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Microsoft WILL address mobile at Build — but not how you expect

To say that being a Windows phone fan is a roller coaster ride of expectations, disappointment and emotions would be an understatement. We've rested our hopes for the platform on things like Windows Phone 8, the Lumia's 950 and 950 XL, and Windows 10 Mobile.

We got excited, but when things actually got worse as more developers left the platform and market share plummeted (predictably given retrenchment), frustration and disappointment returned in earnest. Many fans just couldn't take it anymore.

Is the Windows phone fan community of loyalists imploding?

A steady exodus from the platform to Android and the iPhone has ensued. The "app gap," no new first-party hardware, limited OEM support and silence from Microsoft about its strategy regarding these issues has crushed the faith of many of the faithful.

Still, those fans who remain are hoping Microsoft will let us in on what's next in mobile. Most fans would love the full scoop but would be content with a sliver of legitimate news to ignite a spark of hope. Most analysts are not expecting an outright disclosure from Microsoft about its plans for Windows 10 Mobile, nor am I. It is, however, inevitable that Microsoft will talk about Windows on mobile in some form or another at the Build developer conference later this week. You will just have to listen very closely.

But isn't Windows phone dead?

Windows phone is dead – again. So claims the internet, social media and everyone inclined to join in on this quarterly ritual of echoing the platform's demise. This particular round of articles, tweets and comments have been fueled by Microsoft's disclosure on its most recent investor's call (opens in new tab). First-party phones are not producing any revenue. That's what happens when a company stops producing a product in a particular market though.

After the Lumia 650, Microsoft stopped making first-party Windows phones. Consequently, revenue from first-party Windows phones fell and will continue to fall. This isn't news. It is a logical progression of the information we've had for months.

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However, Microsoft is still actively developing Windows 10 Mobile. The platform is still available to any OEM that desires to use it as part of its mobile strategy. Admittedly, OEM support is not what Microsoft or its fans hoped it would be when Microsoft announced the retrenchment of first-party smartphones from the market two years ago. But there is some OEM support.

Additionally, it seems that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has reconfirmed an earlier, but as yet unfulfilled, promise to make Windows phones even if no OEMs do.:

"We make phones today, we have OEMs like HP making phones and others and we picked a very specific area to focus on which is management, security, and this one particular feature that we have called Continuum, which is a phone that can even be a desktop.[And] we're looking for what's the next change in form and function.What we've done with Surface is a good example. No one before us thought of 2-in-1s, and we created that category and made it a successful category to the point where there are more 2-in-1s coming. And that's what we want to do. So when you say we'll make more phones, I'm sure we'll make more phones, but they will not look like phones that are there today."

This assertion refutes the erroneous claims that Microsoft is done with mobile on first-party phone hardware. Fans looking for just a sliver of hope about Windows phone's future may have gotten it before Build even kicked off. This is by no means a claim of future success, nor the present health of the platform. It is, however, evidence of Microsoft's resolve to continue with its mobile strategy via the development of its mobile platform on first-party hardware.

Why Microsoft might not talk explicitly about Windows Mobile at Build

What we presume will be Microsoft's continued silence on the specifics of Windows 10 Mobile at Build can be interpreted in two ways. Some see it as an indication that Microsoft has absolutely no idea of what direction it is going with mobile and therefore has nothing to share. The company's fumbles in mobile and the current state of the platform lend some merit to this interpretation.

Conversely, some interpret the company's silence as a reflection of intentional secrecy about what Nadella referred as an "ultimate mobile device." This too has precedence. For instance, the Surface and HoloLens were well-kept secrets until the company was ready to present them. Additionally, the company is still actively developing Windows 10 Mobile with the goal of remaining technologically relevant with ARM and cellular on mobile devices.

Both conclusions can be argued and supported, though I am more inclined toward the latter interpretation. The point here, however, is one upon which advocates of both positions can agree: Microsoft will be relatively quiet about the future of Windows 10 Mobile at Build. Still, Windows on mobile is likely to be on the agenda.

Windows on mobile

Microsoft has consistently asserted that it has not given up on mobile. It's worth pointing out that the mobile and the smartphone spaces are two different things. Something can exist in the mobile space but not be a smartphone. The image below bears this out. There are devices in that mobile segment that are not smartphones.

Tablets, 2-in-1s and laptops all exist in the mobile space, and Windows runs on all of these devices.

Last December, Microsoft announced Windows on ARM, which will make its debut on a range of cellular PCs in the fourth quarter of this year. In my estimation, these cellular PCs will be the harbingers of a cellular-capable ultimate mobile device or ultramobile Surface with telephony.

Windows on ARM brings Microsoft's ultimate mobile device vision into view

Pieces of the whole

There is a continuity of variables that Microsoft is working on that will ultimately contribute to the company's mobile strategy. Windows Chief Terry Myerson asserted that the company's continued focus on Windows 10 Mobile's development for the investments in ARM and cellular it provides.

Those investments will certainly be borne out in part with the cellular PCs coming later this year. Full Windows on always-connected PCs also provides the peripheral benefit of an incentive for users to visit the Windows Store to replenish mobile data.

The providing of mobile data is also part of the infrastructure Microsoft is building into its mobile strategy. By providing the mobile platform, OEM devices (and maybe first-party devices at the company's devices event in China on May 23) that are always connected, and mobile data, Microsoft is constructing a comprehensive mobile platform to facilitate its mobile strategy. Added to this is the company's focus on bringing Win32 apps to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) via Project Centennial, which modernizes the desktop experience for the current static and mobile personal computing experience.

It is within this context that I deduce that Microsoft will launch an ultramobile Surface with telephony via eSIM. As a PC first running full Windows, Microsoft will be pushing this telephony-enabled device into the mobile space, not the smartphone space. It will benefit from Microsoft's investments in cellular and ARM, the infrastructure of distributing mobile data to users, and with Continuum, facilitate the use of Win32 apps brought to the UWP via Project Centennial.

Any discussion Microsoft has about cellular capabilities in Windows 10, its strategy to provide cellular data to users, Windows 10 functionality on ARM, and the company's strategy regarding Project Centennial (and the other app bridges) bringing Win32 apps to the UWP, are Microsoft's discussing its plans for Windows on mobile.

Windows 10 S, Continuum and Project Centennial

I recently argued that Microsoft's ultimate mobile device goal is to create one device that handles all of our personal computing needs. I proposed that Microsoft would want it to be our desktop when connected to a monitor, mouse and keyboard via Continuum; a laptop when connected to an HP Lap Dock-like peripheral; and a tablet and phone with Cshell, possibly with a folding form a factor.

Window 10 S breathes life into the UWP and paves the path for the Surface phone

For Continuum to provide a real desktop experience, legacy Win32 apps need to come to the UWP. I argued that Windows S, which allows only Store apps, may in time (as OEM Windows S PCs increase in popularity) provide the incentive developers need to bring their Win32 programs to the UWP.

It is a process, and it has varying levels of complexity depending on the app. Windows is still being updated with supported APIs (though I am told substitute APIs can be used), but the goal of Project Centennial is to make Win32 apps full UWP apps. Within the context of Windows S, cellular PCs and Microsoft's mobile strategy, we should expect a big push of Project Centennial at Build.

Only Microsoft knows what it has in store. But unless we are surprised with an unexpected level of candor regarding Microsoft's mobile strategy, I would advise anyone watching for any mobile news to keep a sharp eye out. You should pay close attention to Windows on ARM, cellular capabilities in Windows, Project Centennial, Microsoft's providing of cellular data, and Windows S.

Read these:

If Microsoft doesn't kill at Build 2017 the Surface phone may be dead on arrival

This is what must happen first for Surface phone to succeed

Is early 2018 too soon for a Surface phone?

Why 'Xamarin is the future of Windows Mobile

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

  • Thanks for reading folks! Microsoft has been an will likely continue to be quiet on the explicit details of its mobile strategy for the immediate future. But that doesn't mean the company is not talking about its mobile strategy at all. There are many factors that contribute to Microsoft's mobile plans and an eye on the big picture allows us to see how those separate variables contribute to that whole. A short-term view limited to a desire to simply see a new device or hear a detailed expression of the company's view in one shot will cause many to miss the factors such as ARM and cellular, cellular capabilities in Windows, Microsoft's providing of cellular data, the role of cellualar PCs, improvements to Continuum, and Project Centennial that are all part of Microsof's mobile strategy. Well folks...LET'S TALK!!!
  • Jason, you don't have to tell us there won't be any new W10M hardware.....Satya has already shown us very clearly : )  
  • Of course there will be - don't be such a troll...
  • I'm not trolling, but I have to say I'm finding the majority of Jason Wards' articles a variation on a theme. 😐 Can we please have something else? Anything really, because it's getting quite tiresome. Microsoft is a company that covers a huge range of services and products, surely there's something else to talk about?
  • The title was pretty clear on the subject matter. You were not tricked into reading it. 
  • You act as if he's the only editor here.. 🙄
  • I happen to use Windows Mobile as my main phone and I am interested in anything that has to do with Windows Mobile. 
  • I used too up until a couple of weeks ago. Then my Lumia 950 starting having issues and it was sent out for warranty repair. Also, my Lumia 650 will not open the Garmin Mobile app correctly, it almost always crashes even with a wipe and redo. I am now on a Honor 6X and that is just the way it is, as much I would prefer it too be otherwise.
  • Love the upbeat note. One thing to pick you up on, tablets over 8 inch and laptops are NOT part of the mobile space. For example, a pocket TV is something you can watch whilst mobile (thanks to Sir Clive Sinclair), a portable TV is not. Yes, you can carry it to another room or building and get it going, even on a battery in your caravan, but you can't be mobile whilst actually using it walking around or at the bus stop or in the pub etc. You have to find a spot, with a seat and no weather, ideally with a desk too, before getting down to it. Portable, you can take it somewhere else to use it, but not mobile, you can't use it when actually on the move. You can't use such even on the bus or the tube, just too crowded. No good in the car as a nav aid. Only really on a train and even then too much of a faf for most (and risk of damage). Better to use an 8 inch tab (or the knackered old works lappy of course). Referring to these things like 10 inch plus tablets and laptops as if they are practical to use whilst mobile in the stead of a phone form factor is misleading. These form factors are appropriate to very different usage and to merge concepts when you know users need to differentiate is just going to confuse. When MS impress us with something new to replace the phone form factor (come on hololense the size of Google Glasses...) then you can claim mobile disruption. Not yet though, not yet.
  • This is the most British thing I have read in some time. Well done.
  • Watching TV no matter the device makes it difficult to be mobile. Most people who do watch TV on a "pocket" tv do so when they are either trying to keep up with their favorite programming or they are simply killing some time but they do not do it while being mobile. A screen that folds up from say a 10 size is much easier to watch TV on than one that is only a 6 inch size.
    As far as something new to impress might not actually be a fantastic new device with all kinds of bells and whistle but rather a device small enough when not needed that lets you do what ever you use a computer, TV, or phone to do will be the next big thing in computing, calling, or enjoying a show that is easy to carry around and keeping you in contact constantly if you want.
  • I agree with you. I even say that the 6 inch would be a more anatomically correct limit. Let’s not forget that a few years ago Microsoft itself said that they won't build smartphones bigger than 6 inch. I don't see myself walking around with an 8 inch tablet in a bag and with a Bluetooth headset in my ear. And it is out of the question to actually have a phone conversation on an 8 inch tablet while on the move, on the street.
  • Great article! It's honestly been very difficult to visit WPCentral lately, especially the last month or so. It's obvious that Microsoft is investing in so many areas that an ultramobile pc with telephony ultimately depends on. However, the standard rhetoric has been so extremely negative and depressive. Don't get me wrong, I think that kind of attitude is warranted. It's obvious that Microsoft is NOT interested in making just another "smartphone" and based on their current focus, they are yearning for something beyound the curve. Does it put us in a difficult position as our current devices age? Of course! However, I have no problem waiting a bit longer for true innovation. I mean, we've all made it this far...
  • My hope is some sort of ultramobile PC with eSIM and with any mobile data purchase, you get x months free of a skype phone number (depending on the size of the data you purchased). I'm not 100% up to date with eSIM technology, but if it could also switch between major carriers easily, that'd also help, even if the data you purchase has to be tied to a particular tech. I don't mind purchasing a bunch of data that would work on T-mobile and a little bit of data that works on Verizon, simply so I can use my phone while at work (only verizon really works here).
  • Dual sim already does this. All esim does is make it easier to move the sim/s between devices I guess.
  • eSims (embedded SIM) are built into the device and not remoevable. They can, however, be programmed for any network provider without having to swap physical SIM cards
  • Ah, so not even as flexible as a sim card. Well, I'll stick with traditional sims then as they can be pretty easily swapped between devices. Unless you mean I, as a user, can reprogram my esim and so move my 'virtual' provider details (or virtual 'sim') to another device? That's kinda what I meant by easy to transfer sims. Moving the electronics themselves between devices was not really what I was suggesting. But if you mean locked down so only the provider can transfer (at a large cost no doubt) then no way will I ever buy in to that. That's tech for the phone companies against the customer and is anticompetitive to boot. They can stick it.
  • I'm curious as to if you simply have two devices with eSIMs if that'd be easier than swapping a SIM card though?
  • More expensive.
  • IPhones have these alot.
  • Dual SIM has some very serious issues though. That is why I had to dump my Lumia 950 XL in favor of dual iPhone 7's. I had 2 SIM cards, both AT&T. Unfortunately, the second SIM could only access the 2G network, which AT&T turned off on New Year. So effectively my dual SIM phone was a single SIM phone. Unless both can access the LTE network, it's not a practical solution.
  • Why did you have to dump your 950XL for 2 iPhones? Could you not have kept the 950XL and bought 1 iPhone, or bought a second 950XL or 950? Just curious.
  • There is no reason, I have 2 Sims from the same company and they both work.
  • That's a phone limitation it seems as the elite X3 supports 3g and 4g. Luckily my 2g network is still up (Rogers Canada)! Hopefully stays long enough until the next dual sim phone with dual LTE maybe! :)
  • So the ultimate mobile device could be a Surface Courier which is based on the W10 S, eSIM, CShell, Continuum, foldable screen and support 5G.  It would run W10 apps, Win32 apps and web apps (progressive?).  That works for me.  :-)
  • Nobody ever addresses the fact that those repacked store apps (at least for some time most will be dropped straight in and not moved fully to UWP) won't run on the phone screen very well at all. Nobody wants to use the desktop Spotify etc. on a 6" display. Also Mobile apps that SOME people say they need like smart home apps, smart car apps, Snapchat aren't available on PC as Win32 anyway so most new and hot apps won't be easily portable. I don't use a lot of those things and W10M is really good for me personally but nobody addresses this concern, ever.
  • It's not being ignored, it's just that not every single concern can be addressed all at once. Win32 is the biggest and fastest way to close some of the app gap. Once it starts shrinking, it'll be easier to address other concerns. We can't expect magically to close the app gap directly on the phone. UWP was supposed to help but without something like W10S, there was little motivation to switch. You're not necessarily wrong about your concerns, it's just not a dead stop type of concern. It just can't be addressed as directly as people seem to want.
  • It is highly likely that the next generation of Windows mobile devices will be compatible with T-Mobile. Microsoft, HP and Alcatel have made it a point to stay away from CDMA certification, so, I don't expect anything new for customers of Verizon Wireless, Sprint and US Cellular until each provider upgrades to 5G and closes off their existing CDMA networks.
  • What's a "Warditorial", Jason?
  • Jason.... Are you gonna do a follow up article defining your perception of what you think point to MS's future in mobile after Build is through?
  • Maybe Microsoft can come up with the next phase of mobile. One that will wow people back. A device that can hook easily to a full fledge desktop by just docking it.  I prefer using my 640 over my Galaxy S7 as my daily ride now, imagine if it had all the regular windows programs able to run on it.
  • Won't most average consumers still miss all the hot new apps that come out though? The "app gap" seems to be something most people cite as a big issue with W10M still and getting desktop software will be good for legacy stuff but there's already better UWP alternatives for most software other than Photoshop, Development tools like VS and for some who don't like Edge, various web browsers. It would be great for many but for most who are already happy with their iPhone they still won't want to switch over because they won't get the next Pokémon Go, Snapchat or Air BnB apps and all that junk. There's tons of people who don't need that but it's crazy to say just being able to run legacy apps will bring users flooding to it - It's a tough situation because for a lot of consumers you need those hot apps BEFORE they will switch because they won't give them up, but to get more traction more users is really needed. I'd be excited for such a device, I just think people assume it will be more popular than it will. WP fans will love it but will most other people? I also think they would stay focused firmly on Business users like they have stated publically is the case with W10M now
  • If there is to be a new smartphone or a foldable UMPC that can be a smartphone, I doubt /BUILD// 2017 is the venue to show it. /Build// is a showcase for developers. If MS shows off CShell, Cellular APIs, exposes Skype APIs, improve battery management APIs, extends UWP with better Cellular/Skype supports, specifically the handling of Cellular events in Desktop scenarios (there are some already but not enough I believe), shows off API for conjoined screens (split-screens, not just multi-monitor), then we KNOW MS is serious about making a Surface Mobile like the Courier or that device in the MS Future videos. Even then, RS3 is months away so don't expect this device to be shown on May 23 as well. Keep the fire burning Jason! :) But I wouldn't get my hopes up. As usual, I'd update my blog to predict MS next big thing if /BUILD// 2017 does throw up something exciting. :) Alternatively, BUILD could also be about developing for Hololens 2, which could be the device MS is pushing for the next phase of mobile. And THAT will disappoint a lot of people looking for the mythical Surface Phone.
  • The name Intel has been bandied about as a company "working closely" with Microsoft on what is assumed to be the Surface Phone.  Something that most people don't know/remember is that Intel were one of the earliest - possibly even the first - company to license designs from ARM.  They later dropped support to focus on developing their own low-power chip solutions that would be X86 compatible. That failed - which was one of the catalysts for Microsoft subsequent failure in the mobile space.  Could this new device be the reintroduction of Intel back into the ARM sector?  Could it be ARM but with some low-level support for Windows on ARM emulation?  There are several different levels where emulation can take place.  If they are doing the emulation at the lowest silicon level that would be a surefire winner.  Full-fat Windows on ARM with little or no latency?  Hmmm.
  • I quite like the background of your start screen in the article. Could you please share a link to that image?
  • That would explain the newsletter I received about 90 mins ago :)
  • Well folks...LET'S TALK!!! there is nothing to talk afther MS phone is dead!
  • Trolling fail. You replied to the wrong comment, dude.
  • WC welcomed in a bunch of trolls.. It's ridiculous... Now, how are we gonna get rid of them?
  • That??
  • OK, this.
  • Yea, I 'Asked Dan' about that, he must have prodded the guy who presses (or should press...) the go live button.
  • Haha!
  • Why can't MS just come out and say WTF they plan to do with "Windows Mobile" ? Why all the coded language about "mobile" "partners" etc.? MS you havr your own mobile platform, crap or get off the pot. Kill it or fully support it already. And please for the love of god talk about it one way or another.
  • I'm sure they can't just kill it for contract reasons. If they just canceled it tomorrow, they would be on the hook to their partners, such as HP, for contract breech. I firmly believe that they are just letting W10M fade away and when the stated contractual obligations are done, there will be no further support. They will try and transition everyone over to a Windows on Arm device, in whatever form factor they decide. I just hope there is enough people around at that time to support it.
  • a decent reason was provided in the article. its being kept secret, like the hololens or surface. that's reason enough for me. it explains why they keep trying to push 'mobile' but not 'windows 10 mobile' itself. they're just pushing the part that will still be compatible with their future vision, while not saying exactly what that is. edit: typo
  • I can understand maybe Hololens as an example, required specific development. The Surface - no just a Windows tablet. No special need for support from the development community. I like my Surface, nice system, but I don't get the earth shattering nature. Microsoft could do a lot to keep developers and customers by making just a clear statement that they are committed to the phone market. To me this smacks a lot like RT, fully supported, then complete silence and nothing for a long time. Finally they very quietly said it would not get UWP. Never a big deal for me, I paid $99 for a 64GB RT with Keyboard at TechEd. Was always a poorly designed system, but for $99 I did not care, something cheap my kids could play with back in 2013. Silence is not always golden. No one expects Microsoft to reveal future phones, but a simple statement that they will be moving forward in the phone space could help a lot.
  • To me, the biggest clue was dropping the Band. That tells me they arent just pulling out of phones, but they have resigned themselves to desktops and enterprise only - at least for now. There will be nothing mass consumer oriented. Cool business niche devices, maybe, but nothing for most of us who have been Windows Phones fans.
  • "but they have resigned themselves to desktops and enterprise only"
      And they're pushing for developers to go UWP which can't even access SQL Server directly.
  • SQL Server The Microsoft SQL Server client library is built into .NET Core. You don’t have to use an ORM, and can instead go directly to the metal and talk to a SQL Server instance or to an Azure SQL database using the same APIs from the System.Data.SqlClient package. You can use SqlConnection & SqlCommand to directly query. You don't have to use EntityFramework.
  • Mate, I think I clearly mentioned "UWP" and "SQL Server", no Azure?
  • I expect them to be business as usual which means, they will tell us nothing at all well keeping us in the dark, as usual. All the while, they are killing off the platform well pretending otherwise. Wait? Are you saying they are not going to do that?
  • I am now using an 8" Windows 10 tablet for my calls. I pay for Skype with Bing Points. I bought a Skype phone number, so people can call me on Skype. I started this, this weekend. Have not used my cell phone since. I am looking forward to an even smaller form factor this fall. My cell contract is up in November, and it looks like I may actually go without cellular. I mean, $39 for a Skype umber for a year, versus a cell phone bill every month. I am now texting from my tablet, too. Where I live, Wi-Fi is pretty much everywhere. The only shortcoming, which, depending, could be a positive, is no Wi-Fi while driving. Plus all my calls, so far, have been crystal clear.
  • How does that work when away from WiFi?  A tablet would not receive a call when off or has no network.
  • It does not (to quote the OP: "The only shortcoming, which, depending, could be a positive, is no Wi-Fi while driving. "). You are missing his point: if platform does not support specific function, nobody needed that anyway. If you go read forums you will find a lot of examples of this attitude: AmEx discontinued the app for W10Mo -- I am not using this card anyway; people insist on the messaging platform which is not supported on W10Mo -- let's not talk to them...
  • It would if it can take a sim card. Problem is all those devices (in the UK at least) seem to be Android? I tried hard to buy a good priced robust 8 inch tablet with 4G sim in the UK that ran Windows. Ended up having to get the L950XL instead. Perhaps that's what Satya means, he's going to invent a small Windows tablet with a sim slot! I'd be a customer for that, but I kinda think Apple and Google are somewhat ahead of them again...
  • does anyone know if Shanghai  has citywide wifi? The scenario above may hint at why there is an event there this month...
  • Jason Ward, they either have a plan or they don't, they will either tell us or they won't. Basically, if they do not let us know what is going on, we will have to spend our money else where. After all, how can we spend on money on something that does not exist?
  • How can we spend money on something that doesn't exist? Ask Whartonbrooks.
  • Say it louder for those at the back: There 👏 Is 👏 No 👏 Surface 👏Phone 👏
  • Hey, did you hear that, there's gonna be a Surface Phone!
  • Funny... You only talk about Win32 and Centennial... where are the other bridges (mainly Islanwood) for the zombie UWP ?
    Man....why I keep commenting here ?
  • Because the focus is on the desktop right now? They're getting the push that needed to be done awhile ago honestly. They need more people to use UWP. Windows 10 Mobile has a minimal audience. Win32 is an *enormous* audience. Getting those guys into UWP will ultimately help W10M in the long run as those apps slowly go full UWP. Its the path of least resistance. I know you want Windows 10 Mobile to be a major play yesterday, but its an uphill battle due to many past bad decisions. They need a strategy. Focusing on Windows 10 Mobile with the size and state its in right now is silly no matter how you look at it. I still won't give up my W10M phone though.
  • Please......enough with these articles........please.
  • ^
  • another article that contains a lot of carb and no fat.
  • Carbs are good for slow burn of energy and long term stamina. Your analogy is fitting for an analysis such as this which has a big picture and long-term view. As long as folks are looking for simplistic statements from Microsoft at this point such as, "This is our phone and this is our strategy" anything said that gives insight that doesn't match that desire will sadly be missed.
  • Or, conversely, one could take the view you're just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic? Long term view or short Jason, without any facts it's all just pure speculation. Muddying the waters with long term views of Windows on arm tablets etc means nothing to the current user. They want to know where the stand, after two years of not knowing where they stand. I cannot blame them. Also, all the talk about cellular tablets. How do you make a call? Receive one? The phone form factor caught on for a reason.
  • @scaramanga89 Waters are not muddied by my analysis including Windows ARM tablets, 2-in-1s and laptops. Those are Qualcomm based OEM cellular PCs confirmed to be coming to market the fourth quarter of this year.
    And, no you won't be making calls on those, except perhaps via Skype, as they will not have telephony. You will, however, be able to purchase data via the Store.
    Now, my analysis describes these devices as the precursor to ultramobile PCs with Continuum and telephony that will benefit from the investments in cellular and ARM, cellular PCs provided MS.
    You would make/receive a call on these pocketable devices just as you do on your current phone.
    Will it be foldable as patents suggest? Who knows. Nadella has confirmed a new form and function however. We'll have to wait and see. Whether folks are tired, pessimistic, optimistic, sarcastic, frustrated, happy or satisfied - MS is going to do what they are going to do.
    As a writer, and a thinker I'll continue providing analysis as to what I believe thier strategy is. An analysis, you should note, is not a profession that that strategy will succeed. It is a presentation of what that strategy is believed to be.
    Furthermore, I'm a Windows phone fan and user since Windows Mobile 5.0. I would like explicit information from MS as well. Realistically speaking however, we're not likely to get it at Build (unless for some reason they surprise us).
    Thus, I thought it prudent to help fans such as myself to read between the lines, hear what they're not saying by looking at the components of the mobile strategy that MS WILL likely talk about.
    That shiny smartphone we all carry runs on ARM, uses cellular tech, many have Continuum, runs UWP apps, etc. Without those things our phones are empty shells.
    Thus, development in these areas, ARM, cellular capabilities in Windows, Project Centennial bringing Win32 to UWP, Microsoft providing data via the store as part of mobile infrastructure and more are pieces to the mobile strategy that may be talked about separately but not assembled for us by MS as the cohesive whole we want. But a little critical thinking about those pieces could give us a part of the picture.
    Nadella recently confirmed MS will make phones, just not with the form and function of what's there in market now - his ultimate mobile device.
    With that in mind - listening carefully to the "pieces" that go into a mobile device and strategy could be helpful in getting a picture of where MS is going in mobile in the absence of a full disclosure.
    I'm not "rearranging the chairs on the Titanic", I'm trying to raise the level of critical thinking, attention to detail and perception of the bigger picture for fellow fans in an environment where every detail, at least for now, won't be handed to us. That way we can hopefully still get a tidbit of the mobile vision we're hoping to recieve.😉
  • This is just fanboy fiction. For ex eSim, do u think MS has what it takes to drive mass adoption? It takes years for them to bring out their stuff to markets outside US so surely esims will be DOA.
  • Oi! Why'd you nick my profile picture Mr Terd? That's just rude. I'd rather you didn't, please. I've been using Penfold on here (and elsewhere) for years, and you don't even have the good grace to use an alternate version? That's very poor form. You should be ashamed. ADDITIONAL: Thanks for switching. Much obliged.
  • If you're using the W10 app, this is a bug and happens literally *everywhere*... you won't be alone, I too have had a to quickly edit a post like this having a go at someone who I thought nicked my avatar. Easy mistake to make. But yeah, if you look through the comments on this app, you'll see avatars in the wrong places, often duplicated so they're seemingly possessed by multiple users.
  • I have no idea what u are talking about
  • Take it easy there heavy metal d ick
  • That's what I wanted to hear. Phones not as they are today. Phones today are at their peak. They can't go anywhere except slightly better yearly hardware speeds. I feel no need whatsoever to upgrade my 2 year old phone. For what a bit more speed???? A screen that goes to the edge of the device????? Really???? For £700??????
  • Better battery life and connectivity.
    Comparing my 950XL and Pixel XL is not even possible with the old microsoft hardware and software showing its age.
    Slow snaps, slow charge, slow resume, slow apps. Slow slow slow.
  • But its not worth £700 upgrade. A phone from 2 years ago is absolutely fast enough. My apps on my Lumia 950 load in a couple of seconds. The camera is good and it fits in my pocket and makes phone calls just like the galaxy s8. My friend upgraded his galaxy s every year. But for the first time he just went sim only. And kept his s7. Because the improvements are just not worth the extra £750. Not even close. It's still a 6" device with a touchscreen using the same OS he has now. It's no different. The current mobile tech is stunted. It's maximised. We are surely on the brink of progress. Wherever that comes from. The mobile industry feels samey and boring now. A bit like PCs did by the end of the 90s.
  • PCs were stale by the end of the 90s and yet they haven't been replaced today. What makes you think mobile is bound to be replaced so soon? How do you improve upon the current experience? That isn't going to be easy.
  • If companies would just focus on bumping up speed then we could update once they get significantly faster. Just like most computers. Problem is, they artificially obsolete them by moving to a new app platform every few years (well, MS does) which is not even to boost sales as MS aren't even trying to sell us any phones. It's a puzzler.
  • What staggers me is the journos here actually thinking MS has the nouse to pull this off, the constant talk of being ahead of the curve or creating a whole new and importantly successful market segment is totally delusional.
    They have totally fked up mobile for a decade, how can anyone think they can suddenly make it happen?
    Happy to be proven wrong, love WP but I think whatever they bring/if they bring to market will be too little too late.
    They just don't have their s h i t anywhere near together well enough to make any decent impact no matter the form factor sadly.
  • n m, EXACTLY!!!!  MSFT has screwed everything up at the consumer level for years!!!!  XBOX was a fluke!  Someone had compromising pictures of some decision maker or MSFT had the stones to stay the course.  Those days are over. Bad decisions!  No staying power!  Bad decisions!  Terrible messaging!  Bad decisions! If Apple or Samsung/Google were smart, they would say that they are working on a new form factor, even if they aren't.  People at the consumer level would hold off on jumping to MSFT.  Why?  Because the consumer will be confused about what MSFT is saying since there messaging is so bad.  The consumer knows that MSFT will act slow, make bad decisions and won't have the staying power to keep with their new form factor.  Apple & Samsung/Google will silently thank MSFT for coming up with a great idea that they can't execute on. Rinse & repeat!
  • Exactly, the platform has been repeated examples of broken promises. Microsoft called the 950 family "for the fans" and basically told us that means "we hate the fans" as they skimped on build quality and went high on the price, among other faults. Now, the whole "make phones is no one else will" is met with utter silence for more than a year. There's nothing to talk about until a phone is ready. I'm currently waiting to see what HTC has to say next week about their next phone. I'd like to go with OnePlus, but they might honestly take too long (since reports are an announcement isn't until June, meaning we might not get a release until July). Sadly, Microsoft has abandoned the market at a time when Android hardware couldn't be less exciting, as LG bailed on innovation and cool features to make the Li'l Galaxy and Blackberry and Nokia went mid-range and worse and HTC went to dragging its feet, as did a nice Sony device that appears to be looking at an absurd price tag. There's finally a market to fight off the bland hardware that has crept in, and MS is nowhere to be found. Terrible time to be in the market for a phone.
  • Pixel 2.
    My Pixel XL is still blazing fast and smooth 6 months down the line. Never experienced that with Samsung.
    And monthly security updates are nice.
  • I abhor Google so much I've avoided Android this long. Definitely wouldn't resort to buying a phone directly from them.
  • I think Microsoft should apologize for the their many reboots of the OS and their half hearted work. It is their fault that the OS is dead. They treated developers and consumers bad. They should apologize and make amends.
  • I don't even care for amends anymore. Just say it. Phone division is dead.
  • Spazzmeister....PHONE DIVISION IS D   E   A   D     DEAD!  there ya go buddy!
  • Agree on both personal and business level with you... Personal - I have for the last few years spent allot of money for myself on flagships of Lumia devices and talked family and friends in switching and staying with Windows Phone/Mobile which has backfired badly as Microsoft has left me and them all behind by not investing enough into the platform and ecosystem as a whole. Business - Our company has been deploying Lumia handsets here in UK for the last few years and now clients are tired of them and refusing for many reasons starting from most basics to most advance, lack of apps and reliability issues is always on the top of the list then there is the issue of Microsoft suggesting is best to sign in with Azure AD accounts for these clients then when they do hardly any of the main services and apps sync, backup or work as intended without an Microsoft personal account! I personally believe everything we're going through with all these is from the previous CEO Steve Ballmer who played down the iPhone and online services also apps. Last week I had enough and switched to Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with Gear VR and cannot express how happy I am currently coming from Lumia 950 XL, the freedom of knowing I can do almost anything and also the actionable notifications syncing via Cortana to my Windows 10 devices is perfect therefore missing very little of Windows Phone/Mobile currently however must admit that getting more and more tempted to use none-Microsoft apps and services as there is so much more available with better designs also no Edge browser to use and Outlook app is not that great under Android currently therefore this is becoming rather dangerous for Microsoft long term as once people start switching to other mobile platforms they see the vast options and features and will not really think twice about going back. Just hope Microsoft truly has a long term plan as I would rather be on Windows platform and ecosystem though now starting to wonder why seeing everything is working perfectly.
  • Nice clickbait
  • How so? The content of the article is exactly what the heading indicates.
    It calls for a deeper and more thoughtful look at Microsoft's investments and the composite variable that contribute to mobile. Because the company is not inclined to disclose its full mobile vision, which I believe thier investing in, looking at those variables and how the company addresses those areas helps to get a view of the bigger picture to which they contribute- which of course first necessitates seeing the bigger picture.
  • Well an emphasis on "WILL" would suggest there is actually some confirmed news (inside source/leak), not just speculations.
    At least that's what I expected.
  • The title makes it sound like he has some juicy info about Microsoft's mobile plans for Build. Instead, it seems like he might have info that they are not addressing mobile at all. The article is just trying to spin it as a positive, getting people ready to be disappointed.
  • Actually @bleached the title is saying exactly what it is meant to say.
    To see it properly you have to consider what goes into "mobile". It's more than the pretty phone that's displayed with the attractive specs that excite.
    Particularly in view of what Nadella calls an ultimate mobile dcice and a confirmed goal to bring a device to market that does not have the traditional phone form or function.
    Clearly Microsoft is not ready to announce that device, but if they are indeed working toward it, the question then arises what contributing variables are going into that device.
    If you can then envision what might be some of the end attributes of that device, you can then look for what MS may be doing to get there.
    From what MS has said the device should be able to be our desktop via
    1. Continuum - So Centennial and Win32 apps coming to UWP is important.
    2. It will likely be full Windows on ARM - so word on development of Windows on ARM is important.
    3. The device is expected to be full Windows on ARM with **Cellular** connectivity and telephony - Thus word on cellular PCs on ARM which will precursor the ultimate mobile devices is important.
    4. Microsoft building an infrastructure where it provides Cellular data as part of its mobile strategy is also important - so word on how MS may be advancing that strategy is important.
    So, the goal of the piece is to point readers to look at the components that contribute to that device that we're hoping for, particularly since there isn't expected to be a cohesive message about the strategy.
    It is an attempt to encourage people to think a little deeper, beyond the handing out of information that will not likely happen and to employ a deeper level of critical thinking than usual about the available information on the components that make up the mobile strategy.
    That way we can see a more cohesive message than is being overtly delivered as we watch the messages being communicated on the compo ends of the strategy.
    This is why the title:
    Microsoft will address mobile - but not how you expect" is fitting.
  • Its a "Warditorial"...not everyone get's that Editorial's are opinion pieces.  And yes, it is fitting.  
  • I have no idea why you refuse to get this right, but I'll correct this again anyway:
    but the goal of Project Centennial is to make Win32 apps full UWP apps."
    Nope. The goal of Project Centennial is to help developers bring their Win32 software to the Windows Store. Such software remains Win32 software however. It knows nothing about the UWP nor does it use any UWP features (like UI re-composition). An app that doesn't communicate with the OS via the UWP API, that doesn't know anything about the UWP, and that doesn't support a single UWP based feature, is NOT an UWP app! However, Project Centennial does allow software to access both the Win32 and the UWP APIs simultaneously! This allows software developers to migrate their Win32 software piecemeal, rather than in one fell swoop. While that is great, making something "full UWP" sill requires a manual and complete top-to-bottom rewrite (a.k.a. porting from Win32 to UWP). None of that is automated, nor is it Project Centennial's goal to automate that.
  • Actually a 5cwnt as I referred Phillipw int the last piece I never said it was one fell swoo mor entirely automated I referred him and others to the video which shows a four step process, that takes time depending on the complexity of the app and the availability of compliant APIs. The desktop app convertor and Project Centennial are essential to this process however as confirmed by Microsoft. From a discussion with Microsoft yesterday : "Hi Jason, This is exactly the purpose of the Desktop Bridge: provide developers a path to make full UWP apps from their existing Win32/NET investments. The nice thing about it, is that developers can do so gradually. They starting by converting their installer to a Universal Windows app package and get the immediate benefit of modern deployment on Windows 10 - through Windows Store or other distribution channels of their choice. Next they can now modernize their existing apps with new Win10 APIs and features thanks using UWP. Overtime, they can move all their code to UWP compliant APIs and become a full UWP."
  • Then stop implying that conversion does occur automatically or in one fell swoop. You and Daniel have repeatedly stated that the desktop bridge converts Win32 into UWP software. It does NOT. In this article you stated it is the goal of Project Centennial to make Win32 software into UWP software. To me that still sounds like you are thinking of "UWP app generation or conversion". I might be misinterpteting that statement, but at the very least it is miles away from being clear and unmistakably correct. To be fair, MS' own portrayal of Project Centennial has occasionally been borderline dishonest. However, it's the media's job to seperate the truth from the marketing and to keep MS honest. You (WCentral, not you personally) failed to do that. The answer you got from MS and quoted is correct. It's saying exactly the same thing I already stated in my comment which you replied to. Project Centennial does give developers who have a Win32 app a (migration) path to creating a full UWP app. It does so in the same way a hammer provides carpenters with a path to making a house! The hammer doesn't build the house. It's just a necessary tool to get the job done. Project Centennial doesn't create/convert/generate Win32 apps into UWP apps. It's just a necessary tool! That's just absolutely not how you or Daniel portray the desktop bridge working however. Based on your previous reporting, I can only assume you didn't understand how the desktop bridge works and what it does (or you are intentionally misleading, as MS occasionally is, which I doubt). Anyway, thanks for the reply Jason. Despite my frustration with you guys it is appreciated. Lets see how the next article that mentions Project Centennial goes...  
  • Give them a break. Jason's articles are like fanboy fiction , getting excited by whatever MS says, I think the problem is that none of the editors have a development background so they struggle to make sense of these things for ex Jason's article on xamarin. Best would be that WC brings a developer consultant to help them out with these things.
  • @Techiez It probably won't make a difference, but I won't be giving them a break.😀 Anyway, yes, WCentral lacks staff with technical skills. I suspect such a person is just too expensive, but I would have thought MS would explain this to them in an honest fashion. From the outside, it looks like that isn't happening. ☹
    I still hope Jason can turn the trend around...
  • Automatic? Not quite. But for a large percentage of apps it can be done in let than an hour. Here's a quick video where they downloaded the VLC desktop installer from the web, converted it to UWP, added the proper icons and file associations in under 15 minutes while writing about 10 lines of code.
    While it may not be this easy with all apps (as Jason pointed out in the article), for a good number it actually is.
  • @RobbCab, yes, thank you for demonstrating how the topic at hand can be completely incomprehensible to some. I don't blame you. What you saw demonstrated was a Win32 app being brought to the Windows Store. That is what Centennial does. What we're actually talking about here is porting a Win32 app to the UWP. That is a completely different issue.
  • "To see it properly you have to consider what goes into 'mobile'". It's more than the pretty phone that's displayed with the attractive specs that excite." That's a really tired way to view things. We're not here for information on software on movable devices when we talk mobile and you know it.
  • Hi Keith it not a tired way to put it its the real way to put it. I know what you're here for, the same thing that drew me here as a reader. The reality is, and as I point out in the piece, we are not likely going to get what we want in relation to an overt disclosure on MS mobile strategy. What I have endeavoured to do, however, and what seems to be being missed amidst all of the cynicism and sarcasm is to provide a perspective that promotes a deeper level of critical thinking to actively listen to the messaging related to the components that make up the mobile strategy. If we do that within the context of what the ultimate mobile device is expected to be (see my response to bleached), the components of Windows on ARM, Microsoft providing mobile data, cellular capabilities in Windows, Project Centennial and Win32 apps brought to the UWP, Continuum and Windows S help to bring form to the message that MS in my estimation is not yet willing or ready to disclose.
  • Nadella uses an iPhone and has dumped WP like a dose of the pox.
    To now have faith in him to bring the ultimate mobile device to market and somehow be ahead of the curve seems to me to be very misguided indeed.
  • That's what I got from the title as well.
  • Agreed,  I opend it expecting some confirmed News on windows mobile...but alas,   just drivel!
  • Jason, this is what you guys have to deal with when you don't stick to your guns as a Windows/MS site for Windows/MS fans, and welcome in a bunch of self righteous iDroid fans, who aren't a fan of anything MS, rather just have a one dimensional view of one product MS makes because it's dominant in the market, and they have no choice.... They have no respect for this site, the editors, and the REAL FANS... THEY, will ruin this site, if you guys do not backtrack your thinking.. Because, when those trolls leave, and y'all have pissed off your real fans, you will have NOBODY.. Keep us here, the real fans. Muster through the rough times; don't cave... This isn't right. This is wrong. There's no way you guys can feel good about reading this comment section; a bunch of iDroid fans who care nothing about the product that is the reason this site is hear in the first place.... It's ridiculous, and trust me, by welcoming in these super trolls, it's a bad long-term plan... I'm telling you what I'm saying is the truth, and if you, Daniel, and Zack, don't change course,,, it's not gonna turn out well.... This is Windows Central.. Support your fans, or you'll have NOTHING!
  • You are wrong on that one. I know most of guy in here who were loyalist back n days and now they're not don't blame the site or anybody but Microsoft themselves. Anyone who was forced to switch due to device unavailability or any other reason might be hash
  • You're either stupid, or trying so hard to be sarcastic that you actually look stupid.
  • O.o
  • Bought Lumia 950 XL today guys. Cant wait to recieve the best Windows Phone on my hands!!!
  • Saying this is like saying I bought a new 8 track cassette player!  Cant wait to hear the sound quality and the compactness of the cassettes!
  • Corrected:
    Saying this is like saying: I bought a new 48" FullHD TV!
    Cant wait to see the picture quality on that HUUUUUUGE <Trump's voice> screen! My father just did that - the previous TV was 32" and HD Ready
  • Congratulations on getting the phone you wanted!!!! I am typing this from my 950XL via Continuum with a mouse and keyboard. I've been enjoying the 950XL since launch, it's a great phone with the OS that I want my phones to run. Have a great day!  
  • I got mine in Feb. Wish it had the build quality of the L930, but with a glass screen protector (Nillkin) and a fine Stilgut case it comes up nice. The L930 can go nude, but not the delicate L950XL. I think the days of Nokia build quality are gone, MS beat them up and sent them to take their legendary build quality to Google to make Android phones. I'm still not convinced that was a good move. Just imagine that cool L950XL with Nokia build quality and Nokia after care (drool...). What might have been...
  • YA think?  the days of nokia are gone the day nutella fired the entire team and shut down mobile deivces divison....
  • My 950 has noting but a replacement leather Mozo back cover.  My GS8 on the hand...locked up tight in a case. 
  • haha you are too funny
  • "No one before us thought of 2-in-1s..." What? Fair enough that they exploded the market for them, but neither the idea nor the first device was Microsoft, correct? I remember wanting a good one since the first Asus eee transformer, and didn't similar exist even before that? And consumers certainly wanted them before that, though with more robust specs than tablets had at the time. Maybe it was all a dream...
  • Also the 3 in 1 was in the market place before anything from HP and MS as was call the asus padfone!  It was awesome....the stylus had a mic and speaker in it too so you could use it as a phone receiver.   The phone,  fit into the tablet,  and then the tablet locked into the keyboard...ALL of which had a the keyboard laptop mode,  the device got over 17 hrs of battery life!  it was awesome!
  • " being a Windows phone fan is a roller coaster ride of expectations, disappointment and emotions would be an understatement" Yep it is,
    bcoz in other side u've got a totally inconsisenst and unreliable company - Whom deal with it's new and old customer as they were Dalit-.
    Even now with U.C. we see that side,
    Have we pejorated your phone -look ad feedbacks ( feedbacks are : my monies, my time, my electricity bills, my data bills..) - ? had u to go tru umpteenth H.R.?
    U shall be glad we still rool out out test on u, misbeaving guinea pig ! Thes are facts !
  • This is very simple. We won't hear or see of a Windows Phone until Windows is on ARM in full swing. It will be a Windows 10 S device and other than the most current hardware and sensors, that will be the "category changer". With this, it's not necessarily continuum, but simply a USB-C out that you hook to a monitor or dock for peripherals and it's the legit full Windows 10 S experience, with no compromises. 4GB device and all. Done. P.S. Maybe even an Alacantra back, but I don't want that. I think full in with Alacantra is going to be a mistake.
  • Does Microsoft have any plans that are not gimmicks? How about some solid improvements to the Windows experience?
  • Why start now?
  • Gimmicks = I don't get it
  • Windows 10S = Gimmick Bridges = Gimmick Centennial = Gimmick Even UWP is gimmicky. Instead of releasing a powerful new app platform they release one based on a gimmick. It is less powerful and more limited than W32 but it can scale to different screen sizes. That is a gimmick. Microsoft is relying on gimmicks to attract developers instead of creating a great platform to attract users. Figure out how to attract users and they won't need gimmicks for developers. They will be happy to create apps for any Windows device if the users are there.
  • 10S isn't a gimmick - it's a lower cost product meant to directly compete with Chromebooks. 
    The others aren't gimmicks either - they are technologies meant to help battle the app gap.  Just because you don't like it..and you don't seem to like ANYTHING they do, doesn't mean it is a "gimmick".  You say that they need to attract users and the fact is that to attract users, they need to have apps.  
  • 10S is definitely a gimmick. It is W10 Pro with an artificial switch that prevents you from installing programs. What isn't gimmicky about that? Through in a $50 shakedown and it is a sure fire recipe for poor feelings and a bad experience. Terrible idea. They didn't learn anything from RT. Does Microsoft really want it's customers to immediately feel bad about their laptop choice? People already don't like Microsoft. The other things are also gimmicks. You attract users by creating a great platform that they want to use. Then developers begin to support your platform, again because they want to. When has any computing platform ever successfully attracted developers before users through gimmicks?
  • The idea behind 10S is great, I'd happily buy one
  • You think it is great idea to shakedown your customers who just bought a new device? How does that not create a poor experience for people? People already dislike Windows, why hand them more reasons? Just make the switch free. $50 isn't worth the bad feelings and publicity 10S is certain to create.
  • Give it a year and see how the 3 'gimmicks' will turn out.
  • They will almost certainly bomb. UWP has bombed already, why would any of this bring users to the platform?
  • Great article! It's honestly been very difficult to visit WPCentral lately, especially the last month or so. It's obvious that Microsoft is investing in so many areas that an ultramobile pc with telephony ultimately depends on. However, the standard rhetoric has been so extremely negative and depressive. Don't get me wrong, I think that kind of attitude is warranted. It's obvious that Microsoft is NOT interested in making just another "smartphone" and based on their current focus, they are yearning for something beyound the curve. Does it put us in a difficult position as our current devices age? Of course! However, I have no problem waiting a bit longer for true innovation. I mean, we've all made it this far...
  • Ironically Windows 10 Mobile is the best its ever been. I tried ios(6splus) for a while and then switched to android(Lenovo p2) and now I'm back on my 950. It's so much slicker than android and a hell of a lot more interesting than ios. So I guess I'm here for the ride(again) until MS kills it or makes something of it.
  • Alcatel Idol 4S Windows with 3D support (a piece plastic for the phone included in the package)
    HP Elite x3 with a dock (or two)
    <information withheld>
  • Yeah it's great, I can't use my iris scanner, front facing camera, or GPS all because of different OS updates. It's like each update breaks something new.
  • 2 days ago i could block unwanted callers on my WM10 phone, today that feature is gone and I'm getting nuisance callers again, wtf?!
  • Odd, I'm on build 14393 and long pressing a number in the call list still gives me the option to block callers.
  • I think an important issue is that for people who have bought into the MS world, especially on mobile, there is a very real danger, and suspicion, that they will be left behind again. A new super device would very, VERY likely not be a new flagship phone like the 920, 1020, 1520, 950XL. It would be something very different and thus yet another let's-leave-everybody-who-uses-our-phones-behind. And that would suck.
  • To be fair, there are excellent articles around Mobile Nations sites on how to buy iPhone or Android-based phone and continue to use Microsoft's ecosystem. Microsoft has done very good job supporting their apps on the rival's platforms. 
  • Well that's exactly what the Windows on ARM thing will do, a while new system yet again.
  • There are devices in that mobile segment that are not smartphones.
    Sure, tablets, laptops, 2-in-1 are mobile. Desktops are mobile... sometimes. Heck, giving the right size of the forklift, mainframes are mobile... stop, did I just describe IBM's mobile strategy? :) Sorry, just could not resist...
  • You know, if my Samsung ATIV SE would last me another 3 or 4 years while Microsoft tries to "find them selves" as far a mobile goes, I would have stayed in the Windows ecosystem. As it stands, Verizon is supposed to be dropping 3g support in another year or so, and since my battery was starting to go, and with MS axing Win10 Mobile from even my "modded via registry" ATIV SE (since they are dropping support for most of the Nokia Win phones), I just finally said to heck with it and went to a LG V20. I absolutely HATE ANDROID, but I hate Apple even worse. That just goes to show how far down MS has driven is loyal customer base. I am to the point even if they did bring out a Surface Phone, with every feature I could imagine, I still wouldn't buy it for the simple reason I don't trust MS to support ANYTHING they bring out from here on. Going to Linux for all my computers, and for the time being Android for my phone. Seriously thinking of going to a dumb flip phone. I hate Android that much.
  • "hat just goes to show how far down MS has driven is loyal customer base."
    "hat just goes to show how far down VERIZON has driven is loyal customer base."
  • To start they will say "Windows Mobile is dead..." Silence... Boos.... "but, we are now going to push Windows for ARM" cheers. "Windows phones 650, 950, 950xl and oems can now install windows for arm which unlocks win32 apps via emulation and a full windows desktop." Explanation of how to integrated, showing off build, showing off code. Wait... That's what id like to have happen
  • Pinch yourself mate.
  • where did you get that stuff you've been smoking? it seems really good
  • " being a Windows phone fan is a roller coaster ride of expectations, disappointment and emotions would be an understatement" Not quite - that implies ups as well as downs. More like "Doctor Doom's Fearfall" if you listen some around here. I for one seek comfort in Jason's articles, which do have some hope. Let's just sit tight for a week or 2. See whether Build has any positive snippets, and then the Shanghai event later in the month. We may be pleasantly reassured.
  • Jason is just trying to put a positive spin on the fact that there won't be any Windows Mobile news at Build.
  • Actually, no. Please refer to my response to bleached above. 😉
  • Well if the standalone tablet market is declining in favour of large screen smartphones i dont see what appeal such a device would have when it doesnt provide the same utility as a smartphone and can only be utilized fully when stationary at a desk. Thats not what "mobile" means.
  • I go with the " they have no freakin idea what they are doing" theory
  • Make Windows 10 SIM-card compatible. Merge W10 Mobile into W10 proper, with all smartphone features from W10M (telephony, text messaging, GPS, etc.), and all tablet features from W10 (landscape mode, snapping apps) and new features (snapping apps in portrait mode), including the ability for all devices to run Win32 / .exe apps (sorry W10S). Then, release a Surface Phone--on all major carriers this time--and, for once, promote the hell out of it, billing it as as a 3-in-1 device.
  • I think Jason has learned that pushing drivel about Microsoft and mobile generates lots of clicks and comments.  He just can't stop with the insanity. "I'm sure we'll make more phones" is a not a reconfirmation of "we'll make Windows phones even if no OEMs do." It's a backtrack.  You can't believe a thing Satya Nadella says when it comes to Microsoft and M(m)obile. And Microsoft's lack of M(m)obile news at Build is exactly what everyone expects.      
  • Hi TKAtlanta...thanks for the response. I gave point by point reasons for my thesis...How about a point by point rebuttal refusal that Microsoft's Investment in the various components that go into movie are not an address of the mobile strategy just not in the way one would expect.😎
  • I don't believe anything MS is saying these days...all they have is crap talking, lies.
  • The only thing i expect out of this clown of a CEO is double talk B.S. That you can't believe because somewhere buried in it is a word play. Counting the time down until they get rid of this slug.
  • What are you talking about? I am the best CEO ever, no doubt about that!
  • Wtf, Enough is enough,no more hint, just speak up about the future of windows mobile whether good or bad.
  • Amen
  • Nice article. Here's the thing, I need an actual goddamn smartphone for work!!! So all the word games and Jumanji puzzles MS is playing has gotten old. I will probably get a Galaxy S8 to upgrade from my 950xl. My 950xl is the only thing that is keeping me in the MS ecosystem at this point
  • The only thing I hope for is a statement that the hardware division and WM10 failed and are dead.
    No ambiguous language please.
  • Yes, the time for mystery is over. Try honestly for a change
  • Too long to read. Long story short...?
  • "Only Microsoft knows what it has in store." Fluff piece.
  • I hope now Good news ..for future and not only dreaming..after Apple and Google in this line of business.. No enough time to dream.😀 good luck 🍀
  • Sadya Sadella.
  • Transition? Reconstruction? Ending up the story?
  • Jason Ward, where is your WhartonBrooks phone?
  • I'm typing this response on the review unit I have right now as a matter of fact😉 If you would like to know the status of the company headed by Greg Murphy, you can check the Indiegogo page. If you'd like the history of the trek Greg made from his conception of the idea and the various steps he underwent to the present you can revisit the series of articles I wrote on the topic chronicling that journey. If you have anything relevant and beneficial to contribute to this piece and intelligent discussion you're in the right place. 😎
  • WOW....i checked 2 weeks ago and they had 100 they have 102....selling like hotcakes....very disruptive indeed!  24,000 is all they are going to get!!!!! I said 40,000 being an optimist!  ha ha...
  • You know what's even funnier? The Uniherz Jelly phone, a 1 or 2GB RAM, 2.45" mini smartphone powered by full blown Android also launched a Kickstarter. Their funding goal was $30,000. They funded it in less than 24 hours. Presently, they already got $686,530 in funding and still have 27 days to go before the campaign is over (   If that doesn't spell out "consumers don't give a sh*t about Windows Phones" I don't know what does.   The WhartonBrooks phone was a joke. It was always a joke lol
  • no matter, delusional fanboys will still say otherwise here :))) The Cerulean was a pathetic attempt from the start, a mediocre phone running a ****** OS and that guy, Murphy was talking all crap about it, just like MS does.
  • Completely agree. He said the cerulean phone was going to be disruptive and was it? Nope! There was never anything disruptive about their phone from the beginning!
  • Who are the two idiots who will be getting a refund by month end?
  • So u got a free phone. That explains the coverage. Unfortunately the same coverage hype crashed them.
  • Techiez "Review unit." It's not my phone.
  • Being in the startup trenches, it's clear that Microsoft is so hot right now (like Hansel.) It is my hopes that the team is pulling a Ninja Cat they did with Holo & Studio. Consumers are a pain to make happy, so I don't blame the shutdown of Band and traditional consumer phones. But Microsoft is holding all of the Mobile would be a trajedy to not see those cards played. I.e. MS pulls in 3-ish billion/year from Android. Security. Windows is the only full ecosystem. Enterprise customer base. I keep expecting to see an off-network, no contract Skype phone. Or a wintel i7, 64gb RAM windows "phone" Or a modular surface studio->tablet->phone. Heck, has anybody even done the cell phone + home dock? Akin to the coordless + answering machine units w/ speaker phone. We actually would be able to answer the phone from the base, when we leave our cell in the copying 1980s technology. What a concept! I cant imagine a mobile first company wouldnt do in-pocket mobile. I'm expecting a Ninja Cat Unicorn within the next 12 months. But that might be more faith than logic. Thanks again for sharing your great insight Jason! Your knowledge and good energy makes for great work!
  • Thanks robgood.🙂
  • "But Microsoft is holding all of the Mobile would be a trajedy to not see those cards played." Huh?  What planet are you on?   Microsoft is holding no mobile cards.  They folded their hand and cashed in the 3 five dollar chips they had leftover, after betting (and losing) $7 billion on Nokia Lumia.   Android and Apple are running the tables on The Strip.  Microsoft is now dumping quarters into one-armed bandits in Jerry's Famous Coffee Shop in North Las Vegas.   Satya Nadella was overheard saying "Seriously, any day now, this is gonna pay off!"
  • I could not bring myself to read the article, I can't imagine there being any real news or new insights in it. But I agree with what most people say here. MS give us something or put us out of our misery.
  • I suggest you read the article.🙂
  • There is no news in it. Its just an opinion piece.
  • If you write these articles without concrete knowledge or actual facts, better don't waste our time and find some other topic. Gardening and fishing maybe fits you better probably in the correct forums for those topics.  
  • Hi Angelo, did you read the article? It's meant to encourage people on what to look for regarding mobile in what we expect to be an absence of overt disclosures. It's an appeal to people to think more critically about the information given to us about the COMPONENTS that contribute to Microsoft's mobile strategy: ARM, Continuum, Cellular in Windows, Microsoft providing mobile data, Project Centennial, Windows S and more. It's an appeal to elevate our thinking. I know most articles on the web either hand feed info or hand feed negativity. Few petition readers to elevate their thinking with an appeal to apply that to what will undoubtedly be complex messaging beginning tomorrow. This piece does that. Unfortunately for some, the very appeal seems to have been missed. Hopefully you'll reread the piece and gain more insight on its purpose. It is meant to help fans and readers see the pieces that Microsoft won't assemble just yet, but are there in plain view. Thanks for jumping in.
  • It's basically preparing the remaining Windows on phones fans that, at BUILD, nobody from Microsoft will say the words 'Windows' and 'Mobile' in the same sentence.  
  • Here's my prediction FWIW, and if it happens this way, it'll be "interesting" to say the least... MS announces an ultramobile device with cellular ability to be relased this year and it'll ship with W10 Mobile - with an upgrade to Windows 10 S once Redstone 3 is ready! #nerdgasm
  • How are you solving app gap problem with that approach? Reason I moved to Android are the apps, which are only supported for iOS and Android. I simply cant live without Musixmatch, Waze maps, Snapchat, Facebook and Mages and minions game which are not available in WM
  • That ship has sailed IMO - unless they relaunch Astoria
  • Yea, I was very dissapointed they cancelled that, and I haven't heard any interesting news about iOS bridge having succeeded to fix the app gap problems.
  • I am expecting they will announce a partnership with Bluestacks so this software will be optimized for ARM devices in the next months, it will allow to sideload Snapchat and other apps currently not supported on Windows mobile, so finally Windows Mobile doesnt have the app gap problems
  • They won't do any such thing. It doesn't help them in enterprise so won't be done. They dont care about consumer space.
  • Then why do they sell Xbox consoles, sell Surface laptops, 2 in 1, consumer software (Office 365), Microsoft is a product company, not many like it and wished it was just another IBM company focusing on the cloud, but Microsoft is also a consumer business company.
  • The unexpected: Version 1: Alliance with Apple
    With Apple's issues with Qualcomm recently, Apple will give MS lots and lots of money in order to have MS become the manufacturer of the iPhone X. With MS's cozy relationship with Qualcomm Apple ends up getting a better deal on chipsets and liscences, and MS will push out x86 apps on the iOS platform. Everybody wins... sorta. Version 2: MS makes a new Windows Phone
    I mean... they have said for so long that they are not making one that nobody would expect it right? Version 3: MS releases a 'mobile PC'
    In a grand mistake of unit conversions MS creates a desktop PC that literally fits in your pocket! What was origionally intended to be the Surface Desktop, ended up not converting properly. Changing form inches to centemeters ends up creating a very small and portable device. Down side? It is a desktop, so there is no built in display or UI, and because the USB and video ports are so small there is literally no way to plug anything into it. But it is a truly mobile PC that nobody expected. Anyone else have ideas?
    In all seriousness though; I am expecting a 'phone-like' device that will begin to live up to the promise of WP8 where it is your central device that is the center of all of your software licences, key to all of your cloud data repositories, and utilizes the hardware of whatever UI and computers happen to be around you. I will be watching very closely!
  • Microsoft do this nudge and wink thing. A little hint here a small quote there. Talk of "devices" and "mobile" not phone. Microsoft have a mobile strategy - they put their services on Android and iphone. Beyond that they just don't mention it at all. The "future device" may be down the road in two or three years however the device people carry is a phone. Microsoft is now largely an enterprise company anyway. A mobile device fits that mode not consumer. I would expect some more nudges and winks from MS at build. Vague comments about Continuum, UWP and mobile first. However no one should hold their breath because there will be nothing until 2018 in my view. It wont be a phone and it will be for enterprise users.
  • I thought they canceled build ?
  • Thanks for the article, Jason - a good one.
  • I thought windowed apps were supposed to arrive with Creators Update on Mobile...?
  • This is going to be the most depressing BUILD ever. Satya will continue to talk in riddles and they will show off their worthless apps on iOS and Android. Only a few MS fanboys will use them. Any sane person will use google/apple services and products. Satya is stupid enough to think that Microsoft can live on another platform. Nope. Google and Apple have the pole position to force their products on people.
    At the end there is no solution for us Windows Phone fans.
    Satya needs to wake up from his dreams about the next paradigm shift. The mobile phone is the perfect form factor that can do anything people want. It is here to stay for at least the next 30 years. Nobody is going to put **** glasses on their heads, wear **** tiny smart watches or whatever. Wake the **** up and make normal phones. We live now, not in the future! And if that future is there, it will be Apple and Google who can do exactly the same thing, except they will succeed because they have users and developers.
  • Only a few MS fanboys will use them [Microsoft Apps and services on iOS and Android]. Any sane person will use google/apple services and products.
    I am not sure about this one -- Apple software quality took a serious nosedive (less so on mobile, but nonetheless), Google was never about software quality or coherent software strategy to start with (Google Voice/Hangouts/Allo/Duo/Android Messenger anyone?). So, Skype, Word, Excel have no competition at all, Outlook and Wunderlist are serious contenders and Cortana is the icing on the cake. You don't have to be MS fanboy to appreciate that.
  • Cortana is sht compared to Siri and Android Assistant, Skype is worse than facetime, google allo/duo or facebook messenger's video/audio calls. The only better ones are the office main apps. that's it. I don't even use the outlook app on IOS because, why should I? the default email client is perfect for me and I do not use anything besides mail, from outlook.
  • Skype is worse than facetime, google allo/duo ...
    Try use either of those on the desktop/laptop and say that again. And, yes, there are people out there, who do not own a smartphone, I, sometimes, want to talk to. Go ahead, judge... 
    Cortana is sht compared to Siri and Android Assistant
    Not in my experience and, yes, I use all three on the fairly regular basis. Disclaimer: I speak heavily accented English.
    I do not use anything besides mail, from outlook
    That's fair and I am glad it works well for you, but some of us use calendar and tasks. And I am not touching the smoldering pile which is Apple Mail on the macOS/Mac OS with the 10' pole. Again, some people have to split their time between smartphone and something more powerful and less mobile -- if you are not one of those people, then those concerns do not apply to you.
  • Facetime on laptops/desktop (on Macs) is infinitely superior to Skype. Skype *used* to be good, and then, sometime around the Microsoft purchase, users started receiving never-ending spamware from 'users' with web links.   Last time I checked, I *never* get spam from phantom users on Facetime.    Microsoft should lock down Skype in the same manner.
  • Try "do not allow calls/messages from people, not in my contacts" setting in Skype. That will cut down on spam considerably. As far as Facetime superiority -- be it as it may -- Apple desktop/laptop offerings are not in the price range for the grandma who wants to talk to her grandkids every now and again, not even in US and less so somewhere in Asia or Eastern Europe. And, Apple hardware strategy could feed the whole separate flamewar :) Realizing that I was not clear in my original statement: if you have extendend family with members sporting iPhone, Android phone, Android tablet,  Windows tablet, WIndows laptops and the desktop Mac, there is no alternative to Skype to bring them together. 
  • MS failed smartphone strategy should be a case study in business schools on how a company can go so wrong on a product
  • Lol
  • better, they should go in history for how to fail miserably, deliver mediocre quality and how to sht on top of experienced engineers by laying them off.
  • Microsoft is like that drunk uncle that all the kids like but are always disappointed by because of his broken promises. I love W10 and all of the Lumias that I have had in the past. I sadly had to give them all up for many of the same reasons stated in other comments.
  • I wish MS would continue to support WP with new devices before their new mobile device arrives. I feel that Microsoft is making the same mistake again. Anyone remember how Microsoft dropped their support of the original Windows Mobile platform before the first Windows Phone arrived? This left the door wide open for Apple and Android to scoop up all those unsupported customers still using the orignial Windows Mobile. It is history repeating itself again..
  • Why not just wait and see and stop assuming
  • I hope they talk a lot about progressive web apps. It's really universal and many developers I talked to see it more as the future than UWP. Also Jason you should really find a few other themes to write about. You have been using and reusing those images and videos over and over and over again. Mobile articles are great for comment sections (after all I am writing one too) but there is so much exiting stuff to write about. Microsoft has so many great products and services, but yet you insist to only write editorials about the stuff that fails and doesn't gain much traction with developers and consumers. Some of the articles really start reading like "fan fiction" these days when compared to reality.
  • I have to agree. I've been reading Jason's stuff since he began submitting here on WC. I have appreciated it but, I think the long written "in theory" or "possibility" pieces unfortunately stoke the fire of the increasing flames here. It kind of is the time to wait for some actual unveiling of the new direction.
  • Softie rules. Can't wait for tomorrow.
  • The thought of going to Android or iPhone makes me cringe. I don't say that lightly either. WP isn't perfect and has room for improvement but the other platforms are in the same boat. I hear plenty of complaints about iPhone coming from iPhone users, which surprised me.
  • Is it possible to root install W10M on devices like one plus three or Galaxy?
  • No. Unless, of course, you manage to steal the factory unlock codes and software from Oppo or Samsung. Good luck trying.
  • nope, and why would you spoil those devices with pathetic OS with no apps?
  • I'll wait an hear what is said about mobile. My gut is it'll be reasons at how they come to drop most Windows phone devices and kept others. But not a lot more of note. But we'll see.
  • Sorry to many ups and mostly downs. I'll believe nothing. However, when I can put my hands on something then I'll think about it. In the mean time I'll use my 640XL now and then because I really do like WP but, well you know. I'll also use my Alcatel idol Pro 3. Until I'm certain on which way I'm decide to go a solid midrange phone is fine with me.
  • 640XL 👊👍💪
  • Just look at the sessions at this years build. NO sessions on Mobile, except one for Xamarin. That should tell you everything...
  • I now have multiple Apple phones, multiple Android phones and multiple Windows phones.   It took many years to get to this point, but here I am. In Windows - which was my first smartphone too, just like all of you - I have a 920, an Icon, a 1520 and a 1 month old 950XL dual sim.  I still like Windows phones, and will continue to use them  All still work fine, but of course the 920 is still on 8.1.   The Icon and 1520 are on W10M CU (10.0.15063.251), while the 950XL is beyond that (10.0.15207.0).   The 1520 is still my favorite, and always draws attention in a crowd due to its sheer size.  But the 950 XL is a very close 2nd.   I am glad I waited until now to get one, since a year ago the 950s were nothing but problems due to shipping with the flaky early builds of W10M. In Android, I have a Galaxy S6 and an S7 edge.   Both are on Android 7, which is quite nice.  They also both have all the MS apps installed.  Photos go to my onedrive.  Word, Excel, Outlook, Skype etc. all work just fine. In Apple, I started with a hand-me-down Iphone 5.   It was enough to get me interested, but too small (4.7" screen?  What's up with that?) and only 16GB.  So I just picked up a mint condition 6 plus with 128GB on ebay for a very good price.  It is very nice.  Again, I have all the MS apps installed on it.   Both are running IOS 10.3.1.  BTW, The iphone 5 is going on 5 years old, and yet it is STILL running the very latest IOS version.   How is THAT for support?  Where are 5 year old Windows phones today?  Let me say that the only device that is actually active as a phone is the S7 Edge, and that is due to it being a work/company device (free to me) AND they pay the monthly bill.  The S6 was my previous work phone.   All of the others are used as wi-fi devices/cameras/MP3 players/Skype/TextNow/Netflix/WatchESPN/TV etc.   All of the others (except the Iphone 5, it was a gift) were also bought on ebay as refurbs or mint used.  Now, having said all of that, and speaking from experience, I do NOT understand all of the anguish and tears that appear here over the current state of Windows phones.   Either just switch to Apple or Android already and get it over with, OR keep using your 950.  Its not going to stop working in the next 2 years.   There is no reason to be "loyal" to Microsoft.  They have completly blown their chances at phones.   The rumored "cellular PC" is a pointless, last-ditch attempt to remain relevent in mobile.   But the problem is, it won't solve the many problems MS has in mobile.  No one is demanding Win32 in their pocket.  No one is developing apps for mobile Windows.  Microsoft is not even on the radar in mobile these days. Its dead, Jim.   Time To Move On.  Windows Central needs to concentrate on Windows PCs.  Forget mobile, it is all over.  In my experience, Android works fine.   IOS works even better, if you can afford the hardware.  Careful shopping on ebay can take care of the price, however.   Both have all of the software available that you will ever need.  All of the TV commercials/radio/magazines/websites/whatever that say "download our app today" will suddenly become useful.   
  • Windows Phone is toast. Abandoning the platform is the proper move at this point. Windows on mobile devices is the future and the only forseeable future for the time being. This'll be interesting as there will be no "phone war" any more. W10M users can hold on to their phones as long as they wish but at some point they'll have to pick an Android or Apple to compliment their Windows device. It's inevitible...   Personally I don't feel bad about this... W10M was so far behind as to be uncomfortable. At least most people can move on. It'll be best for everyone as MS focuses on providing the best non-phone experience they can. Mobile can be revisited later once that part of the strategy makes more sense... if it ever does.
  • Folks it appears for NOW Microsoft will improve Windows 10 mobie software but let it's OEM partners make the Physical Windows 10 Mobile smartphones. this is a let down to those who wanted a Microsoft made smart phone. I stilL think that Microsoft is going to make a Surface "Mini" Tablet smart phone Hybrid device that runs Windows 10 Mobile OS and Windows 10 on Arms.  IF i AM CORRECT THIS SURFACE MINI TABLET /SMART PHONE WILL BE WHAT  MS CEO NADELLA SAID MICROSOFT WOULD CREATE A SMART PHONE THAT DOES NOT LOOK LIKE A SMARTPHONE.
  • and it will be DOA. Users need a phone size device with apps, not an 8" tablet holding to their ears :))
  • Wrong! a pocket size device should be a smartphone FIRST, not a PC first! You, other fans and MS continue to FAIL to understand this. You need a smartphone when paying wirelessly, or when you want to use an app to pay local transportation, or anything else MOBILE, you need MOBILE apps running on a PHONE size device = SmartPHONE first.
  • :))) what a pathetic fail
  • If all of the senior person using iPhone then how do Windows Phone developed. They didn't understand which portion needs to develop and how to improve mobile daily uses.
  • A more appropriate Ward bio would be: "Jason Ward provides hospice care for Windows Phone users at".
  • Yet another puff piece from Nutella's chief apologist.  Paragraphs and paragraphs of prose saying nothing at all.  A clickbait article and the punchline: we're supposed to not conflate "Mobile" with "Phone" LOLOLOL . Jason would be the teacher in the meme who when asked by a student whether they could go to the bathroom, would respond with the totally technically correct and yet utterly irrelevant response "I don't know, CAN you?".   The ultimate irony of these articles on Windows Central is that it's not the readers who are trolling; wake up people, the editors and writers are trolling us.
  • Sadly, as others you miss the point of this piece:
    I'm a Windows phone fan and user since Windows Mobile 5.0. I would like explicit information from MS as well. Realistically speaking however, we're not likely to get it at Build (unless for some reason they surprise us).
    Thus, I thought it prudent to help fans such as myself to read between the lines, hear what they're not saying by looking at the components of the mobile strategy that MS WILL likely talk about.
    That shiny smartphone we all carry runs on ARM, uses cellular tech, many have Continuum, runs UWP apps, etc. Without those things our phones are empty shells.
    Thus, development in these areas, ARM, cellular capabilities in Windows, Project Centennial bringing Win32 to UWP, Microsoft providing data via the store as part of mobile infrastructure and more are pieces to the mobile strategy that may be talked about separately but not assembled for us by MS as the cohesive whole we want. But a little critical thinking about those pieces could give us a part of the picture.
    Nadella recently confirmed MS will make phones, just not with the form and function of what's there in market now - his ultimate mobile device.
    With that in mind - listening carefully to the "pieces" that go into a mobile device and strategy could be helpful in getting a picture of where MS is going in mobile in the absence of a full disclosure.
    I'm not "rearranging the chairs on the Titanic", I'm trying to raise the level of critical thinking, attention to detail and perception of the bigger picture for fellow fans in an environment where every detail, at least for now, won't be handed to us. That way we can hopefully still get a tidbit of the mobile vision we're hoping to recieve.😉
  • I agree with you, more broadly, that Microsoft has a mobile story to tell, in regards to what they have in development that can pay off down the road. I think, though, that you're tap-dancing around the obvious questions, repeated by comment after user comment: what is the fate of *Windows 10 Mobile*, previously positioned in years past, as full Windows on phones (these days a lot of backtracking from comments like these)? if I as a user buy an existing W10M device, should I reconsider, as it's a dead-end OS? if it is a dead end, forget about gaining apps, will developers continue pulling existing apps from the Windows store? A little frankness here would go a long way.
  • Hi Johnny thanks for jumping in. First the title of this piece is very clear that "Microsoft WILL talk about mobile at Build - but not how you expect" What are some ways people may expect? Full disclosure on a strategy, info on the fate of W10M, hints or outright info on devices...Consistent with the title "but not how you expect" my content does not talk about mobile at Build in those regards. I try to surface things and point people to what to really look for given the reality and the manner I believe MS will address things. They will likely talk about the components that make up mobile but not put it together and spoon 🥄 feed us a cohesive message. So to be helpful and encourage. Folks to think a little deeper and more critically I wrote this to point people in the direction of what to look for given the state of affairs. Now if you want to know what I feel the fate of Windows 10 Mobile is which doesnt necessarily for the context of this piece I have nit tapped dance around that in the least. In Windows phone isn't dead and may never die and What iPhone and Android user need to know about Windows phone (and elsewhere I explicitly state that I believe w10M will be subsumed or is likely to be subsumed by Windows on ARM.
  • These have become click bait articles. MS will do xyz, but not what you think, how you think. No real info. The only thing they will mention about win 10 mobile is, that they won't talk about win 10 mobile.
  • Stull deluded Jason? How exactly should this function? You will have an "always connected" ARM device? Good. It runs converted X86 Apps? Good, IF you attach it to a larger screen and have Keyboard/Mouse support. It has Phone functionality? Good. It has Messaging functionality? Good, IF, if the W10S will also support silverlight Apps. If not, bye WhatsApp, bye ..., .... These are NOT full UWP Apps. How about covering all my needs an actual Android or iPhone can cover today? Still think Snapchat isn't important? Other Apps that make ony sense on mobile devices? How do you expect the devs porting these from iOS or Android? Just for fun? Think about the REAL needs of the people about a mobile device. They don't need X86 Programs, they won't write huge documents, make complicated Excel calcs, drwa professionally and whatnot. They want a device they can take with them for Skiing, Jogging, Biking, at the beach, and so forth. They need MOBILE centered apps, and not the X86 world in thiose cases. For that, they can take a bigger and better suited device with them when needed. Your argument is the same as if one would always take the camper with him, because "I can do everything with it, even sleep and cook". Yes, maybe you can, but at what cost in place, weight, portability, ...?
  • Hi FirstWatt, if you read my other pieces, particularly the one just before this Window 10 S breathes new life into UWP and paves way to Surface phone - I explain the strategy is
    1. first to appeal to Win32 devs to bring thier apps to UWP
    2. It starts in school systems with Windows S, a market where the app based system can be sold and adopted in bulk and potentially begin to "leak" to families as parents begin buying kids the tools they use in school
    3. Surface laptop may appeal to coolge kids and as aspiration Windows S device OEMs may begin populating maker with Surface Laptop inspired Windows S devices to complement the lower end devices already slated for the market this Fall.
    3. Devs may be inclined to bring Win32 apps to UWP beginning with Cenntenial Bridge as OEMs bring Windows S devices to market and if those devices can in popularity. 4. If strategy plays out this us where the store would begin gaining more traction and becomes a more appealing target for other app makers and the other two bridges. 5. Complementing this would be cellular PCs hitting the market later this year where users will have always connected devices and more incentive to use certain apps. 6. MS goal in my estimation, is a multistep process that is meant to try to bring first Centennial, then other apps to the platform as it unfolds a mobile Play that will introduce an ultramobile PC with telephony and like at least in part a mobile infrastructure less dependent on carriers. 6. In time MS, in my estimation would then launch it's ultimate mobile device that will ideally benefit from the ecosystem building that will have taken place in the previous steps. This is a long term strategy, something that seems to be continually lost on many. In my piece I"s early 2018 too soon for a Surface phone" I stress that point. I also address it in "This has to happen first in order for a service phone to succeed"
  • Sorry but going PC first will not do any better. Devs target the store for phone apps, not desktop apps.
  • Especially since apps for "ultramobile devices" make zero sense as apps targeted for bigger screens/devices. In many cases, they are a completely different world. No one want's to pay contactless with a Surface laptop, yet those apps are needed when one wan'ts to be successful on small devices. Home automation is another such thing, as are apps centered around "take a picture and do something with it" like sending a postcard, and so forth, there are many many examples. I don't see how this will fulfill even in a long term strategy. They just destroyed too much, less so in US than in Europe, they had a good market share, and we had quite some official apps. All gone down the sink because of strategies which where NOT built on long term, AND were way, way too US centric. As Cortana today. Too little, too US, and presumably too late in that case (see the Harman/Kardon device, US only, and a year later than the Amazon counterpart. Which is available outside US). Or the Microsoft garage. IF MS would care, they would give those free wheeling guys at least some directions. How many full UWP Apps do they have written, compared to Android and iOS? Jason, you may- but I do not - see a long term strategy. As long as the devs (charged 30% of the App income btw) don't see it either, NO CHANCE. They see another MS, a MS which concentrates on and delivers a lot of products for other Mobile platforms. Devs are not idiots-MS has a long way to attract them, even on Desktop oriented apps only. Prerception is everything. And MS is not really good in that, apart some few diamonds, which do not have much to do with mobile.
  • @Firstwatt Apps on an "ultramobile device with Continuum" makes perfect sense because the device could then be a legitimate PC connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse or HP Lap Dock-like dock. As a long term strategy that's why first getting Win32 apps to the UWP is important. There has been little compelling reasons for devs to bring their Win32 apps over, Windows 10 S and launching these devices in schools across the market is the mist compelling reason MS has put forth thus far. From this point the sequence of events I layer out in the above post kicks in.🙂 (Please read "Windows 10 S breathes new life into the UWP and paves way for 'Surface phone, where I break it down, also Project Centennial make sense of Win32 apps on phone and Smartphones are dead part II, Evolve or die, Microsoft's ultramobile PC strategy")
  • If Microsoft does not talk about the future of Mobile at Build, you can be assured that will send a crystal clear message to all developers not to even think of bothering with anything Windows 10 Mobile, ever.
  • Jason you love to write
  • Indeed.😎
  • In my opinion, if Microsoft really wants to succeed in the mobile space, they must take the lead and sell their own devices. They should ignore any hard feelings from their OEM partners. And perhaps most importantly, at this stage of the game, they'll have to buy market share. They will need to sell their devices at little to no profit. Yes, that does make it hard later - assuming they actually do create some sort of demand - to raise their prices later. Well, it's been done before. Look at Google with their Pixel devices. Priced much higher than the previous Nexus devices. You can raise prices.
  • A Continuum type product, to combine Phone with desktop computer WILL fail if does not support legacy X32 applications in the corpoorate world. Too many companies STILL run legacy applications that their company is based on. They will NOT spend millions ot get a buggy (a rushed app) UWP app. It's just too much money, or they will stick to the model they are in now... Laptop and phone. In business if it's not broken and the company is making lots of money, there is no reason to replace it. It's just the way it is in the major business world.  Like it or not.
  • so by guessing there is no surface phone in 2017 or even in 2018 very ☹️  sad all win10 mobile users hoping Msft release surface phone with full desktop Windows running on it that also fill some gap of apps not all  eg apps running on tablets and pc are fine but not on mobile take a good example of fbk messenger app for win10 mobile no calling at all yet hope Msft release surface phone or their ultra mobile what ever it is called must be a mobile like form factor of 5" 
  • Lol they ARE discussing mobile at BUILD: the presenters on stage are all using *iPhones* Tells you all you need to know right there. W10 Mobile is a dead-end.
  • No new phone will be a success if the OS is as flaky as the current W10M. Microsoft still approach the software like a version of PC Windows with the same poor performance and far to many bugs. PC users have accepted that but phone users have alternatives in iOS & Android so will not tolerate it.
  • BUILD Day 1: New azure shell for mobile, windows phone not supported. All demos done on an iPhone or Android device. Let's see what disappointments day 2 hold.
  • Incredibly insightful as always, Jason! Your articles are easily my favorite to read out of several excellent writers across Windows Central in particular, and Mobile Nations in general! I am supremely interested in Win10S, Win10Arm, Continuum, C-Shell, and Centenial, and I just can't wait to hear what's announced next. I agree that these are ultimately the long, winding path to the [so-called] "Surface Phone" that I sooooooooooo desperately want to be my 2019 Phone upgrade acquisition. Pretty much all of us know that any hopes for a straight shot to "phone" in 2017 is out of the question, and any sort of conventional "standard smartphone" is just off the table completely unless an OEM steps up. So in this narrow sense, "Windows Phone" in the traditional form and concept IS INDEED QUITE DEAD! But that doesn't mean at all that gone is our hope for a genuine Windows device we carry around in our pocket and take/make calls/texts on, and check all our social media and internet goodies with. What you've done here is give us a much clearer picture of the ingredients, components, circumstances, map, and battle plan. Whatever this thing will be that is so much more than a phone, but no less than a phone, but totally not a phone but totally a phone, it will be the cherry on top - the very last piece of the puzzle that locks it all into place and makes it all glow. And thanks to you, we can see a little bit more clearly how that's going to play itself out. I sooooo hope that such a thing will be ready in time for my 2019 upgrade and available on Verizon - or else that a good opportunity presents itself to switch to an AT&T that has as a good a network in Des Moines as Verizon does....I rather think I like that latter scenario even better, actually! By in the meantime, we live our lives rather than putting them on hold to wait. We go to work, we raise our families, we eat dinner, watch TV, go to the bathroom......and most important for our purposes here: we buy phones. You already know my 2017 "in-the-interim" phone upgrade plans and that they don't involve Windows this round. Unfortunately, September is coming upon us like a thief, and I'm still not one iota closer to making up my mind between the so-called "iPhone 8", the so-called "Pixel 2", and now, thanks to its cheap, Android knock-off "equivalent" to Continuum, the larger Galaxy S8. I don't like touchwiz one bit, and DESPISE the long waits for totally monkeyed with updates. And these all make the prospect of going Sammy by far the least attractive of the three for me. -BUT- [what I'm calling] "Droidtiniuum" is so intriguing to me that I may well just suck it up and bite the bullet anyway - and it may well be just the precursor that I need to acclimate me to using one device for multiple needs and form-factors, which Windows can then come along and do "laugh-out-loud-better" in time for 2019. Sammy's also just have the best screens ever - let's just admit it. :-) As always, I'll be keeping a very interested and long-term, long-view hopeful and even optimistic eye on [quote unquote] "Windows Phone" - and more immediately, all the requisite precursor initiatives, such as Win10 ARM, Win10S, C-Shell, Centenial, and all the rest!....and of course, staying lock-tuned to all the "Wardcasts" here on Windows Central! ;-) Cheers, Jason! You rock!
  • Hey JaySeeDoubleYou:
    Glad to see you here and thanks so much. Appreciate the support and I'm glad you saw the intend and message in the piece. It will be interesting to see what MS cooks up. It's a long term plan but the pieces are coming together😎 Thanks again🙂
  • Nothing for mobile today lolz.
  • Nooooothing for mobile. bread crumbs. Even MS services on iOS and Android are superior. MS has been lagging for so long. 2019 is being too hopefull. This is not working. ByeBye mobile.
  • Although meaningless on a global scale, but a significant factor in the US, what about making ANY new WIndows 10 Mobile devices available on Verizon & Sprint? That is a significant barrier to W10M acceptance in teh US, as not having W10M on VZ or Sprint chops away roughly 50% of the potential US market.
  • I wish they don't Address any things..keep it secret and surprise everyone...keep your ur plan secret and surprise the all your competiters 👍
  • Great article. Don't quit.
    Support what you like, or be part of the problem.
    Best wishes
  • Thanks kevin😎
  • aaaand ... you were wrong. not a single mention of mobile in any way shape or form in any of the talks. they even used 100% iphone and android for their presentation, which in and of itself is the clearest message they could send without saying a single word. windows 10 mobile is so dead Tutanchamuns mummy is jealous.
  • Hi Dustwalker, I hope you read the article. If so, you will see that the acknowledgment that there would not be an outright mention of mobile was the premise of the article. It was the deliberate attention to the components that make up a mobile strategy that this piece highlighted and directed readers to pay very close attention to: Project Centennial, cellular PCs, Windows on ARM...etc. The article explains it in detail😉
  • As long as Microsoft makes Lumia i will continue to buy and use Lumia. Next step : upgrade my 640 to a 950 . I just love the OS . If and when the surface phone appears , I might get one , depending on price .
  • Heavily confused. I use phones to call people. Not mobile devices. Let's talk about mobile devices for a bit... Let's list what possible mobile devices could be useful in the future... I use phones, smartphones, smart watches, wearables... I don't see any other devices useful though. Never going to call or chat with a device larger than 6 inch or that is indiscrete... So forget glasses, VR devices, AR devices, small tablets, laptops...  What I deduce  from these articles is the fact that Microsoft is searching a reason for their existence in mobile space...  And they play with words... Mobile is not equal to phone...A very disturbing and silly statement if you consider the above. Microsoft strategy is lost. There is no strategy. Clearly. It is Microsoft who killed their phone business. MS made huge mistakes and are not able to correct it. Not even with these fluffy strategies and carrot holding marketing methods. Where are the phones, Mr. Nadella? I believe in UWP, but it won't work without commitment...