the needle. Its just money flushed down the toilet. The ONLY thing that will make an impact is getting apps. Why push the phone now when the app situation is still the same - maybe even worse.   The strategy is to build the Windows 10 ecosystem first. Sell Surface tablets and push convertables - an area where they are having success. Make Hololens something enticing to developers. Get the universal apps coming where you can have success. As the store fills (IF the store fills), then you can push Windows on a phone. Then, you can say buy this great phone - it runs all these universal apps out there. Then, you might have a shot at success.
  • Couldn't have said it better
  • In Canada there is no commitment to Windows Phone. There isn't a single carrier offering either the 950 or 950XL. There are only a handful of Microsoft stores in Canada, and the company isn't offering a payment plan to help overcome our ridiculous exchange rate. I love my Lumia 920, which I've recently unlocked and moved to Koodoo, but even I know that Microsoft phones are DOA north of the 49th.
  • As always, this was a very well-written article Mr. Ward.  Well done.
  • Another great article, Jason! Except, I believe the Spartans actually lost the war if a I remember right, making the analogy iffy. ;-) A lot of people are saying a lot of things, good, bad, and otherwise. Likewise, as a Verizon guy, at least for the short term, I'm shut out. But I guess what I keep coming back to is this: a) Ultimately, the UWP is MS's REAL priority. ANY appendage of UWP (and their accompanying device) is only an accessory to the bigger picture. b) The UWP doesn't make hardly any sense without a phone, and I don't see a Microsoft skinned Android being able to achieve the same levels of integration, especially once Intel powered Windows Phones arrive, and Continuum could conceivably offer a FULL Windows 10 desktop experience. c) As long as MS doesn't "bleed to death" flogging their Phone platform for a heartbeat, there's really NO REASON they couldn't continue to flog indefinitely. The whole "sudden sweeping success or sudden death" sentiment that seems to be going around is TOTALLY a false dilemma! d) with the premium the company places on UWP, and the importance of phone to UWP, they will be compelled to put more money and effort into W10M than they otherwise would if it's was truly a stand-alone product. e) a direct "fist fight" with Android or iOS on even terms would be suicide. A slow, low-profile, almost insidious, methodical approach requiring MUCH patience and only a little inertia initially until they are strong enough to hold their own is the ONLY way they're not going to find themselves swiftly squashed to death under the big two's "fly swatter". With these assertions in place, I can only come to the following conclusions: 1) W10M is not going away any time soon. 2) Despite first glance appearances, they actually do take the platform quite seriously. 3) The tortoise won the race. 4) Windows fans are WAAAAAAYYYY too whiney, impatient, and short-sighted (and yes, that finger is squarely pointed at many of you sharing the comments space with me)! 5) Win, lose, or draw / live or die, these issues will ultimately remain unsettled for probably another few years - AT LEAST!!! Let's sit on our hands and wait, and let the men work in the meantime. 6) Personally, Im guardedly optimistic. I think things are moving [albeit painfully slow] in all the right directions. The first Continuum phones will be out in a week, and ARE impressive, the "spider's web" of MS apps on other platforms has been woven and baited, and exceedingly more exciting things (I.e. Surface Phone) are in the wings. I DON'T think my optimism is foolhardy - nor do I think all the whining is helping anything - or making any of you guys look any better either... Just sayin'. Cheers!
  • @jayseedoubleyou Thanks as usual for the well articulated response:-) Don't forget at the end of the movie 10, 000 Spartans were lead against the Persian forces ;-) The 300 did what they needed to. Hopefully the 3% will too.:-)
  • Here's the deal. I'm an enormous Microsoft fan, to my bones. And certainly I've been frustrated with the whole mobile thing, but... Look back through history and see all of the tech giants, the tech products, that once dominated and now are either skeletons of their former selves or cease to exist completely. Most of you probably don't remember when Apple wasn't "relevant". But it wasn't relevant for the first 27 years of its existence. And Android is a relative newcomer in terms of the tech world. My point is, things change, particularly in tech. Just because Android and Apple dominate phones today doesn't mean they will in the future. Odds are they won't at all. I can't predict what will happen, I'm just saying that tech changes fast, tech is fickle, and it ebbs and flows with progress and the whims of consumers. Microsoft is late to the game. But Microsoft is also changing the game. No other company has an ecosystem even remotely as potentially attractive as that of the Windows 10 world. Windows 8 was a stepping stone to convergence, Windows 10 is taking it a very big step forward and making it real. Some frown upon convergence, but I think it's a brilliant idea. An idea that will no doubt have its stumbles along the way, but nevertheless a brilliant idea. Tech consumers are impatient, we've proven that with our comments here at Windows Central. But we have to look at the bigger picture, the long-term view, and realize the potential of the ecosystem for which we are fans. Embrace the journey, even if at times the steps are a bit wobbly.  
  • Dude seriously. That trust of the hardcore windows fans is so crushed. They call WP productive, while most of the phones are stuck at those LOADING / RESUMING screens. What the hell are u gonna be productive with those. Launched in 2010, and when you look at it after 6 years later, WP still feels the same. No interactive tiles, no extra features. Why would anyone buy a Lumia? Dont say Cortana is a selling point. Its not even out worldwide. Office sucks, Outlook sucks, everything sucks, and the same apps on iOS and Android are among the most downloaded apps. Fuck Microsoft. Its not going anywhere.
    And i am still sticking with windows. I am so fucked...
  • The only thing crushed is your ability to make a logical and rational argument.
  • jmagwp is absolutely right, vinay - both in his assessment of Windows....and in his assessment of your assertion (because it really didn't rise to the level of a proper argument).  And might I ask, -----IF----- things are even remotely as bad as you say they are (a premise I FLATLY reject), then what the hell are you even still doing here? I mean, it'd be one thing if you were saying "it sucks, but there's still hope, and I want to be a voice of change." THAT would be valid. Wrong, I think, but valid - and admirable even! But no, that's not you. You are contributing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING of value to the conversation, but are only making bathroom sounds.  Look, if I may be so bold, would you rather us think you an idiot and/or a lunatic for being so wrong in your assessment of Windows....or would you rather us think you an idiot and/or a lunatic for not having bailed such a destitute wasteland of hopelessness for much greener Android/Apple pastures long ago? I mean, because listen, I make you a solemn promise: we will ABSOLUTELY honor and respect your preferences on this one. Whichever kind of idiot/lunatic you want us to view you as, we will view you as precisely that kind of idiot/lunatic. Your wish is our command - just say the word! Meanwhile, I don't want to do too much troll feeding, so other than a response from you demonstrating what kind of productive, beneficial thing you're doing to help save the Windows community from such certain calamity, then I'm done talking to you - other than of course for my eagerness to hear back from you on your wish for how we assess you. I, for one, a relative newcomer to Windows from Android and Apple, and only playing along the fringes as it is clearly see the pickle Windows is in, and the huge obstacles they have ahead of them. I'm not naive. BUT, I think just about everything is heading in the right direction, and am actually pretty optimistic for the platform. Nobody else has anything even remotely like UWP, and all that entails. If we will all be just a little bit more patient, I think we have tremendous chances of being quite pleased with Windows, and how it's doing!!! Things are no so bad as you think. Jmagwp proves that not every Windows die hard is running screaming from 10. And I prove that there are relative outsiders who were not too interested before who are EXCEEDINGLY interested now! Perhaps the likes of us are better off without the likes of you on the platform anyway. Thank you jmagwp for your MASTERFUL comment! If only the comments section in general were more like this! Cheers!
  •       I call BS. If Microsoft were truly committed, there would be no retreat. They have never dumped the resources into being competitive, they have merely dabbled. I am so sick of WC being the Microsoft apologists. I am and have for a long time been a huge Micrisoft fan, but this is ludicrous. The people who buy this line of thought are simply doing so because they want to be convinced. Joe Belfiore is a disaster. He failed to deliver the compelling differentiators and disruptive technology that would have given him a stronger position to negotiaite with Verizon. Windows Phone is dead and most of you are simply delusional.              
  • Dude seriously. That trust of the hardcore windows fans is so crushed. They call WP productive, while most of the phones are stuck at those LOADING / RESUMING screens. What the hell are u gonna be productive with those. Launched in 2010, and when you look at it after 6 years later, WP still feels the same. No interactive tiles, no extra features. Why would anyone buy a Lumia? Dont say Cortana is a selling point. Its not even out worldwide. Office sucks, Outlook sucks, everything sucks, and the same apps on iOS and Android are among the most downloaded apps. Fuck Microsoft. Its not going anywhere.
    And i am still sticking with windows. I am so fucked.
  • For once, I skipped down to comment without reading all the comments first. (Because I already know what to expect on articles like this one) Jason, I love your take on this! Not because I require optimism towards Windows Mobile, (on a phone) but rather because you use your brain more than your heart. Some percentage of the criticism towards Microsoft for their past efforts in Windows phone IS legitimate. But I am now immune to the comments that leave no room for the awesome advancements we are witnessing right in front of our noses. How can our emotions make us blind? Thanks Jason. Really nice analysis. Really nice. 
  • Good comment, bro.
  • @snakebitten I appreciate that very much. Thank you:-)
  • Ok, I've got it! Give me that XL phone!
  • I don't think the Lumia 950/XL are the flagship showcase device MS has in mind. Windows Phone needs an over-the-top ridiculous device to shock the world, and let everyone know: this is the phone you don't know you wanted, until now.
  • They've already shocked or impressed the world with their Surface Pro, Surface book, Microsoft Band, HoloLens,Xbox, Windows 10.
    That doesn't mean that they will be able to do the same for phones. That's too much pressure and expectancy from a company.
  • I'd be you drinks for a year that Panos and team are working on it. I'm not going to say it's a Surface phone, but given his lackluster presentation of the 950/XL, I can pretty much guarantee something is in the works and has been for a while now. Unfortunately, Microsoft has become great at keeping things a secret, at least those things they want to keep a secret.
  • I agree with your comment 98%!! The part I don't agree with is "Unfortunately"... One of the best things about this year's presentation is that we didn't know anything about the Surface Pro 4, and we didn't know Surface Book even existed!! I hope they keep things secret like this in the future, makes for a more banging announcement, instead of hearing about the products through rumors, which only dilute the excitement.
  • Again and again, there can be no shoking or remotely top device on WP because of lack of apps. "this is the phone you don't know you wanted, until now" - this is not possible now. They went to defencive tactics with more price/perf optimized devices. 950 vs G4. It is a good bet.  
  • "the same apps will run on the phone as run on your Windows 10 laptop or tablet" I'm not sure this will save the phone side of things, since many don't care about apps on computers. Also I don't think alot of the social apps (yes the ones wp fans don't apparently care for..) will come as Universal apps since they are made for mobile primarily. 
  • You can target mobile with Windows 10 Mobile development and don't have to think about the desktop. It's up to the developer which device family to target. The whole universal thing just makes it a lot easier to target multiple device families if that's what the developer wants to do.
  • not sure why he spent 3 unecessary paragraphs talking about 300....
  • It was a pretty cool analogy, you didn't think? :)
  • Understanding comes through patience. I think back on all the times this board was all upset and up in arms over something only to later say "oh, that's better, nevermind." My aha moment came last night when I sent my first text from my PC via my 920 with Cortana's help. Multiple devices, one system, working seamlessly together. So dear friends, relax, and watch the tortoise best the hare. As an aside, Mr Cook sure seams really stressed out lately.
  • That was a great article. Beautifully written and really engaging. Kudos
  • While the choice to buy or not buy is entirely up to individuals, I have come around to the thinking that if I want Windows to succeed in mobile, I do need to buy one of these phones. Personally, I think they are great looking and there is no other phone out there so far that truly beats the specs. Particularly camera. Windows Hello. Continuum. Finally a high end phone not hobbled by limited storage. Integrated skype. Wireless charging. Fast charging. USB C. Pure View. Glance. Cortana. Complete integration with my Band 2. I will buy one of these phones to replace my 930. I am supporting the platform because it is the platform of my choice.
  • Same here, Mark.I also chose it because it's right for me. Not because of some market share numbers.
  • I love 300, and I love using it as an analogy; however, I'm not quite sure it fits here. They were fighting an invading army, who were determined to kill their warriors (folding any survivors into their own massive army), lay claim to their land and take their wives and children as slaves. Neither Apple or Google have any interest in the remaining 3% share Microsoft holds, and they certaintly aren't trying to woo the fanboys. Windows Phone is more like the farming town on the outskirts of greece that the army passed by on their way to fight the Spartans, completely ignored as if it doesn't exist. It blew me away that some high profile tech sites, that shall not be named, actually thought living images was some brand new innovation that Apple created. LG V10 and Samsung Edge have notitifications that remain visible when the screen is off, again touted as original ideas by some tech writers.... I still enjoyed the article though, again I love the story of the 300.
  • Jason, you said in the first comment that you were gonna talk to us. But I don't see any of your comments.