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Why Microsoft needs to address Windows Mobile — and phones — at Build 2017

In 2017, the commercial status of Windows Mobile is sealed and arguably has been ever since the Nokia "McLaren" was canceled in mid-2014. With Microsoft undoing the Nokia mobile acquisition and ending phone hardware with the Lumia 650 there has been little uptake by other manufacturers to fill that gap.

Nadella needs to say at Build next month (opens in new tab) exactly what Microsoft's plans (if any) are for its mobile ambitions. And to get around any cutesy wordplay with the term "mobile," I don't mean tablets and laptops, but phones.

Give users closure or hope, not mixed messages

The current situation is particularly troublesome. Were Microsoft to pull the plug on Windows 10 Mobile and again specifically smartphones, the industry would roll with it. After all, mainstream tech media has been calling for the demise of Windows phone for years, and even dedicated fans are giving up on the platform.

In other words, were Microsoft to quit Windows phones, no one would be shocked nor surprised. At the very least, however, fans of Microsoft and those in tech who wish for a "third way" would have a definitive answer.

Right now, Microsoft is sending mixed messages. With no new Lumias and noble, but limited, attempts from Alcatel and HP, there is just no compelling Windows phone hardware. Normally, that is enough to call a platform dead, yet Microsoft is continually updating and yes, improving Windows 10 Mobile.

In fact, I can easily make a compelling case that the Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update is significantly better, faster, more reliable, and more fun to use than it was just six months ago. It is obvious Microsoft is improving things. But to what end?

Adherents to Windows 10 Mobile accepted this Schrödinger-like duality for the last few years, expecting the proverbial shoe to drop with a "Surface phone." That has not happened, and in October it will be two years since the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL were announced, which were themselves disappointments.

Where is all of this going, Microsoft?

Microsoft did not even see it fit to upgrade Windows Phone 8.1 devices without making the user go out of their way, and now we recently learned that the Creators Update will siphon off even more devices.

Rumors are picking up that after the "Redstone 3" update due in October, Microsoft will discontinue all development on Windows 10 Mobile. While no one would exactly be surprised, the question is why even bother with the dance with consumers? Is it, as some have speculated, to fulfill the two-year support for the last Lumias?

Forget consumers, what about developers?

Developers are the core of Microsoft, stretching back famously to the days of Steve Ballmer, but even they are now left scratching their heads. Developers are abandoning Windows phones more than ever, dropping support for apps and not replacing it with modern Universal Windows Platform (UWP) versions as Microsoft had anticipated.

With less than one percent of the smartphone market share, no one even blames a company like Spotify for dropping Windows phone. That's to say nothing of indie developers who literally cannot afford to make apps for an OS that they see as being dead.

Once these developers are gone, it will be nearly impossible to bring them back. Android and iOS have cemented their positions in the mobile space. Android has the most market, but iOS pays developers the most. Windows 10 Mobile, and even Windows 10? Eh, not so much.

Unless UWP becomes so platform neutral that developers have zero coding to do for Windows 10 Mobile, there is little hope for Microsoft ever to reenter the smartphone space. Even UWP, while virtuous, is hitting some walls with PC users who still prefer to use a web browser.

Mobile is critical for future computing

One of the biggest and yet non-surprising stories of 2017 is Android displacing Windows as the world's most dominant OS. Smartphones are ubiquitous, having plateaued as a consumer category in 2014. Apple and Google's partners are basically in maintenance mode now, releasing new hardware and OS iterations on the clock every year.

Microsoft has completely missed this revolution.

It's not for lack of trying but rather because of misstep after misstep. There is nothing quite like the story of how Microsoft got smartphones wrong starting back in 2007. It's up there with losing web browser share to Google Chrome. The tech world stands in awe of how incompetently Microsoft has handled the smartphone category. All of this despite having an OS that was fascinating, unique, and for a while fun.

Microsoft is betting on a 'paradigm shift' for Windows 10 Mobile to be competitive

Without a card in the smartphone game Microsoft's Windows 10 seems somewhat doomed to business laptops and PCs. Sure, HoloLens and Xbox are very exciting platforms for Windows 10 and UWP to expand to, but both are minuscule and unproven compared to smartphones.

Remember how Microsoft chest thumped about hitting one billion Windows 10 devices two years ago? The company has not even hit 500 million, and that is for one reason: smartphones. With that category completely collapsing, Windows 10 can only go so far.

Don't tell me that smartphones are not essential to the Windows 10 and UWP strategy. They're crucial.

'There is a plan for mobile'

Some recent – and informed – reports lead some of us covering Microsoft to believe its strategy is to fold Windows 10 Mobile completely into Windows 10 proper. Technologies such as OneCore, CSHELL, Win32 emulation, and getting Windows 10 run on ARM processors with e-SIM support make that play somewhat obvious.

In that sense, there is some clever wordplay I'm hearing. "Yeah, Windows 10 Mobile is dead, but Windows 10 on MOBILE is not."

If this is the case, Microsoft needs to spell this out at the Build developer conference next month.

If Microsoft sees a revolution in mobile computing that is unlike anything on the market today – akin to how HoloLens and holographic computing gave the industry a jolt in January 2015 – then tell us.

At the very least tease it and tell us how you are going to get there.

I keep hearing from people off the record at Microsoft saying, "there is a plan for mobile." I want to believe that is the case, but with the core audience and developers leaving, and the lack of confidence from the media no one thinks Microsoft can do this Herculean task.

MS logo

MS logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Apple caught a ton of flak for its lackluster new MacBook Pros and apparent abandonment of Mac Pro hardware. Recently, the company had an honest mea culpa moment with the media trying to get back on track. Nearly everyone gave them a slow golf clap for at least owning up to past mistakes.

Microsoft needs to do that now for mobile and smartphones. If Microsoft is done with smartphones, then so be it. Tell the world, so everyone can move on and grab the latest Android or iPhone. (They already are anyway.) Just don't string your core audience around with continued OS updates and an unclear goal.

Microsoft has shown signs of greatness during the last few years, but smartphones are not one of them. That needs to change next month.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

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.

599 Comments
  • I agree, it looks like they abandoned it, but then they go and give us a new share icon in creators update. So everyone is like talking to their friends about how MS is still supporting them and showing off the share icon, meanwhile devs are leaving and MS is quiet.
  • I'm not sure they need to say much of anything. Actions speak louder than words, and their actions tell the whole story: it's over for Windows Phone.  Actually, they've been saying that for a while.  They want to keep developing for ARM, but only to be ready for a new device category which will overtake what we see as smartphones today.
  • With many phones not getting RS2 and rumors that Rs3 may end support for current devices, I think they owe it to customers who bought these phones to let them know what's going on.
  • Then again, a life cycle of a device is no more than 2 years in current society. MS has supported the Lumia's for that lifetime when RS3 comes out.
    Anyone hanging on to their phone is not getting updates after a certain period, much like on any other platform.
  • True, but at least for people who use Windows, who like the idea of Windows on a phone, I think they should be able to assure consumers that - despite all odds - if you want a phone running Windows in Fall 2017 or Spring 2018, you will have one. If not, that's cool too. Let people know so they can go but a GS8 or iPhone.
  • As a fan of Win10M I would love to know. But from a cold hard business perspective, aren't "consumers" buying those iPhones and GS8's and "fan boys" hanging on to WP, judging marketshare numbers?
  • Yes and no. The fans hold on because of hope. However, that isn't to Microsoft's benefit any longer. At this point, they just use that as a chance to abuse the most faithful supports and drive them off. Coming clean would get them off mobile, but they aren't making money from the mobile customers who can't buy new phones or apps anyway. It would stop the negative treatment. I say that from a personal perspective. I've been using all kinds of MS products for years. My Xbox LIVE account is almost 15 years old. I've owned multiple 360 and XB1 consoles. I've owned a couple of Zunes and a couple of Windows phones. I've turned friends and family into MS products in pretty large numbers. However, the way MS has handled mobile has turned me very cynical towards them of late. Instead of being excited for Scorpio, I translate the laziness and letdowns of mobile to Xbox. Instead of thinking "I'm excited to see games on Scorpio at E3," I default to "they haven't announced any games and cut talent, so there probably won't be much for content." I default silence from secrecy to apathy at Microsoft now. If they had been upfront with mobile, that wouldn't be the case. Instead, they've abused consumer relations for the last 5 years in a terrible way. That's gone from losing all people in mobile to chasing fans from the brand entirely. That's how my sister ended up dumping her ICON and Band 2 (another example of silence and inaction from MS that led to cynicism). It's why I'm thinking about going with a G6 to replace my 950 and buying a new video card for my PC over Scorpio. It's all so badly managed at MS right now, and mobile is the poster child for their lack of communication.
  • Correct, exactly right! MS is being too silent. I understand silence for Surface devices but MS has gone too far with silence on other things too.
  • You say "negative treatment", I say realistic treatment. MS realizes that Windows Phone as it stands cannot compete with the likes of iOS or Android. And sure, because of legal obligations, current Windows Phones get updates. Older Windows Phones as we learned yesterday are on the chopping block. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the likes of Lumia 650/950 are next. They simply can't come out and say it now because of legal support.
    Now, to through your Xbox Live sub in here with the subsequent arguments, I find absolutely ridiculous. And simply holds no comparison/link to Windows Phone. Surely you understand that.
  • No, that isn't "realistic treatment." If they know they can't compete, being silent and leading people on isn't "realistic." There's no legal issue with coming out and saying "we are covering you through your support date, then we're done." There is no legal obligation to add features, only fix problems. They aren't obligated by their word or the law to develop a vetter Continuum or anything like that.
  • I just bought an Android tablet since the Spanish study app I use isn't working now on my Surface RT. I do wish there were a MS alternative. I can see myself going all in on Google just so things work better. Google is forcing me there. It keeps pushing me to gmail and gdrive and Google calendar, and working around it is a hassle. Now I can see myself with an Android phone and a chromebook. I don't see why a company that can toss a billion away on the surface 1 and 7 billion away on Nokia can't fund developers to make UWP apps.  
  • They actually tried to. They tried to self-build Google apps, and Google refused to let them publish them. MS then did it anyway and got a C&D for their efforts. They've supposedly offered tools and help, but it hasn't mattered.
  • Windows Mobile is dead. Xbox is falling behind. Internet Explorer is on life support. Edge is a never was. And even mighty Windows has lost market share. Microsoft is eroding.
  • Satya Nadella is a jerk. He should've told you suckers that Windows Phone was dead years ago.
  • EXACTLY Daniel !
    It's not about, "Oh, MSFT did support my phone for 2 years and now it's done"...  There are people (really there are) including me who would want a CLEAR  idea on WTF is gonna happen ---- BECAUSE ?  We really do love Windows 10 Mobile OR Windows 10 ON Mobile and would like to continue with it in 2017, 18, 19, 20,... and we wanna be sure about the future... 
  • MS has gone so pathetic that even the minimum respect towards customers,fans,userts,whatever you wanna call them, is gone! They keep on lying, using insiders as free beta testers while keeping a worthless,buggy and crap quality mobile OS on going. Don't expect a clear idea, because you won't get it from MS as long as Nadella is in charge.
  • How long have you been following Microsoft?  It says since 2009, if that is true then you should know the drill as to how they shutdown technology/products.... normally/generally the decision is years before its publically announced even in smaller technologies.   There is nothing strange about what Microsoft is doing... its actually their normal playbook.   Microsoft has 3rd partners and contracts, plus other legal obligations such as warranties and support... so what you are asking is not reasonable. 
  • Exactly. I would love to have a new Windows Phone but I would like to know where they are going with this, so that I can make the correct decision. I had to turn my younger brother away from it because there is no clear idea as to where Microsoft is headed.
  • It's not cool at all.  We have lived our mobile life on the 'Live Tiles' UI for so long that we just can't go backward to the icon based UI.  It is hard to imagine that MS didn't tell HP about the future of W10M when they designed the Elite X3 together.  HP can sue MS for concealing the fact, can't they?
  • Agree. also confidence has and will have its growing share on the market Also said: when I'll need a net laptop am I going to buy it from a company whom deal with its asset like Windows doing with its one phone department/branch? 'business is business' were the words of Lucky's Luciano,in the 20s, a century ago. will I. Trust Windows again? Well,after promoting it in my ring -aka putting my face   on it ( grossly misplaced) giving massive feedbacks,being a tester...no. Any more. A company who act like that cannot have my trust n confidence.  
  • Dona said in February: "The future of Windows 10 Mobile is that we're continuing to invest in Mobile," she said. "We're definitely going towards more 'let's help you be as productive as possible with this device in your pocket that you have all the time on you'. We roll builds every week [to internal or external rings], we push features, we do the thing; it's a thing that we continue to invest in, just like all device families."
  • And she isn't lying. RS3 will indeed launch for W10M. How many features it will include however that's a different story.
  • You're acting like a pathetic schmuck who's hanging onto a relationship after his girlfriend has cheated on him and spent all his money... and you're asking, "Do you want to be with me or not?"  Dude, it's over.  It's been over. And your girl is a lying cheating skank. (Hypothetically, of course.) Why would you believe ANYTHING that Satya Nadella says at this point?  He is a proven liar. Everything he says is meaningless, corporate doublespeak (if not blatant lies). With all due respect, you and this website have been Satya's great enabler.
  • It won't matter for me. I basically use my phone for calls, messaging, photos, and reading stuff off the net. I think it will do that just fine until 2019 or 2020. I still use my L730 and that's two years older than my L650.
  • This - and the fact that even the latest Lumias (like all Lumias) before them had a slow roll out especially in heavy Windows Phone markets outside the USA. I enjoy using the platform and it has been my ecosystem for a few years now so I bought a new Lumia 950 in January from Microsoft. Saying a phone was released to the public two years ago is very different than real people buying a phone only a few months ago - I'm hoping the Windows 10 apps don't get phased out as fast as the Windows 8.1 handsets (again Microsoft was still selling Windows 8.1 devices in their official stores in summer 2016)
  • 100% agree. Even if it's 3rd party...just say something. At least palm/hp were clear
  • most of Android device can take custom roms though which is another way to be at least on newer version and also add new feature compare to Windows Phone device who cant do that
  • "... a life cycle of a device is no more than 2 years in current society " LOL, how'd that KoolAid taste?  You should be an iPhone guy where you're annually assured of the coming of the next great thing. 
  • Yes, a life cycle of a device is two years, but - this could have some point if there are any Windows phones to buy, but there are not. Also, this devices should still get CU because w10m even with AU doesn't have many basic features such as being able to reset an app without doing a hard reset. And that is necessary because these apps tend to get buggy as hell with some updates. The thing is that any of these users were tolerating flaws of w10m while being sure that they will get CU and those new features that will come with it.
  • You could tell that to HP - or Alcatel.... in an alternative Earth 2, that is.
  • Remember how switching to Intel chips and allowing Windows to run on Macs saved the Mac?  Microsoft should've done something similar with Windows Phone--allowed Android apps on Windows Phones.  At least the OS would've survived. Now, there's nothing but ashes.
  • Remember the years that end of life for a desktop was normal with each Windows update?
    We are moving to a more mature hardware configuration (64 bit ARM, 8 GB RAM) and Windows taking full advantage of it, even with Win32 app support.
    Why are we always complaining about progress. True progress doesn't come without "creative destruction", cannibalizing ones own products.
  • Issue is that a new product is required to cannibalize anything currently around.  I don't recall seeing anything since the HP phone last year.  
  • This is where I think Nadella deserves criticism: his lack of commitment to hardware and the annual upgrade cycle. Nadella never would've done the Surface tablet or the Xbox in my opinion, let alone continued them after their first versions failed so spectacularly.
  • You can't have progress without anything to progress to.
  • In having anything to progress to, Microsoft is the leader of the pack with Surface devices, full 64 bit on ARM, Hololens etc. They are creating the future.
  • Yes, but at the same time they get infamous for abandoning whole lines of products (Zune, Band, Surface RT, Windows 10 Mobile).
  • Windows 10 Mobile?
    Alternative reality strikes again...
  • What pack does Surface lead? Where can I buy an ARM64 Windows device or a Hololens?
  • "Remember the years that end of life for a desktop was normal with each Windows update?" No, I don't remember any such thing.  I have always updated my desktops/laptops to the next versions of Windows.  This laptop came with XP originally, it is now running 8.1 just fine.  My current desktop tower came with Vista, it is now  running 8.1, 7, Server 2012 and 10.  All on separate disks/partitions.  I have an ancient Gateway 2000 tower that originally ran Win 98 - maybe even 95.   It is now running XP, and ran Win 2000 just fine.  I kept it on XP only for 1 specific app that will not run on anything newer than XP.  Otherwise it would be running at least 7. 
  • Yah but locked down devices work differently. Plus you paid for those OS's, they weren't just given free. As long as the minimums were met. The desktop version still works on all hardware. There may be a time where the minimum is raised but for Desktop that's usually a while.
  • I agree. But a statement on what ultra mobile is would be nice....or did Dec scare them.
  • Agreed Daniel....However,  they came out in the past and blew alot of hot air regarding windows 10 mobile...when being released...and never followed through.  Like a golf swing that stops just before the ball is hit!
  • Downvote for the truth!  wooo hooo....love it...whoever downvoted me,  explain exactly what I said thats NOT TRUE?
  • Listen in 👂 carefully to Microsoft events and have some patience. Rome wasn't build in a day either.
  • It's been more than 6 years, not a day.
  • Wrong!
  • Kinect took 10 years to develop HoloLens took 15 and secrecy was their weapon....but with mobile they need to be open or will loose this smallbattle and then the war is over.
  • Never expect that here. I get down bored for criticizing MS all the time, with about a 5% success rate in getting actual responses and a 0.5% chance of getting an intelligent one.
  • It's that it's not true, it's that that truth sometimes hurt, and you're hurting a lot of folks here today. I upvote truth.  
  • As a golfer, it's more like when I accidentally make low contact, hit the ground before the ball, then top the ball 40 feet.
  • Golfer here too....actually it's when you do that Keith,  then tell your friends you drove the ball 300 yards!
  • Agree to you Soon Daniel... And the article actually makes sense ... Thank you .. just hope Satya Nadella understands the concerns
  • I for one would like an answer. My wife and i have 950/xl and if there is no path forward wed go galaxy s8. But if there was no path ahead then why is hp working on an x3 refresh. Which if there is a path forward i would rather buy that today....just waiting to see if my investment is band or Xbox level. I don't want to continue loving a dying thing. Let it go or if iylts evolving then make a sizzle reel comming 2018 or something...like u did with Kinect HoloLens and Scorpio. Maybe that pushes developers back in.
  • Have you already published the list of devices that won't get RS2? This is the first I'd heard of it other than Acer who didn't even officially support Anniversary Update....But that was their choice rather than MS - This sounds like it's MS deciding not to roll it out to every device?
  • I told so often about it. Don't play poker face with customers, be straight regardless the pain. I can deal the truth.
  • It definitely doesn't look like there is a future that's for sure. I doubt the acknowledge it. I see it just slowly and quietly gowing away until most people have moved on to another platform and no longer care.
  • Even now people will say "look at the stock price!". That won't last...
    .
    Here's exactly why the People Hub didn't make the Creators Update, the is no phone strategy, Xbox is losing to PlayStation, Microsoft has only sold "a few thousand" HoloLens 3 years after it's reveal, Microsoft is dead in wearables and IOT, and Microsoft is failing across it's entire consumer range: “It’s so critical for leaders not to freak people out, but to give them air cover to solve the real problem,” Nadella says in an interview with USA TODAY. “If people are doing things out of fear, it’s hard or impossible to actually drive any innovation.”
    .
    However, Plato said "necessity is the mother of invention." Like it or not, a little fear motivates and inspires.
    .
    At Microsoft under Nadella, there is no fear, or urgency, or competitive fire, or fear of failure. They have billions in the bank, and lot's of enterprise contracts, so the decline is going to take decades (think Sears). However, unless a CEO comes in with a sense urgency, fire, and a burning desire to win in a very competitive space (think 80's Gates, or Jobs), you will eventually need to sell the Microsoft stock while you can.
  • Maybe Nadella needs to go?
  • I second that
  • Well well said my brother,correct you are
  • Just to let you know HoloLens is still just a developer product, there is no consumer version that accessible like XBox. On that note Xbox is doing a bit better in the European market.
  • @Krystianpants But, whilst trying to show off the new Share icon, going into a Microsoft made app and finding it's still the old circular icon 🤦🏼
  • Sorry to ride off of your share comment.
    But could someone confirm that the Photos app only allows sharing of 125 photos or less? Anymore and it doesn't open up the share options. 😑
  • I think it's bigger than mobile.  I think it's Windows itself that MS is winding down.  The death of mobile is just more obvious, since it was on life support to begin with.  But the death of the PC is not too too far behind.  They will stick it out in Enterprise for the foreseeable future, but the goal is to get everything onto Azure and, once there, they don't care a jot whether it's Windows or Linux or whatever that people are computing on. Windows is no longer the end itself, it is simply a means to an end (get businesses on Azure).  And since products like Office are better means to that same end, Windows is now and forever second fiddle.
  • azure alone can't sustain microsoft. if that were the case, their stock would plummet. office requires windows (*maybe* mac) to succeed. if people are going to go cloud only, the competition is too fierce. office's offline capability is a selling point.
  • Azure "alone" is more than enough to sustain MS, if they play it right.  And it had better be, because it's all they've got.  As to Office requiring Windows, no it absolutely does not.  The university where I teach has "Remote App" services.  It's like RDP for an individual application.  It looks and feels exactly like the Windows application because it is the Windows application...except that it is running in the cloud and I can launch it from anywhere. Sure, it's nice to have apps that work offline, and I'm sure that will come along in the future.  But Azure and the Enterprise is the one and only way forward for MS, because for consumers, Windows is no longer so much as an afterthought.
  • There is no way MS are winding down Windows, its far to heavily integrated into infrastructure behind the scenes. Even your average self service till at the local store runs on a windows OS.
  • You're forgetting all of the businesses that require Windows. I run a video business. I need Windows to do that. It would be corporate suicide for MS to abandon Windows. It's not going to happen.
  • If they abandon windows back to Apple I go lol haven't use anything Apple since early 2000s.
  • I noted that it will exist, as a legacy platform, in the Enterprise for the foreseeable future. But there the goal will be to transition everyone to Azure. And in the home?  It's dead.
  • The case for windows phone is one of pain. I have had multiple WP and still own a 950XL, but the constant news of apps closing and the lack of clarity from MS makes me think this is the end. That is obviously an overexplanation because there aren't any new devices anyway. However, it might be the end in other fronts. I lost confidence in MS products. I own a surface, but I am not sure I would purchase a Cortana based speaker vs the Amazon/Google alternative, the reason? Lack of commitment, and in under this administration more than ever. Same story for their digital stores, I wanted to buy a movie the other day, I checked and it was available through the MS offerings, but I did not feel confident about the future of a digital store that doesn't have traction so I got it through Amazon.  What MS is doing with a super vital part of the modern computing world -phones- speaks volumes about the lack of vision for other products down the line. This is dangerous for a company that is loosing its foothold on their PC marketshare and that already saw eroded the revenue from their operating system. Cloud might be a good retrenching option for now, but the way they treat their most loyal fanbase is a perfect way to end up in bad shape in the future.  
  • Question we need to ask is, what has changed with regards to Win10M? IMHO, absolutely nothing. And simply from that point of view, MS does not need to provide us with any info. Not until any significant change will come to Win10M.
  • Just as Apple provided some insight on their Mac Pro debacle, MS does need to be up front about their intention. High end Apple users at least have the information to make a decision, wait it out, as something new is in the works, though it is a year away, or make a change. MS has essentially only offered silence. It appears they are invested in Win 10 Mobile, based on the updates happening in the insiders program, and the limited application of RS2 to existing devices. It appears their commitment is in question with the lack of any new devices, or visible support to third parties.  I'm fine with my Lumia 950 and XL right now, and likely will be for another year, but it would be nice to know what my options might be when, if,  they need to be replaced. This from a consumer POV. I expect a similar decision is sitting in developer minds. If what exists now is the end of W10M, where should developement efforts go?  If a full Win 10 phone is in the future, that may put UWP developement on the table more than it is currently. Right now it seems to be primarily to serve a dying platform. You can develop for Windows tablets/laptops/desktops without UWP (even MS is doing that). If you bet that a device that could support user needs in phone, tablet and laptop/dektop configurations is desireable, then programming for such a device, using the UWP concept makes more sense.  There is a lot of speculation here. Some transparancy from MS is required from MS so consumers and developers can make informed decisions. 
  • What has changed is that MS stopped producing handsets, then stopped selling handsets in their stores, and is now selling Android handsets.  Those are some pretty big changes, don't you think?
  • Yes, It's all over now sadly
  • Exactly - as long as I can keep buying Lumia's then I'm happy. Except since January every single Lumia has disappeared off the Microsoft Store website (in Australia) and cleared out of local retailers (they still sell the HP Elite x3 but at $1099 they can go jump). I have to buy online (interstate or overseas) to get anything. It was quite hard before, but now it's almost impossible for anyone to buy a Windows Phone. They've closed the doors, and they're just waiting for us to leave.
  • Dan hits the nail on the head once again. Thumbs up.
  • WIndow Mobile no longer means phones. They can have a plan all they want but I personally don't think it will involve phones being hardware devices.  HP is the only one left dedicated to making another phone and that's not saying much.
  • I think the "Mobile First" motto was an ambiguous message on the part of Nadella.
    He should have made it clear that he meant mobility, not mobile phones.
  • While I too would like to know more about where Windows 10 is going, to be fair, "mobile first" was never about phones no matter how some fans may be wanted it to be. The next line Nadella always said after "mobile first, cloud first" was about the mobility of experiences.
  • I don't disagree, but it is a vague and overlapping term too. It also doesn't address the fact they bought a $7B phone division, made phones, and still update its phones with regular OS development. Yet...we have no idea what their future is with what's left.
  • Daniel....Please comment on these thoughts.  Do you think that MS and windows 10 mobile could get rolling again if they brought back the two main "projects" for app developement,  gave developers a 1 year free ride to get the apps on the platform?  Meaning 100 percent of royalites to developers for Apps developed for UWP and Mobile.  And second point would be 2 new microsoft branded Devices a mid ranger and a kick ass top tier phone?
  • I concur.  I think MS should give devs a free ride and allow them to collect 100% of the royalties until Microsoft approaches a market share that could at least be considered competitive. 
  • Agreed. So simple, to simple for the muddling mess that is Microsoft management
  • Simple answer Steve? Yes! But you and I know that they won't be doing that because - Money !!
  • The would make much more on the back end however...after that one year free ride is up,  back to business as usual but charging the same as the other two charge their dev's.   But you instantly would get more apps developed im sure...plus porting over using the "projects"....
  • Lol. As a part time developer, I can tell you that the 30% makes no difference at this point. Hundred percent of peanuts is still peanuts.   On another note, why are you always concerned about the number of down votes or up votes you get? It gets ridiculous how you cry about it here.
  • It's a joke Alice....lighten up....I find it funny!  The fanboys here are funny.  Not the people who have windows mobile devices,  and are open to other devices too.  I have no problem with you.  Its the crazed fanboys who are WINDOWS MOBILE IS THE BEST, AND EVERYTHING ELSE SUCKS....calling android SHITDROID, or LAGDROID,  and calling IOS users mindless...ha ha...those are the people that are fun to get going because they are blind to other options that acutally may be better for them....I have devices from apple, various android companies, windows devices, windows MOBILE device again...I use it all.  I am not blind.  
  • Who is Alice?
  • Ha ha....its a figure of speech....you know...JOKE!
  • 100% of nothing is still nothing.  I'm sure the last of the Blackberry fans felt the same way when their platform died off. There's isn't going to be a resurregence for windows phones. It's Betamax in the mobile space.
  • I seriously beleive it would be a profitable risk to do that,  because AFTER the one year grace period there will a good number of users I figure.  But if their not willing to do that,  NOPE.  DEAD in the water.
  • One would think that the CEO of a multi-billion dollar tech company would be able to articulate that there's no misunderstanding.
  • which leads me to believe the ambiguity is on purpose. even listening to myerson. i feel like they're being vague on purpose. to what end? i have no idea.
  • He meant mobile phones like Windows, iOS and Android.
  • I'm very much inclined to agree with that but I think Microsoft finally tells us that vision. They don't have to leak a new product exactly, but at least talk about mobile at Build.
  • I hope so for the sake of a 3rd party competitor.  I'm pretty deep in Android ecosystem but understand the importance of a 3rd competitor and MS just never was able to hit the mark the way they needed.  And now a days it's just too hard to break the Apple Android front line.  They would really need something ground breaking to go along with the Surface line up to even convince people to try a MS phone. Personally I think they missed the marked really bad and missed too many opportunities, the little that they had.
  • Couldn't agree more with everything you pointed out, except one thing... This should have happened long long ago. Keeping everything under wraps like this is how you end up with Vista and 8.  Perhaps they really do have a fantastic grand plan, but why they didn't continue to sink resources into just "keeping on" is beyond me. Not only do you have a huge PR disaster that you have to clean up if/when the next big thing arrives, Microsoft has committed and even bigger sin - alienating the developers and fans that were passionate about the platform. If you run off all the developers, who cares if the next big thing is revolutionary? It'll be a matter of time before google/Apple catch up and you're left to be irrelevant again.  Is it too late to turn the ship around? Probably not, but it sure seems like the edge of the world is coming up very soon. 
  • I almost think a product leak is all that can work. What good was promising Redstone last summer, only to get "that's for PC, mobile comes with RS2 next spring," only to get "RS3 in the fall actually," only to now get whispers of "and then you all get nothing?" Telling us there is a plan means nothing with a past that includes a dead McLaren, a dead Lumia brand, and severe delays to software updates with no real sense of an endgame. At this point, they have to SHOW a plan. Does that mean renders of a phone? A test model? Any hardware? I honestly don't know. However, the previous efforts to say mobile matters to them have left me incapable of trusting another pep talk.
  • Aye
  • I totally agree with the article. Feelings aside, and no matter what the facts are, Microsoft has an image problem that must be addressed. I have been pushing this in the Feedback Hub (with no response, of course).
  • Will e-SIM mean any Win10 device with a speaker/mic can become a 'phone'?
  • Pretty much. It still needs to be a part of the SoC, but you don't need a physical SIM. They will be bought thru the Windows Store.
  • So more likely for ARM variants then.
  • You know, I'm not too sure! I mean, ARM for sure. But we own several Lenovo Helixes here with LTE and they're not the only x86 devices with LTE. So it's possible a refresh to some of these devices down the road could bring similar functionality. We're running old Helixes but I believe they're up to Helix 2 now, and that's getting long in the tooth - who knows what Helix 3 might bring. :)
  • Not ncessarily. Lenovo has an LTE option on some of their Thinkpads; they just have a separate LTE modem. 
  • MS is just quite never said any word about discontinue windows mobile os. Only developers are leaving the platform.
  • Thanks for that clarity!!
  • This is the year I double down on 10 mobile or jump ship. It's up to Microsoft at this point. I'm really hoping for a reason to stay with the OS i love but as with any relationship, it takes two to make it work.
  • If you need a new phone what would you get? Do you think that there is any device you can buy today that will be supported today much less by Redstone 3?
  • I dont think it has to be that way. Right now, I see no reason to stay, but I'm always open to come back if that changes. My L950 is working great, and I will keep using it as long as the apps I use are there. In a year or so, I'll evaluate and see where things are.
  • Agreed, except my 950 is...OK...and there are almost no apps I use that aren't part of the core OS.
  • I am also at the same point.
  • Unfortunately I can't wait any longer and in a couple weeks, I'll be moving my chips to the Galaxy S8 with a 2 year contract on Verizon. Which means for the next 2 years, I'll basically be fully entrenched in Android. That being said, I'll keep my Lumia 950 active with a FreedomPop SIM since it won't cost me anything so I'll just use that as my backup phone.
  • Oh wow, FreedomPop sounds awesome. That plus MintSIM makes me really hopeful about the future of mobile data service in the US costing next to nothing. Does FreedomPop work with dual sim devices like MintSim/T-mobile do? I know AT&T shutdown their 2G network so that doesn't work properly with dual sim devices anymore. I'm looking to get the 4 major wireless providers entirely out of my life as they charge way too much. Personally I would never sign a 2-year contract with Verizon wireless.
  • Yeah Freedompop works perfectly fine with dual sim phones. In fact, I have 2 freedompop Sims in my lumia 950. Since I'm on the free plan for both of them, i have very limited data but both sims combined is enough for a backup phone. Freedompop is also 4G LTE as it uses AT&T and T Mobile for GSM phones and Sprint for CDMA phones. However, freedompop for some reason requires you to use their own special VOIP app for calling and texting which isn't available on Windows Phone of course. So with freedompop on windows phone, you're basically limited to data only and will have to find other VOIP apps if you need calling/texting or in a dual sim phone, find another carrier for just calling and texting.
  • The only move that can prevent a market share of 0.1% is the release of a Surface Phone that comes with apps on release.
    That won't be happening.
    Couple that with the Galaxy S8 release and iPhones much anticipated Anniversary release, 2017 seems like the end of the road for Windows phone. I just hope Nokia can produce a Premium phone on Android. That's where my focus is now.
    Microsoft expended all my goodwill over the past five and a half years.
  • The greatness of this WC app made this comment hilarious because it has you with Dan's avatar and not your own. Thought Dan was saying this.
  • happens to me sometimes. Just go into settings (gear icon on the left side) and CLEAR CACHE.
  • For me I think there's no hope and if they say something at build, it'd be a sad note for all of us.
    The strategy is:
    1. They will kill Windows 10 mobile.
    2. There will be another reboot called W10ARM
    3. W10ARM won't be upgradable to current lumia devices even the hp elite x3....there'll be a loud and lots of outcry.
    4. Due to the large outcry from consumers when they couldn't upgrade from 7 to 8, lets reduce that number of outcry when we disappoint again. This time few users will be affected....cuz they now like 0.3%.
    5. Let's support current devices based on their life support cycle agreement....main reason only 2015 phones will be receiving creators uodate.
    6. Let the devs go, we now have W10ARM, same as full W10...the apps are already there.
    This is what I see and it makes sense from all the happenings now.
  • Yeah, this is very much the plan we've been trying to lay out, but I still think Microsoft should begin to talk about this at some point. Can't keep waiting for some mythical hardware in 2018. At least tease something about what they see as mobility.
  • Now the questions I ask myself are:
    After all this and W10ARM comes out with whatever phone hardware they working on, how are they going to get most of us back on? Will W10ARM really let them achieve their sales?....or maybe they know they aren't gonna achieve those sales so main reason the focusing on enterprise. Now not try to think about another reboot in the future cuz if W10ARM is the same as Windows 10, then we can conclude it isn't going anywhere...Windows will forever stay. But seriously with that track record of disappointments and lack of communication, how are they really gonna get most of us back? At least they should think about that.
  • If I may pimp my own forum thread: I was asking people how Win10 on ARM would change things for them. There are some interesting answers, but honestly not too much. The main hope would be that the trickle of new Win10 apps would lead to a trickle of consumers that would be OK with a Win10 phone. I guess we'll find out in the coming few years! http://forums.windowscentral.com/windows-10-mobile/451045-what-would-you...
  • do they need us to come back? i don't think we'll ever be their target audience. if they want to achieve sales that would keep the OS sustainable, they need to focus on straight-up android and iOS users. so at this time, i don't think they necessarily are trying not to hurt their fans. and to be honest, that may be the only way they can succeed unfortunately.
  • WOA for consumers and one day a proper phone for business
  • Then they would give it away. And by the time Microsoft is ready to release an Android version is allready on the market.
  • Gerard, pretty much what you said. LOL  The guys that write for this site are hilarious, almost like they forgot all the other times they have dumped products or technology.   Microsoft has a playbook and they run it by the numbers every time.   And a response to the writer of this article, no Microsoft doesn't have to let users know, matter of fact they won't tell you its dead until they have secretly buried the phone in a 6 foot grave covered with a foot of concrete.... which was probably around 2013.   Is the winphone dead, its been dead since around 2010 if not before... only your (author and this site) delusions keep it alive for you.   Its been pushing up daisies for what is rapidly approaching a decade now.... and there isn't anything anyone is going to do about it.
  • Why should Microsoft stopp updating Windows 10 Mobile? Windows 10 Mobile is just another SKU, smiliar to the IOT, XBOX and HOLOLENS SKU. As we have seen with RS2 windows 10 mobile only got minor updates, but those still made a huge difference in performance etc. Even if Microsoft introduces Windows 10 on ARM with a mobile shell / CShell they don't need to kill of the Windows 10 Mobile SKU to move forward.  Also with CShell Windows 10 Mobile is more than just a phone OS. Its a lightweight desktop OS even more lightweight than the "Windows 10 Cloud" Sku ever will be. It would be a perfect ChromeOS competitor. I would think windows 10 Cloud is about the "first" step to get people to use the Store Apps. Windows 10 Mobile on a Laptop would be more like the second step, because it doesn't have the Win32 subsystem and doesn't have backwards compability. I still doubt they will really kill the support for the Lumia 930, 1520 etc. As you can see from the new hardware page, the Snapdragon 800 etc is still very much supported. 
  • Exactly. If my 950 XL died right now but I knew something was on the horizon late 2017 or early 2018 or whenever, I'd buy a burner phone to get me through. With nothing, not even a tease, right now I'd be seriously considering jumping ship.
  • That's me right now. I can upgrade, but there is not W10M device available. If they told me 100% that the goal is next spring, I would leave and come back. If this drags on without mention at Build, I'm more likely to just permanently bail because my trust will be totally dead. I said before, the handling of mobile isn't just driving me form W10M, it's driving me from MS in general. I lean more towards PC hardware upgrades than Scorpio right now because Xbox content has been lacking for me (FH3 was the last game I got and none announced for 2017 have me excited). Mobile has conditioned me to expect failure from MS, not surprises and success. That's their biggest problem.
  • Exactly. Being up front about it would go a lot further than the vague promises that will either never materialize or they'll claim materialized in some obscure way. I agree that it's souring me to the company in general, and that's a bad situation for any company to get themselves into.
  • Well, I may end up buying either the Alcatel or HP in THIS universum.
    The Wallace universum is different.
  • I don't think it would even be that hard to produce some hardware. Given that MS has already demo'd some WoA, imagine HP creating an HP X3 Pro, in essentially the same body with the 835, or next version chipset. Win 10 already has the ability to support the Continuum-like dock cabability out of the USB-C port, so the current dock would probably just work. Win 10 does second screens inherently, even over USB-C or just USB assuming you could instally DisplayLink drivers. The lapdock would probably just work, letting you run 'real' windows applications on that larger screen, while 'mobile'. (Actually a better word is transportable.You use a phone while moving, i.e. mobile. You transport a laptop from location to location, but use it while stationary, i.e. transportable)  I believe a lot of this would just work, given a HP X3 Pro running WoA, because I can already connect a Dell XPS to my MS (Lumia) Display Dock via USB-C and all the functions work. The functionality of the peripherals, docks, lapdocks, USB-C to video dongles, are all based on open standards. Win 10 M had to be adjusted to support those standards via Continuum. Windows 10 inherently supports them, and presumably WoA would as well. 
  • Think it's pretty obvious what's going on here; once MS gets W10 fully optimized for ARM there'll be another adaptive UX "mode" added to the system. This opens the door for the following use case scenarios: + Screen less than 8" then W10 runs in "mobile mode". Think the home screen is essentially the start menu UI, swipe down brings in the action center UI and swipe up brings in the task bar elements found in tablet mode i.e. Back, windows icon (home), and cortona, task tray elements i.e. clock, battery, internet connection is displayed at the top of the screen + Tether the device to a lager screen only then W10 adapts to tablet mode. Again, basically the start menu filling up the whole screen, Swipe up brings the task bar elements, swipe right brings the action center UI, task try elements are shifted back to the task bar + Tether the device to a larger screen and mouse/keyboard the W10 adapts to desktop mode.  Apps that are installed but not optimized for "mobile mode" will be greyed out until the device is tethered to a larger screen. 
  • I agree that it would be amazing to hear something but the thought of a tease wouldn't do it for me. While it would show intent of their plans moving forward, their road maps are less than reliable lately. At the same time, a tease doesn't fix the problem at hand. Hardware support for existing devices is ending with no replacements. For example: I own a 950 so after this year I should stop getting updates (Of which I'm fine with, hardware cycles need to be in place). So at that point I'm left hoping that Microsoft actually keeps their "tease" and will release hardware in 2018. While in reality there could be a delay or two or they will want to switch fully to a spring / summer release timeframe... either way we are looking at 2019 now. As much as I like my 950, I'm not keeping it until 2019. As much as I want to believe in this OS, I'm not springing for an Elite x3 until I know the OS is a worthy investment for the future.  On the other hand, if we had more hard facts during Build with their future intent then I would be estatic! If they came out and said we've already been working on this for two years and clearly show intent with hard facts that show they could release in 2018 then count me in! I'm still going to hope for this but will stay in limbo until hope is confirmed or denied.
  • You also seem to be totally unable to imagine buying an Alcatel or HP phone???
  • Just like they teased PROJECT SCORPIO...  They really need to do something here. 
  • What apps are there with W10 which today are needed for mobile use? Even if W10 one day can run legacy WP Apps, the choice won't be great (and yes, while I'm not using it, but Snapchat is important for a lot of customers) Btw, a non-fan doesn't give a s... whether the underlying OS is W10 or W10M. What x86 Apps an average  consumer would like to run on a device that is enough small to be carried around, while doing sports, vacation, hiking, whatever?
  • For me, the ability to run x86 apps would be more of a bag tacked on the side. A great feature, but not one I'd absolutely require. I think that's why many have suggested any sort of incremental updates to their phones would be of benefit, just to keep it clear they're still in the game, even with current W10M. Of course, as others have pointed out, the very reason they might not be releasing anything new is to wait for that 2 year period of maintenance and support to end, then wipe their hands. Of course the optimist in me hopes that the Surface Phone hasn't been released yet since they're pushing for a full W10ARM w/ C-Shell, etc. so they don't do a Surface RT and a year later go... oops and then need to say "yeah, that Surface Phone you bought last year... it can't run W10ARM so you're stuck with W10M..." That being said, a Surface Phone _could_ be built right now using the 835 Snapdragon they demoed W10ARM on, so in theory, you could release a phone now that would be eligible for W10ARM when it is released... But what do I know? :) I'm no marketer or engineer. :)
  • That's OK, Microsoft aren't marketers either and one can only presume they never hire them either.
  • No one is going to care about x86 apps on their phone beyond those interested in Continuum. x86 make Continuum give a better desktop experience, which is great, but it does nothing to make the phone a better phone experience. I dont see a lot of people being interested in a gimped phone that can also be a mediocre desktop.
  • True. Photoshop won't sell it, Snapchat will.
  • Yup, exactly what I have been thinking. 
  • "Let the devs go, we now have W10ARM, same as full W10...the apps are already there." Um, no. The apps are not there. Southwest airlines in an app form is much more convenient on a tiny device than Southwest.com in Edge.
    My bank doesn't have an app.
    Many (most?) mobile games don't have an app on Win10.. and games like Overwatch would suck on a tiny screen. Give me apps for Amazon, major banks, Mint, airlines, games, etc...
    I dont want to have to go to the browser for everything.
  • Full windows 10 apps are useless on a phone sized device! When is this gonna go thourgh your fanboy heads? users need mobile/on the go apps, touch friendly.
  • We agreed that with W10M the focus is business not consumers.
  • No. Not business. But Enterprise. Think Enterprise solutions like Barcode Scanning / Information Gathering for special purposes, and things like that. Not business. Business and consumer phones (and the requirements) have too much overlap, you cannot distinguish them. No one wants to carry 2 phones with him.
  • I was thinking German and NY police forces, Not (or: no longer) me or you.
  • Then we agree...
  • Tell this to Nadella, maybe he will understand how close business users and consumers are although I doubt he will ever see this.
  • Business users are consumers as well. They listen to music, kill time with consumption apps and Snapchat, and they want to keep in touch with their friends and family. 
  • I don't know what sort of business world you work in but in mine nobody has time that needs killing, we are not communicating with friends and family during business hours or messing around with apps life snapchat either. We are working, emailing, texting, phoning customers or suppliers, sharing and collaborating on project documents all of which can be done with a WP.  
  • I concur.
  • 24/7? Really?
  • Do you think these employees are doing this on their own phones? More than likely they are doing this on company phones.
  • I have yet to see a W10 "business" phone. And I work with a lot of people
  • I saw one last year. It was a 640XL. He said he really likes it, but his companies software kept crashing on him. He wasn't on W10M either.
  • Well said Dan. This whole thing has been annoying. I don't understand why they can't just say something. At least there were leaks but we don't even have leaks now. This is nuts.
  • A brutal editorial, but one that's been a long time coming. Great read, Daniel!
  • My thoughts exactly.  Microsoft needs to spell it out.  I personally believe that Microsoft Mobile as a seperate OS ends with Redstone 3, if not before, and that it will simply be one OS.  If people then choose to run that OS on a small screen, so be it.  I also then believe that Microsoft will introduce a Surface Mini type of device; perhaps with the folding screen, etc;, running Windows on Arm that happens to also be equipped with cellular. They also need to give Verizon Wireless users a reason to stick around until their new "Surface" device comes to market.  CU needs to be available to the current flagship Verizon devices even though they are more than 2 years old.
  • IF the Surface (tablet) can push the iPad away, that same approach (software AND hardware) can and SHOULD work for the phone division. It seems to be nothing less or more than complete lack of interest by Microsoft for mobile phones. The Surface story is one of a growth by leaps and bounds from the Surface to Surface 4, within a short span. Coming from a position of complete defeat (ipad versus virtually nothing on Windows tablet) to a position of being the innovator, the creator, the leader. Where is that same commitment on phone? IF a Surface phone were to come, it would at least have to be a Surface 4 Phone, if you catch my drift. It should be a scaled down Surface 4 with a SIM-slot, so to say. Large screen, pen support, ink, all the gadgets that the Surface has, and it should just work, to quote someone else. ARM? It could be a gamechanger, but x86 or Wintel on a phone would be a great shift. I can haz Office 365 on my Phone? Hell yes. No, not Word mobile, WORD, EXCELL. If you want continuum to be something BIG, when I plug my smartphone into a TV or monitor, give me a PC environment. A TRUE PC environment, x86 or x64 programs, not scaled down apps, SOFTWARE as we know. Make a phone that can do BIG things, not "fake" big things. Move Windows 10 PC onto a phone and it will work, hardware and software will be greeted with amazement by all.
  • IF the Surface (tablet) can push the iPad away....Surface phone will do same way!!  
  • "IF the Surface (tablet) can push the iPad away, that same approach (software AND hardware) can and SHOULD work for the phone division."
    The BIG difference here is that the Surface Pro launched with all the software available you could want to run on it. Nothing MS ever does for phones will be like that. MS' failure has been their inability to get developers to buy into their phone efforts.
  • The Surface really isn't a iPad competitor, maybe on the edges.... but its more or less a product that is competing with other PC, laptop, and 2n1 sales. imo   I would calll the Surface line a premium product which focuses on business users... although its not limited to that.   I think you are out of touch if you believe the masses want naive Win32 on their phone, most either don't want it or don't even know what it is.   Of course, you can run Win32 through virtualization if your corporation if push came to shove.   Win32 on the phone... good luck.
  • I just hate Satya Nadella
    I can't really use other platforms and this Trojan horse is killing it Go home Satya Nadella
  • "Go home" ? wtf
  • Yeah, go home! Satya Nadella  is nothing but a very poor CEO
  • he runs slower speed now!
  • Its not his fault. He's just dealing with reality. In spite of all the money and work they put into Windows Phone, they were never able to get the apps. No amount of advertising or new hardware was ever going to change that.
  • We don't know because they didn't really advertise it.
  • with the amount of returns, it was clearly not a problem advertising could solve. the OS was just not consumer-ready.
  • Actually WP was getting a good bit of traction, especially in EU. Unfortunately MS was too US-centred to introduce all their services in Europe and solidify the share.
  • Exactly. but since this poor CEO came in, he did anything in his power to destroyed windows phone. There are lots of rumors saying he's  a Trojan horse within microsoft.     
  • That's not really true, when ms bought Nokia some countries had around 10% market share, a good starting point.   He's managed to remove all that market in a short space of time.
  • And where exactly would this "home" be that you're suggesting he go to? I can understand not agreeing with his performance as CEO - which he's generally doing a good job of, apart from Windows Mobile - but a retort with such racist undertones seems a bit excessive and misplaced.
  • Like always - people like you are true racists. He said 'go home' and now you are adding your own part of the story. Based on what? Your first though was his skin color and ancestry so you have to 'defend' like he would be worse because of that? Weaker in your eyes just by default?
  • For f*ck sake, are you for real? Seriously, where the f*ck would he propose he "go home" to? You don't tell someone to leave their job or step down by telling them to "go home." Are you covering for him? Jesus, you honestly surprise the f*ck out of me that you think someone is that thick that they'd buy your line of bullsh*t. Don't you have a white power rally or something to go to?
  • I have no interest in full W10 on a mobile device, sure some will want this no doubt, but you still need to carry around a mouse and keyboard or have one ready to connect, doesn't sound more convenient than having an actually surface pro to me. I won't be using a phone type device for software I use on my PC, that's for sure. I just want W10M with more apps, simple.
  • Blah. Sorry for my last outburst. I'd delete it if I could but either way, sorry. I'm no racist and the insinuation I was made me type before thinking. So again, sorry. :(
  • By 'go home' I meant one thing, and one thing only - this CEO should leave microsoft ASAP, any move he's making is about destroying windows.  
  • I would not make leave him Microsoft, since he is good about cloud and azure. He should just stay in this department. There needs to be a CEO who has the same vision as they announced: Windows on every device. Nadella is just like: a bit of Microsoft on every device or at least they connect to azure... somehow...
  • where do you see any racist comment?? Go home can mean pack your bags and go, stay home and search for another company to destroy. I do not see any racist comments...you think everything is racist just because some nationalities are linked to poor performance. Well, racist is when you point at someone because of his race/nationality etc without any reason or proof! So STFU moron
  • This has already been addressed by the original poster.
  • If Microsoft is smart at build they should say " when we release W10 for arm processors later this year all phones with a Snap dragon 800 chip set and up will be upgraded. Why fight for new phone market share when they can breathe new life in their old ones
  • weren't they aiming for 835 as the lowest entry point?
  • What they could do, if they're not complete morons that is, is offer a paired-down experience on existing phones. They demoed Windows on ARM on the Snapdragon 820, so they could have it work on the Elite X3. Even if it's just Continuum 2.0, with the windowed apps and pinnable taskbar, it'd be an improvement.
  • I _think_ that the 835 was for x86 emulation. My hope - however misplaced - is that certain existing handsets might be eligible for W10ARM, minus emulation. But I'm forever the optimist...
  • because the current market share isn't worth saving on its own. they need to fight for new market share to survive. if they gain new market share, it won't matter if they lose the old one. its inconsequential. the make or break lies with gaining new market share.
  • Best article on Windows Central in a long time.  Bravo Dan!  
  • Disagreeing...
  • All i see and expect at build is praising Microsoft apps on non Windows phones and supporting non Windows phones like MS recent Samsung version and further plans to do that even more. I believe it's going that way before anything else aka Windows phone. Will we see or hear an indication of a new windows phone? I highly doubt it, u can tell MS is slowly fading out their own Windows mobile strategy. If they do drop a new high end Windows phone it will not work.. It needs a solid plan, continues support for the long run... More new phones and create it as a "Line-up", create a solid plan to get developers back. but even that i highly doubt it even for the future. As much as i love my Windows phones since day 1, not putting the creators update on other than 13 phones is saddening but even i can tell MS has put Windowsphone 2nd.
  • Bingo Dan Bingo
  • Just release it as some form of opensource OS and leave the rest to the community. What can you loose?
  • This is a very good article. It taps directly into how Windows fans and readers of WC feel. I would like to ask one thing though that I see missing from most articles postulating on the state of MS and Windows Mobile, As a media outlet, what have YOU done to get quotes from MS representatives? Have you talked to MS at all about the mood of your readers? One of the biggest problem with society these days is that, if a person has a problem with someone, they will complain, backbite, roast on social media, and do everything EXCEPT approach the person and TALK to them. In light of that, my question is again, Have you, WC, attempted to approach MS and talk/interview them regarding all of this? I see quotes that were made to the general public (Not done because of WC questions), I see theories, I even see some "stop the rudeness" articles aimed at readers and posters (I must admit that its deserved for some). But where is the "WC asked for an interview with MS and here is what happened" articles?
  • Yes, we do ask and there is both on the record - which you often read here and is vague, which is my point about what "mobile" here means - and there is off-the-record, also reported here. Microsoft is very vague about it, that's my point. They hide behind things like "mobile" but do not differentiate between phones and tablets.
  • Good article Daniel. I appreciate how you expressed your frustration. I know that as a reporter on all things Microsoft you do need to be somewhat PC, but I think Microsoft should do what you just did here and lay it all out on the table. The term "mobile" is so wide open that it tells us nothing helpful. We of course keep hoping they meant Windows Phones, but it could just as well mean "tablet" or "apps for iOS and Android" or "Hololens" or "Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition" or anything not bolted to the floor. I very faithfully watch (well, mostly listent to) your podcast with Zac every Friday.
  • Any theories as to why they're being so vague? I mean what's the point of that?  With the scarcity of users, developers, & OEM's it's not like there would be a ton of blowback if they're winding it down... (maybe on sites like this one, but tempest in a teapot, no?)
  • bub78, there really isn't anything vague about what they are doing... this is step by step how they shut products and technology down at Microsoft.  Don't worry eventually UWP will be going down in the same manner, but probably a few more years before that frog gets slow cooked. 
  • UWP? Tough to wind it down if no one ever made apps with it lol.
  • bub78, haha, can't disagree there but I think MS tries to push it for a few years before we get to no information mode which then leads to an official announcement.   The tell might be when MS offers naive Win32 on the store... just a guess.
  • this is the million dollar question. the vagueness seems to be on purpose. so they have a reason. what reason could they possibily have to do this? they must think it's beneficial to them, but no one can point to any reason why it'd be beneficial. in fact, if anything, its just hurting them.
  • PjH, there is no million dollar question... of course its on purpose... this is how they shutdown a product.   If you have long-term contracts, legal obligations, etc. you don't just shut it down and if you do you try to a least minimize additional losses by letting the product ride into the sunset.  It's not hurting them, they lost... its over.   The decision to shutdown a technology in Microsoft is usually years before its publically announced.   It seems like they are just running their shutdown playbook and have been for quite a few years. 
  • I can sse that from the alternate fact how they did shut down the Windows 10 Mobile development last year....
  • The reason they're so vague is because they have no clue themselves.
    Let's face it, WP in every iteration has been a train wreck, they had no clue then and they have no clue now.
  • It gets even worse with the "mobile" word salad ... wasn't one of Nadella's presentations that said words like "and when we talk about mobile, we talk about the mobility of the experience, not the hardware"?  I mean, seriously?  NO-ONE talks about the "experience" when they mention "mobile".
  • It's pointless to keep asking them as it's clear they won't answer. If a corporation such as Microsoft does not have the guts to come up front to speak clearly and tell the truth, then what can we expect more from them? How can anyone respect and trust such a company that hasn't got even the slightest trail of respect and attitude to admin either the failure or the next plan for their phone part?
  • This is a great article, expressing frustrations of core loyalists of Windows phones. There's nothing more one can say again at this point about how Microsoft is dangling the proverbial carrot just out reach of its core fans, without giving us concrete information as to what their doing. I believe that Microsoft is buying time. Patronizing us while they prepare to publicly announce the end. I believe that they are in fact just obliging to support whatever remaining first party devices still in the market. Mobile IS NOT on MS's list of urgent things to get right. I remember back when they annound the Anniversary Update, Terry Mayerson said publicly that 2016 was about Windoes 10 on desktop, and that 2017 they would focus on mobile. Well, we're a quarter into 2017 and all we've gotten from Microsoft is more word play and dodging. And to add insult to injury, the cutting off of legitimate devices from updates. Come on Microsoft, just come clean already and give fans some sort of closure.
  • Exactly. I still remember that response from the Myerson guy. And guess what? Nothing afterwards. LOL
  • It's likely windows 10 pc becoming Mobile. If you look at the pc with all its notifications it feels they are making it mobile. All that's needed is carrier supporting hardware on mini tablets along with universal apps and I think we will have it. Probably the next pc update will have the answer.
  • Then what about latest lumia series like 640 and 650. You are indirectly talking about abandoning windows mobile OS.
  • Excellent article Dan! I completely agree with what you have written. I'm aware that companies need some degree of secrecy when developing new or evene potentialy disruptive products, but what MS has been doing the past two years is beyond secrecy. It' complete lack of adressing mobile other than lay-offs and reductions in services and hardware I believe has done even more damage to their reputation than if they come out a year ago and said they were giving up mobile. At least developers and customers could have respected that. Now we have an OS that is very much alive in terms of software updates, but has almost no hardware to run on and seems to be shunned by their own creators. Out of respect for their developers and customers they should come clean at their upcoming build event, either pull the plug on mobile completely (stupid in my opinion, if they want to be a relevant computing platform in 10 years time) or at least give us a firm commitment with hints on what they are working on and a rough timeframe for release. Either way they should also be doing a tremendous amount of grovveling for the way they've handled the situation the past two years.   
  • I will be at Build next month (with my Lumia 950 in hand), hoping for some news one way or another.  
  • I don't like android. But based on what Microsoft is currently doing, I think I have to grab one. 😓
  • I didn't like Android either. Until yesterday.
  • I hate Andoird and IOS, I run the Mobile Managment server at my company and just freaking hate these OS's. I cannot understand why people like the static nature of IOS and Android. The OS and home screen are just so basci and useless. I'll never understand why people like that crap.
  • No idea what you mean by that honestly.  Android has widgets which I've found far more useful than live tiles.  Hardly static. 
  • not every app has widgets. and widgets don't follow a standard design pattern, so if you do have a non-static home page, it tends to be more confusing than a windows start screen. there's a reason there are huge fans of live tiles, but not of widgets. Edit: to be clear, i'm not saying widgets don't have huge fans. i'm just stating there exist fans of live tiles that dislike widgets.
  • Nor do I understand what is meant by it. My home screen is not static either. It has lots of activity including live notifications from my social miedia apps,. emails, messages etc. I cant see that its any less busy than my Lumia 950 home screen was.
  • Because they WORK. Why is that so hard to understand? I've had my S7 for over about a year, and everything I ask it to do, it does. Can't say the same for my 640 when it was on 10586 and now 14393. Also, I have a number of widgets set up on my homescreen to feed me info about my day. It's not just "static icons" dude, come on.
  • Releasing too many OS updates
    while Android is so slow?
    Good point.... in your world!
  • Microsoft Likes android, sells it and supports it.
    Would love to be at a Google board meeting, they must p i s s themselves stupid with laughter
  • Right.  Their ridiculous silence is what pushed me away to Android.
  • Problem is, if mobile is going to continue on leaving behind new partner devices, the announcement could kill their sales. Microsoft looks like it will be relying on them for devices, so do they burn them, or keep us informed?
  • True. But they worked closely with HP and Alcatel to develop these. Possibly even funded some of it. Why would they ask partners to do that if they are winding the whole thing down?
  • No, no, no, no! - Logic is not alowed her, nor wisdom!
    This is internet and this forum is based on fake news and great emtions around them.
    You HAVE to speculate negatively because only trouble will stirr up people.
  • Dan, once again hits the nail right on the head! Most, if not all of my colleagues, are not interested in the next big thing from Microsoft in the mobile space because of the colossal, short sited, miss managed, and total lack of consistent concise communication we have seen in the past few years. We want consistent, well thought out products to help us get work done, be productive and maybe a little fun every now and then. Forget trying to save face or the secret coded sentences that tease and spark interest in the mobile space only to follow up with a total reversal or dropped support. If Microsoft cant cut it, then get out! Plan and simple! Stop wasting our time and your resources. Instead, improve what you do best. Seems to me Microsoft has invested interest in Android and IOS platforms and could create a competitive product that could change the mobile space but is reluctant because they don't want to cannibalize their capital stream. I get that. So instead of the song and dance, just get back to your strength and let those who are doing mobile right do their job and stop cluttering the airwaves with you failed attempts. Keep on that path and Microsoft may loose credibility on their other successful sectors.
    Respectfully
    ...a windows phone fan just shaking my head....
  • Great article, congrats. Now hopefully someone at MS hears you, listens. To me, the MS strategy seems to depend on different products, tasks and milestones which are so bad timed and especially not aligned timewise that it's a horror. Loosing so much marketshare and developers, before any new products are ready, UWP in which the word "universal" is as hollow as it gets.  
  • HP would sue them if they announce the end now.
  • What if they said "We will support it for the next 2 years"?
    Any current devices would be end of life by then.
  • The true it's that all we that love W10M, would like to have hope. But it's time to encourage the really, may be cry or simple be sad and accept that our loved platform is dead. Evaluate an alternative and try to overpass it.
  • If Windows 10 Mobile could somehow emulate Android apps, or devices run both OSes like some convertible PCs/tablets, would that work?
  • At this point I wish MS would put on an App launcher that mimics WNM10 on an Adnoird device. I have tried a couple of them on a test Andoird phone I have and they are ok and almost good enough to use but this would be a good way to help us transition if MS put some work behind making Andoird look and work exactly like WM10. MS's current app launcher on Android is just nothing like WM10 which is odd. I want the customization, live tiles and OS continunity of Windows Mobile even if I have to do that on Andoird hardware. Plus WM10 interface and Google Play apps would be the best of all worlds
  • I agree. I would rather they admit defeat, throw in the towel and develop a launcher that emulates W10M but instead I suspect they will just quietly let W10M just fade away without saying much of anything. Why companies like HP bother to invest money on phones running W10M unless they know something we don't is anybodys guess at this stage.
  • When Windows 10 Mobile was pre-release, Project Astoria allowed Android apps to run on Windows Phones. That was the best of both worlds, from a consumer standpoint. (But I can understand why it was less than an ideal solution from the standpoint of wanting to push UWP.) Unfortunately, it never saw the light of day.
  • It would probably make more sense to have an Android phone which can run UWP apps, instead of the opposite. That way MS could have the full focus on getting the UWP parts perfect whilst running Android apps as they should be run. All attempts at getting Android apps running on other platforms have always been so-so/half decent. BlackBerry 10 didn't really succeed, neither did Sailfish OS. (Although, if you can run Android apps, then I don't see why anyone would waste the time developing UWP apps - basically the same problem BlackBerry [Cascades/Qt] and Jolla [Qt] had/have)
  • Android apps are pretty so-so quality wise. When your on a tablet, it feels like your using a chromebook or something. IMO. I'd rather they encouraged developers to make win32 apps scalable, after the emu is released. Illustrator on arm devices for example, would have a market. Desktop games would find one too. That sort of thing would make android look like a toy to some consumers.
  • I agree Dan, the status of our phone's ecosystem as a whole has been so troublesome. I really am feeling abandoned, and it didn't start recently, its been for the last year atleast, slowly getting worse.I just today recieved another notice that another game has gone through its 'FINAL' update for windows phone, (SIMS FREEPLAY), and they will now stopping updates.......I love playing that game, and have progressed very very far, and have spent quite a bit in buying credits for it......and now its going to become defunct. Its really sad to see all these developers go right out the window.
  • Certainly Microsoft don't need to break the Apple / Android consumer phone market. What they do need to provide is a mobile device that can make calls and support small / medium / large businesses. They don't need to focus on the Snapchat / teenage crowd - they need to make and focus on a mobile device for professionals. This is what I want. A device that supports Exchange fully, the Office 365 suite, transport, hotels, maps, movies, music, news - essentially the bits that professional users will use. A really nice camera, great security etc etc Once they have this market - they can continue to support the Apple / Android user if they want but the go-to phone for professionals will be Microsoft and the Windows 10 OS. The irony is that they have most of this. They just need mid to high end hardware, to market Windows 10 on mobile (if it supports full Windows 10 on ARM via continuum, then all the better). However, they know that if people do leave and move to iOS /Android, as mobile has a shelf life of a couple of years, when they do bring out the Surface Phone / Device with Windows 10 on ARM, people may (or may not) move back. They only thing keeping people on a mobile platform is the amount of apps they buy and how much it will cost to leave those apps behind. Perhaps Microsoft know this and are happy to wait.
  • the elite x3 isn't shabby hardware, so to say all they need is high-end hardware to fix the issue is a bit odd. they have high end hardware. they need the developers, even if it is enterprise focused. they need streamlined apps for business users to get things done easily. gaining more developers is the only thing that can fix this.
  • The Idol 4S isn't shabby either.
  • The windows store is growing pretty fast. Pretty much all they have to do is refine the OS, and wait. Give it that win32 power, refine the UI, the features, wait till the windows store has a few more apps a year or two down the track. Smartphones will be replaced by something else anyway. By smartwatches and scrolling phones, by fold out tablet books and smart home speech based devices. When the market saturation pretty much kills the premium smartphone market, the only thing that will entice buyers is a new FF. Enter, microsoft and its "one core". People are so obsessed with phones. But honestly they are already kinda old hat. 6% meger growth last year. Nothing like the hay days. When some new FF comes along, no one will want a bar of it. And if it is something like a folding tablet, well by then microsoft will most likely have a strong presence in the screen size. Microsofts strategy is a long play.
  • Agreed.
  • Microsoft are an odd company. Just about every major, international corporation has messed up at one point or another. But as a rule they tend to step back from the carnage, review where it went wrong and learn not to do it again. But not Microsoft. They seem to enjoy the punishment of getting it wrong. If Microsoft were a person it would so be into BDSM....."ooh, hit me with that cane again Apple...."
  • Lol
  • Indeed. Why not hold a FB referendum on keeping Windows Mobile alive?
  • They wont, that's not the Microsoft way. They'll say nothing but continue to act as if mobile doesn't exist till they are ready to push their next Galaxy Microsoft Edition......
  • What's sad is that Microsoft will likely rake in more money through the Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition than they have in their own handsets.
  • My coworker has a friend that is in the windows mobile team. He said Microsoft will be slowly moving away from W10M and most likely after the 18 month support of the L950 ends. However, Microsoft is still considering a full W10 on phone. If they go that route that will be a few years after CSHEL is complete. He said you won't see any new devices for at least 3 years if any. Choose to believe me or not. I don't care.
  • windows on phone still requires developers. no one will buy w10 on a phone if it has no mobile-focused apps available on release.
  • I choose ...
    not to believe.
  • MS needs to start with replacing its CEO first and foremost because as the head of any company that has its consumers scratching their heads in wonder the first order of business is how do we compensate for all the millions who've left the platform for the rivals'. Who's ultimately responsible? Why have we the board taken so long swallowing this nonsense for so long when we continually read each day of the dwindling numbers and developers' leaving.
  • The problem is that from a board level, Windows Mobile is getting the treatment it deserves. It's unfortunate, but especially at that level, it's more an issue of money and less an issue of heart. The cloud is raking in money for them, and that is one of Nadella's babies, so they're going to hold on to him and that cashflow as long as they can.
  • My opnion was and still is: Cortana killed W10M. W10M is to much US-Only. Why would any one want to buy something thats availible in the US (and 12 other regions) and not in your own country? Must say, I don't miss Cortana. I don't need Cortana to tell 'whats the weather like in'. Biggest mistake. But there are others.
  • does that not apply to every other assistant though on every other platform?
  • Nope
  • Totally nonsensical comment. How does an assistant (that you don't need) kill an OS? W10M still functions without Cortana.
  • Partly agree.
    Cortana should have been also available as a siri-level speech synthetizer
    At least an <English version available everywhere.
    You country and language shoeld be separate from where you live and what you use on your phone and hoe you use Cortan.
    Imagine a person from Spain with a French father and German mother living as an adult in Canada.
    That person may want to use Canadian services on Cortana, but use Spanish to command Cortana.
    Maybe that person lives in the French area and wants Cortana to use French street names. The same with Maps software.
    All of this is NOT allowed because the design team hasn't got enough imagination.
    BUT
    Did Cortana kill W10M?
    No.
    And it isn't even dead anyway.
  • Long overdue article. Obviously WM/P is dead Win10Arm binary compatabilitiy with Win10 store apps is the only path forward. Windows writers & MS employees with the few exceptions moved to iphone years ago and the result speaks for itself. Zero expectations from carriers, consumers or writers and MS was happy to oblige. Also with Samsung having spent $10billion in marketing in 2016 clearly MS won't compete in that arena (rightfully so) for phones.  
  • And to think that around 2014 things in Europe really went well for WP, despite Cortana, Bing and whatnot MS services have been embarassing here in Europe. ....but MS seems to be blind on that eye.
  • MS only focuses on US. You can tell that most of its features are US-only. Some of them, funnily enough, actually WORK outside the States if you simply change the region of your device. I wanna love W10M, I really do, but MS at this point can go eff themselves.
  • In 2014 we had a sweet OS in W8.1 where everything worked beautifully, a hard road ahead but persistence beats resistance.
    Now, 3 years later we have a fugly OS with hideous hamburger menus, have lost lots of functionality and fluidity, canned all things mobile and are left with an absolute cluster fk and reboot 84 is on it's way.
    MS couldn't organise a half price sale at a brothel
  • Daniel, i know i rub a bunch of you the wrong way with the angst i have for the way Nadella addresses things and the way he twists his words, but thank you...you have done a good job of stating exactly how I feel. I've been saying forget the biggest problem is the CEO's refusal to stop speaking in code. He rarely mentions what the Mobile strategy is, and when he does, there are five article on here all getting a different message out of it. He needs to stop. No one trusts someone that is so completely vague and dodges the elephant in the room.
  • "I've been saying forget the biggest problem is the CEO's refusal to stop speaking in code." They all do that, no matter the industry. Not to bring politics into this, but I believe that is part of what brought Trump to winning the US presidency; he was not politically correct. He didn't use a teleprompter all the time, and he said what he actually thought instead of what was politically correct. I realize there is a time and a place for "speaking in code", but there is also a time and a place for being brutally honest and open, even if it hurts.
  • Yeah this not knowing business is driving me nuts. Just tell us, this silence is hurting MS more than hitting us with the truth. Should the truth mean they are out of the mobile arena, so be it, we will move on.
  • I suppose if full Windows 10 will work on a phone sized device with x86 emulation you could just boot up an Android emulator and have the best of both worlds... 😉 But, yeah, agreed that Microsoft need to tell us what is happening with mobile at Build next month. If they don't give us a reveal it's probably time for even us old faithful to start moving on, alas!  
  • I think someone mentioned why something like Bluestacks wouldn't work on this. I cannot remember why though. But where there's a will, there's a way. Honestly, I've thought a few times that one of the biggest advantages of W10ARM would be the potential for tweaks and hacks for those willing to poke under the hood, similar to how it is on desktop. (Of course, with this comes with the potential security issues you see on desktop too, unless they manage to lock down the OS further.)
  • What I would really like to know is what do YOU meaning you media who report on these builds actually do to help keep the masses informed? Think that reporting that yet again MS offers little to their future strategy with regards to mobile helps anyone? GET UP and ask question after question at these builds until these presenters give a proper answer. Nadella is the CEO when he comes out, jump all over his ass if there's no definitive answer or direction. We're tired of you reporting the same year after year and how do we as users simply leave when as said they keep sending out updates and upgrades to the OS. Do your job and ask the necessary ?s for the benefit of those you're writing these articles for.
  • Counting the number of times I (or we as a site) were given an opportunity to interview Nadella: 0. For the record, lots of times we do ask people and the answer is usually a canned "We're committed to Windows 10 Mobile and our phones users..". That's my point here. They don't give answers when asked.
  • Ok understood. I also believe the wrong questions or requests are being asked. I wonder instead of asking about when is the 'Surface Phone' going to be released, what should be asked is how will MS improve the mobile OS to be on par with IOS and Android. When the OS gets there I then think that any question regarding a new device would be better served. The OS makes the phone not the other way around. A device can have all the bells and whistles but if the code causes reboots, battery drain, poor pic taking, slow UI transitions etc then it will fail no matter how great the device spec wise is. OS 1st all else 2nd.
  • Are you "friendly" with anyone in MS that would do an interview at all?  Also,  I feel for you at times Dan,  Dealing with people like me...ha ha!
  • At the risk of possibly being asked not to return to another Build conference, has anyone called them on such a bullsh*t answer? I have not been to Build and so I don't know what the environment is like, but I'd be curious what a bold, blunt response to their lack of response might be.
  • But here is the question I want Dan, Jez, or anyone to answer:  Do you really think, based on the history of what we've seen, that the market can support 3 fully realized and supported mobile OSs? Because while people keep saying 'well it was missteps that lost the smartphone market', I'd have to disagree - I don't think, based on what Microsofts brand relationship with the general public, and especially with younger, more tech-savy influencers back from 2009-2012, that there was ANY way MS  was going to seriously compete, at least in the US. And yes, while it would have been nice if you could build mobile OS success abroad, it wouldn't matter- the developers who make the apps consumers want or need, are in the US or focus on the US market. They pay attention to the flagship phones and OSs, and who is buying them. Even at the height of sales, that was not WP. So while WP7 was fun, and new, and the integration features were so cool, unfortunately it didn't realize being pro-consumer also meant being anti-business for all those services that they were trying to integrate, and so were never going to get support for that. Facebook doesn't want people's photos sent to a aggragator in a OS, they want people to use their app!  Likewise for all the other integration points, that sounded really cool, but in the end didn't appeal to consumers and turned off the companies that they needed support from. I also always hear people say MS didn't market mobile- and that's rediculous. They spent huge amounts of money and tried every way to get word out to customers - the huuuge event they had in New York City where they made a giant windows phone, with the people in the live tiles, etc. They had cam newton and a bunch of other celebrities. They tried a whole campaign just on the 1020 camera. Nothing worked. The public just doesn't see MS as a consumer electronics company. And that was just magnified by the horror stories of retail people refusing to sell people phones, or mad mouthing the OS. In the end, there was no way this was going to succeed. In fact, the only way MS could have succeeded post iphone?  Is if they bought one of the main carriers.
  • "Do you really think, based on the history of what we've seen, that the market can support 3 fully realized and supported mobile OSs?"
    For awhile, it seemed it could. Microsoft and even Nokia a bit here made mistakes though. It was like threading a needle, it's hard and they didn't get it right. I agree now that a "third way" is impossible, unless you reinvent the category. That's fine, say you want to do that then and "we'll have more in 2018". Literally, that would be enough for some people. They need to stoke the fires a bit.
  • "Mobile" or "Mobile-capable" OS? Yes. Smartphone? No.
  • "Do you really think, based on the history of what we've seen, that the market can support 3 fully realized and supported mobile OSs?" A few years ago I would have thought so, but it doesn't appear that way. Supposing WP would have taken off, I believe either iPhone or (more likely) Android would have fallen rather than dividing up the pie three ways. For one thing, the mobile ecosystem is based on apps, which of course is up to developers. There is no advantage to a developer to be forced to create three apps to cover the entire market when it can be done with two. Now, they produce an iOS and Android app, and they have virtually 100% of the market covered. If WP had flourished, and the market share was divided three ways, they would need to produce three apps to get the same 100% coverage. Desktop is even more lopsided. The OS in second place is at about 4% market share.
  • The problem with Windows phones is and was that there are no consumer apps. Current examples: Uber Driver, Snapchat, Super Mario Run, Mobile Strike, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, CapitalOne. Why would people buy a phone that can't do anything but run Office, check email, and call/text? It's like owning a gun without bullets or buying nice plates and silverware, but not ordering the food.  I say all this, though I am a fanboy. I've had Windows CE devices (anyone remember the Dell Axim X5?) and Windows Phones back before smartphones. The problem has been no consumer-oriented features that flow with the pop-culture of the time.  Blackberries were the rage because everyone wanted to type on querty keyboards with their thumbs. Where were Windows Phones? iPhone became the rage because it had a touchscreen, then exploded into every app you could envision. Where were Windows Phones?  Microsoft needs to get into the game by pouring their money into app development for UWP instead of waiting for other to do it. They need to pay more than Apple and writte their own.  Then, they need to identify a trend, like video and live video, and jump on that with a hardware and software and service solution. Look at what's on Facebook, more and more videos, more and more live-streaming. What does YouTube offer, Red, in other words, more on-demaind video, see what you want, when you want, on the device you want, not waiting on TV to air something. Popular apps? Video oriented. Feed the people what they want, Surfaces, Phones, and other form factors (7-in. tablets, holo-lens, etc.) with video and augmented reality to comsume/create video in new and better ways.  But if Microsoft doesn't include a phone form factor in their plans, then what the bring to market better be completely culture shifting, because a great tablet and Office software will never produce a market leader again. 
  • Honestly, if you are at the point that you feel MS has to make their intentions clear in order to give you faith to stick it out with the platform then you should probably just pack up and move on. They indicated when releasing the 950/650 that those phones were released for the "fans". I suspect they will run the course of the support term with those phones, learning/refining their mobile factor interface and then move on to a ARM based C-shell hybrid type device. As such MS really just needs to continue refining the UWP foundation and push small form factor PCs. Whether or not consumers take interest in such a device, who knows...
  • As an analyst though and someone who is interested in Windows in general terms I think Microsoft's answer to smarpthones is crucial for its success. They're ignoring it now. This isn't just me wanting a phone, it's all connected to how UWP and Win10 is going to expand to more than 500M devices.
  • The issue is MS doesn't currently have a viable hardware/OS solution to compete in the mobile market. The market as a whole has decided that outcome for the time being. As a fan of W10M that sucks but them are the breaks. My view is they have to come out with a killer small form factor PC which excels in a few key areas. E.g. Creatives productivity , ect.... Said product will also have telephony but that will not be the main focus of the device. The message is hey look we do these x number of things better than anyone else, and oh yeah you can use this as your communication device as well. Regardless if they release such a device W10 is going to breach 500M devices. They just have to keep promoting UWP as the programming platform going forward and continue to build on it.
  • I agree its not crystal clear if their future in mobile is Windows Mobile or now Windows 10 on ARM. Based on the lack of FEATURE updates to WinMobile since Joe Belfiore took a break last year my guess is WinMobile is in maintenance mode and Windows 10 on ARM is their plan for mobile devices running Windows. If that frees MS up from needing to update 2 operating systems and manage 2 distinct app stores then I think it's the right move. They still will need to heavily promote these device usage scenarios if they want them to gain any traction.
  • The mobile space is an area that Microsoft cannot afford to ignore. It doesn't need to be a smartphone, but it needs to be something. They cannot hide behind the cagey "mobile" term any longer. It will eventually get to a point that even investors are going to second-guess purchasing stock or holding onto existing stock once even the not-so-tech-savvy begin seeing where the future lies and that Microsoft seemingly has no game plan for it.
  • I agree with this article 100%. But can you imagine the hate they would catch if they did take that apple approach and tell everyone what they plan to do? It would likely backfire on them. 
  • Dan, thanks for the great article. Combined with the recent similarly-themed articles from Jason and Jez, Windows Central is really forcing Microsoft to say or do... something. Huge thanks for using your position and influence to do so. I have been a loud defender of Windows 10 on mobile (and still a fan of Windows 10 on my aging Lumia Icon on Verizon). And frankly, the evedince the Microsoft is committed to some sort of mobile solution is strong -- UWP, Windows 10 on Arm, the Xamarin purchase and full integration into Visual Studio, the Store, One Core, just to list some of the big investments that really only make sense if MS intends a strong presence on mobile (~phone-sized and communication-oriented) devices. On the other hand, what they're doing for customers and the direct messaging to the marketplace certainly seems along the lines of: we tried, we failed, and now are we're cutting our losses. As you point out Dan, that would not be an unreasonable position. Chasing a failure can burn a lot of money with a negative ROI. But how do we square these two seemingly contradictory positions -- huge strategic investments that only make sense with mobile as a goal with all communications on product development suggesting there is no such thing happening. My best guess, but it's nothing more than that, is: 1. Microsoft is working on mobile (the investments just speak too strongly about that) 2. Microsoft doesn't want to risk tipping its hand to competitors so doesn't want to announce what's coming next until it's nearly ready to launch 3. What they're working on is not going to run on existing hardware, so Microsoft also doesn't want to hurt sales for HP, Alcatel, and Wharton Brooks in the meatime. That still neglects the concerns that you, Jez, and Jason have raised brilliantly: A) it's vastly harder to win new customers than to keep existing customers, B) without some presence in mobile, UWP has little purpose and so it fails, in turn making the app gap worse and worse and making any future re-entry harder, and C) silence is turning even dedicated fans (including me) sour and negative on MS. And if loyal fans are driven elsewhere, that loyalty is likely to go with them to their new solution, meaning many probably won't come back (at least not right away) no matter how good the solution is. I'll throw one other point in here: the optics of the whole situation and marketing perception are further colored by Microsoft's treatment of Band, Kinect, promise to upgrade all Windows 8 phones to Windows 10, and the whole Nokia acquisition. All recent activities that started with huge promise, then, when the market didn't react with instant enthusiasm, Microsoft cut and ran. Most casual consumers don't care about these when making purchase decisions, but the entire tech media and the fans who follow this stuff all know about these. This means that for the influencers, the most important people to keep as advocates, Microsoft has a track record of abandoning rather than persevering. That means they need to do more to hold customers than they would otherwise. That's the hidden long-term cost to jumping ship as soon as the waters look rough.
  • Thanks, and good points. I definitely agree about tipping their hand, which is why Surface-stuff is so secretive. At this point, however, I think if they just got on stage and said something about Surface and cellular people could ride that for another 12 months. They'd still get new phones (Android or iOS), but at least analysts would know that Windows 10 has a future on more than just laptops and tablets.
  • Yes, totally agree. Just give us some guidance, some indication that you're actually planning a mobile device, especially so that developers know if it's worth the investment to do a UWP version. I'm trying to make that decision right now for a system we're working on. If there will be a mobile option, then it's a slam dunk to do a UWP version, but if not, then nor worth the learning curve on Xamarin.
  • I think the point to take here is that Microsoft needs to seriously invest in some marketing and PR. And I don't even mean 'buy this product' but more 'we're discontinuing this product and this is why and we're sorry.' The Band 2 is a good example of this. 18 months ago they were pushing it heavily on stage, with all of their new partners, etc. and then a year later, poof, gone. At least explain to customers why. At least explain to customers their options. At least give the impression they give a sh*t. I understand that sometimes, it just comes down to money. But when you've invested millions in a product already, and are about to drop it, and are the size of Microsoft, at least have _someone_ take the time to communicate this better than just removing the web page for the device.
  • And, just in case they actually DO say something sensible at Build, there needs to be some interim solution for people whose hardware needs replacing.  I have been stretching myLumia 920 beyond its useful life in the apparently vain hope that UWP and a suitable phone was just around the corner.  Since there is no Win 10 phone avaialble for me to buy with the robustness I've enjoyed from my Lumia 920, I'll end up with an insecure user-unfriendly Android device (no way I'm going with a piece of fruit).  And that will be the end of a 40 year loyalty to MS.  :(
  • Every Windows Phone user wants to say to Microsoft; go f..k yourself. We have bought so many Windows Phones and Windows Phone apps from the store. We support wp as much as possible. We talk to our friends about wp in order to bring more customers to the platform and what Microsoft does to thank us? They forget about us. They make our phones weaker and weaker. They don't give us a straight answer. They do nothing to bring more developers to the platform. All we hear is Microsoft now wants to make business phones, well, we don't care. Not everyone wants a phone for working, actually, 90% of the phone users want a phone just to text, call, use some social media apps, watch a movie etc. That's all. I love what Microsoft does with Surface, but they do absolutely nothing about Windows Phone users. I'm using wp for more than 5 years and instead of seeing progress, I see downgrade. I, now, use iOS and this OS is a beast, no lag, no bad apps, no nothing, everything works great. I have a L650 as well and I hate it. Why? Bad or no apps, reboots, missing features on notification centre. Do something to fix the issue Microsoft. Not for business users, but for normal users as well.
  • I'm frustrated, but I dunno if I'd tell them to go f*ck themselves. Though some days, I come close. ;) I agree though. We pushed the platform and clearly I don't expect to paid for such, but it would be nice to have some sort of support from the company. Remember when Microsoft used to have staff with the official title of Windows Phone Evangelist? That seems like forever ago. I received an e-mail a few months ago from Microsoft where they're looking into more local events and looking for people to host them, etc. and that's a nice step in general, but without anything coming out of Redmond to discuss, what would those meets entail? Waggling two-year old Windows Phones at each other while petting their Surface Pros? It's hard to get on board with a company that doesn't seem to care about their user base. And why would they? They'd see more return adding 25 more employees to the Windows Server team than 2 employees to the Windows Phone team. It's not pretty, just numbers. And horribly frustrating from a customer standpoint. But what do I know? While Microsoft had staff with the title of 'Evangelist,' I actually walk the walk.
  • Clearly MS's phone strategy is 'crapware' on Android ;)  (Crapware being defined as applications the developer pays the device OEM to ship on the device hoping the consumer will just use it.) 
  • I think rs3 will require new hardware and some new features may also come Alcatel and hp phones
  • It's really hard to tell. Honestly, I feel RS3 on Mobile is going to be another maintenance release rollup. Remember when RS1 first came out and RS2 was talked about? We were told that RS1 was more desktop-focused and that RS2 was the one to watch for Mobile. Seriously, read some of the articles going back that far. I did the other day and it's sad. I strongly suspect that RS3 will be the same. A few minor tweaks - maybe we'll actually get Night Light then - but basically a bug fix more than anything.
  • I wonder how many lower level microsoft employees that know something look at these on Windows Central and think, Man if only I could tell you.
  • With how few Microsoft employees use Windows Phone now compared to five years ago, they might already be telling us.
  • Nice article.  I would like to offer my perspective. Not as a Windows Mobile fan, but the exact opposite. I was very deeply involved in the Apple ecosystem for almost 10 years... since the original iPhone release. I have invested a great deal of money in Apple hardware from annual iPhone upgrades, iPads, multiple Macs (both laptop and desktop), and Apple TV. Then something happened in the last year. Complete frustration as an Apple customer for so many reasons. So I began to look at the other side, something I had not done in almost a decade. I built a high end Win 10 PC and joined the Insider Fast Ring, purchased a Spectre x360, subbed to Office 365, cut ties with iCloud and migrated to OneDrive and moved all my email and calendar to Outlook.com. I'm very pleased here. Speaking with plenty of people, I know I'm not the only one to make the move back on desktop. But as you stated Dan, the obvious obmission is mobile phone. I want a Win phone badly, but not in it's current state. If they don't speak up on this front soon, MS is really missing a huge opportunity here. If they don't, they will miss the chance to steal a large amount of disenfrachised Apple customers like myself.
  • It is frustrating for me because I did similar to you over five years ago, including the switch to Windows Phone. I was so fed up with Apple despite being immersed in their ecosystem for over a decade that I purchased a Windows PC, Windows laptop, and Windows Phone. Now, I feel like an idiot for doing so.
  • To be fair though with the exception of Windows Phone the rest of the Windows eco system is very much alive, well and a pleasure to use. Its just mobile that is lacking.
  • re Minx Shoals:  Exactly my experienve.  Over ten years i tired of "innovation" that was merely making iOS devices thinner ever year, as well as the aggravation of having to stay on top of both iOS and Mac OS.  And, i became bored with the whole 4 x 6 iOS UI. Last year in a fit of pique, i gave up and switched my world over to Windows 10.  Now rely on a desktop, HP Spectre X2, and Lumia 650 XL and 950 XL.  Once again, after many years, I fell in love with Windows up and down the line.  Along the way, I endured Mr.Softy  scrwing me over on my Surface and Surface 2 RTs.  The rollout glitches.  Second trimester abortion of my desired Surface Mini.  And, the apparent abandonment of hope for a future for Lumia.  Oh and the foolishness of a Microsoft Samsung S8.  Still, I don't regret making the change.  I love my Lumia Windows 10 Mobile phone!! I want a Surface phone that will run x86 apps.  Why is it so hard?        
  • there's no device
  • That's 100% fine. Then Microsoft should get on stage and say "we're done with cellular smart phones and here is how we plan to get Windows 10 on to another 500M devices" Because right now, there's no damn strategy to do just that. They are not - let me repeat NOT - going to sell 500M new PCs. So how the hell does Windows 10 actually, you know, grow? I think you missed the point of what I wrote. This is not actually about phones, it's about the future of UWP and Windows 10.
  • Not just Windows, but Microsoft. If desktop numbers plummet at the rate they are, you're going to see Microsoft selling server OSes, cloud services, and Office on the cloud, and nothing more. They could sustain themselves, but they'd be a shadow of their former selves.
  • Well, that's basically the current state of affairs.  In their latest quarterly report, the word 'Windows' was barely mentioned.  The entire story was: Office subscriptions, Cloud and servers.
  • It's such a depressing state to see, given how powerful they were as I grew up using their desktop OSes and earlier mobile OSes. :( I hope we're missing something obvious but the chances of this lessen with each day.
  • Things in technology change from decade to decade all the time. In another ten years, some other new company we haven't heard of yet will be the new world-beater, leaving Microsoft/Apple/Google/Facebook in the dust.   And so it goes. When I was growing up, *Atari* and *Colicovision* were the video game kings.
  • IBM 2.0 
    ROFLMAO
  • Based on my reading in the financial press (WSJ, Financial Times, Bloomberg) the growth of Windows 10 and Windows in general is no longer a part of the company's profit/growth strategy.   The new growth is in Office subscriptions, Cloud storage (here, Amazon is their largest competitor) and server software (that runs in all those vast server 'farms'). Consumer plays like autonomous vehicles and VR (even though Microsoft dabbles in it) are deemed out of their purview.
  •   ***(Urgh, double post...) Based on my reading in the financial press (WSJ, Financial Times, Bloomberg) the growth of Windows 10 and Windows in general is no longer a part of the company's profit/growth strategy.   The new growth is in Office subscriptions, Cloud storage (here, Amazon is their largest competitor) and servers. Consumer plays like autonomous vehicles and VR (even though Microsoft dabbles in it) are deemed out of their purview.   I even see Nadella eventually selling off the Xbox division to a Samsung, LG or to a media conglomerate like Disney. In short, they're basically turning into IBM.
  • A major component of the "Cellular PCs" announcement with Qualcomm was that Snapdragon chips come with cellular built-in. They didn't make an announcement about "phones," but it's not much of a leap. I do think Windows 10 or the UWP store will make it to another 500M devices since many businesses still haven't upgraded to Windows 10. Most businesses plan to upgrade in the next 2 years. I don't understand what the concern is at this point.
  • Me thinks the time is ripe for some serious conspiracy theories!, since no one knows anything really (and it's friday). Maybe what you said about there being no visible strategy for Windows 10 growth holds a clue in it. Maybe people just can't see the forest from the trees. So my conspiracy theory is that MS has given up on, not just mobile, but PC as well. For example there's a suprisingly big ammount of cut out features in both mobile and PC Creator's updates when compared to the earlier announcements. The final update builds are just minor enhancements. Especially on PC the update doesn't seem to evovle the os anywhere, when looking at the state of things one would expect a much stronger push. We are quickly getting close to an era in mobile phones where these ARM based devices can be used as a pc when connected to a bigger screen. This (read: Android and Apple) might come and take the cake away totatlly from MS with their Windows. Hell, there are several people in my family for example who could live perfectly happpy with a continuum phone as their "PC" right now.  
  • ""They are not - let me repeat NOT - going to sell 500M new PCs." They won't?  Last time I checked PC's are selling around 250M+ a year.  So 500M will happen in 2 years.  What are we missing here?   On top of new PC's, business are starting migrations in earnest this year (<3y/o HW getting upgrades to Win10, plus all new PC's provisioned with Win10).  Gartner states 50% of all business will be migrated to Win10 by end of 2017, and 100% of business will migrate by the end of 2019.  That should easily get them to the 1B mark then in 2019. None of that helps with mobile (unless you count the 2-in-1 stuff, which is catching on more and more in biz), but I don't think they have much to worry about on the desktop/laptop PC front.  
  • Hopefully, someone from Microsoft is reading this article and takes notice. The least they can do is, put their loyal supporters out of misery by speaking up. Selling S8 in MS stores is a very strong indication that Windows Mobile is done, gata, finito. Next is iPhone MS edition.
  • Apple already released the iPhone MS edition a few years ago where every second release of iOS required you purchase a new phone "just 'cause."
  • Making myself clearer, selling iPhones in MS stores.
  • Regarding developers who are making UWP apps but excluding Mobile when they generate the app: The system should automatically generate a mobile version with a good default interface. If a developer wants to not publish for Mobile, it should be more difficult for them to do so. The default should be to publish for all devices and they have to do extra work to exclude any.
  • ...and then developers will see 1 or 2 stars review in store, because "interface is bad, slow, etc". At some point it might result in pretty small benefit and result in more awful hit for platform, developers and users.
  • At the very least, it would suddenly give some developers an out for some legitimately bad apps. Not a good thing.
  • I've always wondered how much money does any dev lose in making a Windows phone app alone side the ios or android version knowing the $$ from both ios and android should be enough to subsidize the Windows app.
  • Its not good business to throw profit away subsidising an app for a failing mobile OS. That's not the way business works.
  • Oh I wish it was as simple as just leaving the "Windows 10 Mobile" checkbox enabled when publishing.
    They managed to sneak in incompatibilities in the UWP meaning that while the UI will simply get squeezed into the smaller screen with more or less luck in usability, some other calls even as simple as dialogs with 3 buttons (typical yes/no/cancel choices) will work as expected on the desktop and crash on mobile because it's limited to 2 buttons there. Most apps not designed for mobile will simply crash unexpectedly because they failed to make the API truely compatible and developers didn't invest the time, and extra code path, to adapt to these nonsense differences. What good is it to have the same MessageDialog method if you need to check the platform you're running on and then handle the call differently for mobile?
  • Hear hear!!
    All actions from MS regarding mobile over the last year are self destructive. I still believe the market was ready for windows mobile in December of 2015. Lots of android and iPhone users around me were ready for the switch. And then MS released the crappy 950 and the barely finished windows 10. Some android and iPhone users that actually made the switch returned their 950 crying and went back to their old phone. That was the beginning of the end, from there on things have been going downhill. I don't believe MS believed in windows 10 m and the 950 when they released them. The market did, but MS did not. The people pushing the buttons at MS where to busy playing with their Iphones.
  • Next month?  How about today!  They better not be abandoning this.  I loathe the idea of going to iOS or Android.  It's like going to Windows 95 and having to deal with icons on a desktop wallpaper.  I want my live tiles.  Of course, I wish I could put my dual monitor computer into Tile mode on one screen like I could with Windows 8.  I love not having to interact so often with my computer.  I want it to feed me information without me having to go look for it.
  • Couldn't agree more with this article! Good stuff!
  • They are still updating the platform, which I am starting to feel nothing more than a false sense of hope that there is a future for the mobile. Nothing else is really happening - no new phones, apps, etc. and I am starting to feel foolish for continuing to hang on. I am literally mocked for still using a Windows phone. It is really frustrating to me being onboard with the mobile platform and having used a number of different models over the past several years supporting the platform and getting nothing back in return. I had even convinced friends, family and coworkers to move over to Windows mobile only to see them leave soon because of lack of apps and other functionality they had with iPhone and Android phones. Apple seems to be losing popularity and Microsoft seems to have been gaining ground with some really impressive devices in the Surface family. It seems like to opportune time to take advantage of this shift and really push back into mobile. Knowing that Microsoft has the ability to step up their game and make this work is adding to the frustration, but the effort has really been pathetic, especially recently. I feel like I need to jump this sinking ship, but I really have no interest in iPhones and Android devices when all of my other devices (PC Laptop, Tablet) are all Windows devices.
  • They're moving away from Windows Mobile apps and feature updates because they're going to put full Windows 10 on ARM devices. Once these devices are out what purpose does Windows Mobile serve?
  • I also agree!! I am so ready to flip the switch on a new high end WP but I've put on the brakes just because I'm not sure where things are going. I was ready to order the Alcatel 4S but couldn't press the "Order Now" button. My main question was; will Alcatel up firmware. I really think that transparency from Microsoft on WP's future is needed before to many abandon ship and it sinks.
  • Either tell your fans that Mobile is no longer your priority or tell us there is something on the horizon.
  • They certainly started to do that at Winhec by demonstrating Windows 10 running on ARM. When you see that demo you have to wonder what would be the point of continuing to work on something like Mobile Continuum? If you can run the full OS on ARM and emulate Win32 who the hell needs Continuum anymore?
  • Anybody with more than a few years working in their careers knows that "There is a plan for 'x'" means that there's nothing more than a Wild Ass Guess and throwing spaghetti against a wall to see what sticks. If there really was a plan, it would already be implemented and integrated into the overall efforts and focus of the company.
  • You're right. Despite the recent innovation. Nobody's talking mobile.
  • These kinds of articles are somewhat common now; I consider Daniel an important player in the Windows Mobile story and if he himself starts to doubt Microsoft's resolve in regards to Mobile... We're in trouble.
  • Yep. Good editorial/opinion piece. 
  • Thanks for this but, he's what Microsoft is going to do, they are going to say "yea we are keeping it" but, not doing anything to help the consumers by supporting it.  They will just keep people dragging along and just ticking off their loyal fans. 2-3 years from now after release maybe 2-3 models from 3rd parties, they will give up and cancel it or come out with something completly different with a few billion to promote it and when they DO come out with a new device, all current devices will be kiled off so no updates for anyone.  
  • My assumption is they're developing Windows 10 on ARM for all mobile devices. It will be used for phones, headsets, laptops and anything in between. We probably won't see a Surface Mobile device until 2018. Windows Mobile users, especially Insiders, are going to continue to get core OS updates as we have for the past year. I would not expect any feature updates as Mobile is seemingly deprecated in light of Windows 10 on ARM. I would love for Microsoft to announce support for Windows Mobile apps on Windows 10, but I doubt that will happen. If they haven't done so already Win Mobile developers should update their apps to UWP.
  • If MS honestly has a plan for Mobile, what could possibly be the point of nearly letting it die only to have to drag it's dead corpse out of the grave and dramatically bring it back to life?
  • Thanks Dan for the firm talk. I walked up to the same store where I bought my Lumia 625 in 2015 and all Lumia's were dead. Most were still running windows 10 below and even people who worked there already left. The Nokia assistant declared to me point blank, saying he'd moved back to his parent company - Nokia, blanking out Microsoft. No phones in the market, old phones are dying, flagships gets update and they are running out too. Yet everyone comes out event after event smiling at our faces with new concepts. What of windows 10 mobile? Silence. It hurts. Not for the fact that it keeps core fans silent amongst friends who uses other Os's but because what we love is being stripped off off us without a word from the same people who sold us this love way back. It took me a long time to get a windows phone - just because I love it. I run windows 10 on my 625. I don't receive updates anymore and I've only updated once. This was from CYAN to DENIM to being a windows INSIDER. All of us, having similar stories, just for the OS we love. And then we are being blanked out. It's so disheartening. Sometimes I feel those guys just marooned us. Never seen someone from Google or Apple using some device else, oddly see people from Microsoft themselves using their own windows mobile flagships. So sad. So much for the suspense, they'd better speak up... Soon!
  • Totally agree with this article. I just want an answer one way or the other. I love Windows 10 on my Lumia 950. I think WP has incredible potential. But they need to do something with that and actually support and push the platform forward. I don't want to give up on WP if there's something great on the horizon. But I don't want to stay on WP if MS has no interest in supporting it and growing the platform. The core WP fans are being put in a state of limbo. It's not cool. MS needs to tell us what they have planned or tell us to move on.
  • Totally agree with the core article. Why doesn't Dan just phone Satya up? I'm sure he's got an inside line. Or does Satya have WPCentral's # blocked on his iPhone?
  • "New phone, who dis?"
  • Very well spoken. I agree entirely. However I find a little bit amusing how the Windows 10 Mobile fans expectations (myself included) in regards to Microsoft's actions have lowered. If a year ago we were asking for new great devices, now some of us could be satisfied with just a PowerPoint presentation coming from Microsoft and giving us hints about what Microsoft plans to do with Windows 10 Mobile.
    But then again, I couldn't agree more with the author of this article, Microsoft needs to set things straight and send a clear message. I think they had enough time to clarify what they want to do.
  • I wish someone of the tech writers who go to the Build 2017 conference has the BALLS TO ASK Microsoft"'s CEO will or will not Miicrosoft sell it's OWM Windows 10 mobile smart phone so Windows smart phone users and fans know whetther or not they should continue to wait for the Microsoft to bring out their new model of a Windows 10 mobile smart phone. By Microsoft holdinng back saying they will or will not make their OWM Windows smart phones or phones Microsoft itself is holding back the sales of Windows 10 mobile smart phone. People want to know where to buy them and who is making them. if Microsoft is just going to make the software and no Hardware then I will buy an HP Elite X3 others will  buy Windows smart phones from other Microsoft OEM partners 
  • He said last year or so if no OEM build Windows Mobile 10 phones MSFT would build those phone.... Where are those phones, Nadella ?
    LOL
  • Bravo!  Time to fish or cut bait, Microsoft! 
  • Microsoft push for Windows phone has been pityful.  I really enjoy my 950xl, but know it would be even better if there were more phones for developers to sell apps to.  The environment and OS as a whole is solid, slick and efficient...much more than android. So, why has Microsoft, who is making pressure to force people on Windows PC's to purchase exclusively from a store, letting this mobile line die off?  Very poor marketing for such a large, powerful, company...perhaps they wish to become the next "netscape"?  If decisions do not improve, they will inevitably become past history dominated by Apple and Google.
  • Personally I think Microsoft on mobile is quite brilliant at the moment. Of course I'm not talking about Windows 10 for Mobile but my Galaxy S7 Edge running Arrow Launcher with all of Microsoft's Office suite and OneDrive. All Microsoft need to do is release Edge and Continuum for Android and all will be well in the world.
  • Honestly, if you don't see Windows in whatever form factor it's on as a mobile platform, you will just never get it, no matter what they do and the problem isn't them it's "you" for being dense and unimaginative... 😑
  • I live in Brazil, where Windows Phone was still more popular than iOS (due to Apple's prices) until last year. However, when you talk to Microsoft employees, they admit it, neither they are using Windows Phone (or Windows Mobile, or whatever other name the OS has). I'm actually surprised someone is still using, because let's face it, those smartphones that run on Windows Mobile and are sold here are completely outdated, not competitive, and a complete waste of money, Android competitors are doing much a better job. I used to like WP since version 7.5, but I'm much happier with my Xiaomi Redmi 4 pro.
  • I guess Microsoft has abandoned the phone strategy.  Instead, they are trying a "top-down" approach by pushing Surface & Surface-like 12"-13" tablets.  Why does Microsoft position Surface as a tablet?  They want people to use it outdoor - the mobile space. I saw more & more people using 12" Windows 2-in-1 tablets in the past 6-12 months.  The progress seems encouraging.  Hopefully when 12" tablets become a real hit, Microsoft will push 10", 8" tablets.... and finally 5" - 6" phone.  I see mobile / desktop as a spectrum instead of clear-cut, disjoint spaces.  As long as people are willing to bring their Windows devices for outdoor use, they are in the mobile space. But Microsoft has not done a good job to make Win10 users engaged in using their 2-in-1 tablets - lack of quality apps is a big problem. If you ask me, is there any hope for Windows Phone right now?  Absolutely zero chance.  Tablets?  Yes, still have at least little hope. Microsoft must work 1000% harder in order to restore their mobile market share back to the 2-3% level.
  • For me no need to go further with WinMob. I left after being an exotic Windows phone user for many years and ordered an Android phone yesterday.
  • I did that too. Then I ended up back with WP after 1 horrid year with Android.
  • I happily paid just £140 from CeX for a Lumia 950 with a 2 year warranty so I'm sorted for a while now with a spare to keep me going with Windows Phone until it is no longer possible. An advantage of the unpopularity of Windows Phone I suppose.
  • People are hanging..just pull the plug!
  • Surface Pro 1, Surface Pro 2 and Surface RT didn't had success, however Surface Pro 3 changed everything, its very popular in business users and Surface is a billion dollar business thanks to Microsoft hard work and resources dedicated to this platform. But I think Microsoft never had a chance to build Surface Phone for business users, due to long relationship with Nokia which didn't let Microsoft do their own stuff.  Panos Panay should impress the world with Surface Phone 1st generation. I'm pretty sure it won't beat Galaxy S8 since OS is not capable of running wide range of apps Android does, but for business users we might get good news that this phone is able to run x64 apps and that will make DeX station obsolete on day 1, but if Microsoft doesn't launch the Surface Phone with x64 apps, they still have a chance to do it in 2018.  What is not fair for Microsoft is to say that Smartphone is irrelevant, the smartphone is very relevant in 2017 and it will be in 2018, 2019 and 2020, what is becoming less relevant unfortunately is the PC.
  • It's over, done and finished. I'm switching to the S8+. I've given Windows phone plenty of money and attention. As I'm becoming a developer in unity Windows mobile isn't worth the trouble.
  • Galaxy S8 for early adopters trying to do desktop work is going to be a big dissapointment if Windows on ARM gets launched in 2017 and Surface Phone is able to run Photshop and AutoCAD desktop apps natively inside your phone. Snapdragon 835 is very capable CPU, and this is still an advantage the Galaxy S8+ doesn't have.
  • Nobody is going to be running AutoCAD or Photoshop on a phone. Those are professional software programs used by people with dedicated hardware. Those programs certainly don't be inciting mainstream growth.
  • Maybe those 2 programs I mentioned are not very popular, but I imagine millions of developers installing Eclipse, Visual Studio or old school editors like Notepad++, Vim now being able to do all their work on a phone connected via Bluetooth to keyboard mouse and monitor using HDMI or VGA with Continuum. Most developers that require mobility could care less about carrying their laptop around and take their phone at home when they go to office and plug it when they visit a vendor or are presenting a demo to customers.  The big issue on Android and iOS today is that they don't have developer tools like Windows or Linux.
  • Yes they will. That is where it is going if not this year, next year. You can definitely do Photoshop and AutoCAD if it run full Windows Programs if you do have 6 or 8GB ram and the other potential specs. What are the requirements for Photoshop (Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon 64 processor, Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1, 2 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended), 2 GB of available hard-disk space. Or for AutoCad (Microsoft® Windows® 10 (desktop OS) Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Update KB2919355 Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 CPU Type 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor Memory For 32-bit AutoCAD 2017: 2 GB (3 GB recommended) and 6 GB of space. Tell me why it cant? The computers that ran the first versions of AutoCAD and Photoshop were a lot worse in power than most high end smartphones today. Sure you can have a more powerful machine in the office but you can run the full program in your mobile with a dock, absolutely. 
  • A resounding amen to this article! This has exactly been my thoughts on the whole thing. I love the platform but if there is no future plans then the least MS can do is say so. I live in Caribbean, Jamaica, and where I work is like a sea of android devices and a few die hard apple fans and each time a take out my Windows phone I have to be on defense or have a pretty good argument as to why I've chosen this platform, this i don't mind doing but since lately I've been wondering if I'm fooling myself; I feel I'm more passionate about the platform than MS. This became more of a realization recently when the Samsung latest phone launch. Hey I understand MS first of all is a business and business 101 is to make a profit. However I know in order to have a sustainable business you need a good customer base and you have to service that customer base - good customer service is key. In saying that MS need not only to listen to the needs of their customer's THEY NEED TO PROVIDE FOR THAT NEED OR BE REPLACED BY A BETTER ALTERNATIVE WHO WILL PROVIDE THAT NEED. MS, I'm still rooting for you despite all that's happening, disappointed 😞 as I maybe be but I'm optimistic that you'll turn the proverbial table,i just hope it's sooner rather than later, and you need to address your fan base as well.
  • I've come to appreciate your very even handed reporting on all things Microsoft. I'm almost a little surprised you have now kind of jumped on them. I agree with what you have written. As a fan of many things in the past, a fate worse than death was being dragged along in the dark only to be dumped like trash. I think MS owes me information on the future of truly mobile Windows. That way I can choose the direction I want to go in. It could save me money and headaches in the end.