Microsoft Lumia is dead, but that's not news

Over the last few days, a wealth of news articles and sudden discussion on social media has arisen surrounding the fact that Microsoft has started removing their Lumia's from physical Microsoft Stores and rumors suggesting the company will stop selling Lumia altogether in December. This move shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, fan or not, as we've known since early this year that 2016 would see the last of the Lumia line. At some point, the Lumia line of devices would start to be phased out, and now that's happening.

We exclusively revealed several months ago that the Lumia 650 would be the last Lumia to be released by Microsoft, "last" meaning there will be no more new Lumia's after the 650 went on sale. The 650 has been out for a while now, and lo-and-behold we're yet to see a new Lumia handset hit the market.

If you're surprised at the fact Microsoft is done with the Lumia line, then you likely haven't been paying much attention. Lumia is dead and has been dead since the 650 went on sale. The fact of the matter is Microsoft is now focusing on business devices, including Surface Pro, Surface Book, HP Elite x3 and indeed, the Surface Phone. What people don't seem to be able to understand is that killing Lumia doesn't mean Windows 10 Mobile is going with it.

Hardware, not Software

Lumia is hardware; Windows 10 Mobile is software. Microsoft can kill the Lumia line without affecting Windows 10 Mobile development in any way, which is good news for the less than 1% still clinging onto the platform. Windows 10 Mobile isn't going anywhere, as it's a huge part of the "One Windows" vision Microsoft is painting with Windows 10. If you pull Windows 10 Mobile, you're crushing a huge part of the Windows 10 vision.

Microsoft is pulling its consumer line of Windows phones because Windows on a phone isn't aimed at them anymore. Windows 10 Mobile's focus is specifically business, and handsets like the recently available HP Elite x3 and upcoming Surface Phone will be where this platform shines the most. Other OEMs are by all means welcome to continue building Windows phones, because like I mention above, Windows 10 Mobile isn't dead. But the 1st part Lumia line that so many of you have come to know and love is indeed going away.

What does this mean for those of you who have already purchased a Lumia? Nothing. If you bought an X50 handset, especially the flagships, you'll be supported for quite a while. Microsoft is building Windows 10 Mobile and continuing to service existing supported phones. Microsoft pulling Lumia's from store shelves won't change that. Of course, at some point, this support will end, but that's the case with all smartphones on the market, Windows or not. I suspect the X50 line of Lumia's will be supported for an expected amount of time before Microsoft pulls the plug.

I don't see this as bad news, I see it as a fresh start for Windows phones

I understand this is frustrating to hear, but it's not all bad news. The platform you know, and love isn't going away, the only thing that's changing here is Microsoft is slimming down its phone hardware division, killing off what hasn't worked and focusing on a more niche market that (hopefully) will.

The Lumia line has failed, and Microsoft is now looking to the future with a Surface Phone. I don't see this as bad news; I see it as a fresh start for Windows phones, one that might see more success in the long run.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads