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If not phones, Microsoft needs another device category to ensure Windows success

I recently argued that Microsoft needs to come clean on its smartphone ambitions – if it has any. Conflating its "commitment to mobile" with all laptops, tablets, and to competitors' smartphone platforms will not do. While I have my biases – yes, I enjoy using Windows 10 Mobile – my call was not only because I want a new Windows phone.

Instead, that analysis was really about Windows 10 and UWP as a platform. Without a smartphone OS, it is not clear how Microsoft will grow Windows 10 adoption. And I find that very concerning.

If not smartphones, then what?

On April 3, StatCounter claimed that based on its data Android use surpassed Windows usage across desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile combined. StatCounter's numbers are subject to debate, but the overall trend based on browser use is not improbable.

Smartphones are the now dominant computing platform. While "real" PCs remain vital for enterprises, professionals, and gamers, the best computers for consumers fit in their pockets.

Currently, Microsoft sees UWP as an app platform for traditional PCs, laptops, tablets, Xbox, mixed reality (MR), Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, and phones. It's an ambitious goal. Developers can write an app once and send it to the device where it makes the most sense. Microsoft creates software "bridges" (such as Project Centennial) so developers can bring apps from and to other platforms.

The problem with that strategy is that the only popular category with significant mass adoption is smartphones, which is the weakest segment for Microsoft. Let's assume the company is finished with the smartphone category. The growth path for UWP is less obvious.

MR is years from mass adoption, UWP on Xbox is barely a thing (is anyone using those third-party apps?), and I already covered traditional PCs.

Without a play for smartphones, I have no idea how Windows 10 grows beyond 500 million users. I don't see how Microsoft will continue to attract developers to make UWP apps. Additional laptop and Surface sales will drive awareness and some adoption, but there won't be hundreds of millions of new PC owners soon (or likely ever).

I understand MR, IoT, and even wearables are nascent categories and, in some ways, Microsoft is positioned to dominate at least one of those (MR). But in the consumer space Google, Apple, and Amazon are beating the company everywhere else. Whether it is the "smart home" voice assistants, watches, or phones, Microsoft is behind or nonexistent.

On desktop, the web browser still dominates instead of UWP apps. UWP begins to make more sense as the display shrinks. After all, the very concept of "apps" in the modern sense begins with phones. Even I don't use many UWP apps on the Surface Studio. Give me a laptop, and my usage of UWP goes up. Put me on a smartphone, and suddenly I loathe using a web browser, and it's all about the apps. It is common sense.

While UWP is a noble paradigm, the most significant market for it is the one Microsoft has less than one percent of (and is shrinking fast): phones.

Apple pushed nearly 80 million iPhones just last year, and it has now sold more than one billion in total, according to research from Gartner. That's impressive because Apple has only 17.9 percent of the smartphone market with Android making up the other 82 percent. That's more than 300 million Android smartphones in just one year.

That's a lot of apps, as well as a lot of opportunity for developers. And it does nothing for the UWP platform or Windows 10.

This is about developers (developers, developers!)

Microsoft's conundrum with mobile is a serious one, and it's not just because smartphones are chic. The future of Windows 10 and UWP needs an area of rapid and sustained growth, not only for adoption of the OS but for monetary and market incentive for developers to want to make UWP apps.

I have said Microsoft needs to continue what it has been doing: reinventing device categories. Every Surface device so far has rethought the concept of computing. The Surface Studio is a brilliant re-take on the desktop space. Surface Pro and Surface Book popularized digital inking and 2-in-1s. Even HoloLens is setting the foundation for MR and holographic computing.

Microsoft must have a mobile strategy in place for the Windows ecosystem to be sustainable.

What I find most troublesome is not the unending anticipation for new hardware from Microsoft. Instead, it's the feeling that the company doesn't have a plan. In recent months, no one I have spoken to at Microsoft — on or off the record — has given me confidence that "the next big thing" is almost here. In fact, my sense is that there's chaos behind the scenes when it comes to smartphones and mobile.

In 2015, Chris Capossela, the chief marketing officer (CMO) at Microsoft, referred to the company's mobile strategy as "massively retrenched". I was willing to cut them some slack on that idea. Taking a year or two to lay low while you put your "A-Team" on new hardware and build out the OS seemed like the right approach. From Capossela:

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

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was on the same page as Capossela and noted that if its partners did not make Windows phones, Microsoft would. In July 2015, Nadella told All About Microsoft's Mary Jo Foley this:

If there are a lot of OEMs, we'll have one strategy. If there are no OEMs, we'll have one strategy. We are committed to having the phones in these three segments. And I think the operational details will become clear to people as they see it.

Those three smartphone segments were enterprise, budget, and flagship. In 2017, the "operational details" are as clear as mud, and there is no budget and no flagship phones in sight.

Since Microsoft's OEM partners have not picked up the slack (and you can't blame them), Microsoft should be fixing this problem. Quoting Nadella again:

If no OEM stands up to build Windows devices we'll build them.

The world is waiting.

Going back to UWP and Windows 10 Nadella said this about being "path dependent:"

Universal Windows apps are going to be written because you want to have those apps used on the desktop. The reason why anybody would want to write universal apps is not because of our three percent share in phones. It's because a billion consumers are going to have a Start Menu, which is going to have your app. You start the journey there and take them to multiple places. Their app can go to the phone. They can go to HoloLens. They can go to Xbox. You talk to somebody like Airbnb. It might be more attractive, given our three percent share on phone, for them to actually build something for the desktop and for the Xbox.

While that plan sounded plausible in 2015, two years later it feels underwhelming. That alleged "billion" never materialized, and there is no path to get there, at least that we know of. If UWP needs critical mass, Microsoft obviously needs a way to achieve that.

At a time when Microsoft should have been putting all its resources into the fastest growing category for computing, the company instead abandoned it. This problem is not just bad for Windows phone fans, it's bad for Windows 10, UWP and Microsoft's consumer future.

The big question is not whether Microsoft has a solution to this problem. It is whether Microsoft even knows it has one. I'm not confident that's the case. And that's another problem.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

346 Comments
  • Ultramobile Surface PC😉
  • Agreed, whatever it may be it needs to support SIM card..
  • eSIM baby and both!
  • It needs to run Android apps or it's DOA. Sorry, but that's just the reality at this point.
  • The Surface didn't create a new product category. It fulfilled a need. Since tablets had larger screens than smartphones, there was potential for more than just "consumption"... and Microsoft filled that niche with the Surface. With smartphones, I don't see the same need. For most people, smartphones already do everything that consumers want to do on a small screen. Besides, without apps, whatever Microsoft releases will be dead on arrival... unless they allow Android apps (which I would welcome).
  • Absolutely 😎
  • A mobile computer that can make phone calls. A smartphone, if you will.
  • Hi Ezhik, 🙂 A mobile computer that runs full Windows 10, CSHELL, has Windows Holographic and everything else full handles has (can fit in pocket) and can make phones - not smartphone😉
  • Tough sell. It can 3D print other computers and create space time portals for all people care, but if it's a rectangle slab of glass and metal that looks like a phone, it is a phone. There's a reason why the iPhone was called iPhone - even though it was the same big revolution at the time that you are predicting here. It's much easier to sell a "phone that can be a holographic supercomputer" than a "holographic supercomputer that can be a phone". It just makes me think back to when the original Surface was released. "Surface Pro" wasn't actually "Surface Pro" - it was "Surface with Windows 8 Pro" - the name ended up shortened (and for good reason), and thankfully Microsoft just rolled with it.  Thinking about the name, "Surface Phone" is the best I've got. It's a name that exists in people's whispers already thanks to all the rumors. "Surface Mobile" can get confusing - after all, current Surface tablets are already mobile. Microsoft already established "Surface" in the public's mind - to the point where the word alone will be known to refer to a tablet. "Surface Phone" is the easiest path to take, rather than re-educating people about what it means to be a phone or establishing a new word mark. "Surface Phone" carries the two pieces of information that matter: it's a Surface device, and a phone. People know what both of those things are. Microsoft's job then is to deliver on the promise that this name makes.  Doing weird name tricks now is not going to help Windows on phones (or "mobile holographic supercomputers" or whatever). It can be a nice marketing gimmick, but ultimately, people will keep it in the same pocket they keep their phone, it will be sold on the same shelves as the latest Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, it will be reviewed by the same tech journalists that review smartphones. So it's a phone.
  • Serious question Jason:
    You think that's enough to turn the ship around, bring back the devs, right the wrongs of nearly a decade of gross mismanagement and bring significant market share?
  • If you look outside of Windows Phone, you'll find that Microsoft is doing quite well. 
  • Windows PC is on the decline, and they are not moving forward in the fastest growing computational sector.... They aren't doing terrific, and there's much room for improvement, especially when compared to their piers.
  • Its Moore's Law + battery tech + OS optimisation.  As soon as its viable and possible for them to build a small device that does it all, then the category changes.  The issue is...will Microsoft do it first or will someone like Samsung? and whoever does it first (its inevitable) will they have the branding and marketing to back it up to take it to the public like Apple did with the iPhone? The first mover advantage will only last a few months or so in this sector.
  • A true pocket pc phone
  • Pocket pc phone edition all over again, except better lol
  • I think there needs to be more than that. Yes, there's a market for the ultra mobile PC category, but there's still a market for "traditional" smartphones. MS have to be in both IMO.
  • The Surface Pro is pretty ultra mobile as it is....It may never be worth it (for many people) to carry around a phone + lapdock v.s just a phone and Surface Pro aside from the merits of making the data easier to protect as it's all on a single device instead of local copies across multiple devices that are taken with you
  • It helps that you can pretty much do the same thing either way you go, I'm just waiting for those continuum improvements 😅
  • keep waiting...and stock up some coffee 'cause it's a long wait for a thing that will never happen
  • Hi Chris, the ultramobile PC would be a PC first but with telephony. So, it would also be a phone. MS can't re-enter the traditional smartphone space without being devoured.
  • @Jason I don't buy into that notion.  Say what you will no PC will replace the "phone" even in a compact size.  It will never happen.  The phone should be the first focus.  If Microsoft market and advertise a good to great product it can sell.  But Microsoft has shown no appetite to do so.  I don't need a pocket PC.  That's so two decades ago.  And as someone who used one everyday for work I was still more impressed with my dumb cell phone.  Microsoft has basically removed everything that differentiated them from Android and iOS so it will be difficult only on that basis.  As someone who carries the most current iPhone for work and a Lumia 830 daily driver my lumia always looks better and functions better than my iPhone.  I'd like to see you or anyone for that matter try to sell a product without trying to put any effort in advertising it.  Few may succeed, but the result will normally be failure.  So, Microsoft got what they wanted.  Failure.
  • @ chris stephenson2
    Agreed
  • Good to see the writers on this site coming around to what I and others saw as soon as MS decieded to fold the Nokia hardware division: they have no plan and the emporor (Nadella) has no clothes. Microsofts talk of putting all their resources into "the next big thing" was just smoke and mirrors all along. All the lost market share they are going to experience in the next 5-10 years is well deserved on account of Microsoft being so disengenuous.
  • Hopefully something does come, just picked up a Nexus 6p while I wait. Still have my HP Elite X3 for now as well, but am going to sell it.
  • Anyone who was paying attention saw this coming well before the release of Windows 10. Windows 10, whose raison d’être is UWP (otherwise, it's really not meaningfully different than Windows 7), is DoA.  Sure, it'll sell plenty on new PCs as old ones are replaced, but home users won't be buying new PCs any more, and so Windows will remain relevant only as a means to run legacy applications in the enterprise.  No one will use any UWP apps, becuase for nearly all--and soon, all--purposes, the various Linux distributions (Android, but others, too), will be the platforms consumers prefer. As you say, within 10 years, it'll be a niche product that very few people interact with on a regular basis.  I don't see any way forward for Windows, at this point. I sure hope that cloud bet pays off for them...
  • Sadly, I think you're correct.
    Unless they can create a revolutionary product or market segment in the short term, they are history as a major player, still big but a shadow of their former selves.
    Can they do it? Close to a decade of never ending bungling and mis-management says no.
    Let's be honest, W10 is not really much of an improvement over 7, and a huge step backwards from 8.1 on phones and touch screens, they can't even get the basics right anymore.
    Hope I'm wrong.
  • Unfortunately you are not wrong, with windows 10 they have nailed it. Poor quality, mediocre touch experience, data minning etc. What do you expect from an OS built by interns and tested by insiders instead of pro testers.
  • Unfortunately for you, you're an idiot and your post is BS. Poor quality in Windows 10? BS! Mediocre touch experience? BS Data mining? Name me a piece of software that doesn't do that? iOS and Android certainly do, especially Android, and Microsoft is far less egregious than Android when it comes to that. Windows 10 is the best Windows they've ever made.  
  • "Windows 10 is the best Windows they've ever made." Giggle.  Snort.   BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.   This is great stuff.   Do you write your own material or do you hire comedy writers? 
  • In a technical sense you are probably right.  Also, it's the best version of Windows if you want a touch interface. However, for desktop users with mouse and keyboard, it's a genuine retrograde step from Windows 7.  The touch-friendly UI is forced upon touch-free mouse users and it's a very bad fit.  All the common dialogs (file open, file save, print) plus things like the Settings menu take up at least four times the area of their W7 predecessors for the same (or usually less) functionality. I honestly reckon my mouse mileage has gone up three-fold since switching to W10. Don't get me wrong: it's fine on my Sony hybrid with touchscreen, but on my dual-screen workstation it's really not a good experience.
  • All they really need to do is add a solid sandbox for Android apps and a partnershiop with Amazon's app store and they can solve this crap they keep going through with apps and just move on. It should be pretty much a given that android apps are now pretty much the defacto standard so they don't need to keep trying to reengineer the wheel and just adopt it. I'm sure Google will figure out that it is in their own interest to let google apps come to Windows when they are just the same apps they already run. I would have no problem having a Windows Phone that runs android apps and x86 apps that can be docked. That's pretty attractive to me.
  • The problem was that rather than support and develop Microsoft chose control as their business model. For years it has been the 'our way (and pay dearly) or the no way' model. Times have changed, Microsoft has not. Now it's starting to look like a forty something at a twenty something party. With improved internet speed and availability, soon even that video/photo editing will be online on my  (or any other I log into) phone/tablet/browser book, wherever I want to work and play. Microsoft need to find themselves a comfortable niche somewhere as they move on to retirement.
  • if every apps is there , no anyone drop Windows 10 mobile
  • Satya Nadella should present a crystal clear mobile plan to the world in his keynote address in BUILD 2017 or he should step down as a VP in charge of MS Clould.  The MS mobile is in complete chaos at present that would endanger UWP, W10 and Windows in the end.  It is hard to imagine that CEO would simply choose to destroy WP and surrender.  W10M is such an important corner stone for the OneCore/OneWindows ecosystem.  There is no point for the existence of UWP without W10 Mobile devices.  We have heard enough speeches from Satya and we want to see some actions and results.
  • Don't hold your breath
  • UWP on Android... They own Xamarin now. No reason why they can't leverage that to make truly universal apps.
  • Bridges back and forth is a plan, and if THAT is their solution to mobile, well...I don't like it, but they need to make that clear then.
  • Its the least risky plan IMO. There's no guarantee they can spur UWP development even with a new category. As a dev, there really isn't a point for me to even look into making UWP apps. Windows 10 adoption just isn't strong enough as of yet. 42% of my users still use Windows 7 and 6% still use 8.1. Quite frankly I'm more interested in .net Native or some other cross platform tooling(such as mono) that will allow pieces of our software to run on Linux or OsX.   If we were a bigger team, we could dump the time into making a UWP app, but we're not. If they added Android support to UWP, things become more compelling. If they add Android and IOS support to UWP, we have a lot better chance at convicing management that UWP is the way to go.
  • Ever heard of their Xamarin.
  • Xamarin mainly targets mobile (which is why I referenced it in my first post), mono and .net native allow your .net code run on things like servers and desktops (which I specifically referenced them)
  • Interesting to see some of the writers here appearing as jaded as a lot of the rest of us recently.
    Refreshing to see and I commend you for your honesty.
    The never ending stories by some writers pretending all is Rosie and the next big thing is just around the corner, frankly are wearing thin after so many years of disappointments. Go hard Dan, tell it how it is, who knows, maybe someone in the right place will listen, it is constructive criticism after all from passionate people.
  • IMHO bridges back and forth are barely a plan. With the exception of Centenial (which is Windows - Windows) none of them work reliably enough. The gap between OSes is simply too large to bridge effectively in that manner. More importantly, bridges don't solve the real issue, which is that there is simply no good reason to service the UWP! Without a reason to go somehwere, it doesn't matter how easy it is to get there. Since these bridges do nothing but simplify the journey to a place no developer wants to go, they are pretty much useless.
      I agree that a phone component is extremely important to MS and it's hard to justify UWP without it. Since MS has bet the house on UWP, there is a lot at stake here. Maybe I'll open a thread explaining what I think MS should do.
  • And they better market the hell out of it. I want Tim Cook to vomit from the sheer amount of ads for it.
  • Wow,  Dan,  you just wrote the exact thing I have been stating here regarding mobile since the word "retrenchment" was first spoken.  This is exactly what I have been saying on these comment sections...NO MOBILE, NO APPS, NO UWP.   Simple...No way forward.   Dev's are not interested in creating apps for desktop usage.  
  • Clearly MS don't have a plan, this is the scariest part of all.
    The next few years will be defining for MS, they're either on a path to long term sustainability or on a path to be an also ran cloud company.
  • which is still atleast 2yrs away
  • MS saved apples a$$ years ago, time to pay the debt.
    MS should do a deal with Apple to use apple apps.
    Helps both parties, They are then a United front to take on the common enemy, Google
  • "Ultramobile Surface PC"... Lol. Exactly, and I hope you're right.
  • Since you can't take over the smartphone market, redefine what a smartphone is and go from there. Surface Pro and Book redefined what a tablet and laptop are, time to do the sane with the smart phone. And home AI is the next step after that. Clearly Alexa is selling well
  • Yeah, home AI is  another consumer oriented area where Microsoft is late to the party, and where not having Windows Phones in the marketplace hurts.  Windows Phones encourage people to use Microsoft services, which are going to work better with a Cortana speaker than Google services.
  • Haven't a lot of wincentral members been down voted again and again for saying the same thing for almost two years now? Apps are used primarily on phones and there was a time MS sold more than 10mn phones in a quarter.
  • 10 million phones per quarter is relatively nothing. That isn't nearly enough to keep Microsoft happy.
  • But a million or so is?
  • When you lose money on everyone sold, which do you prefer?
  • Would still rather sell the 10 million to get developers onboard. 
  • But again, 10 million is nothing when the competition is selling nearly 400 million. Developers still aren't going to care.
  • The issue here is, Microsoft have really killed off a lot of good grace. They have faltered one too many times in the mobile sector and there's very little reasoning for many developers to even consider developing for their mobile devices. UWP is a good bargaining chip but that's ony IF they show some consideration in marketing the platform or shifting hardware, right now there's no transparency, so much so that even dedicated users of the platform are giving up and once those users are invested in another platform winning them back will take 10x more work than keeping them by showing care aond consideration for their dedication,  Regardless, Microsoft have a VERY steep hill to climb here and I have many doubts they will make much if any progress in this section and that's even with a fantastic and unique shift of a device. Basically, they will have to make the device good enough to overcome the lack of developer support and to make it exciting enough for developers to want to jump on-board and with devices like the S8 out there and so much progress being made in the Android space, I have strong doubts that would happen with Windows 10 mobile in the forseeable future.  I hate to sound all doom and gloom, but this is how I see it. They really need to find a niche that stands out a mile and almost give phones away in every country they can to make any impact for developers. If they somehow manage to incorporate Mixed Reality into phones in the imminent future, then they might just find something to set them apart from the competition, but as it stands they haven't got anything uniqe (other than improved security) to encourage people to invest in a Windows Phone. 
  • Android does mixed reality today. It wouldn't be a differentiator. Otherwise, I agree with you.
  • They have been downvoted for being provokers. I've switched to Android months ago byt I don't feel pleasure in coming back and mock the guys who are still on windows phone.
  • Great article Dan. Microsoft just really needs to get it together in terms of mobile....
  • Agreed. Great article. Although somewhat depressing.
  • I don't see it as depressing but as a wake up call. Microsoft needs to really wake up and get their act together. We've seen what they're capable of. Just need the same commitment to mobile
  • I agree. We've seen what they're capable of: Jack. And sh**. And jack left town.
  • The problem will get worse after the creators update if what I read was true. I think the reason windows on desktop has so much of a solid existence is the way very old machines can run up to date versions of Windows. As for phones, if you try to force people to change phones too often, there is going to be backlash and people will leave the platform. What do you think will happen when my Lumia 1520 is no longer supported, and I have to get another phone? If the Lumia 950 can't be had for less than $150 I hope I get a promotion at my job, or else I won't be able to keep up with Microsoft, as I will not put down my flagship and buy a budget non-Lumia just to get the latest software. I'm sorry guys, I just wont do it.
  • Completely agree, MS needs to get it together and get it together like yesterday!
  • Good read Dan. I hope some Microsofties read some of the articles coming out of WC the last few weeks. If they have a plan, they need to say it - and clearly. $hit or get off the pot ;-)
  • **** or get off the pot. : )
  • Microsoft survived only because Bill Gates. Without him they are losing grond every year in every segment. Phone department is dead, Xbox is behind PS, Cortana is beaten by Siri, wearables? Joke. Tablets and PCs are OK but they are too expensive. The only positive thing is Windows OS but I dont know... they are changing it to something which I dont like so.... They need to make something because in 5 - 10 - 20y. Microsoft could be defeated
  • The OS is becoming a commodity -- hence the free Windows 10 upgrade.  Microsoft is doing very well in cloud and enterprise.  That's where the growth is.  
  • I think we need to pump the brakes a little here.  Microsoft is doing well in the cloud space (Azure) and in the convertible PC space.  Moving Windows from massive-update-every-three-years to more frequent incremental updates is a big win (though IT departments may disagree).  Surface Studio with the Dial is a really cool innovation.  Mobile has been Microsoft's signature, ongoing failing.  Trouble is, their failure in Mobile could bring everything else down with it if they don't correct it.
  • Seems like u don't know anything but guesswork complaints. Microsoft performs really well on ends. And that even without bill gates. For example Xbox being behind PS doesn't mean anything, Xbox One is doing alot better than the amazing Xbox 360 days, and that says alot how good Xbox is doing, u can call it a success for MS no matter how people look at it or fanboys with the nag competing eyes. Xbox is not a sprint but a long run/term investment. With that Microsoft is PC, Tablet, OS, Azure and business, gaming solid for the future and it looks like that they are not going anywhere. They just need to keep bringing in the right people to keep that up. Obviously for mobile someone isn't doing their job and why there is deserved negativity for 2 years on that end.
  • Maybe a revisit of the MSFT Courier, updated with W10, phone and W-inking capabilities would get us on the right track. Just a thought!
  • Have you seen their patents lately? 😜
  • "Cortana is beaten by Siri"  , yeahh dream on, I have both and Siri acts like a 5 year old autistic kid who recently go a lobotomy.
  • You must be joking!
    My daughter has an iPhone and on a couple of occasions we have had a shoot out, let me tell ya, Siri smoked Cortana every single time.
    Siri is far more interactive and responds intelligently.
    Cortana, other then singing the odd lame song will invariably just take me to a web link.
    Siri talks to my daughter constantly, like an old friend sitting in the same room.
    Cortana does jack $hit by comparison.
    Cortana on 8.1 was much better, 2-3 years on and it's like being in 2010 again.
  • Well good for your daughter. In reality unfortunately Siri doesn't get even close to Cortana when it comes to voice recognition, activation computer commands, notifications, etc.
    http://techlomedia.in/2016/09/siri-vs-cortana-vs-google-now-epic-showdow... and also https://www.wired.com/2016/06/hey-siri-time-put-shut/
  • I agree...they will fall like Kodak and Nokia does....
  • Facts contradict your opinion in all aspects....
    https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=gj%2fpBnAt&id=2140...
  • troll
  • Nobody knows their software more than Microsoft.  So only makes sense for them to bring the hardware side of the house together.
  • It's funny how often I am reminded of the failures in their mobile strategy.  For instance, I just checked my email and had a Microsoft Rewards email reminding me of my Bing searches, etc.  At the bottom of the email it says to download the app - on iPhone, Android, and Amazon.  It doesn't seem like much but it's constantly stuff like this that is a real slap in the face. At this point I honestly don't care anymore.  I'll flow back and forth between my iPhone and 950 and think about what could have been.  I was recently looking over some old Windows Phone Central articles and it's devastating how far things have gone down hill (not on your coverage, on the platform).
  • Rewards are integrated into your account. You need to log in from a browser to see them. Maybe you can from the store but I've not checked. Not a dedicated app anymore.
  • I know this. It's talking about the Bing app.
  • Then again, this is another example of the US-only strategy that MS has had for a long time already. Microsoft Rewards is not available in 'my region'. Where people are trying to get more united, MS is doing their utmost to devide the world in as little pieces as possible.
  • Very good article Dan.  Without mobile there really is no long term future for the Windows OS. I agree with the recent articles published in WindowsCentral about the criticality of needing clarification about Windows Mobile's future, if any.  My only hindsight is that I wish we (Windows Central and all us users and posters ) had taken started taking this possition after MS abandon making phones. Perhaps a year ago there may have been time to make a difference and save WinMo, Windows and UWP.  Saddly, I feel it is now too late to make a difference.  
  • Its funny. Almost every point that Daniel makes here I have reiterated before- and I always get pounded with down votes for it. For me the Windows platform is by far and away the best, so I don't mind that; I may be critical, but its constructive and/or indicative criticism, either of which people dont always take too well. But I'm glad you guys are coming round ad finally telling M$ some hard truths. Just to add to it one more thing which I said many a time before: you see Samsung DeX? Well that's just the beginning. Google is coming out with an official Mobile/Desktop hybrid heavily leveraging on heir mobile success and near monopoly. And they wont stop there; they are ultimately looking at the Server/Cloud space. M$ needs to WAKE UP!!
  • You think MS's app gap is bad. There are like 6-8 apps that run on DeX properly. 
  • editor check: "While I have my biases – yes, I enjoy using Windows 10 Mobile – my call was not? only because I want a new Windows phone."  
  • Great article. ARM lit a fire that lasted for 2 weeks and then died. Show yourself Microsoft!
  • I think it would've been better to announce that at the same time as actual hardware that runs it.
  • God can you image how hard these win 10 mobile folks would be crying if they did that? 
  • Yeah because making a whole OS for a new platform is easy, and can be done in a few short hours. Its not a long complicated process at all. 
  • Great article. If there's no killer UWP game, probably no real future for it.
  • It makes me wonder what uptake might be seen if one took the Redstone 2-supported devices for a hardware baseline, then guestimate based on hardware specs, what "top x" games are theoretically playable on them (not Call of Duty, for example) and then work with the developers directly to port as a UWP to W10M - and then by extension, Xbox, PC, etc. Oh, to dream...
  • I'm thinking a product long over due is a handheld Xbox-Mini with Wi-Fi and 4/5G LTE, since it seems the only thing Microsoft is good at is Windows and the Xbox. Then to, they'll probably lose interest in 6 months and abandon it as well. It's what they do.
  • It's hard to keep coming up with new products when they constantly cancel them.  A streaming device would have been great...cancelled, a Band 3 would have been great...cancelled, a new mobile device would be great...?
  • The cancelling is, to me, a throwback to the old "compartmentalized Microsoft." With Nadella at the helm, the big thing was that they'd operate more as a complete entity, not on their own. I still see them doing their own thing. Why does W10M get crapped on? Likely due to numbers - without the "take ten steps back" oversight to see the overall contribution W10M could make to the company as a whole, through UWP, etc. Same with Band 3, though admitedly to a lesser degree. But throw these W10 devices out there, show people what it can do, and get them onboard. But when they zoom in on these departments and just go, "Not making money, junk it," they really lose sight of the big picture.
  • Agreed.  I think MS should have branded their phones Xbox phone rather than Windows.  Xbox Phone at least has some excitement potential.
  • To quote Daniel,  "The big question is not whether Microsoft has a solution to this problem. It is whether Microsoft even knows is has one." With Microsoft turning a profit and investors seeing the immediate stock increase; what motivation is there for Microsoft or Nadella to see the future of success of Microsoft in the consumer space and UWP adoption is in having a "true" mobile device presence.   That's my fear is that Microsoft is content with this temporary success and doesn't see the long term pitfall of not quickly having a solution in mobile space. For as much as Ballmer gets dumped on for being late to the game with Windows Phone. He did try to make ground with the purchase of Nokia and actually was starting to see some success especially in the foreign markets. I was one of the 3% in the US that had a Windows phone (HTC Arrive, HTC8XT, Lumia 640 and 650) until last fall begrudgingly moving to a Google Pixel. But I feel when Nadella took over and we went a year without a flagship phone and then the retrenchment strategy stiffled all of the momentum that Windows Mobile was starting to get before Ballmer left.  At the time when Microsoft were searching for their next CEO; I remember not wanting the former Ford CEO and not wanting Elop because it was rumored at that time that if he became CEO he would have shuttered the Xbox division but in hindsight Elop may would have been better for Microsoft from a mobile standpoint. I do like Nadella but I'm starting to think that his strategy is very different from what us fans think for mobility.  At any rate I do agree with Daniel that Microsoft at Build2017 need to clearly state their mobile agenda but sadly I wouldn't be surprised if nothing is discussed. One thing for sure is that I'm eagerly waiting to hear what Donna Sarkar has to say on this weeks Podcast with Daniel and Zac.
  • Don't be surprised if she didn't say anything about this matter
  • Investors reacted positively based primarily on what Nadella was getting rid of, not what he's bringing new to the company and customers.  At least in my opinion it seems this way.  The fact of the matter is that, even with the recent success of Surface, people seem to be moving away from Microsoft products and services.  This is going to be an uphill battle for them for quite a few reasons.  Primarily because they've pissed off many of their most loyal users.
  • Ballmer was soooo wrong it's sad. Laughed at iPhone price then watched ATT subsidize customers for them. What Daniel won't address however is how Microsoft would MARKET $$$$ SELL any windows "mobile" devices against Apple and Samsung (who Samsung alone spent $10 BILLION in 2016 marketing). Why is that type of $$$ investment a good one instead of creating software & services that require almost no marketing with yearly subscription sales? Would MS not be smarter to invest in EDUCATION and HEALTHCARE not trendy devices while continuing to build Win10ARM for 100% binary compatability?
  • IKR? Windows phone was a 'me too" product. A third place me too product. And the hardware game is only temporarily profitable, in class, for the top players before it reaches saturation, or gets replaced (see IBM, lol, or nokia).  Win10 arm is a mobile OS in its own class, with genuinely attractive points of difference. 
  • It's going to take MS a decade to recover from Nadella's disastrous reign. I've been voted down in the past for calling out Nadella's actions and "strategies" but who else does the buck stop with?
  • The buck of record profits and all time high stock prices? k
  • Short term gain, long term pain.
  • Exactly. Nadella pulled MS from a plummet. They are being called "the new apple' for a reason.  Sexy engineering, core valye branding and long term vision. 
  • I hope MS address phones specifically, like you suggested in your previous article on the matter - It's up to them to address it and it doesn't really matter too much what the answer is it just needs to be honest at this point. I'm still on my 950 and will be through to 2018 anyway, so I am not personally affected by this until then - At that time though I'll have to go with whatever will work best for me (as I always do) and if there isn't anything running W10M I won't be able to consider it for obvious reasons
  • I love W10/Mobile but DAMN the Galaxy S8+ is sexy. I've never been so tempted to give up on the app gap and W10 Mobile...
  • I'm getting the S8+, I think it will do really well...Honestly, you can't feel bad for abandoning a sinking ship. If your needs can't be met with Windows 10 Mobile, why stay? I find that Android plays nicely with Windows 10, it's been a good combination.
  • Well you'll still be supporting microsoft, it comes preloaded with their apps. 
  • I moved to android when the HTC One M8 was not included in the W10 upgrade path. The OS definitely has its downsides (I much preferred the windows tile interface) but beyond that, I can't complain. I'll be getting the S8 in a week or so.
  • To win a war (or at least not die while fighting it), the buck stops with the leadership. The generals. The commanders. GET RID OF NADELLA AND ANYONE ELSE WHO ADVOCATED FOR THE RETRENCHMENT STRATEGY. It has failed MORE than Ballmer's expensive acquisition of Nokia. Wake up Microsoft board and do your @#$% job.
  • Nadella is doing the job the board hired him for: profits are up. Every division is better than it was under Ballmer, except mobile. One loss is no reason to change their entire strategy. 
  • Especially since the retrenchment strategy is heading towards One Windows on Everything, which has been the goal for a very long time. All of these morons calling for Satya to be fired are hilarious
  • Unfortunately, while you find it hilarious that some people are calling for Nadella to be fired, I'm sure the Windows Phone fans that haven't had a phone and apps for a while now, don't.  Go back to your village, you're depriving them of an idiot somewhere.
  • Except when that one loss is the fastest growing portion of computing in the world today...
  • That is today, what about tomorrow? That one loss has the potential to do major damage or worse to all the other divisions.
    MS have their blinkers on and there is potential here for major damage to be inflicted moving forward.
  • Im feeling so disappointed 😞, since I bought the Lumia 950 in February 2016, Im having a lot of issues with the os, but I put my trust in ms because they are good at building os. Now we are in 2017 April, and I can't see no big progress in using my phone, there are still a lot of bugs and there is no big progress in app development.
  • communication is key to success if MS not communicating about their plans of next big thing.... no matter die hard fans like me will eventually switch to other platform as there is MS giving more support on its apps than WP itself. let it be clear any commucating device with longer support coming to market globally or not so that consumer or prosumer will decide what to do before its too late and when its too late the next big thing wont even bring back now fans of WP and future haters as many do while MS ditched consumers always on every step ahead from WP 7 till now
  • Tell that to apple. They kept every big release stony secret under Jobs. They dropped risc chipsets for mac like a stone. 
  • Their vision to succeed it way beyond reality. What is MS vision? I'm sure they got one but noticed last year its unreachable. Goals are there in their vision and the one who's in charge of it is Mr Satya. He set the vision for the company for other to follow. DEFINITLY CRAZY VISION AND ONE PERSON TO BLAME.
  • Microsoft has never committed to phones.  They must, or they will die a slow death.  I don't think they understand that.   Is Windows on ARM going to allow Microsoft to come out with a new category-defining device that is more than just a phone?  I doubt it.  Because Microsoft is not in phones at all now, the idea that someone is going to transition from the iPhone or Android phone to this new Microsoft thing is just massively dubious. Now that I've moved from Windows Phone to iPhone and found things I really like about the iPhone, what's it going to take to pry that iPhone back out of my hands?  A lot, I fear, and I don't think Microsoft has it in them.
  • Recent poll says 62% of teens in the USA expect their next phone to be from Apple up from 57% currently using Apple. Right now there is no room for anyone but Apple and Samsung. In a few years that could change as phones do much more (than lame apps and consant wall hugging & charging) especially in Enterprise nevermind Small/Medium Business who seriously struggle with "devices", security, HIPAA compliance, etc.
  • That's part of the problem for MS. The USA. Always the USA. They had virtually no footing there, but were popular in South America (check how many brazilian communities there are), Europe, and India. But it seems like only the US matters to them. Like the rest of the world doesn't even exist. Speaking for myself, MS had a decent footing here in Europe, I saw a decent amount of Lumias out and about. But now? I'm the only one. Literally. Everyone else I knew with a Lumia moved to Android. If by BUILD this isn't addressed I'm calling death on Mobile. And if things keep going as they are, eventually death on MS itself (on the consumer side, at least).
  • Win 10 mobile IS dead. Long life windows on arm!
  • If the mobile market in the US matters to Microsoft, it is showing it in a very unusual way. Microsoft, HP and Alcatel have walked away from CDMA carriers such as Verizon Wireless, Sprint and US Cellular. How can you grow your user base when you purposely render your products irrelevant to so many people?
  • I did the same thing and moved to iPhone. I have to say, everything just works and impressive enough for me. It's going to be hard for me to go to back to a windows phone to be honest...
  • Same here TheZeeMan.   I got my iphone 6s last july,  and LOVE IT.  it's better in every way besides the camera on my 1020.  But the rest of the positives make up for the negative of the camera.
  • I never had a 1020 but I did have the 950XL - I now have the 7+ and the camera isn't that much less quality in my opinion, if at all. The dual speakers are the best I ever heard (I had the HTC M8 and android M9 boom thing as well as the Alcatel Idol 4s) I used to be anti-apple for my entire life lol but once you actually use one of their devices, its just a different world. Everything is so fast, apps rarely crash if ever, battery life is astonishing compared to windows and android phones. Even their properitary iMessage is way better than regular text messaging. I really don't miss live tiles since with W10 they would rarely update on my phones anyway. MS would seriously need to reinvent their mobile OS or add a crapload of features to it in order to get me to switch back.
  • Exactly.   I don't even want the new iphone.  I love my 6s.  The removal of the audio port was a big dissapointment for me as I use various other things in the port besides headphones.  adapters wont work as these devices clip to the phone.  I have to say,  if microsoft had ALL the apps in the app store catalog (apple),  and a new premium device,  I may return...but imessage and facetime are to great products that are going to keep me on apple mobile products.
  • I agree.
  • Agreed
  • Keep your iphone. For me, and many others its power software that draws one to windows 10. Creative software like fruity loops and adobe illustrator. The office suite for business. Full desktop gaming.That's why I use rapidly growing windows on a tablet over now declining android on tablet (even apple had to introduce a budget ipad, because their device turnover is slipping). And that's why i'll pick up windows on arm for my next phone when it comes out.  I don't just want lots of software. Quality over quantity. I want quality software, deep software. Perhaps not everyone will see things the same way, maybe simple is enough for many, although I am sure a few might get jelly when I am playing some really enganging game at the doctors office while they fiddle with candy crush, or run chrome extensions on my full web browser, instead of their stripped down version.. Thats what Nadella understands is Windows strengths, what draws people to it. The only problem is win 10 mobile doesn't have it. So its out, gone!   
  • I totally agree that if you want to use heavy duty creative software, then Windows on a desktop is the way to go. HOWEVER - they're making a good job of ruining it by forcing a touch interface even on mouse/keyboard users.  Have you seen the size of all the common dialogs?  And the Settings?  They are ENORMOUS!   My mouse mileage must have tripled since I went from W7 to W10. Yes, the new UI is good on a touchscreen tablet, but on a mouse/keyboard workstation?  No way.
  • Devolopers,Devolopers,Devolopers,Devolopers! I miss steve balmer :(
  • Its my Zune all over again :-(
  • Great article thank you. Hey Daniel, off topic i know. What's the name of the app on the article image, above the groove music app? (right to shazam app)
  • Here's a strategy for Microsoft to aggressively approach their lack of apps: dump ALL developer costs for ALL apps, give developers full revenue for their work and intrest in the Windows platforms. Keep this going for a year or 3-4 (Microsoft has enough cash to survive that...) and see what their marketshare does. If no change, the signal is clear, Windows for mobile use is dead. If big change, well... It's pretty arrogant to even ask for a cut of revenue when your mobile efforts themselves are... laughable. What kind of clear (marketing) strategy has Microsoft EVER shown for it's mobile OS'es? And to than had the audacity to ask arguable the largest cut on apps from developers? Yeah, well, okay... maybe for desktop but mobile is where Microsoft is the runt of the litter and should behave as such.
  • MSFT doesn't have to cut its take to zero, just to below 10%. That would put it inline with third party software resellers.
  • I believe also, MS could buy Ting, subsidize the HELL out of all windows phones so people can get on board at half the cost of T-Mobile and Sprint.  Give away data - like an all unlimited plan for 15-20 bucks for windows phones and they'll get on the map.  It will cost a lot, but as I see it, trying the traditional marketing schemes will cost the same.  Launch an Xbox phone aimed at gamers to market new commercials.  Just thinking out loud.
  • WOW...I have mentioned this regarding app developement for the past 6 months or so and got downvoted every time.  Herbert states it and he's a hero! Great Job Herbert for getting through to the fans
  • Tbh, Microsoft needs to be either making new phones with outshining tech compared to its competition or use 3rd party to make new Microsoft phones. And pick 1 and support that continuously. Get the Microsoft phone name back into the world, make them fun and attractive for the consumers/ business eye. Focus on teens to start with for all i care. Get developers back with most popular apps. But then again... That would be my plan and approach and im just dreaming.
  • Nadella is a consumer failure and enterprise is not enough to sustain MSFT in the far future. No more Enterprise focused CEO's.
  • Yep, yep, and yep. He is the guy you bring in to make as much money as you can in a short period before you gut the company.
  • I agree u can't phase out the consumer and come back 3 years later... The consumers aren't going to welcome you back with open arms... Maybe middle fingers
  • Tell that to apple, the most successful tech company in the world. They dropped risc chipsets on macs like a stone. 
  • What does that have to do with anything?   Apple NEEDED to dump the PPC Macs.  PPC chips were slower and ran hotter than Intel. Plus, they executed it perfectly.  They didn't announce it until it was 100% ready to go.  All PPC apps run on Intel.  It was completely transparent to users and - most importantly - DEVELOPERS!  No one was pissed off, no one was left holding the bag. Unlike MS, who has changed mobile strategies/platforms/devices so many times I have lost count AND they abandoned users and DEVELOPERS every step along the way.
  • daniel has gone mad :)
  • Daniel has been driven to crazy town with the non-stop BS he has been fed by Microsoft....but we at crazy town, welcome him with open arms.
  • Lol
  • No,  Daniel to the windows blinds off.   He's realised that MS is failing with the BOLD predictions.  
  • Maybe I'm being naive, but I think Microsoft has a plan. Microsoft and Qualcomm came together to make Windows 10 on ARM possible, right? True, it may to enable low-cost yet powerful tablets that is LTE-capable. But it seems like Windows 10 on ARM that was run by Snapdragon 835 was really awesome.
  • I think that Windows on ARM is basically to bring affordable tablets and PC with LTE capability. That's it. I don't think there's more to it than that.
  • No. Unless you haven't noticed, the creators update brought in SMS/MMS, phone calling, and mobile hotspot. Who needs to SMS from a tablet? Even been tempted to use phone calling from your iPad, or transformer book? Windows on ARM will replace windows 10 mobile, zero doubt.
  • They have Samsung S8 Microsoft special edition Surface Phone already.😜
  • and again...exactly what I have been saying about this leadership all along and have been told I don't know what I am talking about. There is no vision or direction this is heading. Just double talk and ducking the issue. They need new leadership, and they need it now. The phone thing could work, but it has to be amazing. They have to reach so far out that it is so far ahead that it CAN'T BE IGNORED. They need to stop worrying about turning a profit on phones and worry about getting them out there even if it is at a loss. Because if you don't get the devices out that are using Windows, you won't have Windows to hang your hat on pretty soon.
  • I can't see how a phone like device which can run full desktop programs attract devs to make UWP apps
  • I can't either. Needs to be more than that.
  • I can see a new category of mobile devices with foldable screens that wrap around your wrist. But, I think these things are 10 years into the future at least...  
  • If nothing is mentioned about mobile at build, then I'll be going for an iPhone or android device. Been looking around already and the new HTC U looks interesting. Though I loathe Android. I need wireless charging though...
  • It's a shame you guys bought into the retrenchment idea. Had it been questioned and ridiculed from the outset, as it deserved to be, we'd have clarity by now. I'm happy to see you finally holding MS' feet to the fire. It's a shame that it took this long. It seems like most of you are far too close to MS (the entity you should be keeping honest rather than getting cozy with), and far too eager to eat anything they feed you. :-( You guys need writers with far more technical unnderstanding and more business accumen. People who are capable of judging whether MS' messaging is trustworthy, technically correct, and reaonsable. Most of the time it isn't and WCentral just functions as MS' propaganda megaphone.
  • Kind of disagree. The Lumia 950/XL was a small disaster. How could the company "get behind" with full force such a product? The hardware was meh, the OS was way under baked. The company saying "let's step back, rethink this and come back with something we can really get behind" I think is/was the right approach. Of course, those problems (hardware and OS status) go back to other, deeper issues starting years ago. The problem I see is neither the OS or the hardware advanced fast enough with the priority it needed from the company.
  • You're being kind calling it a small disaster. My 1520 was great with 8.1. My 950XL is garbage as far as its build and it runs Windows 10 Mobile like trash. So disappointing after my 1520.
  • How did we get from the beautiful in every way 8.1 to the garbage we have today?
  • The woman heading the team is to incompetent to fix any of these nagging issues that half lingered for over a year now...
  • Totally agree!  WP8.1 was a fine phone operating system which made iOS and Android look like hangovers from the last century.  W10M is a clunky, ugly pig of a thing - some Android UI features (triple dots and hamburgers) half-baked into the old UI, and lots of functionality removed. No thank you.
  • Problem was they never did come back with anything, and its hard to say that was ever the intent judging from the way they embraced their retrenchment philosophy.  They seemingly buried mobile every oppportunity they could with vague "we are committed to mobile" statements and never truly did put any effort into doing anything with mobile. Now at this point its all silence and in Microsoft's world that means a death sentence for that product. Good article but way too late.
  • I agree with your point if I look at it from your perspective. My perspective is different. Yes, the 950/XL and W10M were not great. They still aren't. IMHO MS didn't have to get behind either product though. MS just needed to get behind a coherent strategy and message. "Retrenchment" is not a strategy! It's barely even a message. There are a million things companies don't do! That's all "retrenchment" tells us. That MS is not doing something. That's irrelevant. Somehow you guys mistook "retrenchment" to actually be a "thing". MS' smartphone endeavors were already hanging by a thread before the "retrenchment" debacle. To me it seems obvious that no company in that situation can afford to pull back, surrender, or take a break. I don't understand why that wasn't obvious. Given MS' situation in mobile, MS taking a step back and rethinking their approach is reasonable. We agree on that. What you guys should have been reporting on however, or insisted that MS explain, is what the result of that stepping back and rethinking was! Instead you confused the process of determining the strategy with the strategy itself. That's where you guys screwed up. Unfortunately, after all the brainwashing, many members here still view things through that distorted lens. It's not the (meh) L950/XL or the still very flawed W10M OS that killed MS' smartphone endeavoers (IMHO that ship has sailed and there is practically no hope of recovery). It was MS' lack of direction, lack of vision, and their complete incompetence when it comes to PR that killed it. What MS needed was someone with some authority to call them out on their retrenchment BS. Unfortunately nobody did.
  • MSFT's messaging with the "retrenchment" stuff was totally clear at the time: we're getting out of the market. For whatever reason (legal, contractual, image, etc), they had to back off slowly rather than ditch WM suddenly.
  • If that is the case then the core of this article's point still stands: how do you make up 500M devices with Windows 10 without phone? How does UWP become a thing when desktop and laptops (two declining areas) are your base?
  • I think that 1 billion devices was a massive pipe dream daniel....Nadella pulled that number out of his ass to pitch to the board for some reason....They never were going to get that...
  • Well theres the 50% of desktop users wo are on windows 7 for a start (ie they have double the number of users 10 does). Then there's the tablet market where windows is growing, and the others aren't. Then there's mobile, when windows 10 on arm comes, and replaces that silly win 10 mobile with the full OS.  Also last quarter of desktop sales saw growth. In practice the _number_ of pc's isnt declining, the upgrade cycle is just diminishing as people have to afford more consumer goods. Same thing is happening to phones now the buzz is wearing off, replacement cycles are slowing there too.  It's a huge myth, that doesn't reflect in the numbers at all, that mobiles are replacing PCs. They arem't they are complimenting them. 
  • "Then there's mobile, when windows 10 on arm comes, and replaces that silly win 10 mobile with the full OS. " And what exactly will that do for me?  For anyone?  There still won't be any apps for it.  Legacy Win32 stuff is pretty GD useless on a  5.5" screen.  Plus it is yet another mobile os change for DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS who have been burned multiple times already.  Why do you STILL beleive that changing the OS will fix anything?   Changing from 7 to 8 fixed nothing.  8 to 8.1, 8.1 to 10.  There are still no apps AND there are far fewer users - and developers - today. 
  • I've noticed a few posts of yours, in which you state that W10oA will replace W10. This is incorrect. It's correct only in the sense that W10oA will be introduced to the market at about the same time all the hardware running W10M will be removed from the market. That is the only relationship between the two. You might also claim that a new dump truck, built by GM, will replace one of their cars that GM is taking off the assembly lines. That's equally ridiculous. The roles both products play are so unrelated that neither can functionally replace the other. If W10oA is replacing anything, it's replacing Windows RT. Had W10M ever evolved to the point where it had taken on Windows RT's role and also been shipped on tablets with keyboards, then your claim might also be correct, but W10M never got that far. W10oA will not be in competition with iOS or Android. W10oA's direct competitor will be ChromeOS and Chromebooks. Joe Belfiore, who was put in charge of "education", will likely be the person pushing W10oA and cheap devices into that market. No. W10oA is not replacing W10M. Ideally, it wouldn't replace anything, as MS' goal should be to create an entirely new class of device. We shall see.
  • It was never clear to me. I remember at least some people in the forums who questioned what "retrenchment" really means and what in the world about it would be beneficial. You're right that most just went with it though, probably without putting too much thought into it.
  • A Surface S device would make some sense: A phone built on the basis of the Surface brand, that is so much powerful than currently built smartphones, and the naming "S" sounds more convenient now with every phone is called "something-S", so consumers can link the Surface to the phone. But the OS needs to mature fast.
  • 1. have vibrant Tablet/Laptop/pc market even in low end, 2 HAVE A PROMOION - BUY YEAR OF GROOVE OR OFFICE 365, WORK AN PLAY XBOX  BUNDLE GET A FREE  WIN PHONE. 3 developers will jump head first in. code name mind share
  • I work with these guys a lot. I've seen the behind the scenes for 17 years. The talk, the great stuff that comes to market a year after being discussed and the bad stuff that failed. What I've seen in the past few years, to me, is amazing in the redirection of a company, global brand and innovator. They have streamlined their process to quickly react and bring things to market. I believe what they are doing now is silent innovation the same way the Surface was created and eventually unveiled. It just seems obvious to me. We'll see. But, I have to say, I am not worried.
  • Hi tpesa I agree, I also believe Microsoft is dedicated to "silent innovation". I made a similar point in a previous piece. As Microsoft is no longer into "phones", and are likely focusing on a new category of ultramobile PC, silence as with the Surface, HoloLens and Studio is the part, I believe, of that strategy.😎
  • @Jason Ward and @tpesa, I buy that and I can see the importance of secrecy so as not to reveal to competitors what's coming nor to hurt their existing partners (HP, Alcatel, etc.) sales on current devices. However, the problem with no communication and apparent failure to deliver on prior promises (especially coupled with a track record of abonding product lines -- Zune, Kinect, Band, Lumia,...), is that it appears both that they failed to do with they said and that they have no vision or plan for the future. If we give MS all the benefit of the doubt in terms of what they're developing behind the scenes, I still think Microsoft may have crossed a line from where secrecy is an effective marketing tool for a big positive reveal, to where secrecy has alienated customers and developers to the point they no longer trust MS. And a lost customer is MUCH more expensive to win back than it is to keep existing customers. I suspect that's just as true of developers. That is, even if they introduce a brilliant Surface Ultramobile PC that is the perfect device and loved by critics and users alike, that doesn't mean they are not still hurting themselves by encouraging fans and industry watchers to believe they've failed. Whatever that perfect product is, the launch would be stronger if they maintained as many  mobile users in the interim as possible. One lesson that Microsoft should know well, because they taught it to the industry 25+ years ago: if consumers like your stuff, eventually it will take over enterprise. That's how Windows took over from Unix dominance in the '90s, and MS replaced DEC and IBM as the primary player in enterprise computer technology. The current trend with phones is not an exact parallel, but it does show the importance to OS viability in enterprises adopting what their employees like, not the other way around. I say all of this as a fan who remains a loyal Windows Phone user. But I'm also a technology marketing strategist by profession, and Microsoft sure seems to be making some big mistakes here no matter how you look at it.
  • Wont most of those people "who lost trust" feel a little foolish when windows 10 on arm is released? When microsoft creates a new wearable to replace the band?  They aren't "abandoning products" or "breaking promises", they are "learning from mistakes" and "improving products".  Its the exactly same model of secrecy in innovation, and focus on vision and core values, that enabled steve jobs to make apple successful. I'm positive apple fans said the same thing when they shifted mac to x86. Then they released the ipod, then the iphone, then the ipad - number 1 in the world of tech, from almost bankrupt, because they followed a vision, focused on branding that vision and didn't listen to the naysayers.  
  • @Jadon Ward
    Been hearing similar BS for years and years.
    Sure hope you are right tho and I'm very happy to be wrong.
  • The Empire is slow. The Empire is too silent lately but.. the Empire always strikes back.. Always.  wanna bet?
  • Well, right on time. Nokia is back, they are the reason for me using windows mobile. Now they will be the reason for me using that crappy android.. Well, what can i say, this is what i thought about windows mobile 5 years ago, now, it seems i very much like it. But well. Ms is not reliable anymore. I bought the 950xl as soon as it came out. And went through hell with it. Now, after almost two years it is still buggy and ms seems that does not give a ****... They killed nokia with their system and now they kill the system. It is something behind me as of why, ms wanted so badly in smartphone world if they cannot keep their head up.
  • android is NOT crappy.  You can make it whatever you want.   You like windows 10 with live tiles etc...you can get that on andriod.
  • It's not crappy, but it's SO old-fashioned compared with WP8.1. Sadly MS threw that brilliant new take on a phone OS into the bin when they gave us W10M - an ugly, clunky kludge of a thing with some Android bits (triple dots and hamburgers) half-baked into the UI and lots of functionality removed. Pah!
  • Buy back the Nokia device group and start making phones again.
  • The didn't sell it...
  • Nope,  they just shitcanned it.  threw it out like garbage and everyone that worked there.
  • Just bought a Huawei Nexus 6P, selling my HP Elite X3 and am going to wait for the Surface whatever they will call it. I already miss the tiles, Skype preview (I did email the devs of the Android version, hope they let me into alpha), and the way the apps across devices communicate with each other.
  • Phones are the number one used device by people.  Microsft needs a mobile phone or its over from a consumer point of view.  Soz but thats the truth.  People want a eco system all their d3vices can share.  It would only take appme or google android to attack the pc gaming market and toull see how quickly windows qill disapear from the consumer market.  I really think without a phone well see that soon 
  • Consumers are driving the business sector too...wether or not they want to admit it, if they lose the consume sector, they will eventually lose the business.
  • yeh i totally agree, i actually think the damage has already been done and then next 2-3 generations will be investing in apple and or android.  I think microsfts marketing is gona largely be resposible for that.   Theyll remail a big profitable company but not anything like they are now.
  • Apple already has a desktop OS. So does google. Neither are particularly popular. Nor are any of them hybrid OSs. Microsoft, when they make their windows 10 operating system run on ARM (not this win 10 mobile junk, the real full windows deal), will be the first to have as you put it 'a ecosystem all thier devices can share". None of the other companies are even close. 
  • untill apple and google attack the pc gaing market seriously then they wont take over from windows, but they do that youll see even the die hard windows desktop fans like me jump ship, i know people say linux but have you ever tried playing games on linux or simply runing popular software like adobe lol, you know google and apple wouldnt have those issues.
  • Haven't you noticed that Microsoft appears to have given up on Windows? Linux is accepted for running servers. Everything, whether an app or a language Microsoft creates is now able to run on every platform including or instead of Windows.  The focus is services. Whether Azure or Office or OneDrive.  ChromeOS is available for free and so it's hard to compete against free. That's the mistake made early with Windows Phone. Charging when the competition was free.  Services are an ongoing monthly revenue and so Windows is not important, just the services running on it and everything else.  That is the impression I have of Microsoft's strategy. It's the only thing that explains giving up mobile. Because that's certainly the public focus for the last two years.
  • They have definitely shifted the company to not be Windows-centric completely, which is smart. Depending on one product is dangerous.
  • I think in the long term building compatibility is even smarter. With ubiqituous computing, walled gardens will be a death sentence to any OS. 
  • Good article, I think we are all in agreement that MS seems clueless about where they are going with mobile or something after that. Even if they pull a magical rabbit out of the hat tomorrow they have created So much badwill there is a good chance that rabbit will fail as well. I can't believe they have people working in customer relations at MS.
  • In my view, it doesn't matter what hardware MS brings out with regards to mobile. Without the popular apps and the niche apps that people want the platform is in stasis. For some apps are not an issue but when your compeitors have them anyone looking to switch will want a similar experience. That's always been the number one issue with Windows Mobie/Phone from the get go. Ignoring all the other nuances that might have driven people away. When it comes to UWP. In general, good idea, in practice I think you're not going to get to far because you have the same issues. No popular apps, really. Why bother with a Facebook app when you have a web browser is the other. What compelling reason is there to use UWP apps on a PC? The only way their fortunes are going to change with regards to mobile is to get the developers and have the apps. Create good hardware and you have a chance. Without those things the platfomr might as well die cause no one is going to care about a Surface Phone if there are no mobile apps to go with it. It can be amazing in every other way, but Android and iPhones users will not switch to have 'less'. Therein is the challenge.
  • I like UWP apps on my desktop PC, the notifications and live tiles are something that's not possible with Web pages
  • Me too. They are so fast and lightweight too. For most applications I find them superior, outside of power user software or desktop games. 
  • No they will switch to have "more" ie win32 applications.  Even something like a full browser is pretty compelling. 
  • What can MS announce that would possibly turn this around? A beautiful/faster WinPhone that still lacks apps? A Surface Phone that runs UWP apps (via ARM), of which there are still precious few? Seriously, they are so far behind and have lost not only market share but also mind share (most people I show my 950XL to have never heard of a Windows Phone), I just don't see them turning this around after their "silent innovation." No info to the rest of the world means the world has forgotten about them and moved on, and no info to us insiders/supporters/loyalists means even we are tired of waiting. I, for one, will listen for even a glimmer of hope at BUILD, and if nothing is compelling I'll move on as well to the Sony phone (has a great camera and a dedicated camera button) that is coming out in June. I want apps I can't get on my Windows Phone.
  • "What can MS announce that would possibly turn this around?"
    No idea, but I agree, they are far behind. So, the question is (1) did they expect that? (2) do they have a plan to fix that? Whether it's hard or not is not the issue. They do need to address the points I make here, they have to face the music. It's not just about "let's have a phone" it's about the future of Windows 10 and UWP, imo.
  • I think you are missing the point. In a few years from now the focus will no longer be on apps, apps is a dead street focus will be on bots and AI.
  • You can bet your left nut they will be last to the party then as well
  • Keep dreaming
  • Apps are NOT a dead end street.   I am not going to be talking to my phone/device in public.  sorry.   Bots/AI are in the future,  but mobile devices will always use apps to get things done while you are MOBILE!
  • I agree Xanc6.  When conversational platforms have all the power of apps, and far more ease of use, people will talk more than touch. Right now assistants are primitive. They have no deep functionality, and low accuracy. But when they get both of those things, touch will take second place to both 3d hand gestures, and voice. 
  • A full windows 10 experience, on a phone, rather than that "windows lite" thing people are using on their windows smartphones. Thats what will end up changing peoples minds. Because its the same thing thats driving a wedge into the android ios dominance of the tablet market - software power.  
  • If it can't fit in my pocket it's useless. Microsoft has given the word clueless a bad name.
  • I like UWP apps on my desktop PC, the notifications and live tiles are something that's not possible with Web pages
  • Sure, I do too, but I'm not yet convinced we're seeing mass adoption/success with UWP just on desktop/laptops. Or, rather, this would be easier if they had like 300M phones on the market running those apps too.
  • I do think the world may shift to using the Store for buying apps on Windows. Think about all of the freemium/shareware apps we get from the net. It's in their developers' interest to put those on the Store to increase reach, trust, and sales. I think that will grow as users start to think of looking on the Store, instead of browsing the web for a solution. But, if the main users of those apps are Desktop users, then there is little incentive for the devs to make apps that function on the small form factor devices MS needs to regain the dominant OS position from Android.
  • I use some desktop apps like readit etc. But I don't think my partner has ever even looked in the store on our desktop pc, I do agree there is a mindset that apps are for mobile and browser for full desktop. I think that mindset is quite ingrained in general users.
  • @robwards, I agree, but I also think it's an easy one to shift. Some habits are really hard to break, others not so much. Generally, people load the apps they're going to install when they get a new computer. People go looking for their favorites, install them, then either let them get out of date or keep applying the manual updates, either in response to a prompt or by going out and searching again. Through the Store, you just type the name in the Cortana search bar (about the same as getting the app on the web), then you see the app listed in the results on the Store. With 2 more clicks, you have it from a safer source (vetted by Microsoft for the Store) and it will now automatically be kept up-to-date. No worrying about getting a version with malware or ad software that attaches to your browser. The Store provides such an improved experience from every angle over finding it on the web, I'm confident users will migrate to that over time, but that time is probably a period of years, not months. At some point, maybe in 2019, there will be a critical mass shift, where users stop looking for apps on the web, and expect to get them from the Store. That doesn't address web-based applications (basically web pages), only apps. Here are some I have that I would much prefer to get from the Store: Audacity, mp3tag, 7-zip, PuTTY, browsers (Firefox and Opera), Calibre ebook converter, my PDF printer converter, a MarkDown reader, RingCentral for Windows, RingCentral Meetings, Prism Video File Format converter, WinSCP, to list a few. None of those came from the store, but I'd like all of them better if they did so I wouldn't have to go searching for them and updating them. Then there are the big applications I pay for, like Office, MS Project, CorelDraw, and QuickBooks, etc. I'd rather buy those on the store too, instead of through Amazon's digital purchase process, or a separate Office 365 site, but I care less about those moving to the Store than the Freeware/Shareware apps. I also have Slack, a bunch of games, Kindle Reader, ISeeVM (an awesome free visual Voicemail program and service that works on my Windows Phone and shows messages left for my cell phone on my Windows PC), and bunch of other apps that did come from the Store. Those are so much easier to manage.
  • Correct.  Apps for simple things are great on desktop.   NOT good for power users doing video/photo/graphics editing....etc.
  • Yup. But no apps on any mobile platform are great for power users, creatives, enterprise or gamers atm. They are compromise software. Hence why win32 on ARM will be so attractive to people like you and me (I write music, and I game)
  • Some pinned websites such as WindowsCentral.com do show notifications.
  • Well, if people use browser instead of UWP apps, then try bringing instant apps feature to the UWP apps. That way, even when people go to browsers, they will be using the apps. This will tremendously increase the potential for UWP apps and then the developers will bring more and better UWP apps for Windows 10 PC. And since they are UWP, these apps should be published in Windows 10 Mobile store and other devices as well. 
  • I think Microsoft needs to reinvent Mobile now that Nokia aquisition was a disaster, smartphones are going to be around for many more decades, while PC and laptops will be used less. There is still a chance to fork Android and build a Microsoft appstore for Android apps, this is legal and Amazon does it today with their tablets and Fire OS
  •  Many decades? Doubtful IMO. Touch will stay around, but smartphones in their current form, will fall out of favour.
  • Great article. I'm glad Daniel referenced the fact they have official and unnamed contacts at MS. I was beginning to wonder...Anyway, as recent history is proving, it is a delicate balancing act to "anticipate what's around the bend" while not ignoring what's going on right under your nose. MS is showing that they are looking too much at the future and not enough at what is, here and now. Also, focusing mostly on business while paying meager attention to consumers is a losing game. Business has more money and power, But are slow to change and adoption of where they spend that money. while consumers may not have as much money, but vastly outnumber the number of businesses and can change their interests (and where they spend money) rather quickly. Retrenching for all this time was a bad move on MS part. Consumers also retrenched accordingly, and Fans (the only consumer left for Win10M) are also retrenching...
  • OR they are being prudent, playing the long game, and being less shortsighted than most people are. 
  • Why all the doom and gloom? Has everyone forgotten that MS has hired 2 spots for mobile recently? Watch the Surface Pro Phone Business Edition Series 10 Revolution unfold.....coming soon
  • 2 people? Holy **** man! Any chance they are superman and wonder woman?
  • Two people?  We are to get excited about two people?  They could be there to lend a hand to the 3rd party companies throwing hardware on our dying platform and using it as a stepping stone.  I highly doubt this is a huge rejuvenation of their mobile strategy.  At this point, it's no longer about making the platform a success, it's more about retention and customer loyalty.
  • They could be furniture removalists to help clean out the many empty WP offices
  • That is a 100% staff increase for Mobile....you guys are not viewing the numbers correctly.
  • Most likely to port everything from windows 10 mobile into windows 10 proper and refine the full windows 10 UI for mobile. 
  • I continue to maintain that Satya Nadella has no clue what he's doing and I would happily tell him to pack his bags and go back to wherever he came from.  Since the chances of that happening are zero, suffice to say that I think Paul Thurrott has probably described where this is headed....which really means goodbye to Windows phones.  His contention is that Microsoft will finally embrace Android and join that avenue.  Basically, I think this means UWP disappears as we know, supplanted by Android apps disguised as Windows apps and making their way onto everything.  While there may be full Windows on ARM, that probably will not gain much footing.  I think some sort of Intel chip will finally make it to uber-high-end devices w/phone capability to support full Windows, and more traditional smartphones will end up being Android skinned as Windows.  Windows itself will end up supporting Android apps with superficial homage to Windows.  All of this depresses me completely, but ever since that idiot took over Microsoft I saw this was going to go downhill.
  • I don't know why you are getting all the downvotes.....Ive been a big fan of MS, phones, xbox, surface, even Arc Mouse, Ninja Cats, and it is hard not to agree with your thoughts......I have decided that I cannot stand Nadella as well......He has ruined mobile. The quotes from the article show how clueless Nadella is with mobile phones.
  • I upvoted myself!
  • So did I, you're both right.
  • Windows on ARM is RT 2.0.  after a year or so,  that will be canned as well!
  • Windows on arm, is just windows 10. Windows 10 is very popular. Windows 10 mobile is not. Smartest move he could have made. 
  • Go back on the meds. 
  • Satya Nadella is an enterprise guy, he doesn't give a **** about consumers. He will let things that don't bring in cash simply die. What will remain? A few enterprise services. Windows will vanish, together with many many other Microsoft products.
  • If so, that's bad business. Without consumer support, MS will slowly see their enterprise share dwindle too (just as IBM lost it to MS, because people were familiar with the PCs they had at home and wanted them at work). I think they know this and won't let that happen, at least not intentionally.
  • No IBM fell because after adoption collapses in hardware (and negative growth sets in), so do the premium markets. People buy budget. Same thing will happen in phones. 
  • The naming of the latest Windows 10 Mobile "fast ring" Insider Build is quite telling, as well as the Microsoft May event that was announced moments ago. Windows Central wrote a story about this yesterday, the new mobile update name has changed names to describe Windows on Arm-enabled phones. Makes you wonder... http://www.windowscentral.com/april-2017-update-arm-based-phone-devices-...
  • But under About it's still described as windows 10 mobile
  • Check out the changes to the Creators update. Its extremely clear what they are doing really. They have added phone app, MMS/SMS and mobile hotspot to windows 10 home/pro. They are making their touted "mobile PC", the phone that can do what the others can't.  Thanks god someone in the comments is paying attention, even if the article writer isn't.   
  • Funny, me and many other people have been saying this for years. I'm glad Windows central is finally seeing it. I think the news that Android took over Windows in internet usage woke everyone up. This isn't going to stop. Android will rise further as they will merge Chrome OS and android. As of that moment Windows 10, Onedrive, Office and many other products will see decline in usage. Finally Google will target the enterprise and Windows will become obsolete. This will all happen within the next 6 years. Microsoft needs to go ALL IN, READ: SPEND TENS OF BILLIONS to become relevant in mobile space. Use the ******* cash to safe your own reason for existence.
  • From my point of view....it sucks that I have to consider using Google over a dying MS platform....the good news for me is that I am only going to be alive for another 40-50 years at the most.
  • Google have announced no such plans. Nor is chrome OS, a real competitior on desktop. Its far easier to scale down, than scale up. MS existing plan of making windows 10 on arm, is far better than your burn money proposition. Make a phone that does what no other phone does, instead of trying to copy. 
  • Watch the South Park Game of Thrones episodes.  What Bill Gates does to the Sony exec at the end, he needs to do to Nadella.  He's killing slick Willy's company.  Balmer was nuts, but at least he got them going in mobile.  Nadella is just blind or apparently hypnotized by his iPhone.
  • And if I hear one more time "waiting for next paradigm shift" I am going to blow anyone who says that in a million pieces with a homemade diarrhea bomb. Let me make it clear to you for once and for all: THERE IS NO NEXT PARADIGM SHIFT THAT WILL REPLACE PHONES IN THEIR FORM FACTOR. Augmented reality: NO, virtual reality: NO, smart watches: NO, foldable smartphones: NO, they are just an evolution and Google and Apple can offer the same and probably faster. Nutella, if you feel you can't handle the job I am hereby applying to bring some wisdom to your company.
  • Eh, I think your position is silly too. The idea that in 20 years we'll still have iPhone 28 and it'd be the same thing as today seems shortsighted.
  • I think it seems realistic. Smartwatches have too small screens, glasses on the nose is something people don't want. A phone has a screen size which is not too big and not too small. Maybe foldable solutions will allow you to double that size but that's about it. And not just Microsoft is busy with foldable screens so it won't be their holy grail.
  • for the near future you are right! there's nothing that will shift in such manner that MS can get to, and become the new Apple of 2007. Nothing! And if by a mircale something will happen, Apple and Google will do it faster and better, as proven recently by Samsung with DeX which is far better (tested myself). Not perfect, far from it, but much better than that failed continuum project of MS's. In the far future yes there will be changes, but let's just stop thinking what will happen in 20 years...we live now, MS is is a bad shape now towards quality, customer commitment and respect, commitment to their statements and of course mobile.
  • Samsung and microsoft co-developed, and co-own the patent for flexible graphene OLED screens. I don't feel like they'll be handing that over to apple or google any time soon. Or anyone else. Plus, android on a tablet style FF, or iOS, is significantly weaker as a platform versus windows 10. They are OSs that are suited to simple, with apps that are designed for tiny screens.  The whole ecosystem and UI design translates quite poorly to something larger screened, which folding tablet phones will be (hence why android is losing tablet marketshare, and microsoft is gaining).  The thing is, with an evolution, like with old feature phones - what you have, doesn't nessasarily translate to where you are going. No one made themselves king of symbian and then went on to conquer slabs. If everyone say, shifts to a conversational platform, touch apps become mostly pretty irrevelant. 
  •  "I have no idea how Windows 10 grows beyond 500 million users" Dan, can you elaborate on this?  Do you just mean this year or what?  It's really a forgone conclusion that Windows 10 will hit 1 billion users - on PC's alone.  It will happen, just slower than MS wanted.   Gartner's research stats that 50% of business will be on Windows 10 by end of 2017; and 100% by end of 2019.  But we don’t even need Gartner to tell us this; it's perfectly obvious.  Windows 7 goes out of support in the beginning of 2020, and those machines will be replaced or upgraded to Windows 10 before that happens.  That's 500+ million right there.  If we assume the overall Windows PC pie is still around 1.5 billion devices (haven't seen anything to refute that number), then Windows 10 easily has a billon plus piece of that pie to take.  
  • I think the initial projections assumed bigger sales and not the complete implosion of mobile. I'm really curious if they thought OEMs would pick up in making W10M phones for them and put that number in their estimate, because they were way, way off and missed every milestone (I saw the numbers/goals back in 2016). Either way, the business aspect still, imo, doesn't fully answer UWP as businesses are the most reluctant right now to use UWP for pc/laptops. I still just don't see how you go from PC, PC, PC, even a billion of them to a strong UWP portfolio. Some of that will come as UWP grows in strength and matches Win32, but I think we're still years from that. Again, MS should come clean here with how they see this all happening. Attrition thru old computers/assumptions about replacements or do they have an actual new growth area, which is what people/market/devs really want to see.
  • OK, I guess you aren't disputing that there will be 1 billion Win10 PC's in use eventually, but that a large number of those may not effectivly contribute to the UWP ecosystem.  I agree the loss of mobile really hurts UWP and that business PC's won't all be using the store/UWP right away, so that growth segment doesn't help as much as it might.  However, I still see a path for UWP to succeed, even w/out mobile; but it can't happen until Windows 10 is the majority version, and UWP has a couple more years of refinement, so I don't see it as dead yet.  
  • Yes, but think that all these future computers will run windows 10 because windows 7 or 8.1 won't work on them anymore, not because users want windows 10. Reaching a goal of 1 billion windows 10 users, by forcing the update is not something to be proud of. Sorry but is the reality, so many out there hate windows 10, and why not, because it lacks quality control, an OS tested by insiders...
  • Hate to say it, but if nothing comes to fruition when my Lumia 950XL runs its course, I have to abandon ship and either move back to iPhone or Android. I left iPhone after the 3gs for Android because I needed a bigger screen and expandable memory. Then left Android because as the hardware got older, the newer OS made my Android device sluggish. I'm holding onto hope, but hope can only take you so far.
  • It has to be phones, the mobile world is our life now and its forever expanding. What we need now is a tiny mobile device that can do any task, Microsoft can't ignore that fact, the need to get back into Mobile.
  • I think W10M was a very good move. So good that it can still beat Android and iPhone feature wise (if MS wants). The mistakes MS made was 1, abandoning the current users, by finishing Lumia brand, with no plan as of who's gonna make new devices, and 2, not bringing new PC features to mobile (inkworkspace, pen, and all new CU features etc) Work on Surface phone might have started in MS after all the hype in the social media I guess. And that 'may be' device might be the reason for no real progress yet. As the market share is very low now, all fans have their own unrealistic fantasies regarding what W10 on mobile should be. Some ask for full Windows 10 on mobile, some ask android apps, some ask ultra mobile PC. Nobody thinks that just bringing new features to mobile will do the job easily. MS hasn't updated Start screen, lock screen, and whole mobile environment in 2 years. That's one of the sole reason why mobile is falling (the other being no available devices). Now MS may be experimenting with different concepts, instead of just focusing on current w10m. One of them is windows on ARM, another is CShell. I personally think CShell will be a brilliant move, and will complement the mobile strategy. Windows 10 on ARM makes no sense for mobile, as the word 'Continuum' will not make any sense then.
    If Satya believes Continuum is the future, it should be brought to mobile. CShell will allow mobile to have People Hub, Inkworkspace, calendar and everything PC desktop and Lockscreen has. Maybe that's why CU brought folders to PC start screen, because maybe that will replace mobile in RS3. And maybe that's why MS didn't focus on mobile environment in RS2, because it'll be replaced by CShell. Whatever their strategy is, they should give us an idea, so that we can know how long to wait, and what to wait for.
  • I've long thought a return to the Courier concept, but with a small paired dockable/detachable handset could be a pretty neat device.  With a full OS on it - not the gimped consumption oriented concept originally presented.    
  • Great read Daniel! "On desktop, the web browser still dominates instead of UWP apps. UWP begins to make more sense as the display shrinks. After all, the very concept of "apps" in the modern sense begins with phones. Even I don't use many UWP apps on the Surface Studio. Give me a laptop, and my usage of UWP goes up. Put me on a smartphone, and suddenly I loathe using a web browser, and it's all about the apps. It is common sense." That ^^^ makes so much sense you wonder why MS never got it. You don't "retrench" on the fastest growing form factor and OS-type. You keep a leg (no matter how shrivelled) in that race! Again I quote: "At a time when Microsoft should have been putting all its resources into the fastest growing category for computing, the company instead abandoned it. This problem is not just bad for Windows phone fans, it's bad for Windows 10, UWP and Microsoft's consumer future.
    The big question is not whether Microsoft has a solution to this problem. It is whether Microsoft even knows it has one. I'm not confident that's the case. And that's another problem." Thank you! I am concerned about this too. You get the feeling everyone's pretending there is no (existential) smartphone problem. All the momentum Nokia, Band, etc. built for them in mobile, Microsoft chucked out the window. It's a fear-based way of thinking (returning to what we are already successful at, i.e. enterprise) and cost them before. The market is more weighty than MS. They cannot pull the market to their future concepts. Having your head too far in the past or too far in the future is a recipe for disaster in the present, and maybe a guarantee of no future to speak of.
  • Soooo the "surface phone" will be out by Christmas.... 99% sure...
  • Their two main competitors are treating their operating system as mere commodities to either sell their own hardware and grab a piece of every content sale, or even grab unsuspecting customers’ personal information to sell. They give their OS away for free or even pay manufacturers to use their OS as long as they agree not to remove any of their spyware. Since most customers don’t really care or understand the problem with their privacy and security, any price increase to cover the cost of the OS is too much… Microsoft doesn’t really have any valid argument to keep selling Windows… And OEMs are jumping off the ship. If they want their platform to succeed, they need to bet on their OS as least as much as they ask apps developers to bet on it.
    This means they have to give it away for free, so that OEMs can build phones, tablets and even desktop computers without any license fee. They need to make it available for download for free so that enthusiasts can build their custom Windows PC to create the next big thing just like they can build their Linux PC today. If they believe in UWP, they have to bet on their slice of every app sale just like the developers have to bet on their slice as well. If they believe in UWP enough, maybe both OEMs and apps developers will see it as a viable platform as well.
    But if all they show in uncertainty and doubts, changing direction every month or running in circles, they shouldn't be surprised developers don't feel confident either.
  • i'm a die heart fan of windows mobile since windows mobile 7, I'm using a lumia 950 XL but I think that is the year of last chance for me... if there is nothing mager from microsft in smartphone, I'm going back to android... 
  • Daniel, can you forward this article to Nadella!   Thx!!!
  • Great article. Spells out what is hopefully very obvious to Microsoft. WM works well on my 950, but if I want to upgrade all I can buy is an X3 which is a very expensive enterprise device. I think they should have stuck it out and created successors to the 950. At least to hold on to what little share they had as a staging post for the 'next big thing'. Currently they are evaporating into nothing, yet the mobile OS is pretty good now.
  • the surface sounds pricey, I already feel that I don't want it. But is there another rumored option, nooo😢
  • Something that you can make phone calls...
  • Great article!
  • I had some hope when Samsung's phones started blowing up... 😓 anyway, they'll do what they want, that's what all these companies do, u can get bent out of shape but so what? You're only harshing your own mellow... 🙄
  • While it does seem like MS has thrown in the towel, there is one last string of hope worth holding onto for the time being. They have not only been quiet about their Mobile plans but generally ALL their products except Creators update. There has been no mention of an update to Surface Pro 4 nor the Surface Book..both are now over 1 year old products ...since both of those products are a success, then it makes sense for MS to have announced or "leaked" something ...but the fact that they havent makes me think that they are playing the absolute silent card for a surprise unveiling of a massive launch line-up that could include the Surface Mobile. By announcing their entire Surface line together, it should bring more attention towards the Surface Mobile device. Obviously this is all speculation from my end but I do find it awkward they haven't announced anything for their existing and successful Surface line.
  • Having been closely involved with this as an enterprise since pre 8.0 days, I couldn't agree more. So many promises with little or lack luster deliveries. There are some really intelligent and forward thinking people as Msft, but have not seen much that thinking materialise. Project Rome kinda has, but again even that is dependent on a multi-form factor strategy. Even had a very bad experience with an SVP at Msft who brought their mobile OEM lead on to a call to tell us all about the bright future of mobile handsets post Nokia, only to be told there wasn't anything - well at least for the foreseeable future as it was at the time. Now we have Wharton Brookes and WileyFox. Hmmm... But then, me being the forever optimist, recalls that I was attending an EBC at Redmond without anyone knowing or hush hushing about Hololens which being developed right beneath where we were! MSFT can surprise us, and they have. The optimist in me says that the 'Ultramobile Surface PC' is closer than any of us realise and that they have been doing a damn good job of keeping it secret (a la Hololens). If you're in to conspiracy theories, then you could even point to the lack of a Surface Pro 5 or Book 2 could be because Panos's team is flat out on this and that CShell exists purely for that reason. And what do we make of the new relationship between Msft and Qualcomm and full Windows 10 on ARM. And what about the name of that latest phone patch...? But with RS2 only going to 13 devices, what does that mean for RS3? The 'flagship' 950/950XL chipsets are already over 2 years old. Could it cope with a revised window based CShell'd continuum? This is our reality, and we need to understand what the purpose of W10M if there is nothing to run it on!
  • "The world is waiting." No it isn't. It moved on years and years ago.
  • Thought this was why they purchased Nokia, so they could make their own phones.
  • I've said before and I will say it again. MS needs to make an investment to make this work. In our current corporate climate of "how will this positively affect our next quarterly profits", it's a hard sell. This means waiving all developer taxes, sell oem hardware for a loss, and financially incentivise 3rd party hardware and mobile carriers to push their products. Where has their soft touchy feely strategy gotten them except massive mobile writedowns. Its time to take a colossal **** or get off the pot.
  • Nadella has no intelligence for this. His is all about corporate raider layoffs and cutbacks for short term profits. He isn't a long term thinker nor a strategic investor. Big ideas will have to come from others.
    - Just my thoughts ands opinions.
    Best Wishes
  • Microsoft has another option to attract developers towards UWP as a platform. Expand it to cover android and iOS. Not everyone will jump on to it immediately but there will definitely be a slow growth in it's adoption. I thought Xamarin acquisition was really for this.
  • I agree, they can UWP to cover iOS and Android by deeper convergence of Xamarin and UWP; need to drop "Windows" from the name.  UXP, perhaps?. Convert your WPF/.NET developers using their C#/XAML skills into mobile cross platform developers without abandoning the desktop, XBOX, MR, etc. Also, MS must converge the tooling; No need to maintain Xamarin Studio and VS. Xamarin is already deeply integrated into VS; why maintain cost of supporting both.  MS created an army of C#/XAML/.NET developers over the last 15 years. They have spent millions of $ converging their OS' and API into Windows 10. At BUILD next month, thousands of believers will be there eager to learn of how to stay with the WIndows platform; they want to know MS' mobile strategy. I am one those believers and I am hoping they deliver at BUILD.
  • MS saved apples a$$ years ago, time to pay the debt.
    MS should do a deal with Apple to use apple apps.
    Helps both parties, They are then a United front to take on the common enemy, Google.
  • Cheap, ARM based with Win32 working, USB-C based Continuum output, Pen. I would say around 8 inches, make it a dedicated digital notebook that can plug into Continuum portals at desks for students and professionals. Obviously there should also be a cellular version.
  • When Microsoft dropped Windows Phone to concentrate on other things, they lost the market. Windows 10 Mobile phone is dead. UWP has gone no where. Surface tablets are priced for professional users. Ok so they have Offlice 365 running on iPads and Android tablets. The whole run everything on Azure is fine. Most people won't know or care if the Web App on their iPad Pro is running on Microsoft Cloud. Curious to see where Microsoft is going to go?
  • > Windows 10 grows beyond 500 million users. I don't see how Microsoft will continue to attract developers to make UWP apps. I guess that 500 million users aren't enough to attract developers?
  • MS needs to do exactly the same they did with the Surface and target entry level, pro user and enterprise. The Pro and Enterprise versions should have a stylus (to take advantage of W10 stylus support), a dock (to connect to a larger display), Fingerprint / Iris scanner to say the least, a screen size of 5.2 - 5.5 in.  With no real hardware out there the developers will not want to make apps. I can understand MS trying to get W10 on ARM but i think its time for them to get the developers and OEMs excited about windows again and the only way to do that is by making their own device. The Surface got the 2 in 1 device demand going where even Apple tried to get a piece of the market with the iPad Pro.
  • "At a time when Microsoft should have been putting all its resources into the fastest growing category for computing, the company instead abandoned it."
    I think this statement sums up everything in one sentence.
  • "At a time when Microsoft should have been putting all its resources into the fastest growing category for computing, the company instead abandoned it." Yep, and the sad thing is that the FIRST time they did this they had 30% mobile market share.
  • The eternal story of Nadella's imaginary something that no one knows not even him but that is going to come no one knows when and no one knows from whom (oem/ms). A true mirage. A distraction not to admit an erred retrenching.
  • I want a portable gaming console like playstation. Should be called xbox pocket. Yeah!!
  • I think that you Daniel are so damn right about this. I agree that without a strong push on UWP applications even the long awaited Surface Phone will dead in the waters. As you said it, once you move to smaller screens you need apps. Windows 10 on ARM won't help much if you do not have the apps. Nobody will want to run a Win32 application on a 5 or 6 inches display. And you can't have apps without developers. And developers don't come if they don't believe the ecosystem is a viable one, and if they don't see Microsoft is truly investing in the platform. Right now Microsoft acts like they are not believing in the viability of the platform (Windows Mobile). And this is very discouraging.
  • Good article. Finaly, someone from WC living in the real world. UWP has failed to attract devs so far, and without a mobile phone will fail even more. Users need mobile apps! touch friendly, on the go apps, NOT win32 apps on their phone!
  • windows 10 mobile is great for me,but statistics show that windows mobile ship is sinking and we r jus gonna sink with the ship....wth hp and alcatel being the only ones being so comited,thats not enough for WUP......we need surface phone for W10M to survive and compliment W10
  • and what will you do when you are on the way and you wnat to use ypur ultra mobile pc or texting or twitte or ...or...or without apps? you take out your 7" device and make everything on the browser? idiotic. no apps, no future. 
  • exactly Ervin.  Without apps,  dead in the water.  people who only use their phones to text,  or make calls and nothing else will be fine with windows 10 mobile F.  F meaning feature phone.  Dumbphone.  
  • Actually W10M is great in Enterprise because you don't have employees loading crapware, but have the productivity you need. I use mine everyday as a professional.
  • From 2015, Ultramobile Surface phone concept came into light. I was exicted but still it's only a concept in 2017. But Samsung announced it, named it (galaxy X)  & made a video about it. Surely Grandly they will release it 2018 CES with their more improved voice assistant. Where are u Microsoft ???
  • Highly incompetent CEO
  • A fair bit I disagree with here. First of all, windows 10 is only 25% of desktops. 50% of the desktop market are windows 7 holdouts. So add that long term to the talley. Second, windows tablets are the fastest growing tablet segment. Both android and ios tablets have talked of stagnating. So that's a seriously large number of overall users, that can come to the windows 10 platform, that this article entirely ignores! Lastly and most importantly this: "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.". Windows 10 mobile doesn't do this. Not even close. Its not windows 10 home.  With the creators update, and windows 10 on arm, we see a clear pattern of them bulding exactly that (Phone app, hotspot toggle, SMS/MMS settings and so on). Windows 10, proper, on your phone. And that's not playing "me too" economics, that's something people will actually clamour to own - a device that fits in your pocket, but can do enterprise, creativity, and gaming like no smartphone currently can. Do you think such a thing, Windows 10 on desktop, re-engineered for the smartphone, happens overnight? That's what will win them mobile marketshare - not being able to copy, and me too, their way into the market, but by being able to do something, offer something, nobody else is. And that is what microsoft is doing. That's the sort of game MS is playing - the long game. Building things that aren't built overnight. Cortana with skypebots will be a thing of beauty (by using cards and bots, cortana will be able to do all the things touch apps can do via voice), vastly more powerful than any single development team could build, or anything that could be made in a single release or single revision number.  Imagine if someone was sitting there during the first revision of iOS complaining that it should be released quicker, that their should be more devices out, and their weren't enough apps. 
  • Some good points here. IF they don't abandon the plan before it succeeds like they have done over andvover. And IF they can get devs to create apps and believe in what they are doing. That second IF may be insurmountable. They have receded too far.
  • The only way I can see UWP apps taking off a this point is for Microsoft to make them available on iOS, Android and possibly other platforms like Mac OS and Linux. Since they have bought Xamarin and made .NET core work on any platform I hope this is the direction they are heading in. They need to make the experience of developing for the different platforms as seamless as possible so its the obvious choice of development platform. The UWP apps can then be sold as works on every platform works best on windows.
  • I'm not sure what the point is of throwing good money after bad on phones when you're going against two entrenched competitors. App developers ignored Windows Phone/Mobile. Do you think that's going to be any different if they release an amazing Surface phone? Microsoft realized they missed the boat. I don't see anything they could ever do that would make their phone successful. For what it's worth, Microsoft has long since realized that Windows won't be as important for them in the future. It's why Windows is now third behind Office and Azure in terms of revenue and importance. You must have been born yesterday if you think Microsoft hasn't realized this.
  • Folks I Personally donot like working with a small smart phone's screen. I predict a lot of people are going to have physical eye sight problems if they use smart phone size screens too much. My favorite mobile devices would be an 8 inch diagonal 16 by 9 Tablet /Smartphone hybrid with a blue tooth ear piece to send and recieve phone calls. now a dual screen 8 inch foldable tablet/smartphone  hybrid would even be nicer especially if the bottom screen could transform into a mini keyboard, game controller, ect and then back into the Windows 10 start screen when you want to do so. Microsoft's new E screens may be what will do this. it appears "Surface Tablets in the future will have ascessory keyboards typcovers  that will be able to transform from their keyboard mode to a game controller or a video/sound editor or screens to control some  types of machines. Developers with imagination could do a lot of things with this technology. I think a 8 inch dual screen "Surface mini tablet"  with built in Windows 10 mobile smart phone capability with "Continuum" sold with a blue tooth earpiece is the next best Device for Microsoft  to make because no one makes them and though not everyone wil buy one them enough of them would be bought on a world wide basis to justfy having them Manufactured and sold world wide
  • completely agree with almost all your points here, not a huge fan of the e-screen idea, but size, continuum, and such, definitely.
  • I do not see myself carying around a device with an 8" display. If it would be foldable so that it could fit into my pocket then maybe yes, I would probably buy it and use it.
  • I have big pockets, my nexus 7 fit in there. Give me that with a surface pen, continuum, and telephony and I am good.
  • Windows tablets are replacing laptops more than iPads or Android tablets. They are laptops and that is how they are used. When have you ever seen someone using a Surface without the keyboard? Large phones have hurt tablet sales too. Why bother with a tablet when a 6" phone does everything​ just as well? Bots aren't a win for Microsoft. Amazon is leading in the assistant space and Google is also right there with bots. It still takes developers to support your bot, just look at the new Starbucks bot. Available on iOS only and soon Android.
  • Phase out Windows 10 Mobile except for budget and mid-range phones. When Mobile World Congress 2018 or 2019 comes around, announce the Surface Phone. It'll run Windows 10 - not Windows 10 Mobile - the desktop OS but with a different phone-sized UI made for handheld use.
    Support for the Surface Phone and similar devices will be part of Windows 10 Redstone 4 or 5 or whatever the coming April due to their apparent release schedule.
  • I just moved to iphone after beeing on windows phone since wp came out, I was on developer's preview, I loved the plattform, I never really had an issue with the lack of apps in the market, but then wp10 came out, beautiful looking OS, but that was it. It was a mess, I should have seen the problems since I tried the developers' preview version. It was a clear advance of what the final version of the OS was going to be, it was disastrous. Setting up the iPhone was a pain compared to windows, but now I don't see why I would get back to wp. I didn't know what I was missing, is not only the superior market but all the perks that come with a mature plattform that dominates the market, my car for instance is built in apple car, so I'm pleased to see what I can do now.
  • They can go to HoloLens
    Why do they always mention HoloLens? I bet this device does not have a tenth of sales than Lumias were sold in this year. Most consumers won't afford this yet, even most developers would not buy this device. If I would have one, I would not need most UWP apps on it. It's a great thing, but right now I think phones are still more important. And still: how should I trust Microsoft they won't abandon this in the next 2 years?
  • Because HoloLens is an enterprise solution and MS lives by Enterprise, not consumers.
  • I saw this coming. All those enterprises where everybody uses the HoloLens? This is still a far vision. But almost everybody in every company has a phone. Either private or business or both. In 2015 there were many companies I know of, who were going to switch their company phones to windows. But I haven't heard of any company who is interested in HoloLens more than for researching the possibilities. There is still a lot of work and in front of your desktop computer, it makes less sense to use HoloLens. Yeah, the motocycle on the desktop advertising is great, but I doubt this will be a common usecase with this price. There will probably be a shared HoloLens in a seperate meeting room where designers inspect their models. Using skype or watching a video in front of your desktop? Sounds funny, but not for everyday use. For those purposes the HoloLens is made, I don't think there will be a lot of useful UWP apps soon. I guess those will be Win32 apps. But HoloLens is great (I wish I had one) and the technique behind it. With the creators update they should have brought HoloLens technique to Windows 10 AND Mobile. Easy API to scan the room where you are - every estate agent would have bought one, if there are many apps to create 3D models of your appartment (with such an API I bet at least 10 developers would have started one and 2-3 might be good enough for you). Also "putting 3D models or images on real objects in camera overlay" API? I would get used to HoloLens features in a cheap way and could provide value to some apps. Maybe even lower API like, "getting feature points of this wall". Sure all of this might be too slow or battery draining on a phone, but still, it would enhance this so much. But right now, the HoloLens is more a great tech demo.
  • The Xbox is doing well so why not create a Nintendo Switch style device with cellular capability? That way you still use Windows mobile but open it to an entirely new audience that would love the integration with their console. Play Xbox games and make calls? Win-win!
  • Two words: Skype Phone Skype for Business Wifi Calling + Roaming cell + x86 Wintel Continuum + AmiDuoOS Google Play store And maybe that cute little keyboard from the surface phone rumors, just to be over-the-top awesome. Open my phone and do some coding in Visual Studio, editing in Photoshop and run a hyper-v test machine....30,000 ft up on a plane with Airplate Mode On. Some say continuum is a gimmick, but us hard core producer-types would use it daily. Robert
  • by being too US centric they screwed it. Many countries other than the US had decent market share and growing before Nadella closed shop. Things like building out Cortana has taken how.many years? Or products like Surface Book just releasing in some countries. Their competitors release worldwide, their competitors software works worldwide. The world is going mobile. My thoughts are by skipping mobile, MS will end up like an IBM. People will be used to android and the world will move to some android based desktop system within the decade, simply from a consumer point of view from phone use. I love my elite x3, I love Win 10, however i believe under Nadella's leadership and the current board, Microsoft will be a bit player in years to come. 
  • well I think many of you are wrong. Microsoft was for a moment ago just "pc" , then they created Surface and now , a couple of years later the main OS on your tablet is Windows 10. they have moved in a space dominated by apples ipads and different Android tablets and now they have taken over that space totally with 2in1s running windows. And I think they are one to something here , why could they don't do the same thing with mobile devices? It will take time but if you create something that is better and have more usability then people are going to buy it. We all want to do "more" things with our phones but we can only do "so much" with todays hardware and software strategy. The time for the ordinary "smart phone" is gone , and you can see it everywhere that the numbers of sold smart phones are declining. its soon time for something new and revolutionary, and I think Microsoft have a strong plan for creating something else. Its obvious tho that without the mobile computing segment Microsoft as a whole will not survive.
  • I agree with you 100 percent. Just wanted to out it in writing. Microsoft is really getting on to something now. 
  • What they need to do is take note of their very few actual successes in the smartphone market and build on them. The Panasonic Toughphone was one of them; the Nokia Lumia 521 was another. 3 years ago I bought 3 Nokia 521s for myself and the kids. Even at the time they were entry-level phones, but they had a very good cost-to-value ratio and more than enough power for the few apps I needed. It was all I needed at the time. It still is actually, aside from a 5" screen for my aging eyes. Okay, almost. It's a bit slow in the browser for even the most basic websites nowadays. Such is the march of Time.  Unlike my previous iPhone and Android devices, I didn't have to spend days frickking around with my 521 to be able to actually USE it. It came preloaded with a very carefully curated suite of apps that JUST PLAIN WORK. And I didn't have to be annoyed with a phone full of crapware I couldn't get rid of wasting limited storage space and I didn't have to worry about whether it would connect to my PC at home or at work and being able to sync with my calendar and eMail and whether or not the update next week was going to break something I use every day. And most importantly, they listened to the guys at Nokia... who, Ifni bless their pee-weeny little hearts, have forgotten more than Apple and Android put together will ever know about about how to make a user interface on a PHONE that actually works and is intuitive. And because it was designed by Nokia, the 521 was a PHONE FIRST, not just a tiny tablet PC with a phone tacked on as an afterthought. What they followed it with was exactly the WRONG phone at the time - I killed my 521 and replaced it with the 621 less than a year after I got it... and promptly returned it to my carrier and bought a NOS 521 off Amazon. The 621 was literally the polar opposite of the 521... a horrible value at any price, loaded with crapware and worst of all, it had become... an underpowered tiny tablet PC with a phone tacked on as an afterthought. And a truly horrible screen on top of all that. I just got rid of my 521 a few months ago due to excessive wear and tear and the need for a 5" screen; the kids' 521s are in Otterboxes, and they still JUST WORK like the day they were made. Every week or two I power cycle them and they just plug away happily. Even today, NOS 521s still enjoy a brisk trade on Amazon and eBay, because of just this... THIS is the market Microsoft needs to tap into; the long-term user that wants their phone to be a PHONE FIRST that the rest of the smartphone industry has abandoned with their quarter-year product life cycle. Microsoft's place in the OS market is that of the "Old Reliable". They need to make smartphones that feel and last the same. They need the same 3-tier approach to marketing as most automakers have classically used as well: A Chevy Nova base model, a Buick Century Mid-grade model, and a Cadillac Eldorado all the bells & whistles & oversized powerplant model. I was READY to pay more for an upgrade Windows Phone after my amazing experience with the 521... It was like paying for a Yugo and getting a Saturn. And like my Saturns, after my delightful experience with the base model, I was willing to pay more for a higher end model. But nothing they have now is what I would consider an "upgrade". And they still don't have a current "base-model" that's woth the powder to blow it to hell to give the kids. Cheers, mnem
    MS, I really hope you're listening.
  • The biggest problem MS have at the moment is not apps, it's not having only 1% market share. It's the fact that the OS is not working as it should. It's buggy, unstable and it's slow at times. I used to be able to say to my friends that the OS is so great I don't care if it does not have SnapChat. Now I have to say don't buy one becase the OS is lacking. Hell, I can't even see missed calls without pressing the search button in the log. MS need to bleed money on the 1% using the OS. Make the OS great, make a kick ass phone and sell it as cheap as possible. Have us hard core Windows phone fans go out and brag about what we do have, instead of being embarrassed about basic **** not working. I wasn't to talk about my phone. I've been waiting for citrix continuum app for ages just to show case it for my co workers. But instead Samsung launches their take on this, with citrix support from day one. WTF MS???? Dont tell me you were unable to pay citrix enough to make that app!!! Yes, you need to bleed. Bring the good **** on, and I'll be the greatest ambassador you'll ever had. Just give me something great to talk about.      
  • Microsoft is marrying the Blackberry strategies. building softwares for all and making them pay for it.   then the Arm playground come into scene
  • Y'all seem to be forgetting the IoT stuff, Raspberry Pi's and BeagleBoards  and all that........
  • back in the 90s-2010 people still had desktop computers even though social media and some emails was all they used, mobile phones changed that.  But theats only part of microsfts story.  Microsft abandoned windows 7mobilree users, they then abandoned windows 8 and 8.1 mobile users by not releasing a yearly premium handset.  They also rebooted the os  and took away features people used.  they returned some features but like 2 years later, thats not acceptable.  just look at when outlook first came out on the windows 10 mobile, no linked email, or a calender without a weekly view, that took like 12 months to bring back.  you can look at skype that took 12 months to make usefull, then it got rebooted and still today camera and audio settings cant be found complete, like the old app still has lol.  Then add in other issues like one cloud storage removal and the release of a plastic cheap looking flagship phone only 2 weeks after the onedrive disapointment.  Look at microsft ignoreing apps like gestures a simple app they made for windows 8.1, awsome speakerphone option before android ever got it and now windows 10 its been disgarded and abandoned.  Look at the restrictions you have in the edge browser.  Your not only pushed heavily towards bing, unless you have a degree in settings but you cant even open youe new tabs to your own choice og default home page.  Add the multi monitor drag and droping tabs and again you see a small uptake on what could be a great browser.  Hell in its first 6 months of realease it was a useless piece of poo, why not wait till its at a acceptable level before scaring away youre userbase potential.  But it doesnt stop there. i wont mention always online xbox one becasue from the moment surface book came out microsoft was forgiven.  What im talking about is everything after that.  shame, cause they built up so much good will.  today as a lover of windows 10 dektop and 10 mobile,, 8.1 being my fav on a phone, im discusted in microsfts aproad to mobile, at the very least they should have their own gestures software working on windows 10 or fully intergrated into thew phone, they should aT THE LEAST HAVE RELEASED A SINGLE FLAGSHIP HANDSET YEARLY AND THEN THEY MAY HAVE STOPED DEVELOPERS AS BIG AS PAYPAL OR MYFITNESSPAL LEAVEING, ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, HELL THEY LET GO OF HERE MAPS AND EVEN TOO THIS DAY IT WAS MY FAV SAT NAV, EVEN COMPARED TO ANDROIDS HERE GO WHICH SUCKS IN COMPARISION. Ops soz caps.   I love edge but cant use it for the above reasons, i love windows mobi;le but cant use it cause the apps are far to big a gap now, in 2015 it wasnt a issue,  now they dont even stand a chance as peopple use their apple and android devices to wirelessly pay and play.   Microsft need a sucessfull mobile phone device its that simple, that is not changeing any year soon.  But without googles apps like you tube your left with once great alternatives that regually faulter like metro tube or tube cast, your left with a lack of steet view, as theres no google maps, you dont have wireless pay or even the popular myfitnesspal or paypal,  Hell windows 10 even uses alot more battery than 8.1 did.  I also feel to many mistakes has left consumers weary of microsft, I honestly believe over the next few years microsft will be resigned to a non consumer space, people just wont  and can trust them, im a huge windows fan and i no longer have any trust of hope for microsft, i hope im wrong but i know im not.  No consumer is gona invest in a eco system that doesnt include the mobile phone, thats they way itll be in a few years with most people. \ If microsft are thinking makeing software for apple and android is the way forward then i laugh heavily at them.  My ipad air 2 doesnt have a groove app and outlook is terrible. Onandroid on my s7 edge groove cant even read my sd card, you know the place where most people put their music collection cause 32 gigs doesnt gut it these days.  Hell  im using play and it sucks compared to groove but guess what, it sees and plays all my music, even the 1 tune i bought from itunes, unlike groove which has baned the tune claiming copyright infringment, and thats on my one drive too lol. Microsft can bring out the surface phone but without the good will of the consumer and without the apps already there i dont see it makeing any relivant ground, and knowing microsft if it doesnt sell a billio, which it wont, theyll just reboot it again in 2-4 years time, like skype, like windows 7, like windos 8.1 and like they will have to do with edger cause they killed that off within their first official week of release lol. Microsft needs help and its for all the basic things they are doing wrong, its time they hired people who actually could help them. I want windows eco system, i want my surface tablet, pwindows phone desktop and why, cause i love them but ive waited too long now, the only thing left keeping me on windows is gaming on a home made desktop, take that away or apple or android attack that market i could see windows at home going the way of ibm in the 80s.   ps: a small thing but why doesnt the windows 10 destop have the ability to create custome tiles, after all most of my tiles for paid software doesnt look good at all, looks very cheap.  We need a simple inbuild editor or something like meta tags that can replace tthumbnail views on tiles.
  • lets not forget the new tab in ie thats next to the place you click for a new tab, it has the edge logo on it.  You can remove it via advanced settings but comeon, stop trying to force this down peoples necks microsft, you know why your really loosing and its this kind of forcefullness thats gona cost you your user base.   LET PEOPLE USE THEIR DESKTOP COMPUTERS THE WAY THEY WANT TO AND NOT FORCE THEM TO USE IT THE WAY YOU WANT TOO.  Good idea dont you think?
  • I like Microsoft, but I'm disappointed at how they are moving. I love my Surface Pro 3, and they're doing good there. I love my Lumia 950XL, but they abandoned it. I love Continuum, but it looks like they're abandoning it. I would love a Surface Phone, but we don't even know if that's happening. What's going on? I hate iPhone, and don't like Android, but what choice am I going to have in the future? Ultraportable Mobile PC? Good - let's see SOMETHING!!
  • 100% agree with you
  • I even like Edge, when it works. But I teach for colleges, using whatever systems they use, and some of them don't work on Edge. I have to switch to IE, or Chrome to use the Web-based Learning Management System. Videos won't play, or whatever. Make Edge work with every site, like Chrome or even IE do.
  • 1M%  Let's get something and sooner rather than later.  Getting into 2018 will be too late IMHO.
  • Hey guys, how can I contact Microsoft if I have a good idea that really helps?
  • If not phones. Wearables - headsets (VR,AR, Mixed Reality), Bracelets, Anklets, Gloves, Necklaces, whole suits like Iron Man. Implants - eye contacts lens, brain UI chips. Nanobots Combination of all of everything. Think Borg. Resistance is futile.
  • Right in the center, well done!
  • You are still thinking phones while Microsoft is thinking one system for any device and they are well on their way to just that.  I love my Windows phone and since both have 10 on them the ability to have things the same just got better with the current update, Creator's.  Since MS is working to put it on both the competitor's devices they are banking on people liking 10 and since it might not do as much from those systems as their own on mobile phones then it might just be the push to get people to invest in phones as well that run 10.  That is one possible approach but I think there is another. As stated by Jason, Ultramobile Surface PC is the direction I see it heading.  One device that does it all and it is the optimum size that is not a phone but can make the calls the same as a phone but do the work of a regular computer using Continuum for instance.  That is the future of computing.  One system on maybe one central multipurpose device that is mobile or can work like a desktop no matter where they are or what they are doing.  Smartphones are great but they are limited by size or capabilities.  It is rapidly becoming a connected world and one device that works like the multifunction remote for TV systems is where the mobile in computing will be.
  • Couldn't agree more.  However, it can't take 2-3 years like MSFT usually takes.  They have a really, really small window to make this happen and remain relevant.  Otherwise they might as well continue to concede the market to Android and iOS.  Personally I believe 2017 is a critical year for MSFT.  Maybe early 2018 would be fine but anything later will likely be too lat.
  • I am giving them some time. 12-18 months. I don't see it.
  • I often wonder if MS is just too ahead of the times. They invent something, it doesn't work with existing tech, and they end it. A few years later... Another company reintroduces it in another iteration and they take over A good market would have been media boxes. Windows Media Center would have been owned that space... Yet MS gave up on it and now that hardware can run it... Folks now use Roku, Apple, Amazon, or other boxes.
  • http://www.thisisinsider.com/steve-jobs-reading-list-favorite-books-2014...
  • It needs to be a mobile phone that can also run windows desktop applications when docked. I still think Windows 10 Mobile has some features that are lacking in iOS and Android. I get great battery life on my 640. I like when I dictate a text message it automaticallly puts the question mark at the end of the sentence. That is something lacking in both Android and iPhones. Also being able to have text messages read to me while I am driving and giving me the option to reply back. The Maps app works well too! I can ask it to give me directions to the nearest Lowes Home Improvement store and moments later its giving me voice directions through my car's bluetooth. What I can't understand is how people like my wife and brother who have iPhones and don't use any apps, will not even try a Windows phone.  I came late to the party. I had used a Windows Blackjack phone then I went to iPhones and then a Galaxy S5 which I was very happy with and I had a friend that bugged me all the time about how great Windows phones were, back when they were running Windows 8. Then I found one really cheap online for $30 and I bought the Lumia 520 just to give it a try. I actually got hooked and a year later I boutght the 640 and now even though I have a Galaxy S7, I use my 640 95% of the time. I put my sim card in the Galaxy once every 2 weeks to see if it needs to run any updates. Then I basically just use it in the house on WiFi. The windows phone is the one that has the sim card and is with me most of the time. Every time I put the sim card into my Galaxy S7 and take it work I regret it. It is just not car friendly like the Windows phone. Now that friend that bugged me about Windows phones is using a Android phone and I am the one with the Windows phone.
  • Once again - bring Bill Gates back! (if he cares)
  • Microsoft and UWP...sigh... when we, the biz devs, told them, that we have barely adopted WPF, will not adopt it because of HTML5, and are not ready to adopt UWP against company policy, because W7 is the OS of choice installed on our computers (while I created a couple of Android apps on the same machine), we got no response beyond "install this or that". Only the developer division is currently in a state of "nailing it". Xamarin is plain wonderful, but on W7, I still can only compile to Android. Most dev APIs are UWP only, so no-no using them. They must resolve their app problem by going all in on Xamarin, porting all UWP APIs including ink etc. to pure Xamarin/.NET Core, compiling to UWP and iOS in the cloud, smoothing out the deployment by store integrations, and then evangelize the crap out of it.
  • I don't think Microsoft needs a new device category necessarily.
    There is one thing I command them on - and is making office compatible with Android, iOS. Bringing Cortana to those devices and getting as much data as possible on how people use their products. Where they have failed is to leverage the same capability with their hardware. Some of the things that make my phone feel lesser sometimes is not even related to the app gap. It is however, projecting a windows phone to a chromecast device is not possible. Some users have told me it is possible to pair the devices and YES! I've paired my phone to the TV via miracast. However when i press "broadcast" it asks me to pick a device and my TV is not one of them. (Experience broken.) Next I would argue that they need to make their native apps just as responsive as they were in Windows 7/8/8.1 (Photos, Messaging, People, Sharing). Cortana is definitely getting a lot of perks but one of the things I can't easily do with her is add items to a shopping list or multiple shopping lists.
    I'd also like to create different "TO DO LISTS". Charging / Docking - Microsoft does not need an ECHO rival. It if finds a way to turn a windows phone into an ECHO when it's docked or charging, they could create a much cheaper product than the echo such as "wireless charging pads" to put in the kitchen, living room, bed room. If the setting for "When charging turn  HEY CORTANA ON" was ON. Users would now be able to have the same experience as "HEY ALEXA" with Cortana without the need for a new device. The device also has the ability to track steps (no need for a band really). If allowing a user to hook apps like my fitness pal to track food and things through Microsoft Health (this way the app feeds the other apps who refuse to build for the phone) users could still have access to services currently not provided due to APP GAP for example. A phone that is a "smart speaker" is "Continuum" able, tracks Health and has an amazing camera seems to fit a lot of the market wants and needs. The microsoft band was also a great idea and could help compliment the experience similar to any fitness/smart watch.
  • Microsft (MSFT) is a top 10 holding in most Large Cap mutual funds.  The company is expected to make lots of money, and is an elite American business.  They know what they're doing.  Releasing a new Windows Phone is not the way to capture the mobile market right now.  It would cost more than it would benefit.  They need to reinvent the category and bundle its benefits to work optimally with other Microsoft services, but only when the time is right.  Windows 10 is still relatively new, and as businesses transition to it, and people become more familiar with all it can do, Microsoft will find an opportunity to differentiate itself in the handheld market.
  • No! What Microsoft needs is a new CEO and a new top management!
  • Everything that MS got me excited about was trashed. Surface mini, Media Streaming devices, Surface Phone, Band etc. All canned. Only thing i have to look foward to is the Scorpio. Don't have much to keep me around. 
  • Love it great OS. I can't see myself ever going back to Android but the lack of devices and apps is starting to way in. I've had my Lumia 950 for over a year now and no sign of a good replacement yet from Microsoft.
  • windows you have a lot of support don't let us down 😐
  • good article. MSFT seem to be in denial. only six more stages of grief to go through... :( it's going to take a long time.    
  • I just purchased what may be my last UWP phone. There was this best-in-the-world diet app that helped me lose so much weight! Part of the reason I stayed with Windows for my mobile. And when I went to download it for my new phone, the developer had pulled it. Reason given: Diminishing user base! Microsoft is asleep at the wheel. It would not take much to support developers like this. But they don't care about me, the customer. I have had to reset my super-fast desktop twice with Win 10. Lost all my programs! That never happened with Vista, Win 7, or Win 8.1. So I am now looking for alternatives for both. I do love my phone and do not want to give it up. I wonder just how many people are out there in the same conundrum, frustrated but still hoping MSFT will get off the potty sooner rather than later.
  • with WP dead, UWP is IMO also dead...  even when WPs were still here, no one except for some enthusiasts was making UWP apps. Just look at the Windows Store. It is pathetic...