Microsoft needs to get serious about mobile (now) or don't even bother

CShell is a new way of thinking about Windows. Microsoft is working towards a modular and adaptable Windows that will scale across all sorts of devices, architectures and screen sizes. That includes mobile, with support for cellular and ARM-based phone chipsets. To see the early stages of CShell in action, make sure you see our Senior Editor Zac Bowden's video below.

Even beyond phones, Windows on ARM with CShell in tow will lead to innovation in the PC space, perhaps creating entirely new categories, as seen on the Microsoft Surface. However, if this is all part of a Microsoft play to edge back into the phone market after its hardcore "retrenchment," the company needs to get serious or don't even bother.

No more, "If we build it, they will come"

Microsoft's complacency towards its own app store compounds a wider problem that will crush any future mobile or tablet efforts. Microsoft staples, such as Skype, see their biggest updates on Android and iOS first, often before hitting the Windows 10 Store. I understand Microsoft is going where the users are, but when it comes to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), it doesn't exactly exude confidence. Microsoft needs to prove its commitment to both consumers and devs, who Microsoft must depend on if it genuinely wants to see the platform be successful.

We always hear about Windows 10's march toward a billion devices, but the Windows 10 Store is largely barren, particularly so when it comes to quality UWP apps, which any future Windows 10 phone OS will rely on.

I can't remember the last time we saw a big name service jump on the UWP train.

Project Centennial apps like Spotify won't run on any device that doesn't contain the Win32 APIs Microsoft is slowly trying to get away from. It's time to get aggressive.

Start giving people a reason to care about UWP. Showcase its capabilities with compelling new hardware categories that confidently carry the Surface branding. Build a suite of creative apps that run entirely as UWP programs. Where's the UWP equivalent of Garage Band or Final Cut Pro?

It's time to stop presuming devs will build for native UWP simply because it exists on a load of PCs. It's time to give average consumers real reasons to want to use UWP apps because right now I can't remember the last time we saw a big name service jump on the UWP train.

Prove that you want Windows on phones to be successful

Microsoft's "retrenchment" and the company's attitude towards mobile fans, mobile devs, and even OEMs, is nothing short of aggravating. Frankly, I'm not sure why any of us would be insane enough to give the company the benefit of the doubt in this space ever again. However, because I am insane, I would jump on a Surface Phone faster than a ninjacat on a unicorn. Many others (rightfully) will be skeptical.

When it comes to phones, Microsoft is synonymous with crushing failure.

As such, Microsoft needs to actually fight for the right to exist in that market. The company has seen success with Surface, but that's arguably because PCs are synonymous with Microsoft. When it comes to phones, Microsoft is synonymous with crushing failure.

The "Surface Phone" can't be a simple phone; it needs to be something unique, something that'll at least distract from the fact the app store is a wasteland. Other devices from OEMs also need to be a different, leveraging CShell's adaptability. As much as those phones need to be unique, they also need a mammoth marketing push.

For Surface, Microsoft hooked up with the NFL, it injected the devices into various TV shows, and now and then, I see Surface ads across the internet. Microsoft didn't market the Lumia 550, 650, or 950 devices at all, nor did it market the underrated Microsoft Band. If the company is somehow able to nail a new mobile device category, with compelling hardware, worthy of the "Surface" brand, it needs a marketing campaign to match.

Microsoft must show developers and consumers it's back in the game, and that this isn't just some vanity project it hopes will take off by the merits of its existence. The company needs to make people care, and make people confident in the long-term commitment to the space. Right now, it looks like Microsoft couldn't care less.

Get the whole company behind it

Not only does any new Microsoft phone effort need to have the input of Windows and Surface, but it also needs support from Xbox and Windows Mixed Reality.

Apple's ARKit for iPhone is already defining the future of augmented reality (AR), while HoloLens languishes with a small, but passionate (albeit amazing) dev community, and the promise of "affordable" 2017 head-mounted displays (HMDs), that honestly, few will buy. At least for the foreseeable future, the development of AR will be dictated by smartphone cameras, an area in which Microsoft is simply not a major player. It risks, once again, giving a future ecosystem away to Apple.

Apple is putting AR in consumer's hands today, while Microsoft waits.

Any future phone effort needs an AR play, if for no reason other than to build up the ecosystem to be ready for any sort of sci-fi hologrammatic future. Where's the 3D scanning app Microsoft demonstrated previously using an HP Elite x3 phone? Why isn't the company leveraging the assets in to add Snapchat-like AR features to Skype on UWP? It all feels so disconnected right now, while Apple runs away building a cohesive AR ecosystem across its devices that could prevent Microsoft from ever getting a foot in.

Will this AR app ever see the light of day?

Mircosoft's Xbox division also built decent games for Windows phones, including Halo Spartan Assault, Halo Spartan Strike, Age of Empires: Castle Siege, and Tentacles: Enter the Mind. Any future phone effort needs the support of Microsoft Studio's biggest brands, perhaps with unique features for Xbox owners. Nintendo's tablet-like Switch has proven that there's a market for core gaming on the go, so why not leverage Xbox in any CShell-defined mobile effort, too? The GPD Win pocket PC depicted below offered a glimpse at what real Xbox mobile gaming could look like - even without the friendliness of CShell for its tiny screen.

Get serious or don't even bother

As much as Microsoft wants to think it's building the ecosystem of the future with platforms like UWP and Windows Mixed Reality, the fact that the company gave up in mobile will cost it a crucial bridge to the gradual maturing of those sorts of markets. I'm not convinced the "rectangular smartphone" Microsoft seems to shrug off will die out anytime in the foreseeable future. The company's desperation to avoid the topic of OSes on phones could be a bigger mistake for Redmond than even Vista. Why choose UWP for app development when the bulk of Windows 10 devices are desktop PCs where the web and Win32 are kings?

Microsoft's diverse portfolio across Xbox, Office, and Azure will solidify its long-term survival, but its dismissal of phones might not save Windows, in a world where people increasingly use their phones for all computing needs that aren't work-related. PC sales are still in a downward trend, and Android has overtaken Windows as the world's most-used OS online.

HP Elite x3 running early CShell builds.

HP Elite x3 running early CShell builds.

If Windows has a future in consumer computing, it will likely be CShell-shaped, but the company needn't bother with this gargantuan engineering effort to change the very shell of what Windows is if the marketing, messaging, and devices aren't there to make use of it.

Microsoft, I implore you, for the sake of the amazing Windows devs building these features, for the sake of OEM partners you will ask to build future Windows phones, and for the sake of indie devs and consumers you've burned time and time again with your perpetual reboots and strategy changes — get serious or don't bother.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • They should make a public announcement that they have stopped supporting mobile and let the world move on to other platforms. They are already supporting iOS and droid, Windows phone won't be that missed
  • They'll never come out and say that. One marketing strategy is to never report to your consumers that you stopping at something....never let your consumers know your negative thoughts.
  • I agree
  • That's an odd way to look at it. They made announcements when they stopped supporting Vista, XP, 7 etc. as well as older versions of Windows Phone. I think they're reluctant to say they are ending support for Window 10 mobile purely because it's an adaptation of Windows 10, their key OS. They are clearly working on something in the background, but I imagine their resources are being drained through adapting to new mobile hardware in-house as well as running a new branch of the OS with CSHELL. So, to them, the game isn't over, it's just changing.
  • before vista was released, it was known when support would end. the end of life of a specific version isn't the same as a the end of life for an entire platform. so i agree with the second half of your statement, but not really the first half.
  • When they stop supporting older versions and announce it, they also say to upgrade to the latest and greatest version because they've got something else to sell.  For Windows 10 Mobile, they don't have a replacement... yet... so they don't announce anything.  And Windows 10 Mobile is still supported, I receive very regular updates on my Lumia 950xl even if it's barely fixes and no new feature, it is still maintained.
  • Zune and Kin didn't have a replacement when they ended support.
  • Xbox Music replaced Zune.  WP7 was going to replace Kin before the platform even launched.  Was a bad investment.
  • They will probably say that when their 'ultimate mobile device' is ready for release, if there is one.  The CShell based W10 mobile device would be targeting at the W10 user base which can only grow.  It supports Windows Store apps and web apps which can only expand.  That is why there is no need to rush out a device until it's ready.  The key is whether MS can make the foldable screen work and work well.  The new device should be marketed as a 'Pocket PC' with phone features.  It would be a 4-in-1 device - phone, tablet, desktop with Continuum and MR support.  It is a 'Productivity on the Go' device instead of a smartphone and should be very attractive to all the W10 users.  It would most likely use the new SD845 processor (7nm process chip) which is 30-40 percent faster than SD835 and heavily focus on the MR support with better power efficiency.  TSMC will release their 5nm process chip in 2020 and 3nm process chip in 2022, so there is a lot of future for the 'Pocket PC' device.  OEMs should also be interested in building such a device since it is just another W10 form factor which is more versatile and convenient.
  • Whatever kind of Surface Mobile device Microsoft makes, Samsung will copy it right away and steal all the market while Microsoft is left in the dust. Look at continuum
  • Microsoft marketing 101.... When something is starting to fail in the marketplace, due to lack of support or end users, stop talking about it, maybe we'll get lucky and it will grow but, never admit failure The dumbest thing they can do but, they have done it with many products over the years...
  • I'm not sure why you need an announcement. If you believe the product is not moving forward, then jump ship. If not - stay as you are. What is clear is that Microsoft is not expecting you to stay put. They are supporting the current users (thanks) but have made it abundantly clear through their inaction, that there are not going to be any step changes that the current mobile hardware will support. At the moment, Lumia hardware is a great deal on ebay. Windows 10 mobile is (in my opinion) a highly underrated platform and DEV's have been given a lot of prompts to suggest UWP is the way to go (desktop and mobile). What we need now is new hardware and with a lack of a public roadmap from Microsoft, only Microsoft can make that hardware so that it supports Windows 10 mobile and once released, the new 'platform' that will replace it.
  • Well, they aren't stopping the world from moving on to other fact, they've been moving for some time.  It's only those of us who are diehard MS fans or are disgusted by the thought of using Apple or Android/Google that are holding fast.
  • I look at those gorgeous Start screens on the Windows phones pictured in the article above, and then I glance at the boring, ugly home screen of this stupid Android device I'm forced to use at work and it makes me want to puke. Microsoft may never recover from this short-sighted decision to retrench, but if they want any chance of doing so, they need to act fast, and they need to go all in--like $1 billion marketing budget all in. Really, the only two companies that have any success in mobile are Apple and Samsung, and they both have the same two things in common: 1. massive marketing efforts that never stop or slow down, 2. regular release cadences across all carriers. Whenever Microsoft reboots mobile for their world record setting 87th time, as Jez says, they better be serious about it or the company risks irrelevancy.
  • You are forgetting something else Apple and Samsung have in common, a great user experience. It is worthwhile for them to market their devices. Microsoft has always had a subpar mobile experience so advertising is just a waste of money. Why pay just to disappoint your customer?
  • That is a COMPLETELY subjective statement.  I consider BOTH to be HORRIB LE user experience.  Again, if I could make Apple disappear off the face of the earth, I'd do it in a hearbeat.
  • It is kinda subjective, you are right, but years of sales data and customer satisfaction puts you in into a very small minority. Apple and Samsung each command a large market and those customers come back year after year. Microsoft had a hard time getting people to even try Windows phones and the few that did buy the L520 didn't return and didn't cause their friends to buy them. It is hard to argue that Microsoft had a good user experience with Windows phone. After 6 years on total failure in the market, it is hard to not blame the user experience. If it was truly great, it would have grown just due to word of mouth.
  • @bleached: sales data and customer satisfaction may very well be due to marketing. correlation does not imply causation. it could simply be the apps available and mabye people hate using it, but like the functionality of the apps. or they're sold by the marketing & branding and convince themselves it awesome. there's a bunch of different ways it could go and without many options (counting windows, there's only 3 players), its hard to really decide what caused someone to make that choice. so you can't discount marketing as being a primary influence.
  • Microsoft tried marketing. They spent half a billion dollars on WP7 alone. Nokia and Samsung even helped for WP8. We can cross marketing off the list. Microsoft wouldn't have stopped marketing if it was that simple.
  • You need to give context to your evidence by contrasting and compairing MS' marketing effort to, say, Samsung and Apple. You can't argue that a mountain is high or not without compairing it to other mountains. Anecdotal evidence provided by the number of roadside billboards sporting larger than life pictures of the latest Samsung phone vs billboards sporting MS phones: Samsung 100% - MS zip zero none. No sir, MS wasn't even half trying to market their phones. At least not in South Africa.  MS phones were usually displayed in a corner of the store as a sort of passing curiosity. When I wanted a L640 XL I had to specifically demand that the store order me one for which I had to wait a week, while the Samsungs were front and centre and readily available on demand in any colour, shape or size you want. Microsoft's mobile strategy is as clear as mud. They had all the building blocks in place to build a Windows ecosytem that had all the potential to rival and surpass that of Apple but they silently abandoned it while doubling down in esoteric stuff like Hololens without a clear go-to-market strategy. These guys remind me of Xerox in the 70's who gave the holy grail they posessed away to a young upstart hippie-turned-entrepreneur from Palo Alto who had his eyes firmly on the market.
  • For me the problem is not poor user experience, it is Microsoft's unwillingness to upgrade its industry partners' products. When I bought it my HTC One M8 it was clearly the best Windows phone on the market. Shortly thereafter, Windows Phone 10 upgrade was released but not for my phone. Something is wrong. Others have hacked the M8 to install Windows Phone 10 and report that it runs flawlessly on the most current version. It appears that Microsoft chose to abandon HTC rather than bear the expense for testing on Verizon to allow the upgrade to be rolled out. I really like the phone and Windows Phone 8.1. I would like to have the new features and functionality found in Windows Phone 10. By way of example my Wells Fargo app works on 10 but no longer on 8.1. If Microsoft really does intend to stay in the mobile device market you would think that protecting the investment that their existing customer base has made would be important to them. Loyalty is given as loyalty is earned. Microsoft's capital in this arena is diminishing rapidly.
  • I think that update is dependent on HTC and Verizon, not Microsoft. Microsoft did their part, but HTC and Verizon must not have found it financially viable. At least Microsoft gives you the ability to get around them. They seem to be doing what they can when it comes to updates.
  • BS McDonald's years of data put them number one world wide potatoes reseller making them the french fry king.... But in fact their fries suck ass compare to any small independent burger joint... Being number one mainstream product seller has never made you good... Quite the opposite actually most of the time, the masses are pretty taste less about everything...
  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHA.  Are you joking?  Android is a terrible user experience.  I haven't used apple so I can't comment on that one.  The only thing that made me leave Windows mobile was the lack of apps.  bring back the android bridge and I'll be back in a flash.
  • And yet people love them, buy them in crazy numbers and continue to buy them year after year. The experience can't be that bad. Laugh all you want, but the facts don't support your claim. Try and blame Windows phone's failure on marketing or carriers or manufacturers, but when it comes down to it, the experience just sucks compared to the competition. They never gained any traction because people just didn't like them.
  • Bleached, you're assuming most consumers *Think*, or use their devices even to 50% of its potential.
    People don't understand how to use Android, they just know its popular and cheaper than Apple. Sheep will be sheep.
  • And how did Android become popular? You discount what made it popular. It brought the right experience at the right time. This was very important. Microsoft phones weren't popular because they brought the wrong experience at the wrong time.
  • You can't talk rationally with fanatics...They'll worship the thing they love, regardless of the reality. Windows Phones failed for a lot of reasons, mostly constant restarts without a solid plan. The lack of developer support and apps that people love and use regularly on either Android or iOS. The competition is killing it because they are delivering the wants of their respective consumer base. At this point, unless Microsoft does a 360-degree turn and seriously commit to the idea of Windows Phone...Failure is all that they'll reap in the mobile space. Before catering to fanatics, they'll need to capture the imagination of the general user.
  • Restarts were a symptom, not a cause. There was nothing they could do to fix WP7. It didn't catch on, not many people bought them, so they were safe killing it. Same with WP8. The reboots were warranted because the platforms had already failed and were not being widely used. If WP7 has caught on and was widely used, they wouldn't have rebooted. They would have found a way to keep that momentum going. The overall experience was the issue. The reboots were just a symptom of poor sales.
  • Lumia WP7 phones were pretty popular in the UK. They were marketed by all the major carriers. I saw a lot of them back in the day. WP8.1 was also popular. Together, Windows Phone in the UK was just shy of reaching the then market share of the iPhone. A lot of this was down to Nokia's image, marketing, and reputation of their products. Microsoft squandered that because they were so US-centric. They didn't see the success story they had in the UK, Italy and Spain, to name just a few countries where Windows Phone was doing pretty well (>9% market share, and in double figures in some countries).
  • This topic has been beat to death. Whatever limited success WP had in Europe was solely due to dirt cheap Nokia branded devices selling in price conscious markets. It was not enough to make a dent in the overall sales of the platform and the users didn't stick around long. They never moved anything but the cheapest phones. It wasn't enough to keep Nokia or Microsoft happy.
  • Let's face it, if WP7 were more open, customizable, and didn't include licensing fees, it propably would have taken off. OEM's saw this Android thing that they could customize with their own bloatware (to the detriment of only us consumers), that costed nothing to use, only thing required was that they sign up with Google. Pair this with the fact that the brand new iPhone that everyone was obsessing over was only available on AT&T. Enter Verizon, and Droid, and Sprint's HTC Evo. The developers abandoned Microsoft's limited phone OS so fast, and immediately saw this cool open source code that they could develop for. This is what killed windows phone. Then MS (Balmer) made more bone headed decisions, like spending 10 billion dollars to acquire Nokia's sinking ship, which would have been money better spent paying developers to support their failing phone OS, and just making their own phones. It's not like they did anything with Nokia tech, they essentially flushed 10 billion bucks down the toilet with write off, and layoffs that were inevitable. So, now what........ Stay the course, keep supporting W10 Mobile, or completely abandon it in place. I don't think they can abandon, they need to keep pushing full W10 to work on all architectures, and all sizes of devices, it's their only hope. I think they also need to take a long hard look at their abandonment of Project Astoria. Android apps need to be able to work on Windows for them to have any chance of survival in the mobile market. If a Surface phone ran Android and Windows, I'd buy it in a second. It would need to do it reliably though.
  • Um, a 360 degree turn would put them right where they are now. I don't think you want that.
  • Sales equals good user experience? I don't think so. People just want the apps and hw but not the OS. I bought a Samsung S8+ and downloaded a custom dark theme and a Windows-like launcher because Android UI sucks. The USER EXPERIENCE sucks. There is twice of everything, web browsers like the Samsung Internet and Chrome, voice assistants like Bixby and Google assistant, cloud services, mail, etc. Here's my phone. So I no longer consider it an Android phone.
  • And yet people buy Samsung phones in huge numbers and continue to buy them year after year. They must find the experience more than acceptable. I haven't been a fan, but the GS8 really looks good. I might have my first Touchwiz device or whatever Samsung calls it now. Repeat sales means good experience. Would you continue to buy something you had a poor experience with?
  • Yes, if I have no choice and if its the only thing available. 
  • No it doesn't... I can pretty much take any number one selling product and prove that they suck compared to smaller less known products. Personally if it's famous it probably ain't any good.... With few exceptions that outlook pretty much stands everytime....
  • Better to have twice of everything than gaping holes and gaps in your app ecosystem. I could never use Windows Mobile because critical apps I need simply aren't available on the platform. There are entire niches of the market that aren't served at all with UWP, because the developers simply aren't there to deliver.  So I'm curious as to why a few redundant apps are a problem on Samsung's phone, especially when they exist for legit reasons. Samsung has offloaded most of their apps to Galaxy Apps anyways. Is this a delayed complaint? Samsung Browser supports content blockers. Have fun on the ad infested internet without one. Google mandates their apps are installed, so this is more a Google issue than a Samsung or Android issue.
  • Yes, that's why I use Samsung's Internet app. But I can't uninstall Chrome, I can just disable it. Its better to have something, yes, but not twice. I don't want two notifications for everything. I don't want it to eat 2x storage space. Some I can uninstall, others, I can't. An example is Bixby. It is not an Android issue, its a Samsung issue. I can't remap that button for something else. I also don't want to open a Samsung account just for Bixby, I just want to maintain one account, only my Google account. You see if I decided to switch to an LG G99 later on, there will be an issue if I depend on hardware specific apps. Then it now becomes an Android issue. Because how can two Android phones not work together seamlessly. Now, I both have a Samsung and an Android issue. That's not a good user experience. Also, my Mobile Legends account is not transferrable to Android from iOS (although that's more of an Apple issue), and I spent a lot on that game. Meanwhile, I synced all my Microsoft accounts to my S8+ and everything is fine. Contacts, Outlook mail (yahoo!, gmail, live, work), OneDrive photos, docs, music, etc. So you see, for me, Windows OS is perfect, it just don't have the apps. Android and iOS got the apps, but its not perfect. Always on display? Lumia's got that first. Clear black display? L920 had that first. Wireless charging? Lumia's first. OIS on a smartphone? Lumia's. Dark theme? Oh yeah. Dex? Continuum. Motion photo? Living images. Camera? 950XL > S8+. A lot of the good user experience Android users are enjoying now, we Windows fans experienced first. Again, I'm not happy with Android, I just want the apps and just got to endure using it until they release Windows 10 on ARM devices. 
  • Subpar ?? You're nuts ! I love my Lumia 735 more than anything ...
  • You are one person. The vast majority of consumers didn't seem to agree or found the competition superior.
  • I carry both a Lumia 950 (personal) and an iPhone 6S (work) and i absolutely loath the iphone. Now if my choices were only between IOS and Android, I'd go Android, but until then, I'll stick with Windows until there is officially no more support.
  • What a lot of people here don't get is that user experiance is subjective and shift from user to user. Fact is that most of the user base are on either Android or iOS. You could see your self as en elite minority that get the Windows experiance or as an special group with speal needs but in what ever way you see it the Windows lovers are in a very clear minority. Microsoft have probably added to this by not shipping enought options to transfer from when thoose who had the 520 as thier first experiance was giving up but in the end most prefere other OSes. I myself miss the start meny of my Lumia 830 but not the often bad app experiance and the non-existance of local apps but the old 8.0 and even 8.1 WP was in my opinion wonderful. Not so much in the majorities opinion and that was probably the major downfall of Windows on phone.
  • A "great experience" is largely due to marketing. They were marketing the hell out of Android and iPhone long before they became good
  • Marketing only gets you in the door. Once you bring the product home it has to work and work well otherwise you don't buy another no matter how much marketing is done. Marketing wasn't the issue with Windows phone. The poor experience was.
  • What you're saying is what a lot of people will refuse to admit. The apps are a HUGE part of the user experience. Microsoft DID NOT have those apps and the ones that did come over were generally lacking. Even Microsoft apps were gimped on Windows Phone versus their iOS/Android counterparts. Lack of vision? Bad Tools? Bad Devs? Whatever the case may be, it resulted in an experience that users were not satisfied with. If they were, they would have purchased another Windows Phone!!!!! I find it very difficult for folks to say that Windows Phone was a superior user experience...the iPhone makes more money than Microsoft. Just the iPhone. Let that sink in. People in the US trust their lives to the iPhone. Apple releases a new iPhone, people line up all throughout the country. When Microsoft talks about mobile, no one cares anymore. Whatever Microsoft does decide to do however needs to be bold. It cannot just be another phone like we have today. It needs to be next gen in every way.
  • I have to disagree completely with the statement that WM has a bad UE.  I've had all mobile OSes and Windows is by far the best experience.  If you look back and the reviews of WM they universally say that the UE of WM is as good or better than any of the competition. The statement that the UE must be bad because nobody bought a Windows phone is completely without merit.  Windows was very late to the game and everyone had already picked their favorites.  It's very hard to break into a very saturated and largely non-technical mobile device market.  It take great apps and tons of marketing.  Neither of which Microsoft bothered to secure.
  • Microsoft marketed WP7 heavily. They spent half a billion dollars. The experience just wasn't good. That includes OEM and carrier's experience with the platform. Android just gave them more of what they wanted: full control over the device they were creating and selling. Microsoft didn't offer that. Microsoft actually bragged that they took control away from the people selling the devices! Very poor strategy combined with a inferior product. That was the problem with WP.
  • The only reason WP didn't "take" was timing. Apple came out first, Google saw the change and followed just in time.
    The very first Android devices were horrible to work with, unlike the first WPs.
    The "half a billion" you keep quoting comes from articles like this one that start with "Nearly four years after Apple launched the iPhone and two years after Google open-sourced the code for its Android operating system, Microsoft is finally set to re-enter the mobile market this holiday season in a serious way with Windows Phone 7".
    Yeah. Four years. Imagine being absent from the mobile market for 4 years and then try to come back in, with almost none of the apps created for other platforms. By the time WP came around Android was still on its early versions, and you couldn't even put the cursor where you wanted in a text message (personal experience with an HTC Legend). Mind you, Windows Phone didn't get it's global "fast and fluid" confirmation on its own. It was always compared to Android, and amazed people on how it can run so smooth on single core CPUs and small amount of RAM compared to the Androids of that time. No, Windows Phone was superior in all shapes and forms. It was only timing and constant reboots that took the chance away. Even with all the mistakes, If Microsoft had kept pushing, WP would've been holding a solid 10% by now.
  • Timing was certainly bad, but so was the overall strategy. Why would manufacturers and carriers put effort into phones where Microsoft held all the power? Android was much more friendly to them, Google had almost no power over the devices. Even if Android and Windows Phone were launched at the same time, Microsoft would have still struggled to convince manufacturers and carriers to support their closed platform. Windows Phone may have performed better than Android, but that was really the only advantage they had. Android was ahead in every other way and it's performance wasn't that bad. It wouldn't have become so popular if it was.
  • P.S. The Android experience was plain horrible. Certainly nowhere near what iPhone and WP offered. I was there. I used it before jumping ship.
  • If the experience was really horrible, then how did they grow so fast and big? Why would people continue buying horrible devices year after year? Why was Microsoft unable to capitalize on this Android issue if there product was so good?
  • Because mainstream markets are and always have been full of full om retards with no clue.... Walmart is number one doesn't make it a good retailer.... I'm HiFi home theater enthusiast I guarantee you none of the top selling brands are remotely good compared to what knowledgeable people in the field would buy for the same amount.... Same goes for TVs, and most mass market things... People don't usually buy quality, they buy brand equity, a price cause they can't afford better or because it's got huge cool factor to own it... Not because it is top quality or top bang for the buck.... Your correlation is mostly dead wrong.... NO SALES NUMBER DON'T INDICATE QUALITY PRODUCTS ARE BEING MADE NEVER HAS AND NEVER WILL
  • Actually, Walmart is #1 because it is great. You don't get to that size being a bad retailer. They out classed the competition, plain and simple. Same with McDonalds. They had the product that fit the market best. Your analogy is correct. Google is Walmart and Microsoft is KMart.
  • Windows Phone started to have a good user experience with WP8 and had the best with WP8.1.  W10M is not as good as WP8.1 but close.
  • That was too little too late. By the time WP8.1 was released, Android was way too far entrenched for Microsoft to make a comeback. Especially with the other issues with the platform. Why would manufacturers give up control over their devices in order to use Windows Phone? Android performance was fine and it gave all the control to the manufacturer and carriers, the people who mattered when it came to sales.
  • You may question the strategy, not the product.
    WP was much more "open" compared to iOS, and Microsoft traded the Android "opennes" for more security, and much more fluid experience.
    The decision Microsoft made was not appreciated by the OEMs; that doesn't mean the product was bad. OEMs always want to bundle their crappy user experience with their devices, fragmenting the market to no end, and that's exactly what Android suffered from for many years (and is still suffering). Your point about manufacturers causing WP to fail is completely off the mark. Manufacturers would make devices the users want. If WP were there sooner, instead of Android, and considering the fact that - as pointed out by others - most people using smartphones barely use any of even iPhone's features...WP could have EASILY replaced Android.
    Just imagine that WP was there right after iOS: almost all the apps created for iOS would be on WP easily (we know WP was more "open" comapred to iOS) and Android would have become what Linux used to be position wise on the desktop: an inconvenient, complicated OS with "features" no one but a small minority would care to use. It was just timing, and that's all.
  • Microsoft was selling to OEMs, not end users. If they didn't like the product, then it was a bad product. You cannot compare them to Apple, they had a completely different strategy. Apple was selling hardware and software directly to end users. They were not reliant on manufacturers so the strategy worked for them. If people really liked the Windows phone experience, then you are correct, they would have bought them and manufacturers would have been forced to create them. That never happened. The Windows Phone experience never compelled anyone. Even Nokia had to be heavily payed to put effort into the platform.
  • OEMs did create devices with WP on them. The only reason they didn't continue was that people didn't like it (so no, OEMs don't care about "their own" software as long as there is demand for what they make regardless). The only reason people didn't like it was that the same apps on those other 2 platforms weren't available on this 3rd one. This is so obvious. I argue that if the timing was right and Microsoft hadn't lost 4 years of time in such a fast moving market as the mobile market, that apps would have come, and they could have improved the OS in the time they simply lost.
    Nokia put effort into the platform but no matter what they did Nokia couldn't bring Instagram and Snapchat. That's it. You want to pin it on WP as an OS. You just can't. Facts won't support you. Just do the mental experiment I desribed with apps on WP and see for yourself. P.S. To your point about OEMs and their freedom: all of them have been free on Windows desktop. Aside for a bunch of crappy bloatware, none of them heavily tweaked Windows out of shape, replacing the Windows shell simply because users were used to Windows as it was. There is no point in arguing when it came to mobile some other rule would have applied.
    HTC on Windows Mobile dramatically tweaked the OS because WM was very obscure and not known, and its UX was horrible...on the same level as Android (except Android supported capacitive touch). Otherwise, if users get used to something they are fine with it remaining the same way. Just ask the hordes of iPhone users.
  • OEMs created a single Windows phone, maybe. They didn't put effort into them though and didn't push them like they did their Android offerings. How much effort did Samsung put into the Focus compared to the Galaxy S? Did HTC put much effort into selling the Titan compared to the Evo? Did LG or Motorola even create Windows phones? Nokia put tons of effort in, but Microsoft was paying them like $250 million in regular intervals. Still didn't work. The platform just wasn't compelling.
  • 1-Apple keeps selling iPhones even though they are all the same.
    2-PCs kept selling even though they were all the same.
    3-Android kept selling despite the fact that it was laggy and buggy in comparison.
    4-No one can argue the success of Android (in numbers) is due to the customization the OEMs could do.
    5-Everyone used to point out how different versions of Android lead to fragmentation, breach of security and slower updates (because everyone had to wait for OEMs to decide to update after Google updated Android). I don't have time to reiterate, seeing as you keep dodging the app situation I keep pointing out. Apps->users. No apps->no users. The rest is just mumbo jumbo.
  • Totally agreed. Microsoft made it very difficult for developers to post apps to the Windows Store. Buggy API's and so on. Eventually they gave up on their little experiment and stuck with iOS and Android. If you don't make it easy for the developers, with competition, they won't come. Windows phone is not Windows.
  • Microsoft didn't lost 4 years. The iPhone launched in 2007 and WP7 devices came out in 2010.  That is not 4 years.  I was there. I got an HD7 on launch day.  The platform had no Apps, and the built in software left much to be desired. This was right as Apple was bringing software like iPhoto and iMovie to the iPhone. This was when software like Beejive, Skype, and others were being ported to mobile. None of that was available on WP7.  Additionally, it was very buggy. We had severe issues with the keyboard (randomly disappearing while typing) after the NoDo update. Push Notifications were very volatile (late or missed notifications compared to Android and iOS). The Os would randomly junk up and stop working, requiring a factory reset.  The device still needed Zune to sync and update.  Microsoft promised fast updates straight from them, while trying to capitalize on Android users complaining about late or nonexistent FroYo updates. They broke that promise before the first major update, and users were relegated to using tricks to force Zune to give them updates early.  The cameras on practically all WP7 devices trailed Apple and the likes of Samsung. Microsoft's camera software was terrible.  There were severe API gaps in the platform, which made some types of apps impossible to develop, as well.  The OS was severely feature deficient.  Unless you spent your day looking at half-disfunctional live tiles and staring at the people hub, the UX was objectively awful on that platform compared to both Android and iOS.  I had a GS Vibrant, HD7, and 4th Gen iPod Touch back then. Both phones had their own SIM cards and plans. I basically stopped using the WP7 device and sold it off, because it simply wasn't of no use past being a PMP, and the iPod did that much better while giving me access to iMessage and FaceTime.  There is a lot of revisionist history here... It was over by the time WP8 arrived. 10 was a salvage mission. Most people stopped caring at 7, and the only way to sale phones was going super low end, or depending on Super Fans.  BB10 was way better than WP7, but even it died due to App Gap and other issues despite developing an Android Bridge. WP had no chance and without Microsoft's deep pockets, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. It would be in the dust bin as WebOS. 
  • And yet webos is live and kicking..... You can find it in pretty much anything LG which makes it pretty present on the market... And luneOS got 2 version this year already and more than half a dozen last year.... Taking a true Linux based OS as an example is never a good idea... You always will find three guys in a cave maintaining it just for fun 😋
  • 3 years and 4 months. Doesn't make a difference in what I said.
    If I were to list all the bugs in Android, on all those devices with all those versions it would make your head spin. You can do that with any platform. Universal security issues and others like even choppy video recording on almost all the handsets.
    Still, I won't be debating who had how many bugs or features. Your point about BB10 makes it clear: WP surpassed BlackBerry and was on the rise in areas like Europe when Microsoft practically pulled the plug, ending a half arsed committment to the platform. My point was that starting nearly 4 years after, and keeping users waiting for features that didn't arrive in time was the key why they lost. Windows Phone as a product concept, and as a source of potential for success was very capable to take the 2nd place. It won awards for its design.
    First releases of Android were very horrible to work with; even if all you say about the first version of WP is true, it would have still replaced Android as the 2nd OS if it were released as late as a year after the original iPhone. For whatever you say, if the apps were available on the "horrible" WP7, we would've been looking at a very different mobile market landscape right now.
  • Actually you brought up the point about iMessage and FaceTime. This is what helped Apple tremendously in my opinion. For those that remember, the carriers used to charge both data and text message rates based on how much you use. iMessage completely bypassed those surcharges with its propretary messaging system. Sure the phones were expensive back then, but get it on a contract and you don't get charged text message rates with other iPhone users, word of mouth spreads quick. As for android, I think they only became successful because their devices were so cheap. I recall paying around $600 for a BlackJack II from AT&T with Windows Mobile 6.5.
  • Speaking of features, here is an excerpt from a recent ZDNet article: "I'm just going to come out and say it -- the original iPhone was junk. I know, that's a scandalous thing to say, but to say otherwise is to do a disservice to the memories of the awesome handsets of the time. Call quality was terrible, it didn't support multimedia messaging, and data speeds were slow even for 2007 because Apple chose not to support 3G. It wasn't even a phone first. You had to fire up the Phone app -- although we didn't call it an app back in the day -- to make calls, which seemed strange for a phone. It was also pretty awful as an iPod. Four gigabytes of storage on the base model really didn't go that far (and Apple knew this, because it binned it in September of 2007), and Bluetooth 2.0 didn't support stereo. The iOS operating system -- it was called iPhone OS back then -- was also very lacking, missing even basic features such as the ability to cut/copy/paste (we had to wait until iOS 3.0 for this feature to finally appear). There was also no support for third-party apps, and Apple relied heavily on Google to make up the shortfall in its services (of the 16 "apps" that appeared on the iPhone's screen, the Maps app used Google Maps, and there was a built-in YouTube app)." Imagine if Windows Phone 7 came out a single year after this. Stil believe "the API was lacking" so "certain apps couldn't be created" for WP7? What you read is what people got excited about back then.
    Give me a break.
  • Interesting to see that take. I never used the first few iPhones so I don't know. What I do know is that they were the first touch smart phones I ever saw. That is what made the iPhone so successful. Apple succeeded in getting the iPhone into people's hands and it succeeded in making a device that did what people wanted it to do by "getting out of the way". Yes, there were BlackBerries all over the place but all a BB could do is send a message. Yes, in the beginning the iPhone didn't do anything that a BB couldn't (I'm sure BB's could play music), but, what was crucial is that the iPhone made it easy to do all those things. You didn't need to use a joy stick to navigate. You could use your finger. That was part two to Apple's genius. They made what was previously a frustrating experience for all but the most technically inclined somewhat pleasant. The best way to describe Apple's design philosophy is they get the technology out of the way of the user. That's what's made Apple users so incredibly loyal over the decades despite sky high prices.
  • There is no doubt that the iPhone brought about a revolution. My response was to the guy who claimed WP7 was so horrible it couldn't possibly compete with iOS and Android. My point was people's expectations were so low back then just having a bigger screen and smooth touch was wonderful, and other than that the software was very lacking. So if WP came out faster it could have easily competed.
  • Don't forget that MS was way less cool 5 years ago. It was seriously hated, and no product with the name Windows or Microsoft was respected by the mainly youthful audience for smart phones. Today MS is fairly cool thanks to Surface devices and the new OS. Plus, I think people are now accustomed to the Windows 10 look - tiles, colors, etc. When it first came out it was also seriously hated by many.
  • The majority of customers are not buying what they want, they are buying whatever is forced on them by the business.  Go into a store to get a phone, the salesperson will push to sell you an iPhone or a Samsung phone and fail to even acknowledge that other brands exist.  Salesperson must get some bonus for selling these brands.  Also, 80% of the store displays space will be for these two brands. Hard to get something else when you're not really knowledgeable.  Half the people I know with Samsung phones don't even know it's running Android...
  • Two comments that miss the mark: "majority of customers ... are buying whatever is forced on them by the business." "80% of the store displays space will be for [iPhone or Samsung]" That is because that's what consumers want. People want an iPhone. In most cases, if they can't afford an iPhone they get a Samsung. If they can't afford a Samsung they go for something else. Me, I don't work that way. I can't justify spending more on a phone that I can sit on and break than I do my computer, the device with which I earn part of my living. But, most people aren't wired that way and that's their prerogative.
  • You see, your opinion to a person that understands the MS OS is like using foil to wipe your Ass, doesn't make sense, if u really understand it, u would know its better than IOS and that God forsaken Android, those are Chicken head OS's Windows is for people who think outside the box, it's challenging and fun to use and once u really understand what it is about, you would never say such unless, u do not like a challenging Interface. Windows has to come back its even a question of if\ maybe. They would have shot themselves on the foot if they don't.
  • "You see, your opinion to a person that understands the MS OS is like using foil to wipe your Ass," Did an operating system lose its fan? C'mon. Get real. Microsoft's Windows 10 is a great OS but also deeply flawed. Its competitors are also great OSes, and, if you're Android, you're also deeply flawed (beyond price iOS's flaws are superficial--it is a clean OS). I use Windows 10 as my preferred operating system on three tablets and one touch laptop (one HP 1000 G2, HP Stream 7 and Surface 3, Dell 5378). As a touch OS it is deeply flawed. The interface is frustrating and buggy. Even outside of touch it's not stable. For example, yesterday, I had to force restart one of the tablets because I couldn't bring up the keyboard to enter my pin to login. You'd think that the login screen would be flawless! And, interestingly enough, my four year old son very quickly figured out how to bypass the parental controls. I've still not experimented to see what it is he does but I found it quite amusing that the time limit doesn't work reliably. If anyone is using aluminum foil it's certainly not the critics of Windows 10 on touch devices (which is what mobile is).
  • Just download the SquareHome2 launcher on your work Android and you'll have the tiles.
  • I'm guessing being that it's a work phone, he can't download anything not approved
  • Putting lipstick on the pig.
  • better to have the pig than the steaming pile that it **** out (w10m)!
  • That is only a skin deep change. If you don't understand why Windows mobile has a better interaction model then you really haven't bothered really getting to know it.  While theoretically Android widgets should provide superiour experience to live tiles, in practice they are poorly integrated and executed.  With tiles, most programs I can pin particular playlists, documents, contacts etc all in a uniform easy way.  Can you pin those in Android, yes, theoretically but... not usually because for what ever reason the developers don't think about it as often on android where it was a key feature on windows.  It is also more cumbersom.  I have to go to the widgets draw bring up the desired widget, then select all the parameters.  In windows it is just a long press, and pin to start page. And it typically looks better.  Windows apps often let me log in multiple accounts simultaniously and pin each one to the start page.  I have yet to find that on any android app.  could you, probably but once again, this is not pushed on Android so developers don't do it. Linking between apps is also superior on Windows.  On android if select a link that pushes me to another app, it asks me which app I want to use and if it is one time or always.  When I select always, the next time it still asks me the same stupid question!!!  I told you last time ALWAYS don't ask me again!.  I have had this behavior with two different android phones from two carriers in different countries, so it seems to be an android issue.  My guess is that the carrier, equipment manufacturer, and android all want to be default and won't let others take control.  Rooting would probably solve this annoying issue, but really should i need to root my phone to get it to work properly.  Windows when it I select always, I never have to deal with it again.  When i had windows mobile, I was having some performance issues, with slow loads and some minor studerring.  I figured it was because I was using test loads, had a low end phone, and that MS had simply not devoted enough resources to give me a good experience.  So when I moved to android a much higher end phones, I expected to have much improved user experience.  NOPE, slow load speeds, Jittery, stuttery mess.  In some ways it is worse that my low end windows phone.  Some will say use the stock launcher for better performance, but then say that big advantage to andoid is the customizations in the same breath.  To me the customizations are too cumbersom to be worth it.   Give me windows mobile or its successor with the Android bridge and I will be back in a flash.
  • I think developers don't bother with widgets because they aren't used much. Same with Live Tiles. The notification center does a fine job and can be accessed anywhere at anytime. Widgets/Live Tiles just don't seem to be a compelling feature. I am one person, but I haven't seen much use for them other than for music apps which do tend to have great widgets.
  • notification center =\= live tiles. i don't want to have 15 things in my notification center constantly, but i don't mind 15 live tiles all displaying information. notification center is for *notifications* not the type of information that is generally found on live tiles. for example, garmin has some summary data on its live tile. that is useful. it is *not* useful as a notification. but when an activity has been uploaded and is ready to view or if i get a new insight, a notification pops up letting me know that there's something new that i may want to pay attention to. live tiles is for passive information. notifications is for active information.
  • Fine in theory, but it doesn't seem to work in practice. Widgets and Live Tiles never caught on because they just aren't that useful. I also think Live Tiles make the home screen seem cluttered and busy. Microsoft has never had a successful product that puts Live Tiles front and center. I think the average user is intimidated by them.
  • I was just looking at my live tiles - and you are right - completely different to notifications: I have a live tile showing me title and first line of incoming email, constantly updating. Same for daily calendar. I can see the appointments at a glance without doing anything. I have a live tile showing weather, status of the Underground, current US:UK point currently, my flight details and scheduled time (that again, updates directly on the tile), My MS Band app shows steps. These are just the livetiles I've chosen. All this fits on one screen without having to open anything. I have other tiles pinned that are not 'live' but integrated into apps, e.g. regular routes I take using Maps. I select the route in the app, then Pin it to the front. Now, click on tile, maps opens and goes directly into driving mode and calculates my route. I also have an iPad and can do none of this - just blank boring squares with the odd item count, or a whole screen of vertical notifications for things I don't really need to know. Unless you've tried Windows 10 mobile recently - it's hard to explain how nice it is to use. Finally, I decided to integrate my SMS into the Skype for Windows 10 app. Earlier betas were a little bit hit and miss but now it seems to work really well - and notifies back to the desktop too where you can respond. Nice.    
  • Love Live Tiles for the Calendar app.  I see coming meetings and appointments when they're not in the notification area.
  • Then you would really love widgets. Calendar widgets do the same thing but are directly actionable, scrollable and chaseable. Live Tiles are just flashy randomness. Maybe they show you what you need to see, maybe not. They are not reliable.
  • Sounds good, doesnt work
  • Why don't you download launcher10 for Android. Live tiles that actually work better than windows
  • No even close. I have tried every Windows Phone style launcher on Android and the they only look like Windows, not act like it. In order to use the benefits of live tiles every Android app would help to support it. When you dog deeper into the way Live Tiles work on Windows you will realize it requires end to end support to really work, not just the basic looks.
  • I heard someone else say this. Then I told them to try it again because the launchers both received updates recently. They did and came back to tell me I was right. So maybe give it another try. I've been on windows phone since the Dell venue pro. What I have on my galaxy s8 with live tiles is superior
  • Actually, the likes of SquareHome 2 can do everything actual live tiles do..and more. Basically the whole experience is a Windows Mobile one. It seems some fans, those that are left, are so diehard about it, they won't hear anything else, or even give it a chance. That's fine if it works for you, but to suggest some WM style launchers, especially now, are inferior is just plain ignorant.
  • Exactly. People just want to come tin he suffering through the likes of windows 10 mobile when there are other options that will give them a more pleasurable experience. Android and iPhone aren't stagnant. They improve year after year just like Windows was SUPPOSED to. Including these launchers
  • Better than Windows Mobile 10 ?? Ha ha . There ain't any such thing !
  • You wouldn't know that unless you confirmed it :-)
  • Just get an hp elite x3 or Lumia 950xl and dual sim :)
  • @coip;Yeah. I see alot of those ugly Apple Icons on phones and well with Android which I do own I do have a background that I'm ok with. But I had a wp with the CE OS and I just love that "Start Screen" and hope Microsoft keep it and innovate more I think it's gorgeous and to have live info at a glance is unbeatable. For those who don't like well keep your boring Icons. I'm being patient and is very impress that Microsoft is able to get Windows 10 to run rather smoothly on an ARMs processor and think that is rather impressive engineering. I don't know why folks are waiting for WM when the offering is Windows 10 itself a rather more powerful OS that will run on this chipset. To me that offers far more possibilities.
  • its not disgusting if you have the apps that actually work etc.  unlike windows mobile right now which is a shitstorm of 3rd rate crap and web browsing.
  • When was the last time you actually used a Windows phone? Hmmmm.....
  • ummmmmm.....2 days ago!
  • FYI williamC1972  I have a's crap compared to my iphone 6s.   I use it only for 3d scanning with builder right now.  that's it.  It never sees my sim card because it's terrible at being a truly mobile device.   A shame to,  the camera is such a bad the software is such a let down.  Continuum is a gimmick,  and no real need on a mobile device. 
  • The world has moved on.
  • Yeah! Ask Brandon LeBlanc. The most helpful (NOT) guy ever. 😑😑😑😑
    And THANK YOU for this article, Jez... This was required. 🙂
  • He blocked me for calling him out on being hypocritical.
  • Why the hell would they be making CShell, Windows on ARM, and Continuum 2.0 if Microsoft had any intention of leaving mobile computing? Nadella even said publically that Microsoft is currently developing the "ultimate mobile device."  People who want MS to abandon mobile conveniently ignore every sign that MS is not giving up, but evolving and improving mobile.
  • I have ZERO confidence A) Microsoft has a CLUE what an "ultimate mobile device" is and B) Microsoft will actually make such a thing that will be a "must have" for consumers.
  • After seeing surface products, I wouldn't be so sure about point A. Did you watch the video displaying the level of craftsmanship put into the surface laptop?
  • You have read to much of Jason Wards fantasy novels :-) WARM is necesary to be able to put out simple, low cost, easy to use tablets, 2-in-1s, laptops. Most people want something with a web browser, netflix and causal gaming that are easy to use also for light office work, that needs no boot time and have a working time that at least  is enought for a full day. CShell is necessary for the small devices of WARM type easyly be connected to a large screen (your TV) and handle the the transfer from a 8 inch screen in tablett mode to an 55 inch screen in either desktop mode or xbox mode. No need to  fit and phone into that formula. CShell is needed for the ubiscius computing that are follow your steps and appearing on the screen or device that you are at the moment. Continuum is what I can see more of an user experiance experiment to see if the users accept to bring a dock withem to get the mobile ubisius user experiance or if we have to what until we have an working wireless solution. I would say that both continuum and dex failed in that as most people do not want to tog around and extra dock to be able to connect to the nearest screen.
  • continuum is an experience, not a separate technology. CShell will be the future implementation of continuum. that's why continuum exists in win10 for PCs. it goes between tablet and desktop mode. continuum is just the ability to change between form factors.
  • I'm in your camp, cool8. I have hope because of the original Surface and Surface Studio. I don't anyone saw them coming. So if Panos is running true-to-form, the Redmond hardware team is like Skunkworks these days. Even Softies in other departments won't have a clue.
  • Nadella was mistaken.  he meant he's currently USING the ultimate mobile device....his iphone 7+
  • Need to share at Tweeter with tagging @satyanadella! I think that will work ☺
  • Yeah, but who's testing, hundreds or millions? Why make the new Skype on Windows if maybe no one likes it? You also need to specifically say Phones because they're already Mobile with Windows 10 but honestly do they specifically need to come from Microsoft yet? The phones exist, y'all just want new toys to play with...I have mine, it's your own fault for not liking what they made. The phones are phones get over it
  • Lumia were by far the best selling Windows phones so people liked what Microsoft made just fine.
  • "Best selling Windows Phone" isn't much of an accomplishment. Even the highest seeing Windows Phones didn't move many units.
  • No it certainly isn't. I was more referring to the fact that people did, in fact, "like what they made", accounting for all of the other mistakes and mishandling that led to the current state of the mobile Windows ecosystem. The hardware even got good reviews from many in the tech press, often lamenting only that the fantastic hardware ran Windows.
  • If people actually liked them, then they would have bought them.
  • I tend to disagree there but only so far as to make the distinction between hardware and software. People did like the hardware but not enough to overcome multiple platform reboots, the app gap, the entrenched competitors due to the late arrival of the modern smartphone platform of WP7, etc. This is what I meant by "mistakes and mishandlings". As for @ScubaDog's response below, it is true that the well-received Lumias were Nokia's so perhaps that makes my whole point moot but I'm still a fan regardless so I still hold on to hope of a usable product coming from the Surface team.
  • No, they liked what NOKIA made.  Microsoft made CRAP.  I've had the Lumia 900, 920 a d 1020.  I still have the 920 a nd 1020, with the 1020 remaining my go-to device.  I was stupid and bought the 950.  I now only use it to keep up on what next disaster W10M belches out via the Insider program.  The 950, in my opinion, is a horrible looking, overpriced piece of junk, made worse by W10M.
  • Fair point, though I still hold out hope that the Surface team can deliver a device that we will be happy with. My Icon needs an upgrade more than it needs the repairs I've given it but I don't want to leave the platform unless Microsoft pulls support for the OS. I'd gladly use a 950 over any Android.
  • Max, you've got to get out of Verizon's CDMA sandbox.
  • Agreed!
  • Needs to*
  • Windows 8 RT was also not specifically announced to be discontinued, but to only be revived in another form years later. Do you think a similar action could be done for Windows Mobile? Maybe in a form we hadn't considered before.
  • Might happen and hope it will
  • Same here... I am still using my Lumia 950 hoping that one day they will make a surprise announcement
  • Windows 10 now runs on ARM chips with an x86 emulator no less. There is no reason for Windows Mobile to exist anymore. That mobile OS was needed only when the full (real) Windows couldn't run on ARM.
  • I don't think so. From my point of view, the whole idea of UWP was to make apps that work great on a family of devices with different architecture (ARM/x86/x64). In that way, no "CShells" are in fact needed. You get the same apps in a slightly different chrome on each of devices. I think that "Windows on ARM" is just a sign of UWP failure. Windows on ARM is needed to run the traditional legacy Win32 apps on any device. I doubt it will be very convenient.
  • Very well said. However, I often ask myself if these art les written on Windows Central are ever read by important people from Microsoft. These articles contain a lot of good ideas but if they are read only by the fans and the passionate consumers they have no impact.
    Anyway, I congratulate the author of this article one more time. Nicely done!
  • Exactly.
  • This! 1000 times, this!
  • It's already too late. Unless MS can port all the mobile apps from the Play or Apple stores that people want, say everything over 100,000 downloads then it's DOA. I used to kid myself that I didn't need apps as you could do everything through the browser, but apps are so much more convenient.
  • Yeah I didn't realize how much more convenient they were until I jumped ship
  • Can you be more specific on the apps you believe are necessary but missing because I and many others use about 10 apps regularly and 99% of the apps on our devices go completely unused. Even when an app exists for Android/iOS getting consumers to download and use those apps is very difficult for companies. That's why you often see sites offering incentives to download and use an app, most people don't use apps even when they exist. My banks and credit cards have apps for Windows but I honestly never use the apps instead of the website. I also prefer to handle serious stuff like that on the PC, not on a phone. Many online retailers also have apps and I can't for the life of me understand why you would use an app instead of the website. Also prefer to do comparison shopping in a PC web browser with multiple tabs and extensions that can automatically do price comparison and tracking.  
  • Your comment only makes sense within the context of being a Windows Phone user.  WP apps are subpar and therefore, would naturally force you back to the PC and onto the website.  Apps on iPhone and Android are much more robust and are a far better, and more useful experience.  When I was a WP user, I would use my bank's PC web site (and I used to have to do a lot of my transactions at the branch) only because the WP app version was so horrible.  If you are concerned about "handling serious stuff like that on the PC, not a phone" get yourself a serious phone and move on.
  • Most banks don't let you deposit checks from their website.  I suspect banks will start getting tighter integration with the mobile wallets as well.  Web pages are poor substitues for apps.  Most the apps I use are professional in nature and would probably not show up on any top 100 used apps list.  Unfortunately this is the main problem, many peoples "Must Have" apps fit in some niche that aren't as widely used.  I use about 20 apps on a daily basis and more on a weekly basis.  But I said this once and I'll say it again.  If MS brings the Android bridge back to windows mobiles successor, I will be back with a wallet in hand. 
  • @cool8man Example.  Kayak.  Kayak is a great app!  It's not on Windows Mobile 10.  I only use it when I travel or when tracking flights for those visiting.  I currently have it on my Lumia 8.1.  It's super!  I don't use it every day, not even close.  But when the time arises it's the best app for travel tracking.  Example #2:  Here Transit!  By far the best app for me when traveling to cities with a metro system.  And I've used other apps.  They are just not as good IMO as Here Transit.  But I only use it when traveling out of town.  Again, not an everyday app, but one that's super when needed! So yes, there will be apps that are very well needed that are not an everyday app.  But also, just because you may not use certain apps like Bank apps doesn't mean there isn't an audience that it caters too.  Just because you may like something doesn't make it more important than what others may like.  It's just more important to you. 
  • If they put FULL windows 10 on mobile devices,  you can run bluestacks on it and have all android apps.  The only thing I see happening however is that the new "phones" will come with 10s and block bluestacks and any mobile traction that the new "phone" might of had!
  • Sorry, but Bluestacks offers a weak Android experience.  After a couple of years of frustration, I gave up on it.
  • Try MEmu.  
  • It does what I need it to do.   I only started using it about a month ago,  At least I can use texture now on my computer unlike the **** windows store app that does not even work.   
  • Agreed.
  • I didn't read the article but ....... the message is clear. I don't think Microsoft cares what others think or want. They never did and never will. To me its typical how US compagnies are. It's all about making money. Nothing more nothing less.
  • Completely agree. If they are going to continue with Windows 10 Mobile they are going to have to do more quality assurance before they release updates as the last couple including .414 have been that technical term"rubbish". Even B2X who support mobile for Microsoft have noticed an increase in bugs.
  • Yeah, I agree that .414 is a total garbage. I bought my 950 XL in March 2016 and it was a great device for Windows fans. Nowadays it's constantly freezing, telling me that "Something went wrong" and so on even after the factory reset.
  • How do companies make money if they don't care what people think? They have to create products that people want to purchase.
  • Yeah. Thats why they stopped. We didn't asked Microsoft to stopped. They didn't asked us if they should stop. They just stopped.
  • I disagree. "Us" is the consumers in the market. No one was buying what they were selling. That's how consumers tell companies what they want: by buying it (or not). "We" told them we didn't want more phones from them. A vocal minority of enthusiasts does not make a profit (and profits are a requirement for a business to exist, not just some evil scheme to cheat consumers) in a market controlled by the two largest companies in the world.
  • Your comment is a non-sequitur.  You're right of course that corporations are about making money, but offering products that people don't won't is a rather poor way of achieving that goal.  So of course the likes of MS cares about what people want.  But that certainly doesn't mean that they'll always execute successfully. 
  • They just don't respect us.
  • They just ignore us.
  • thye should: - marketing, marketing, marketing (use their own phone during interviews and conferences) - advertising, advertising, adverstising - developers, developers, developers (develop, help develop or pay for top 100 apps on ios and android, also develop their apps on their garbage anyone?)
  • First they need a platform that is compelling and marketable. Windows phones are neither.
  • Enough with "marketing". What the hell exist to "market" right now?
  • We've read this kind of article before and pretty much all are in agreement so instead of being redundant I will just say "Ditto"
  • To me I'm done with Microsoft phones. It appears that I'll be going through a 3rd reboot and Microsoft doesn't even care. I loved the community and OS and I think I'll miss it. Microsoft you broke my heart.
  • Melodrama cranked up to 11
  • Well. Most of us got kind of invested in the community and the under dog nature of this whole thing. Drama sure. But understandable yes
  • To me I see Microsoft realizing the crutch that was Windows Mobile is no longer needed. Windows 10 is a big success with over half a billion users already, the app store is successful and starting to attract even the biggest companies including Apple. Now Windows 10 can run on every mobile device and every app can scale with CShell so it's almost time to discard the crutch that was Windows Mobile. This is progress, not a reboot, not a do-over. This is a continuation and evolution of the only version of Windows 10 that ever really mattered. Impatient millennials want hockey stick success like Apple/Samsung products, but that isn't historically how Microsoft succeeds in any market. Microsoft creeps into markets slowly as they're doing with Bing and Azure. Windows 10 app store is making impressive inroads in the way Microsoft always does.
  • The main problem with ms is they kept rebooting and leaving users and developers behind.  They should have let it evolve and let old units die naturally instead of forcing thier early demise.  They should have allowed all phones that could physically be upgraded get upgrades.  This means even those made by other companies.  Sinofsky should have taken the base that was created with windows phone and evolved that for windows 8 instead of creating a whole new branch.  This made it more difficult for developers as the programming model kept changing.  Additonally programming was easier to perform on silverlite vs uwp.  Silverlite was more friendly to begginers but was less structured, Where UWP is more structured and safe but increases the difficulty. 
  • Microsoft needed to: 1-Get in the game sooner.
    2-Release updates to bring feature parity sooner.
    3-Care enough to not create the crappy W10M and continue with the actual evolution of WP8.1.
  • Someone has to teach MS a lesson for ditching loyal fans and taking them for granted.
  • I use WM because I like it.
    I also have an android. It mostly sits on my desk. I use it to deposit checks when I need to. It uses Squarehone.
    It doesn't hold my SIM too often tho.
    I neither Love nor hate MS. I want what I like to get better.
  • To me, in order for UWP to be successful, you need to make apps that tell people they _need_ to go to the Windows Store to get something fantastic. Something that you cannot fire up Chrome (or Edge) to experience on the Web. To that point, the comment about where is Microsoft's equivalent of GarageBand is entirely on point. Microsoft themselves have no "killer apps" in the Store. They really need to show the potential of UWP. Part of the problem is that unless you have new hardware UWP apps look pretty terrible on non-HiDPI screens. The font smoothing is non-existent, and everything just looks blocky and outdated. They need to release some killer Fluent Design apps.
  • This can't be over emphasized. "Project Centennial apps like Spotify won't run on any device that doesn't contain the Win32 APIs Microsoft is slowly trying to get away from." I think it is more significant with Centennial apps like Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint. MS has essentially removed the Office Mobile apps from the store and is replacing them with Centennial 'ports' of the Win32 apps. That sends a glaring message. You can't do anything substantial in UWP. That isn't actually the case. The OneNote Store/UWP is steadily marching towards feature parity with the tradional OneNote 2016 app. It can be done, you just have to wanna. If MS itself doesn't wanna, why would anyone else. I don't think they need to replicate Office in UWP, but they certainly have telemetry which identifies the 10% of features 90% of users need. Do those in a UWP app. Make the UWP Office apps truly functional for the majority of users and include them in Win 10 (like iWorks was/is).  That will demostrate the platform is viable, and MS supports it.  As it is, they have demostrated Win 10 S is not usable, unless you shoehorn x86/64 apps into it.
  • Actually it was determined even the Office apps in the iOS and Android store are wrapped up desktop apps that still have Win32 Apis built into them with a mobile friendly ui ontop... so this isn't necessarily as bad as you think
  • IDK if it's true for HP and other Win phones, but Lumias have Office baked in. No need to install from store. And on the 950, Word is powerful enough to let me create a doc with tables and images. Only issue is screen size, but with Continuum, it would get the job done. I also have OneNote, Excel and PowerPoint. Yes, I could build a presentation on my 950...
  • Thanks Jez for re-emphasizing what many of us Microsofties continually feel. Unfortunately this article also worsens our depression in that readers always hope you, Dan, and Zac would have the inside-track at MS and would give us GOOD news about their future plans...ah well.
  • Once again, MS actually gets out front on something and then sits in park while everyone else takes the ball and runs with it.  I LOVED the HERE suite on WP7 and WP8.  City Lens was USEFUL AR and it sickens me that it no longer exists on Windows.  Just another STUPID, IGNORANT choice by the idiots running Microsoft.
  • You've kind of just listed Nokia achievements, not Microsoft.
  • Satya nadella is an idiot for sure.. Sorry if i appear rude.
  • The worst example of this is HoloLens. Microsoft was obviously many years ahead of the competition with inside out tracking and their wireless self-contained design. Instead of capitalizing on their big headstart Microsoft is giving away the tech to OEMs and basically giving the competition many years to catch-up with the technology in HoloLens. It is obvious that Microsoft cares more about mixed reality being successful than they do about Microsoft or even Windows products being successful. HoloLens was first demonstrated in January 2015. 3 years later there will still be no product for consumers. I hope Microsoft succeeds with HoloLens, but if it becomes another Tablet PC/iPad where Apple swoops in and steals the market I will have no respect whatsoever for Satya Nadella.
  • just let android apps into the windows mobile ecosystem. you would recapture the microsoft loyalists like me that wanted those apps that microsoft doesnt have such as sirius xm and wemo home automation apps.... i have a lumia 950xl and also everything else microsoft but switched to a samsung s7 edge 5 months ago...
  • I wouldn't publish Android apps in the store, but I would allow Android emulators to be published in the Windows app store. This means if developers want visibility in the Windows app store they still have to publish to the store. 
  • third party Emulators would be worse performance than native emulion.  They should reintroduce the Android Bridge.. But it should be true bridge with some method of eventually converting the app to full uwp over time like the Win32 bridge does.  Some say it is a bad idea and it would be doom for windows mobile, but you have to look at the realities of the situation.  1. Windows mobile is already mostly dead.  So there is very little to lose in the first place.  2. Best case scenerio is people use your app platform (UWP) on your OS, next best would be 3rd party app platform (Android, iOS) on your OS, third best would be your app platform (Xamarin) on 3rd party OS.  Worst case scenario is 3rd party app platform on 3rd party OS.  Seems like MS has chosen to skip a whole lott of good options to get where they are now. 
  • I agree, one way forward would be to re-introduce Android Bridge - why they got rid of it is beyond me.
  • I'm seriously considering moving to Android after my Lumia 950 plan ends. The future is bleak. The only reason I love this phone is continuum.
  • you really won't reget it. treat yourself to a supported and growing platform.
  • Same here, I bought it only for the camera, other than is a waste of good hardware.
  • Yeah, the camera is about the only thing holding me back right now since i can't afford a new flagship android camera i'll have to stick with the 950xl until it dies or i win some money, lol
  • I'm getting a Samsung Galaxy Note8 when that's out, but as soon as Microsoft releases a Surface mini I'll get one regardless.
  • looks like you'll be saving some money
  • I agree. I had the Note 7 and before was recalled I can honestly say it was the best phone I've ever owned. So I've continued along with the Pixel XL and the Moto Z-Force Droid over the past year. They are good phones but could not touch the Note 7. So I am he really awaiting the Note 8. Side note, I use the Galaxy tab S3 as a tablet and it reminds me a lot of the Note 7 and comes with an S Pen.
  • Give us a phone that does mobile gaming like the Nintendo Switch. I'd love to be able to take it off the dock and continue a game from PC to handheld at any point.
  • Same discussion over and over. SMH! I bleed Microsoft, I’ve stood by their phones for years and still use one as I type. I would put my phone up against any Droid or Apple product. It may not be the cutting-edge best today, but it holds its own and it solid. It still does not matter what the specs of the phone are. It can be gold plated , offered free with a fill up of premium, have the best contract of any offered, with sales people that suddenly give a darrn, be able to scuba drive to 500ft -water tight, 3k X 3k display, open apps in negative 3 seconds and more...and still... with that said, if you can’t get 12 bazillion apps for it like the other 2 players, nobody is going to want it. They either need to put together an employee pool inside of every company to focus on MS version of Apps, or Create a team to do nothing but mirror apps from every bank, grocery store, mom-pop company, news channel, department store, thermostat, camera, security system, garage door, or pay tons of money to developers to port over their apps, or go around buying all of the developers, or do the inevitable and become MicroApple or AppleSoft and be done with it.   Without the apps, all of us are just banging our heads against the wall. Insanity – Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome.
  • Not gonna happen. Have you ever tried conversing with a MS employee? Many of them seem to be drinking some strange Kook-Aid that causes them to detach from reality and are blissfully unaware of the peril their company is in. They openly promote Apple and Android and shamelessly admit some non-Microsoft OS is their preferred platform as if it doesn't matter! And it does not dawn on them that NONE of their competitors would tolerate such nihilistic behavior. You can search for an expected "Microsoft first" development mentality, but you won't find it.
  • You know your platform really sucks when even your employees prefer the competition. At that point, it is time to kill it totally and start from scratch. No more Windows phone garbage that people don't want. Make something new and innovative.
  • Why are you so invested in seeing Windows disappear? You leave tens of comments on every article here as a "hater" all the time. This is a serious obsession, you need to see a therapist or something.
    Even back when WP had a chance and I was an evangelist you wouldn't have seen me on AndroidCentral doing what you do here.
    Seriously dude. Go get some help!
  • I love desktop Windows and have been a Microsoft fan for 20+ years. Doesn't mean I have to like Windows phone. I have been critical from the start. Windows Phone 7 was an obvious flop from the beginning, so was WP8 and W10M. It has been painful watching Microsoft completely bungle mobile over an over again while never making any meaningful changes to the platform. Aren't you sick of watching them fail? Why do you want then to continue down the path to sure failure?
  • Being critical of mediocre software is not a crime. It's a necessity if that software is to get better. Windows 10 is both good and mediocre, depending upon what you look at. As a touch OS it's terrible (there's nothing worse out there... even BB PlayBook was better SIX YEARS AGO) and there's no getting around it. With UWP it has long term potential since the interface can scale, but, Microsoft's efforts to capture search engine viewers and recapture browser dominance through Windows 10 S anti-trust behavior is stupid and counter-productive. Until Microsoft allows other browser engines and default search engines I will never use Windows 10 S and will make damn sure my employer never does either. They likely won't ever since we're education (Windows 10 S is terrible for the education market since it has a mediocre browser and can't run all our Win32 apps) but if some bean counter is stupid enough to try Windows 10 S they will have a revolt on their hand unless they can solve the browser and search engine issue.
  • That's because Microsoft is not a consumer-oriented company.  Or a hardware company.  They are who they are from developing software.  Most of the investors would love nothing more than have them sell off all of their hardware projects (including WM, Surface, and XBOX, this has been argued for almost 5 years now.) In fact the Surface line seems more of a ruse to get OEMS to build more laptops (as they were transitioning to tablets) and therefore Windows can sell more OEM licenses for Windows 10.  I have a feeling once they milked this cow enough, they'll put it out to pasture and either sell it off or discontinue it.  The money's in the royalties. They make their money selling site licenses of their software to fortune 500 companies, governments and schools.  People who buy 10s of thousands of copies at a time of their software.   You and I? We don't even make a dent.  When I consider the copies of software I've bought, vs the warranty repairs for my Surface Pro, Surface Pro 3, XBox 360, 2 Microsoft Band 2s, and a Zune - Microsoft has actually LOST money doing business with me. And judging by the comments in the various service departments of Microsoft - I'm not alone in that.  Businesses are the ones who drive their decision making.  Not consumers like you and I. We get what we get.  Even in software.  Vista was pulled because businesses didn't adopt it. 8 was upgraded to 8.1 and then 10 (for free) because businesses wouldn't adopt it. In fact, one of the big reasons businesses didn't run to the Windows phone was it wasn't business oriented enough for their liking.  Too much integrated with Xbox, and other things that a BYOD tech dept just doesn't want to have to deal with.  That and they've seen Microsoft attempt mobile before. (I Have a MX-200 that I could probably knock someone unconscious with)  i don't know how old you are, but if you were around for the Great Ribbon Scare of Office 2007 - you know exactly who drives microsoft.   It's not us.  They could cancel the surface line tomorrow, and a lot of their shareholders would be thrilled due to the reduced liability and loss profits from warranty returns.  
  • "Microsoft first" leads to a death spiral. If Microsoft employees are drinking the Kool Aid (and, not the dumb Microsoft fanbois who generate profit on inferior products) you're in trouble. Microsoft's employees are realistic. They use the best tool for the job, and, sometimes that tool is not of Microsoft's making. This is much better than the alternative where everything's a bed of roses and they steam full speed ahead right into an iceberg.
  • This "realist" mentality you talk about is an obstacle in becomeing a visionary. How big a "realist" was Steve Jobs when Apple had a tiny marketshare in the PC market? Do you think he would have allowed Apple employees to start using Windows because "the tool is not of Apple making"?
    Yes, you should be a realist. But when you have a product competing with other on the market, choosing their product isn't such a clear strategic choice you make it look like. That behavior is detrimental to the leadership mentality you need to become the market leader, unless you actually, truly don't want to become the leader in a certain category.
  • Apple still has a tiny marketshare in the PC market. Yes, it's larger than it used to be but it's still small. And, a business does what it needs to to succeed. Having extensively used both Mac and Windows (I'm no fanboi of either) since the early 90's I can speak from experience (though, admittedly my Mac is becoming rusty having been Windows-only for the past five to six years). Throughout Steve Job's tenure, Mac has nearly always been an equal, if not a better solution for all but the most obscure of business tasks (like accounting) than contemporary Windows/DOS. So, Mac chauvinism was a moot point at Apple. Google has no such compunction. Their devs use whatever software and OS they require to get the job done. You've also got to remember that Microsoft has always earned and continues to earn a lot of money from its competitors. Microsoft Office and its predecessors made Microsoft a lot of money on the Mac, long before the same applications became profitable on Windows. Microsoft's Mac development division has always and even now continues to be responsible for a disproportionately large share of its desktop profits. In recent years Microsoft has shrewdly taken a much more collaborative approach to building its presence in the post-desktop world. Their new goal is to be everywhere their customers are and it's paying dividends. Windows is a major and recognizable product, however, like Apple, Microsoft has massively diversified their income stream. This is why Windows on phones is not exactly a major issue for them nor should it be. Yes, they failed in the mobile industry in terms of getting their operating system onto phones, but, they're making up for that by making compelling apps for iOS and Android. They have high quality mobile apps on iOS and Android, and, have a version of Office on Mac that is arguably superior to their Windows counter-part (for most of its existence the Mac Business Unit has operated with a great deal of autonomy from its Windows counter-part... and, when Microsoft tried to roll the Mac BU into the Windows efforts it usually ended up with failure). I regularly see people complain that Microsoft's Android and iOS apps are much better than their Windows Phone apps. That's perfectly understandable. Those apps on Windows Phone are money pits. On iOS and Android they're money generators!
  • My thoughts exactly, the best thing is pay developers to make or port apps, quality overall, because actual apps in the store are just bad in comparison with apple and android counterparts. You need to pay here to find an excellent app, tinder, twitter, twitch, YouTube, etc...
  • They keep telling devs that Xamarin (which MS is offering up free) cross-platform dev software. If it's so freakin' easy to generate apps for all three stores, why doesn't the Microsoft app team bring the camera, task list, and whatever else they've built for iPhones and BRING THEM TO WINDOWS?
  • WookieJuice,  your missing the point of the's not the 12's the FEW hundred NEEDED apps.   Big difference.
  • Apple users pay for their play and dont get everything they want. Android users again, pay for their play and dont get everything they want. Windows users want everything and they don't like to pay for things. So it makes it hard for devs to do anything when the user base let's face it is a bunch of whiny ******* that want things but don't want to pay for anything. Windows phone 7 was the break out phone, integrated services, contact management like no other, very good first party apps, amazingly fast to find things in the real world and yet unless users make the world around them know the beauty of something all the marketing in the world isnt going to save anything. Microsoft has always had a stigma of being hard to use, we know that isn't the case, it has had a stigma of being for geeks, again we know that isn't the case, but apple has gotten away with being easy to use, again not entirely true, but since there is no one out there that actively proves these thongs wrong, perception will continue to be reality. And we will always be sucked into the short end of that universe.
  • ...umm no not at all. it has nothing to do with PAYING for apps. WP users never got a chance to pay for apps because the vast majority were not available on the platform. The ones the were, were FREE subpar wrappers.  don't try to place the blame on avid WP users and fans. I would have gladly paid for a quality supported app, the same way I currenty do with my SE. I left WP almost a year ago and have ZERO regrets. I used the platform for years, dating back to 07 when I got my Moto Qm... MS screwed this up, not the fans.
  • Agreed.  I would pay for any app that works correctly and is available.  
  • MS is getting serious about getting full Windows10 on arm devices (laptops, 2-1) but wont "even bother" creating phones for the next few years is my guess. Who wants them? Noone mass-market.  MS has shown no inclination since the VZW Kin debacle to work with the 4 carriers needed in the USA specifically. Move along.
  • Great headline, can someone forward the article to Nutella and belfiore
  • Please Microsoft, get your sh*t together. I don't want to go back to android, and I can't see myself using any apple stuff either (my iPad Air 2 lies on my shelf 24/7, because it's BOOOOORING, and it just doesn't fit into my current ecosystem at all). Since October 2015, when I switched to WP from android (to a Lumia 535 from a Sony XPeria P), I had a beautiful journey. I found an awesome, passionate community over here, together with an OS, that has the most beautiful and useful UI ever, which is just way more comfortable to use than any of the others. I got to know equally passionate devs, who put so much work in their apps, so I started translating their apps into Hungarian, my native language, and working with them together, just to make this platform move forward. Even my TV runs Windows 10 (with the help of a mini PC and a smart remote). But now it's your turn. Fix the bugs and glitches, build a Beam app (Mixer, sorry), a LinkedIn app, a sway app, etc..., and market the sh*t out of the stuff. Encourage big developers to build UWP apps for us. We, fans want you to succeed, but we can't make you succeed, if you don't do anything for it. And if I can't replace my 650 with a new phone next year, I may have to jump ship 😭
  • From. lg incite, lg expo, lg quantum, lumia 900/822/920/1020/930/1520/ lumia 950xl current.. Am thinking of making the switch to ANDROID!!! to much promises and still app less 🤣 might aswel open source it maybe then things would look better
  • I tend to believe that windows is doing so well in businesses because employees already learned to use windows at home, and not the other way around. So Microsoft will loose the businesses in the long end, because less and less people with windows and office experience enter businesses.
  • A population of Chromebook kids will make Windows in business less necessary.  Which is why the education market is so undervalued.
  • Here here.... So very true.
  • There is one HUGE obstacle.... And we all know who that is...
  • Consumers who aren't interested in Windows phones?
  • I said "person"...not "people". But a dictionary.
  • You didn't say either! Reread your comment. You think it is Nadella's fault that Balmer created a subpar mobile platform? Why would Nadella continue down a path that was an unconditional failure and probably caused Balmer to lose his job? Nadella will release his mobile vision at some point then you can critique it. It takes time when you have to make up for all the failures of the previous leadership.
  • It wasn't subpar. Next....
  • Then why did it fail so completely? You don't fail that bad unless there are massive issues with the platform.
  • Yes really. They were late to the party. iOS and Android or no better. They just have a market of people that have spent so much in their ecosystem, it would take an act of God for them to abandon them. Fact.
  • Sorry,  there is no app for that on WM!
  • Nadellas mobile first will not function without mobile phones.
  • Another negative comment from the iPhone fanboy.
  • Repeat this article or similar ones every day for 30 days to wake up the Microsoft mobile division from coma!
  • You can write similar articles every other day. Nadella will not change his mind at destroying MS
  • He's only destroying the part of the company that doesn't make money, and that the investors want gone.  They've lost billions in WM/WP , and have nothing to show for it.  Microsoft doesn't like to build things for individual consumers. They never have. They've always been business/government focused.  They build consumer equipment to get other OEMs to do so so they can license their software to them.  Then, they sell it or discontinue it.  
  • Yes the AR market is Microsoft going to loose. I wad hoping for that 3d mobile app to scan objects... But nothing came. Again Apple wins the market, without innovation, just fanboys...
  • At least I hope they port CShell to Android if Windows Mobile is no more.
  • Android already has a composable shell and Microsoft already has a launcher for Android.
  • At this point I don't think people will use w10m even if they can get a 950xl for free, I used to said I am ok if there is no app as long as I can do it on the web but there are more and more things only available by app and no web.   
  • Microsoft is missing the importance of ecosystem.  Even though they have a great marketshare of gaming consoles, desktop computers and laptops, it CANNOT afford the huge gap in personal devices. Currently there are: 108 Million Android devices in the USA 90 Million iPhones in the USA 400 Million Windows 10 devices WORLDWIDE.  It's difficult to find accurate numbers for just USA. The devices that are personal and fun are growing.  While Microsoft currently dominates the workplace, people want their life in sync.  Microsoft is under the impression if they insert their apps into other's personal devices their PC dominance will survive.  Have they even asked an iOS or Android user if they use and prefer their add-on options to native ecosystem apps?   Microsoft's ecosystem gap is the personal device.  Android and iOS's ecosystem gap is the workplace.  Just look at which ecosystem gap is widening.  Microsoft's phone market is now so small it's almost a statistical error.  Every month Microsoft waits, means exponentially that much more money they'll need to invest into the mobile market to take it back.  Ignoring it means eventual demise.
  • "108 Million Android devices in the USA
    90 Million iPhones in the USA
    400 Million Windows 10 devices WORLDWIDE.  It's difficult to find accurate numbers for just USA." More than a year ago Google said active users on Android had hit 1.4 billion, and earlier this year Apple said they have over 700 million active iPhone users (with over a billion iPhones sold). Note that the Apple numbers do not include the iPad, whch would add a copule of hundred million more devices.
  • It's happening just because an Indian CEO of no marketing knowledge has occupied the chair.
  • Why market something that won't sell anyways? It is just a waste of money. Nadella would have been crazy to throw money at Windows phone after it was proven to not be commercially viable.
  • Instead he throws money at the clinic us, which will be a dime a dozen in five years. Greay.
  • You dear author are a God. These are exactly my thoughts and you are absolutely right about everything. Microsoft is on the verge of collapsing if they don't get serious about mobile now. They will miss every opportunity for the next thing. As you said, they will lose the AR battle because of having no mobile platform. This is the best article on wcentral since a long time.
  • Just don't bother..
  • This the SAME ON EDGE BROWSER!!   everyone says Edge is IE Nooo!   Edge is faster, better in html5 en battery friendly...and still 5% global usage! :(   WTF is wrong with people!   This is NOT only Microsoft there FAULTS!  
  • Edge is terrible. Microsoft had already trained everyone to use Firefox or Chrome due to the poor experience of IE. They need to bring a far superior experience today if they want to bring people back. Edge certainly isn't that. It isn't even the best for battery life!
  • Ditch the big blue "e", then it will sell better.
  • Don't mean to be disrespectful as I do enjoy your articles and I am sorry If I misunderstand. I sounds like you are saying to Microsoft.   Make Device that will make everyone sell their Android or iPhone and buy new MS device. Support VR Have the developers make all the apps we have not had for years. Do this or get out.   My hopes are much lower.   Have a nice new device or two before I have to go to Android or IOS. Yes I know it will not be a commercial success. Make it more like a PC so we can do things on the browser that we don’t have an app for. I know browser cannot make up for all apps.   Been using MS smart phones since 2002.   Thanks for the great articles.    
  • The app store is a wasteland? What apps does iPad have that Windows10 doesn't? I hate when people make these blanket statements without any real examples of missing apps. I agree Microsoft can do more to promote UWP, but with major apps like Spotify and iTunes coming to the store it seems obvious to me that the Windows10 app store is a big success. If you think otherwise then at least give some examples instead of nonsensical hyperbole.
  • Not going to name the doezen or so but one killer is an remote app for my sony tv. When the kids loose the remote I could use my andriod. no app for windows.....that alone almost made me go andriod.
  • Epocrates. PEPID. MHealth. Doximity. Figure 1. Isabel. Medscape.  These are just 6 I use on a daily basis. Windows Phone could've been a HUGE hit in the medical community. Afterall, all of our hospital systems operate on Windows.  I use a surface pro 3 to type my patient notes and all of the servers at the hospital is Windows based, but if I want to check the patient status system that we use, I have to use an Android phone to do so.  If I want to double check a prescription dosage rate through Medscape or Epocrates, I either use my Android phone, or I slog through the web site.  If I want to use Figure 1 to share a medical image with another doctor as part of a consult, I have to use my android phone. If I want to use Isabel to determine the best procedure to use for the best outcome, or send a secure fax via Doximity to maintain HIPAA compliance - yep, I need my Android phone.  If I want to watch the newest and greatest medical procedures outlined in the NEMJ ... well actually I need my Ipad for that. Android doesn't have an app.        
  • Cool8man....I can list more than 50 on my ipad and iphone.   I hate when fangirls make states like the microsoft store is NOT a wasteland.   it is!
  • omg, feeling the heat of frustration here.
  • Marketing is everything. Salesman can sell anything. Microsoft has software is Good at It's worse. So marketing is what's needed.
  • To me, it seems that, based in its actions, not words, Microsoft already decided not to bother.
  • Testimony of a "burned one"! With no mobile platform, MS has already missed the train.
    Nowadays, MS + consumer product = bad press.
    Microsoft "commitment" to mobile (or consumer product by extension) is now very much laughing stock!
    Every time a "Surface Phone" rumour surfaces, or Satya Nadella mentions the best device ever that won't looks like what is on the market (note the hypothetical future tense), or the 0.000000000001% of Microsoft Mobile market shares...  the reaction is very simple, LoL, everybody Laughs out Loud, some don't even bother taking note! Since MS doesn't have a Mobile device strategy, they lose out on a lot of content and data aggregation on consumer habits/profiling and Developer  Community support ... This has/will have a cascading effect on Cortana, AR and VR, which will greatly suffer compared with the "full-on" Google machine, Apple Marketing genius and fast running Alexa!...  
    Without solid building blocks (consumer data, large and sustainable presence on consumer market, and above all, consumer recognition of the Microsoft brand (as a company building consumer products for consumers rather than a company building business products sometime appealing to pro-sumers), MS will struggle to build even more products outside of their traditional remit (Business, Cloud and servers). For instance:
    MS VR: you can see your desktop in a virtual 360 house, great, but what's the point, what else is there for VR on PC?... well nothing...there are no "else", no apps, no potential applications. (only polished demos that may, one day, find their use in the day to day life, ie mobile 3D scanning!)). Hololense is absolutely brilliant, but a business dedicated device...  VR 360 movies? there is Samsung Gear VR for that! Cortana "skills" are non-existant compared with Alexa. Due to the lack of presence and low volume, no-one (other than MS) integrates Cortana in their products. In less than a couple of years, Alexa has conquered, with cheap echo dots, the home environment with a very large skill base forever further developed by its "marching" adoption... This is an exponentially increasing machine, the more skills... the wider the adoption/integration ... resulting in more new skills ... resulting in an even wider adoption/integration ... and so on...   Alexa is fast becoming the "de facto" for home assistant AND the consumer knows it... Ask anyone to name a "home assistant", I doubt many will name Cortana... Apple will bring AR to the masses and consumer markets, MS has already missed that train too. They won't be any AR apps, since there are no device to run the apps on and no developer community to develop the apps... Apple has millions of AR capable devices already in the field, waiting to come alive by downloading the right AR app! (this is another market potential for traditional app developers to explore, confirming their right decision to invest their time and knowledge onto iOS, which turn real with a few ££ for each download!) MS has great "Lab" technology, powerful SDK and NO developer community to build on it...
    Why should a mobile app developer favour a Windows ecosystem when the fruit of his labour (app) can access a much larger potential buyers base on iOS and Android??? Sure, there is UWP, but will this be replaced by Progressive Web Apps in a near future? ("a la" Silverlight!)?
    Same spiral as Alexa... More adoption->more apps -> even more adoption-> even more apps... etc. Until not long ago, I was a fervent supporting fan of MS and anything Windows 10, but totally let down by the band discontinuation (I love my band 2) and now the Mobile platform... (my 950XL recently died and nothing decent and affordable to replace it with!). Sadly, Ihad to give up on Microsoft. I am tired of hoping for the best!, Soon (tm).  Windows 10 on ARM added to Cshell is "pure dynamite". This technology is way ahead of what other (Apple, Google, etc) have... and have a massive potential; Imagine a Cshell enabled Xbox turning into a PC at the click of an icon!... Win10 on ARM in a portable (dare I say "mobile") device with Continuous 2 (cshell enabled) on TV... a dream...
    Yet, somehow, I doubt MS will turn this into a consumer success. Instead, MS will let its OEM partners build business Machine (HP Elite X3) and continue to show no interest towards the shrinking MS consumer market since consumers don't even look at MS technologies anymore, some don't even know Microsoft made consumer-focused products in the past. Well, they can still have a good laugh with MS next (bad) press release for consumer products...! we came full circle! My conclusion:
    Microsoft excels at inventing technologies but is appalling at turning it into mass produced and recognisable consumer products (except for US only market of course!-) 
    Instead, Apple picks it up and makes millions in profit on the same idea (but with an Apple twist, to stay clear of patents infringement). Yet,... patents, patents and more patents, that's all that seems to matter to MS, not the consumer products... I have been burned twice, I moved on! 
  • Happytoon.   NAIL......HEAD......HIT!   Could not say it any better....and I am suprised you got 3 upvotes....    
  • Ditto
  • Wasted article. There is no passion for mobile at Microsoft, so whatever they so will be half hearted and DOA. Look at surface and Xbox, the passion behind those products is shown in the final product. Mobile for Microsoft is just something they HAVE to do rather than WANT to do so they will do their usual poor job then abandon it.
  • Microsoft never cared about Xbox. Bungie cared about Xbox. Without them releasing Halo on day 1, Xbox would've gone the way of Sega Saturn, and quickly. It was the only thing that kept it alive. And as a former shareholder - if Microsoft got an offer for Xbox that they wouldn't lose money on, they'd sell it in a heartbeat.  Xbox exists so that they can sell licenses to the game developers.  We are just beneficiaries of that reality.  
  • "Microsoft never cared about Xbox. Bungie cared about Xbox" Can you explain. My impression is that Microsoft bought Bungie for the purpose of having a great exclusive title (Marathon... a Mac game :) ready for the launch of the XBox. As for the money making--Microsoft is a business and in the business of making money. If the net income was negative they'd cut XBox loose. I'm guessing they make good money off XBox Live and licenses.
  • Jez - Usage of Centennial does not prove that UWP is not being adopted by those same companies like Spotify. That's why it's called a Bridge. To extend the gap until the partner can code said app in UWP. It also gives users a smoother upgrade path because the store will allow the Centennial app to be replaced with a UWP app in the future. Not denying that Microsoft doesn't need to step up it's game, but the more options developers have the better.
  • Anyone important in Microsoft uses Lumia950/XL? Pureview is dead, the passion for Mobile phone in Microsoft is dwindling. Salesmen are not getting paid for selling Microsoft phones.
  • Panos uses Elite x3, according to Dan.
  • I will just be patient. I love my Lumia 950, and my 1520(better sound options). I still use both, though I use my 1520 like a small tablet. No more updates and I don't want to force the updates that are not meant for it. I keep it on Release Preview. I hope I get to try out CShell, I was every impressed.
  • My Windows mobile phone suits me fine. I'm not going to quit when I don't have to and don't want to. I don't want to be part of the problem. I get complements on its"look" and what it can do all the time. Most real people don't do very much with their phone.
  • Why worry? They claim they are working on something and it will be ready when it is ready. Regardless of the decade.
  • You're right but not everyone has patience like you impatient folks need assurances to stay onboard!
  • Guys, do you still think about something which has "windows" and "mobile" (or "phone") in its title? Move on!
  • Fall update and Ativ S8 should be rather serious.
  • its such a boring subject. the subject is boring. the idea of a windows phone is great, just the subject, is boring. subject = boring.
  • It's really too bad MS can't seem to succeed in the phone space. They blew it a long time ago and ppl are obsessed with their iPhones and Droids now. I'd love a Surface Phone. I have MS/Windows everything else. But I don't know if they're serious about it anymore. I've already gone 2 years without updating my phone because I was waiting for a Surface Phone. I'm gonna upgrade in a few months to the newest iPhone or Droid and won't upgrade after that for a few years
  • - As long as MS staff and board use the competitions phones and sw
    - as long as MS develop sw for the competition first and then for their own platform
    - as long as MS does not release UWP apps for their own products
    - as long as MS keeps crapping on their most loyal customers
    Everything they touch will fail.
    Its really amazing how good this company is at antagonizing their most loyal users, as long as they keep doing that they don't stand a chance in hell. This arrogant attitude of MS is the reason why many developers, OEMs, companies will go out of their way to hurt MS users and MS products. Eg. Google, Snapchat. And I can't blame them, arrogant MS sob's who don't give a crap about their customers.
  • So now is the time and not like 2 or 3 years ago? I love that someone keeps hope alive out there but I seriously believe
    Microsoft just hasn't yet worked up the courage and admit ultimate failure. I really loved my Lumia 1520 and used it for over 3 years waiting for a worthy successor. I tried the 950 but just didn't like it as much as the 1520. I actually still use my Lumia 1020 with the camera grip as a point and shoot. Zero faith...
  • Trust me, the Lumia 1520 is way better that Lumia 950. Is miss that awesome device! Now my 950XL has overheating issues and my display shows these flashing lines like something bad happened to my screen, very annoying. From all the Lumia devices I ever had, Lumia 950XL is the worst. Sadly, I know.
  • Just cracked my 950 screen and I have no plans to fix it. Paid too much for a phone with little app support. It's like buying a Wii u over a Xbox one.
  • MY Lumia 928 is chugging along just fine; when it's time to get a new device I will evaluate IOS, Android, and (if any are around) Windows devices. Rest assured one of my evaluation criteria will be OS platform viability. If MS cannot convince me they are serious about supporting a vibrant environment the choice will be between IOS and Android. It's that simple. . .
  • I'd like to see a Windows Mobile phone that fully syncs Outlook with the Desktop PC and the web version, with a fast, easy to use interface in comparison to Google apps like Calendar on Android (which are good but not great). 
  • Yes, including Outlook Tasks too.
  • All I want is one of the existing w10m phones to become available with Verizon support. If that won't happen and a re-boot of windows phones requires cshell, then make sure whatever hardware is released with cshell this fall is on Verizon. If that's a phone cut from a single block of magnesium that's fine. I am okay with paying more for a premium experience. But I don't have another source of Icons, so if something happens to my current Nokia before they get this strategy deployed, I am stuck buying an iPhone. I hope whatever they do they hurry.
  • Re: aka savagelizards,
    Buy a used Icon on Ebay or like my wife and I, try other carriers, each for a month or two, using unlocked phones, and pick out the best one as your new carrier. Don't believe the Verizon marketing hype claiming they are the only carrier you can use.
  • I've long said the Verizon fiasco was an existential moment for Mobile because of this reason. Sometimes in business you have to do things that don't make immediate, bottom line sense, in order to show to the outside world, and more importantly yourself as a business culture, that you can and will commit and follow through. Everyone can claim on the surface it was all about market share, but when you're someone with Microsoft's track record of funding losers until they win, and their resources overall, to back away from Verizon spoke volumes more than low market share. Particularly when Nadella was a beneficiary of that legendary patience.
  •  The 2 year lifecycle of phones ends this Fall for the 950s.  If they don't have anything to announce this Fall, it will be really difficult to stick around, as much as it would pain me to leave.
  • Microsofts main problem is content. Not even a Prime app from Amazon, or a Kindle app, not even on desktop (okay, there is a Kindle Win32 offering, but it sucks and lacks a lot of features). Their own offerings always three years behind, always late to add features and offered at no cost advantage to gain traction. Microsoft needs to accept, that their whole "do more" productivity-mantra is pointless in the consumer space. It's entertainment, baby!
  • Well said but I disagree that a new phone hardware has to be different. The current Surface PC devices are different *because* most of the PC hardware was lacking innovation when they had the largest market share. But Windows phone market doesn't lack innovation, it is lacking phones! So ANY phone will help here. Currently Microsoft isn't selling any phones anymore here in Europe. So what are they waiting for? 3D display? Foldable screens? What they only need is a device that can compete with the Pixel, iPhone and Galaxy. Nothing fancy, just a good phone. I'm afraid that it's already too late. CShell is not a "reboot" but a friendly way of saying "we don't develop for mobile anymore", a phone is just a smaller PC for them. And even if there would be a fantastic Surface Mobile hardware coming out, the software isn't competitive. While I'm still on Windows 10 Mobile (mostly because I love the UI) the first party apps are not good enough and the app gap makes this even more frustrating. When even Microsoft doesn't invest in mobile apps, the app gap becomes a deal breaker for many. Just compare Windows Maps with Google Maps. It's like bad joke. It will turn out that not taking advantage of the Nokia Mobile purchase, Windows in general will struggle in the long term. If there is no cross-device advantage for consumers on Windows 10, Android will slowly but steadily win over the rest of the PC market. Microsoft will become the new IBM and Windows 10 will be only a hobby for them.
  • Had a head smacking experience this morning concerning windows and their store. Training the new employee I asked him about what music service he listens to. He said spotify. I said, oh great you can download that from the store and use spotify. He said, what store? Windows has an app store? This is a guy who left a company using windows 10. He uses his computer all day long. He had no idea there was a windows app store. He said it just downloads the player on-line. It's time Microsoft got aggressive in their marketing of the new way to use windows because this conversation happens all too often.
  • Ha ha. I've said it before & I'll say it again. Windows Central is going to struggle when there's no more mobile to cover. This site started as a mobile specific site and has tried to broaden its appeal ever since they saw writing on the wall. However, the figures speak for themselves. Look at the number of comments for this article. 140 and rising. The subsequent 9 articles haven't even broken double figures combined. Says it all.
  • Jez, from an earlier article, I think by Daniel, Microsoft's logic for not pushing Windows on Phone was that it actually HURT their efforts to get developers to write UWP. The logic went like this: so few people currently use Windows Phones that developers view that as a negative value, so associating UWP with phones instead of desktop users drove away more devs than it attracted. Therefore, the marketing strategy was to intentionally downplay Windows phone and focus on UWP as the best way to build apps for Windows on desktop and for tablet users. Centennial is about making the Store more attractive to customers, not directly about getting UWP apps. More customers in the Store however, will ultimately make UWP apps more attractive to devs. So the purpose of the Centennial building block is INDIRECTLY get more UWP apps by making the Store the default place where users go for their apps. That will do more to get tens of millions of users trafficking the Store than anything MS can do in mobile right now. Further, with CShell and Windows 10 on Arm, those Centennial apps will run on mobile, at least via Continuum. Granted, the UI may not be a good fit for a phone, but the strategy is reasonable -- focus on getting apps built for the half billion Windows 10 users, including tablet versions based on strong sales of 2-in-1s, and get traffic to the Store, and then there is no app gap when Microsoft offers another mobile device. I think there is a bigger risk to their losing out on Augmented Reality, as you have pointed out, than to hurting their future return to mobile by not doing anything visible on mobile right now. For what it's worth, I happen to agree with you that MS should not have stepped away from Windows Phone and should be pushing it still now (because it's easier and cheaper to keep users than gain new users, and because I personally don't want to use an iPhone or Android phone), but I don't think there is a rational argument that Microsoft's strategy can't work for mobile. It might fail, but it's a reasonable plan and does not require any activity on mobile right now.
  • I don't want another phone. I want a little PC in my pocket. Not interested in apps in the slightest. The buzz around apps has long gone for me. 98% of them are just pure lame.
  • Why not have it all in one device?  it is possible to make it all work. I would buy the device which is a little PC and has apps. Security is very important for me also.
  • You obviously never used proper apps then,  only windows mobile apps.   Apps do so much more than a desktop app for being mobile.  web browsers do not have the functionality of a properly coded mobile app.  But seeing as people are so head strong and against something different the cannot see the forest for the trees.   and no,  98% of apps are NOT lame.   Sorry.  
  • So you are not interested in Apps but most people that want phones, in other words the market is and as long as that is the case the availability of apps will play a huge part in the popularity of phone operating systems and W10M will remain all but extinct. Do people really expect MS to pull some miracle out of the bag?  
  • Just kill the damn thing.
  • so what is the future of my L950xl plus display dock ?
  • I still have the Lumia 1020 running W10 - Next phone will be the BB KeyOne, will be needing access to apps that don't exist on the Windows platform. I agree with the article, MS needs to step up. However, the culture inside MS is of massive egos and a blase attitude to software development. The engineering teams in Reading in the UK loath the functional and management team and vice versa. This is repeated throughout the business. Satay Nudella has had a while at the helm and has not stopped the rot, time for a much stronger leader at the helm with the balls to grab the bull by the horn.
  • Indeed, I'm start saving for a One Plus 3t, because the 5 is kinda expensive for me right now.
  • Nice choice dude. I've ordered mine on gearbest 64gb model at 356 € great price. It should be here on wednesday. I've seen a lot of youtube videos and the upgrade to OP 5 is not really justified for now. The bad for me is i used DHL for shipping and they told me i will have to pay taxes for 28€. Next time i won't use DHL, i will be much slower but i won't have to pay theses taxes. And yes i gave up on windows 10 mobile. My 640 XL will be my 4th and last Windows Phone. No matter what MS plans to do in the future, i'm out. I won't trust MS for phones anymore even if the device brings something new in the mobile space or disruptive.  
  • Are they going to get super serious? Not a chance. You could have written this story for Winmo, Win Phone 7, Win Phone 8, Windows 10 mobile, ... 
  • Great article, particularly the Get serious or don't even bother part! 
  • I finally gave up on windows phone/mobile and reluctantly joined the android world. Even IF microsoft rebooted mobile I don't think I'd return as I couldn't trust them to stay in the game (leopards and spots spring to mind). 
  • Its been over with. Surface phone won't change the damage Microsoft has done to themselves in the consumer market and the constant reboots and poor communication with consumers. Windows 10 Mobile suffered from bugs lack of hardware and devs pulling support for their apps.... Why even bother with Microsoft when they show nothing but incompetence in mobile space?
  • I see it now.....a commercial that introduces the newest Surface....the coolest mobile device on the planet.  It does everything you could possibly want from your 2-in-1 from AR/MR to Office to Xbox-level gaming, etc....Oh, and by the way, it does phone calls and texting and folds up so you can put it in your pocket.
  • So nice I want one !
  • The problem Microsoft has is they don't know how to build and nurture a platform. If you look at what they did vs what Apple did with AR, and I can already tell you Apple won and it won't even be close. Microsoft came with hardware first and hardware doesn't mean anything. It's cool to look at, but the platform is what matters. Apple releases ARKit for iOS, devs will get their hands on it and make some applications. Fast forward 2-3 years, BOOM....a piece of hardware that brings the platform to life will be released. How did the iPhone come to being? and nurture that platform. Fast forward to a connected device on that platform (iPhone) and grow from there. Cannibalize their own business. Then apps get built for iPhone and what comes next? Boom > iPad. Sell a few hundred million units and the train keeps rolling. They are doing the same thing with Apple Watch and even though I personally don't find value in it, they're selling and all those Android Wear watches are DOA. Microsoft needed to build a platform and Windows 10 is it, but there is no momentum. There is no inertia to move them to the next big thing. Devs aren't building super high quality comprehensive apps. If you compare Win10 to the App Store it's a joke. Literally. So now they announce Hololens and there is no platform. Sure, they'll have a few professional applications I'm sure, but Apple will capture the consumer market, make a few more billions off of it and the world will keep turning. All because Apple builds the platform, then releases the product. Microsoft puts out the product and then tries to build a platform. It won't work...EVER.
  • The only thing that slowed windows phone is management change, I think the new ceo is going in the right direction but he never should have abandoned nokia, sales were up, marketing was happening, and developers were coming (albeit slowly but they were coming) the app store was growing. There were even forecast that had windows phone reaching 20 - 30 million sales per year by 2018. Then management changed, sataya sold the phone business guts. and windows phone sales plummeted. Now MS cannot afford to get out of the phone business all together because they cant afford to miss the next great thing. and to be on the cutting edge you have to compete against the best at what they do regardless of how you feel about it or what you think about it. So when it comes to software MS is still king but they are no longer the Gods of this. To get their title back they have to build hardware and take over the other platforms. I didn't say take on. They need to become android. I said in the beginning back in 2011, there is no other company on earth who has the wealth, the skills, and the time. to take on google and apple and win except for Microsoft. So be patient fans, I believe your day in the Sun will be here sooner than you think.
  • You may have a point there, but they need to move faster than they have. A true mobile PC which can make phone calls would be a great start.  Microsoft has the potential to do it and do it right unless the egos get in the way.  Whatever device it is must be able to do it all and have an ecosystem to support it.
  • You might be right but, they really needed to take Mobile seriously years ago. I personally think it is too little, too late. :( Heck, even basic stuff like smart watches no longer function with Windows Mobile phones.
  • They still have a chance beause no one is thinking like that. An ecosystem would include support for devices such as smartwatches. To innovate means you must take chances and change minds.  They must do better than the status quo and get it out there soon, or they will lose.  Adapt or die; innovate or get out. And make it price efficent as well, independent of any carrier, certified to work on all of them very securely.
  • If, Microsoft = DC Universe
    Then, Windows Phone = The Joker
  • I was thinking more like aquaman.   in the smartphone universe.
  • Ah, just update the Lumia 1020 and I'll be a happy man and a Windows Phone/Mobile user once again. Otherwise Android is where its at.
  • agreed RaRa,  if they produced a new 1020 type phone,  same size,  but with fast internals,  same camera sensor, flash etc.....I would probably buy one.  They need to get apps though....AND FAST.   However they have to do it to get the major players on the system.   And have them proper,  not hack job apps that we have now on windows mobile.
  • Just go to the NYC Microsoft store and you won't find any Windows Phone there but some Alcatels left.... Even the store personnel tells you "don't get a Windows Phone as nobody is making them any more".... So what to expect from now on...?? I already moved to IOS (just hate androids) it's time to abandon ship unless until we clearly see new signs of rebirth as the Fenix!!! But don't expect them soon. Shazam is gone, Evernote is about to... 
  • I wish 2018 will be better year for Windows 10 on mobile! hope for Surface phone device that will run Windows 10 (not mobile - not PC) just windows 10 and will work as PC when it has large Screen and as phone when it has Small Portrait Screen. this is my vision... i have alcatel idol 4S with windows 10 and it is amazing... hope with phone that can run x86 app then i can use AutoCAD - MAX and Vray on my phone every where. Works with AR will be amazing for Work. hope the best for Technology... and Microsoft  
  • Microsoft disappointed me on Mobile, I am a Lumia 950XL owner, and being loyal to the platform since Windows phone begin, but these last months I saw how Microsoft doesn't care about this division saying just nothing! Yes, Satya mentioned something about new devices, but that's it! They just want us to give them all or patience for nothing, or just for something that will happen maybe in one year or more, but at present there is nothing for us. I had enough, sorry Microsoft but I'm going to take a time out from your Mobile platform until you actually shows us what Windows 10 Mobile worth to you. I hope Surface mobile to be a success. I'll try the LG V20 using Microsoft services because I don't like Google at all, I herd that Msft services are better on Android, I will figured that. Shame if it does. Microsoft, please! Do a big big effort on Windows 10 Mobile!!!!
  • Why would a surface phone need apps? I don't use apps on my pc very much. Apps are, for the most part, just less secure web browsers that only do one thing and take up space on your phone. Just integrate Edge browser such that instead of apps pinned to your start screen, you're pinning webpages. All the apps that need a live tile are already there, and I wouldn't think it'd be too terribly difficult for Edge to periodically ping the sites you have pinned for an update to display there either. No need for developers to do anything they're not already doing (keep their website mobile-friendly). Microsoft just needs to find a way to do this that makes it feel like it's got all the apps you need. An idea might be to put placeholders in the store that pin the mobile site for you for services that don't have an app on UWP yet. Add win32 support, and you've got something.
  • Why limit yourself to one or the other?  They should have both.
  • Has Microsoft disappointed me on hardware? Sure. Zune, Windows Home Sever, to name a few.
    But, if I wanted to go to ios or android I would have by now. So, I'm interested, particularly since I used my phone more for data than voice. So a hinged phone with a roughly 9.7 inch phone would be nice.
    Also want apps, as mobile web is really awful
  • No offence meant to anyone writing articles like this, because I agree with them entirely.   This has all been written 1000 times before (maybe exagerated but you get the point).  Microsoft management rarely read the forums on their own page, let alone external sites. Let's be honest. This article is equivalent to many that have been written by others on WC and across the web and Microsoft never listen or change.  I love Windows on Mobile and the ideas behind it, don't take this wrong, but truth is, articles like this do not get read by anyone with influence at Microsoft.  They are here to get the fans up.   The comments sections get heaps of comments, so we know Windows on Mobile is popular enough, but it doesn't go where it is needed. I think only a partition to Microsoft may help, and even then it is clutching at straws.     Who is up for a partition to Microsoft and putting words into signatures?   
  • I have mixed feelings.  As an adamant fan who earns a living architecting and supporting Microsoft database server products, I don't feel Microsoft has abandoned anything.  Unfortuntely, I also don't feel as if they've gone "all-in" at any point in W(10) Mobile history, either.  Its clear now more than ever what they are dealing with... I just don't know how communicating their strategy would make a difference.  Unfortunately, what they have been consistent at doing in the recent decade is completely bungling up messaging on a host of very clever, very innovative, and envelope pushing ideas. They mean well, sure. But they mess up.  It doesn't make them evil, but it does not inspire confidence, either.  So... given their history of poor messaging, how exactly would one expect them to proceed on announcing intentions for the mobile space other than a few comments here and there expressing uncommitted comittedness?  I'm not sure they can.  I'd rather they just say its on the books and then release when they are ready. Kind of like they did with the Surface.  Rumor this and that, BAM SURFACE.  Otherwise, specific time frames and details just get lost in translation.  As for me!  Well, I'VE MOVED ON from Windows 10 Mobile.  Begrudgingly, I am on iOS and you know why it's okay?  Because Microsoft has made sure that I'm taken care of in this space, the space where millions of others already reside.  Because I can be reminded of why I left iOS nearly a decade ago.  When they do get their shyt together, well, I'll be running home!  I like what I'm seeing with CShell. It looks great.  But we do need answers and specific solutions to the (quality) application gap that makes the potential for switching (back) even more daunting with each and every passing day...  One final note... What would happen to Microsoft in the mobile space if it decided not to license OS to mobile manufacturers and, instead, just made their line of (Surface) phones (a la Apple)?
  • Why make an announcement when you can't even buy the product in a retail store. My 950 shattered 2 weeks ago, can't find one in MS Store, or AT&T store, only Amazon. I went back to my Lumia Icon in hopes that something is announced soon. As much as I hate it, I may have to switch to a droid.
  • Great article.
  • Given the prevalence and popularity of mobile gaming, and how big Xbox is in the game space, I'm really surprised that Microsoft isn't marketing Windows phones an alternative to the Nintendo DS or switch. It's not even looking at using a Windows phone as a second screen for the Xbox. Microsoft has missed so many tricks on it comes to marketing the Windows Phone that I'm less worried about all the new Fincher's and interfaces or build for arm and more worried that the marketing department and creative department is asleep. Forget leading the market, they don't even please seem to be able to follow current trends.
  • Retrenching to corporate is a slow death. Store is slowly dying, my useful apps don't work or exist anymore, anything useful comes to droid or ios, noone cares about PC or windows cause you don't carry windows in your pocket.
  • I'm only subscribed to WindowsCentral for one reason. Get good Laugh time to time. I had tried WP8 on Lumia 520 and had immediately realized that it was a bad OS with no future. I had to use that phone painfully for 4 long month and it had made my life living hell. Since then, I'm subscribed to this website and love reading these articles regarding this OS's demise time to time.
  • I quite agree. Either do something real or tell us all to pack up and go home. Don't let leaks give false hope. Dont' drag this out another 15-18 months, like this very site has rumored the Surface Phone will. "I'm not sure why any of us would be insane enough to give the company the benefit of the doubt in this space ever again." To be quite honest, Microsoft has made so many mistakes that irritated me that I am beyond not giving them the benefit of the doubt. My knee-jerk reaction is now one of extreme pessimism because of their handling of Band, Mobile, and even Xbox and Surface of late. They're making a total mess of their whole product line for consumers.
  • I don't really think that a new UI, constitutes a "reboot". Although I do agree with some things your wrote, like it would be very smart to have an an xbox featured phone. Not so sure the AR play on phones is going to be a popular utility, or its primary route to mainstream consumer adoption. And I think your cynical evaluation of the current state of UWP is overstated. I am curious about the Andromeda device, and I agree that we need devices, marketing, and some push. I think the timing is less important than the "splash". Whatever MSFT makes, it should create a buzz.
  • While other people are whining that its over, they switched, that they're an avid fan of windows phone since then and dissapointed for abandoning mobile; I'm still here patiently waiting for the comeback. Microsoft is just waiting for the right timing to reintroduce itself in mobile since windows phone has left a bad mark in the consumer market. They tried to start fresh with Lumia 950 but it wasn't good enough as the surface to get the press and public to go wild thus shelfing the mobile plans for awhile and market what windows 10 can do in the PC ecosystem and with other mobile platforms. The move before to make microsoft services exclusive to windows devices only didn't help thus offering it to other platforms today in order to increase users of microsoft services. I believe we may assume that the increase of users of microsoft services from other platforms might help boost the marketing plan of reintroducing windows in mobile. Lets not also forget the signs that they're trying to put a full windows 10 in mobile to make UWP "truly" universal with windows 10 ARM & windows 10 S. I'm expecting a big announcement this coming september-october. Hopefully its a surface phone. And that they were able to make a Windows 10 version for lower Lumia phones like the 1020's. Still hoping for the better. And if they've really abandoned it, why give constant phone updates?
  • There are 2 issues for implementing Windows Surface phone 1) Windows ARM is required to let Continuum have success, else appstore will be a ghost town for productivity apps that run on the desktop 2) Most carriers won't support the platform if it does not fix mobile app gap, for example airlines, banks, online shops, etc have apps on Android that don't run on Windows.  If Microsoft fixes these 2 issues they have a good reason to keep investing on mobile industry.  
  • I don't care. Microsoft has wasted way too much time. People were basically making their technological lives a living hell waiting for Microsoft to "commit" to something. Many of them have now given up and have invested in other ecosystems. They aren't going to throw away their iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Apple TVs, Google Homes, TVs with ChromeCast built-in, PlayStation 4's, Macs, ChromeBooks, Android Wear watches, Echos, and Kindle Fires just because Microsoft had another idea. This is beyond ridiculous at this point. Microsoft has been playing the bait and switch with customers for the better part of a decade now. Do people realize Windows Phone 7 was in the 2009/2010 timeframe? They've been chain-failing for a long time. Windows on Mobile is dead to me.
  • Quoting : "Why worry? They claim they are working on something and it will be ready when it is ready. Regardless of the decade." That's bad logic, because what's available now dictates the purchasing decisions of many people. There aren't any Windows flagships, so they have to buy something. It's going to run Android or iOS, and other devices simply are a superior combination with them than Microsoft devices. Phones aren't just stand-alone devices, they are important ecosystem bridges that tie together more traditional form factors (Desktop PCs, Laptops) and those form factors that are seeing the brunt of current innovation (Gaming Consoles, Tablets, VR Devices, Home Speaker Systems, Smart Watches, Connected Home devices). Because Windows Mobile isn't relevant NOW, people are buying non-Windows Mobile devices and basing their purchasing decisions around the fact that their device does NOT run Windows Mobile. This means they're going to buy things like Apple Watch and HomePod. They're going to buy iMacs or MacBooks. Or Google Home and ChromeBooks. Or Echos. Or see CarPlay as a selling point in a new car. Etc. They're opening accounts with banks that support their platform, and their platform's Payment System (Apple/Android Pay). They're using Desktop Platforms that work better with their mobile device due to features like Continuity and HandOff. Because Windows Mobile is not relevant, it's making it easier for their social circles to become ever more dominated by Android and/or iOS, which works as a social barrier to using Windows Mobile, because Apps, Services, and Capabilities are sometimes exclusive to those platforms (i.e. iMessage & FaceTime, AirDrop, Family Sharing, etc.). While people are talking about the "end of the smartphone," it is currently the most important piece of the ecosystem puzzle. It's why companies like Google and Apple put it on a pedestal, and it's why companies like Samsung are desperately using it to carve out a path for themselves.
  • As a dev I won't be converting my mobile games to microsoft's new platforms now, I just put my more serious stuff on win32.  They keep changing things and abandoning the older version with no support - Mobile 7, 8, 8.1, now 10 - people don't like this, it leaves a bad taste - even Apple are not this bad.  Plus UWP on mobile isn't anywhere near as fast as other OSs on the same chipsets!  On mobile it looks like Android has already won, and if things continue they will also win Desktop too.  Already Microsoft products such as Word, etc work great on Android on 'desktop' versions of Android.
  • meh...   If Windows on ARM is not ready and there is no first party phones ready, to say Microsoft needs to get serious now, is almost petulant. Yes, Microsoft needs to get serious in the phone segment, but they need to get it right.
  • I used to deal with Windows CE based PDAs in the 90s. A couple of companies got adventurous and added telephony features within the same hardware package. Compaq actually designed a full fledged mobile phone on this platform which performed absolutely flawlessly, including the built in Outlook as part of the Office package. I am not sure what processor Compaq used for this but Microsoft dropped CE support on Mips platform and at least Casio quit manugactiring them. May be Compaq too had arrived at similar decision. All Microsoft has to do is take the Compaq phone and replicate the features on the current hardware platform. Believe me it can really kick ass of all the devices out there. Personally I would love to shift to Windows Mobile except for the fact that it is only available on absolutely horrible Intel platform. The day they make it available on ARM I will switch in blink of an eye.
  • Regrettably I have moved to Android - something that I thought was unthinkable just a few short months ago. I miss the "Windows Phone eco system" but the benefits on Android far outweigh the losses. MSFT will have to come out with something "earth shattering" to get the iOS and Android user to move platforms. The loyal and technically competent Windows fans might go back but the ones that just want to use a phone, text, FB, etc will continue with what they have. People need a big reason to switch and then learn/re-learn a new OS.  
  • there is a pretty long list of strategic bluders by microsoft. It boutght and then ditched Nokia. It ditched the project Mclaren and now we see companieslike apple and HTC launching phones with 'some' of th ebreakthrough features developed by Nokia/MS. It launched band and then ditched it. it ditched winodws 5 and then 7 and 8. None of them compatible with windows 10. Now as a user what assurance do I have that if I buy a surfacemobile, or hololens, MS will not ditch it. It has a pretty solid tracke record of doing so. On top of it, the Nadela and co. just dont bother. Who the hell says that I will give up whatever little market share I have right now, sit out of the market for 3 -4 years, then come back with a new category of my own? even if surface mobileis amazing, what will it do if there are no apps to run on it? Samsung has already introduced dex. and given its history (and that of google) they will look to develop it. before continum gains any popularity, we will see a whole host of android devices, doubling up as a PC. even if they are extensions of chromebooks, they will still be more popular as we 'normal' users will be happy with just that. Where will it leave MS then? It really really needs to do some soul searching right now, or it will be doomed, no matter how innovative it becoes in future.
  • i agree with the article.. i want the surface phone. i want it to be a category changer. msft has to go all in on mobile. ppl like me are waiting for a reason to buy in.  now, to address some of the points in the comments.  1. to those that say android has horrible UI. android is not a UI. it is more accurately a OS that allows for the UI of your choice. (ie., Google Launcher, Squarehome, touchwiz, sense ui, nova launcher, etc...). iOS can have their OS be synonymous with their UI because apple controls everything top to bottom and thus their iOS will only work with the UI that apple decides. on android - unlike other OS's with dedicated UIs - you're free to choose; if one UI doesn't work for you, change it; there's a variety of launchers you can run that'll change the user interface( from the way google envisions it to something that doesn't even bear any resemblance to anything from google) and a lively community of folks that'll teach you how. granted, there's a list of legitimate issues/problems android has as an OS (fragmentation being a major one), but "their UI was bad" doesn't bear much validity because you're not limited to just 1 user interface like you are with iOS ( or windows, or historically webOS, bb10, symbian, etc...). that the UI isn't as tied down to an OS is the single biggest differentiator  to those who prefer Android. you've heard it referred to it as "customizability". 2. app availability is a huge part of user experience for alot of folks. so while w10m may subjectively have the prettiest or the most intuitive interface (both of which i agree with), it isn't as valuable if there's no apps for "users" to "experience". so like it or not, anybody saying "they left w10m even though it has the best user experience but it had no apps" is contradicting themselves. I'm sorry to break it to you, but you left because the "user experience" wasn't to your liking. remember, webOS by palm was also critically acclaimed for it's UI (much like wm), but never caught on because "users" didn't - for a variety of reasons - take to the "experience" (which is  also very much like wm). 3. marketing will only take you so far and isn't the only reason Apple and Samsung are succeeding. as a counterpoint, when w7m first came out, i remember a huge marketing push by Microsoft and when i was shopping around for a phone, salespeople were trying to sell the hell out of w7m and i saw alot of dedicated shelf space for w7m products. but if the product doesn't deliver to the consumers liking, it becomes a moot point. for some reason, (whether it be app selection, lack of hardware choices, performance, or whatever) consumers didn't buy windows mobile and those that did, a larger proportion retuned them compared to other devices. at a certain point, regardless of marketing ploys, vendors know which products actually sell and dedicate their efforts to those products. for an example of how actual sales dictate salespeople's behavior, look at what happened with blackberry in the us. at a certain point in the days of contracts, rim had probably the best relations with carriers in the us. there was an incentive to sell blackberries due to the pratically required tie in to the blackberry enterprise server, which translated to longer stays and bigger likelihood of extending contracts which in turn meant more profits for the carriers. carriers tried to sell blackberry phones like nobody's business. but when consumers shifted away from blackberries, carriers did too - with some even stopping to stock them.  however inexplicable it may be to a vocal minority, apple and samsung not only market well but deliver on making products that a large number of consumers want to buy and keep. if i were to pinpoint based on my opinion, apple does a better job than anybody of both a) keeping things cohesive and simple and b) simultaneously playing to those strengths. samsung does a better job than anybody of a) delivering a richer set of usable, innovative and/or unique features, b) simultaneously playing to those strengths, and recently c)putting it inside a hardware design that is arguably one of the best.  microsoft has the pieces to make it work. like i said, i believe windows has, in my opinion, the most beautiful interface. it had the relationships with OEMs from their PC side of the business they could translate to their mobile devices. but like the author of the article says, it's going to require an all in effort to simultaneously put forth a device (or device concept) that is as much a category definer as the Surface line is synonymous with AND get developers to buy in as well. 
  • Nokia 3,5,6 available Down Under for $249, $329 and $399 respectively. Nokia 6 definitely worth looking at for $399.
  • No way nokia 6 worth the money, it's a snapdragon 430. I remind you that oneplus 3T is snapdragon 821/6GB runs all apps and hard graphics games smoothly, it will get Android O and you can find it for 400 $.
  • Didn't say it's worth the money, just its worth looking at for that price, but thanks for your input, I was unaware of that.
  • If only specs were everything in a smartphone.
  • Truer words were never spoken Hemanlive.   Take my iphone 6s is blazing fast.  Faster than most of the newest android phones.   specs would say otherwise!
  • I am 88 years old & the oldest member of Win 10 forum! I was in computers before there was computers, started programing with MS DOS 01! Used Wordstar (Word) & SriptPlus (Excell) Etc, Etc..  Istill use my Nokia 830 Mobile Phone with Windows,  Wouldn't leave home without it! Losing patience waiting for new Windows Phone! Actually looking at Galaxy 8 Phone! Just started leaning Speech to Text On my Surface Pro 4! Too complicated for general use! I also have an Intel STK computer running Win 10, it plugs into the HDMI port on a Smart TV, does everthing My Win10 HUGE desktop does! The way I look at it is Microsoft is HERE, BUT WHERE IS IT GOING?  
  • Two things: #1 Compile Windows for Android phones. With UWP this shouldn't be a problem. #2 Make Android apps run on Windows. Suddenly you've got a large market and you've got a large market of apps. Yes, you're competing with Android, however, device manufacturers would love an alternative to Google. Android is mediocre. Android is eminently beatable. A major advantage is that Windows 10 offers a single operating system compared to the horrible mess that is Android 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 5, 5.1, 6, ... Developers develop once. Users are guaranteed to have a supported, up-to-date OS.
  • I agree 
  • Folks Microsoft already has a Billion Plus Dollar Mobile successful Business in it's "Surface" devices. it's Microsoft smart phones
    which are not selling. It appears that Microsoft itself for the time being is not making any smart phones however despite Microsoft's efforts to keep things secret they are working on a new Mobile device and it's special software. The leaks do not say what type of Mobile device it is but Microsoft is testing a physical device in house. recent patents indicate it could be a dual screen Mini tablet with LTE Perhaps it will be a smartphone Tablet hybrid. Microsoft is heavily into making hybrid 2 in 1 devices
  • Surface phone or any cutting edge device it will not work for Microsoft... MS neeeds to reinvent the whole concept of the Smart Mobile Computing, Apple did it before Google steal it MS out, Now the turn for MS to reinvent. and thank you 
  • I am tired with Stupid Microsoft. Is a Company that Doesnt Learn from there Mistakes. What the **** Every Time the Same Mistakes and the Same Problems and the Same Bugs. I am waiting to see a Company to ReBuild a Phone like Nokia Lumia 1020. To have a Camera with 41MP Carl Zeiss OIS, DIS, with Better CPU/GPU/RAM/SSD/BATTERY. That Phone i Want and i Will be Happy. :)
  • Said it before as have many in this forum.  Lack of apps is the main problem for me.  I have a 950XL and it worked fine.  I drive for UBER, there is no app for UBER drivers for windows 10 mobile users.  If there was, I would still be using the 950XL.  Since there isn't, I use Android.  
  • Quit Uber and join Lyft...
  • I'm getting sick of this kind of articles :|
  • What people who talk about the superior user experience of WP don't grasp fully is that for the public the app experience is the user experience. As long as whatever phone they have runs those apps they are happy. In the end what has been proven is that since those apps have largely been services, the companies want the least needed apps to fulfill the demand. And so a third phone ecosystem was never going to happen.
  • Microsoft makes TONS of money from their patent portfolio for every single Android phone that is sold (some say it is $2 to $5 per phone.) That is way WAAAAYYY more (several $$$ Billion for spending NOTHING) than they ever made off of the entire Windows Mobile platform. They have a co-licensing agreement with Apple that allows them to place any of their apps on ANY of Apple's platforms and the sales from the App Store are excellent ROI for MS.
    With those kinds of disincentives, why would MS pour good money after bad to try to regain ANY market-share in Mobile?
    Now, I personally LOVE the Windows Phone interface and the smooth OS and the great integration, BUT, the lack of apps, the constant exodus of developers and companies from the platform, the lack of available phones that interest me, Microsoft's clear preference for developing their own apps for Android and iOS FIRST, and all three of my family phones coming off of contract finally pushed me to make the move to Android. I upgraded my 950 and both 640XLs to Samsung S8 phones over the weekend.
    My new Samsung S8 is an amazing phone (although it would be stunning if it ran Windows 10 Mobile) and the MS apps on it are much, MUCH better than on W10M (with the exception of Groove which, frankly, sucks on Android, but there are many, many alternatives available.)
    I just don't see MS ever getting back into the PHONE market. They will leverage their Surface success into something they are calling "Cellular PCs" running CShell W10 on ARM that will just happen act as a phone too, but it won't be a PHONE at all. It will be more of a tablet/surface/phone hybird. Definitely a niche product, just like the Surface is, and it will be aimed at "The Enterprise" (i.e. Businesses.) It will be successful with sales forces, and management and maybe even trickle down to the desk-jockeys, but it won't be focuses on Retail. That ship has sailed.
    Their OEM partners will determine what is available for Retail (if anything with the coming merger of XBOX and PC Gaming.)
    They will focus on raking in the money from patents and app-sales on Android/iOS phones and will move EVERYTHING ELSE over to the Windows Store.
    Phones are dead at MS. Mobile is alive however.
    If they ever come out with it that is.........
  • Never underestimate the power of Peer Pressure. I have yet to see anyone of High School age using anything but Android or Apple phones. The overwhelming reason for this has NOTHING to do with the quality of the OS or the UE. It has EVERYTHING to do with being able to get all the Social Networking apps that all their friends are using and that aren't available on WP. Developers and techies have never been keen on going along with the Establishment and that is how MS has always been viewed in that world, Those living along the outlaw edge usually aren't interested in helping a huge company like MS to succeed, The initial success and innovation of the first iPhone left the devs little choice but to hop on and conform to whatever Apple was dictating if they wanted success for their apps. Naturally the open source aspect of Android was also very appealing to them. The only thing they wanted from MS was failure and MS did nothing to discourage that thinking
  • The (dystopian) future of MS is as a niche player offering shrink wrapped software accessed via the cloud. Apple/Google/Linux have an ecosystem of alternatives. The number of Infrastructure roles now requiring experience of apple support is growing
  • Microsoft should just pack it in on mobile. Evernote is the latest to pull out. Better to pull out entirely than to make a half-hearted effort.
  • Hello,
    I'm a windows phone fan, but also I can see just one thing about it "a good listener few words" windows phones is a zoombi! Dead but woking ... never can rose again is dead but work because is a zoombi and no body nows how many weeks or months even years take to stop get supports or updates, but no more new cellphones from microsoft. Lumia 960 avoid more a year...
  • Again we do it. What are we going to do when Windows Phone / 10 Mobile /Windows 10 on Mobile leaves us all holding our phones as the light in the tunnel fades out? Somewhere around 2015 came "Retrenchment", or "we missed the Smartphone Market, what do we do now?" Some of us kept buying Windows Mobile hardware thinking there was going to be a revival. We watched the 950 launch fiasco. Alcatel announced they were "all in" with Windows and gave us the Idol 4S.... if you were in the US on T-Mobile. HP jumped on the program with their Enterprise solution. Old hardware aged out of the Insider Program and we're looking at about four phones left in the running. So what now? C-Shell made an unexpected visit a while ago. Zach captured it on an X3 to show us what might be coming. But coming to what? Is HP going to toss all the work they've done in the last two years? Why is Alcatel still talking about launching the Idol 4S Pro in Europe? What I think :
    C-Shell will be the next "reboot", it will work on the Snapdragon 820 / 821 (Idol and x3). The Surface Device will be just another addition to the Surface line, not a "Smartphone", but the smallest Surface running Windows 10 with advanced Cellular capabilities. We all will keep our Windows Phones on whatever build they got left on, and most of the Windows Phone Community will watch Windows ride off without us.
  • Microsoft needs to come up with a new windows phone at a price that is acceptable for every iOS and Android user to have a try, say, $199, featuring feet-sweeping new versions of almost-everyone-will-use Apps, say, Facebook, WeChat for China, and Line for other regions, with functions that are currently lack on UWP but vital on iOS and Android, say, Pay. Although I know it's a tremendous task, it's the only way to survive. 
  • Microsoft should see the future unless they'll face a major setback. Mobile devices will have a larger role in peoples life than PC's, though PC isn't going extinct because of increase in mobile users they have to get people use Windows mobile to get PC like experience otherwise.....
  • "Microsoft should see the future unless they'll face a major setback. Mobile devices will have a larger role in peoples life than PC's" They are seeing the future. It's a future in which Microsoft's consumer software division still is a viable business. Rather than waste their energy doing things only on Windows they've adopted a cross-platform strategy. They're where the customers are. They've got major presences on Android and iOS--the only two mobile platforms of note. They've got a presence in Windows "mobile" but only for tokenism. They're not making much money (if any) off that effort so why devote resources to it. Like Apple, Microsoft has diversified its income stream. It's no longer an operating system and office developer. They're also in the cloud and the SaaS sector. Heck, they're even in the only profitable component of hardware--premium hardware. And, don't forget their Visual Studio development environment. It's not exactly great but it is starting to go cross platform. You can develop once and distribute on iOS, Android and even WIndows (if you, for some reason, have a niche market that uses Windows). Visual Studio now even is available for Mac--and, from the screen shots I've seens, looks to be better designed than the Windows version.
  • I agree with everything said. Good article. 
  • This is all Nadella fault. At least Steve tried. 
  • yes they need ... or more like they needed to prove that for the past two yeas ... sadly they have not and at this point i doubt they ever will. it looks very much like they will go down the "don't even bother" road. they have shat on their fans continuously for years, despite promises piled sky high upon one another. nothing i have seen in the last few years gives any indication ms has learned a single thing when it comes to mobile. the only thing i have seen is a continuing degradation of even basic apps on windows phone like maps, skype etc. that now seem more buggy and - for maps - have less features than a few years back.
  • "they have shat on their fans continuously for years, despite promises piled sky high upon one another. nothing i have seen in the last few years" Fans deserve what they get. To be fans of a company is foolish because it means you aren't thinking rationally. They are a business, in business to separate you or someone else from as much money as possible! I am a fan of Apple's products but not of Apple. That allows me to be pragmatic and use Microsoft's Windows 10 as my exclusive operating system and to buy Android devices because they mostly do what I need them to at a much lower price point (I really wish someone would make cheap Android phones with an iPhone quality camera... that's one thing that I really appreciate about Apple's iOS devices... they come with a good camera). If I were an Apple fan I'd be paying more for things I don't need though, I would have good quality software to show for it unlike a Microsoft fan.
  • Microsoft DID do a lot of product placement with Lumia. It appeared in numerous TV shows, including the last series of "House of Cards".
  • If they are going to release new mobile hardware with w10m then they need to start ramping up advertising (and I mean really ramp it up, to a level that has never been seen before) Start building the expectation of new hardware with a commitment to it like they have to Windows 10 or Office. This is going to be there only hope. Most people still don't even realize that Microsoft has a mobile device, os or hardware.
  • Take a deep breath and go outside and play.
  • ppo