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Why Microsoft keeps working on Windows 10 Mobile: ARM, cellular, and the next big thing

Windows 10 Mobile is one of the most interesting – and to some baffling – aspects of Microsoft's software strategy. With 1% market share and no consumer flagship story to sell, Microsoft's continued development of the OS seems bizarre to outsiders. This situation isn't lost on ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley.

Foley recently peppered Microsoft Executive Vice President of Windows and Devices Terry Myerson with a barrage of strategy questions. Mobile, of course, was asked about: specifically why even bother?

MJF: I realize this year was a year when Microsoft planned not to release any new Windows Phones itself. But the question I keep getting is why is Microsoft wasting time updating Windows Mobile when the market share is one percent? You don't have that many phone OEMs. Why not just say, you know, maybe we'll come back some day, but for now, let's just stop playing around with mobile.MYERSON: Technically, there are really two things that are unique about Windows Mobile. One is cellular connectivity, and the other one is the ARM processors that are there. And I think both cellular connectivity and ARM processors have a role in the technical landscape of the future.So we're going to continue to invest in ARM and cellular. And while I'm not saying what type of device, I think we'll see devices there, Windows devices, that use ARM chips. I think we'll see devices that have cellular connectivity.When you stop investing in these things, it's super hard, super, super hard to restart. And at Microsoft, we have a few of those examples where we stopped. Sometimes, when you're investing into growth. it's easier, but when you're investing for technical strategy or things like that, sometimes people can question it -- like you're doing right now. But especially among your readers, I don't think there's much debate that ARM processors have a role in the future. And cellular connectivity does as well.

Myerson's answer is fascinating and again, hints at something I have been saying for over a year now: Microsoft is going beyond just a phone for its Mobile strategy. Let's recap:

  • September 2014 - Microsoft drops 'Phone' from the OS name to call it Windows 10 Mobile
  • July 2015 - Microsoft abandons phone hardware business
  • September 2016 - HP calls Elite x3 "a three-in-one device that can make calls" and not a smartphone
  • October 2016 – Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella comments about the "hunt for the next big category" pushes ideas about Mixed Reality and AI
  • October 2016 – Device Chief Panos Panay reiterates that Surface is about category creation

I do not think any of that is a coincidence. Nadella recently made headlines for stating what everyone has known for years: Microsoft "clearly missed" the smartphone category.

Thus, Microsoft's conundrum. To compete with Apple and Google in mobile Microsoft can no longer go head to head with them. Instead, Microsoft needs to change the game. By creating a new hardware category, Microsoft avoids a direct comparison with the latest iPhone or Galaxy device.

Looking at Myerson's explanation above it is evident that Microsoft does have a plan for Mobile it's just not the one that people are expecting e.g. a traditional smartphone.

The Way Forward

It is apparent what Microsoft needs to do to become relevant in Mobile. It is also the hardest, but most intriguing path: category creation.

Microsoft will not make any old smartphone, add in Continuum, and call it a "Surface phone." It's just not happening; everyone knows that strategy is doomed to fail for all the usual reasons. The app gap is still real, and just another smartphone is not enough to disrupt the momentum of Google and Apple.

In that sense, Windows Phone as we know it is dead.

Nonetheless, you can see where Microsoft sees value in certain markets. Microsoft, by their admission, considers the future of computing to be a broad set of technologies:

  • Mixed reality (augmented and virtual reality; holograms, 3D imaging)
  • Pen and inking
  • Focus on creation, not just media consumption
  • Studying how the next generation uses phones and computers
  • ARM architecture and cellular connectivity for mobile are necessary
  • Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and OneCore
  • Creating new device categories for consumers

What does a mobile device look like for that world? That is the answer to Microsoft's mobile woes. In fact, it is the only path forward besides complete abandonment. (While I think Continuum will play a role I am not convinced a feature we already know about is the core defining one of mobile either. To put it another way, I think there will be something else to 'wow' us.)

The million-dollar question is what that device will look like or even do. Sure, it will run Windows 10 and Universal Windows Apps, but its core focus, design, and emphasis will be something unique not already on the market. It will be mobile, it will make calls, it will have a data connection, and run on ARM. If you build a mobile device from the ground up for a market that puts phone usage below computing what does that get you?

Case in point, look at the Surface Pro (vision of a two-in-one), Surface Book (a new take on the laptop), Surface Studio (a new take on the all-in-one), and even HoloLens (holographic computing). Consumers were demanding none of those things. Two weeks ago, no one said: "We need a giant Surface that can also act as a drafting table." This week all you read about is how Apple fans are considering a switch to Surface and how regular people want Surface Studio, even if by their admission they do not need it.

The greatest feat the Surface team has accomplished is consistently making devices you did not know you wanted. That is the trick Microsoft needs for Mobile too and why they're keeping the OS alive. Myerson says as much:

So we're going to continue to invest in ARM and cellular. And while I'm not saying what type of device, I think we'll see devices there, Windows devices, that use ARM chips. I think we'll see devices that have cellular connectivity.

That should also tell you that any hope for an x86 "Surface Phone" is thankfully not happening.

The final question you may have is when? The Surface team has been forthright about when they bring products to market: When it's ready. They don't work by artificial time frames, but only when the technology, design, and its execution all come together. That's a hard pill to swallow, but the reality of category creation.

The takeaway is that Microsoft still has a mobile story to tell, but they are not yet ready to share it with the world. Whatever it is, do not call it a phone. It's time to think different.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

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

453 Comments
  • I wish MS would release an update of their future vision video.  The last one was released two years ago.  Some of the tech in here seems to be incorporated into Hololens.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-tFdreZB94
  • Now, what Daniel just said is exactly what I said last week.. And, is the reason I always say Surface "Phone".... It's like Daniel read what I wrote.
    ......
    And, in my comment I stated what I think is a good point.. MS's eye is on the turn of the decade. Not that it will definitely be that long before they release something, rather It's that time when people naturally are going to want to wipe the technology, and thinking, of the last decade from their lives. In 2020 people will be much more open minded to try new things. It's who presents the new things first that wins.. Just as Googapple did right before 2010 broke. That being said, I think MS better come with this new idea at least by 2018, because that will give them plenty of time to make awareness for their product, and be ready for version 2 come the turn of the decade.... Nevertheless, I will say this for the millionth time... No matter how juicy, how innovative, how beautiful, how luscious, how sexy, how functional, how interesting, how magical, this "Surface Connect 3N1" is,, it will not matter if MS doesn't formulate the biggest (I mean in billions of dollars) ad campaign known to mankind... This is the consumer market, and that will be crucial, because we should not sit here and fool ourselves into thinking that Apple, Google (and whatever ninja new company) are sitting back, watching MS, and doing nothing... No, MS might* be ahead of the curve here, but we don't know what the others are gonna have, or already have, to compete in the near future. Anything could happen. Samsung could go the way of Nokia. Sony may have a breakthrough, who knows, and times change... So, MS needs to take their time, and get this right, and also realize that time is crucial. IOW, they need to take their time, and hurry the **** up, at the same damn time.
  • You've hit the nail on the head.
  • Now, it's MS's turn.
  • and then apple will anounce I-One device and everyoen will buy that!
  • That is the EXACT reason why MS's marketing has to stomp Apple this go around... I'm not worried about the product. We've seen what MS can do... I'm concerned that it will not be presented as shockingly abrupt as Apples product. That (IMO) what has held mobile back for so long. MS's little time machine, Flux Capacitor, light bending fusion gravity busting Surface device needs to be a household name.
  • Yes!
  • The ad campaigns don't have to be that big if the product gets noticed. The surface line haven't had a big ad push yet everybody wants them, the surface studio haven't had any marketing and isn't even available, yet everybody is talking about it. You need tp market mediocre products that do little different compared to existing products. Revolutionary products get marketed by word of mouth.
  • "The ad campaigns don't have to be that big if the product gets noticed"... ??? What? Lol. Then how will it get noticed? Black magic?
    .......
    No. Let's not go there, and start talking about what DOESN'T need to be done... MS needs to do all they can to succeed. Marketing works, and it will be necessary for what they come up with. No need in overthinking this.
  • "Marketing works, and it will be necessary for what they come up with"... Yet "formulate the biggest (I mean in billions of dollars) ad campaign known to mankind​" is what we don't agree in! I am with Giddora ​ on this one, of course MS needs to market it's newest Products, but if they keep up with such great Products as Surfaces, by far it does not have to be the "biggest ad campaign known to mankind​"...
  • Disagree. This is mobile we're talking about here. A new segment in mobile, but at the time iDroid will still have a grip on the market.. Don't fool yourself. Marketing will make or break this. We shouldn't expect for MS to just do good. Do the bare minimum. No, they need to do it big. Have you guys been to the app store lately? Did you read? No x86 "Surface Phone". That means arm, and that means it's gonna need apps. APPS! Current Surface products by nature aren't dependent on mobile apps.. Like I said, this is mobile we're talking about here. This will need to gain iDroid levels of attention to have significant developer support.. Incredible marketing will be pertinent!
  • their marketing suks big time, i mean surface is doing well despit it nto because of it!  I mean i can practically argue every MS flag ship was better than apples but the marketing is what set the trend, imagine I phone had a device like Lumia Icon wiht 41 MP shooter at that time, can you imagine the crazy marketing they would have done and hyped it! with MS it was almost a stealth laucnh 
  • Yepers
  • Yes. Surface is doing good, but it's not flying off shelves like iPads once were...
  • At my local store it seams like it is. And I think Market reflection from a normal user thinks iPad is passe because it's more a stop gap. Where the 2in1 is a solution. Though same could be said about the imac, external devices and external art devices vs the studio. And as for dial u get the mac bar features on every device only if u want that, have touch and even tablet with book. So I guess u actually could say Ms offered a complete solution for all your needs and with apple you get a stop gap until next time. Now a phone with what Daniel said and Windows holigrafic would be catagory defining (hp will have a headset and idol ships with one so this has to go somewhere). Any thoughts? Daniel what do u think about my vr prediction. With a 1080p screen u have less pixels to push.....
  • Yes, I'm sure iPad sales had slowed considerably for the reason you said.
  • Industry scuttlebutt is that Microsoft's 2017 ad budget will be 250% of Apple's. Samsung are going for gold with a much bigger spend. Ad budgets aren't the only criteria though. Apple's research budget is miniscule compared to its competition- and it's starting to show.
  • "Apple's research budget is miniscule compared to its competition- and it's starting to show."
      That's a bad thing in the beginning era of Augmented Reality....
  • I agree. They need to really push the ads. It's depressing that many people don't even know that Windows Phones exist. I showed an Apple Fanboy how my Lumia 950 scans my eyes to unlock, and he was blown away. People always want to look at my phone because to them it's "new" and "different" to them.
  • Same here. A lot of guys are stunned when they see how Windows will work for you, in Office and in home environment. No matter if on the 85" surface hub, down to Gaming PC, down to Surface Covertibles, down to 4,3" Lumia 820, all working the same way without thinking "how do i change that setting?".   The App-gap on mobile might be an issue for some, but i personally only use a bunch of apps and the rest is just pinned websites.
  • But is the "APP-GAP" that important? The key social networking apps are all there, as are the office suite for productiviy. There are still some issues with functionalilty not being uniform but even that appears to be improving. Where we do have problems is in accessory specific apps like philips smart bulbs etc, and smaller services. But I am currently running a Lumia 950 and an iphone 6s (Lumia for me and the iphone for work) and the apps I use between them are pretty much the same.  
  • For Phillips HUE I use "Huetro" on L950 and Surface. Works perfectly. For me i find apps for everything i need, and the rest does not deserve to be used ;-) But others are really missing some stuff, where i cannot always argue against.
  • It's not the popular apps.. Those are only a fraction of a percentage of apps available on iDroid... It's all the other useful apps... Yes it is that bad... The app gap is real. It killed WP.
  • Yes especially in business.  There are so many apps that you need on the go that aren't supported or watered down.  Virtualized apps are great when you are stable at a desk or coffee shop with a lap dock.  They don't help when you are on a plane, or on the go.
  • Yep..
  • Not to mention business uses a ton of cloud or partner apps, even as an ultra mega enterprise with millions to burn you cant just drink the koolaid from HP and do eveything yourself in the workplace desktop. The whole story does not add up. It's just fluff to run out whatever contract MS signed with HP.
  • It's why my 77 year old mother in law now wants a brand new Lumia 950 XL after having my old 710 and 820, while I am doing with my 1520 still. Think I want one too to keep up.  
  • Not only that it is depressing how 950 users not taking advantage of continuum, I have to force the lady to hook up a dock at her office and now she love it.  Some of her co worker even considering 950 because of continuum.
  • I found continuum to be too slow and my company doesn't support VPN on mobile.  Citrix was terrible with performance and crashes.  Also no way to print.  
  • I think they really need to keep an eye on what Google is doing om the Chrome/Android front. If Andromeda becomes a thing it could potentially position a Continuum like function, ans with Androids mindshare that could suck the wind out of Microsoft's Mobile play. Of course, Continuum is just a part of what MS may be playing at, but I'm sure thier pushing to be ahead of what they know the competition is doing. This the investments in Windows Holographic, gaming, AR/VR, bots(45,000 devs to date), AI, etc Thier pushing innovation in these areas and getting support as well. I don't think it's an coincidence nor JUST other areas they are in. I think these areas will work into thier Mobile play in the future to really bring something different.
  • Yes, exactly.. Do not take Apple, or Google, for granted. They make things happen. MS may be cooking up a terrific product, but that doesn't mean it's guaranteed to fly off shelves. MS will need to pull out all the stops.
  • We are realist two decades in the making. We have learned that this stuff isn't as easy as making a great product. It's actually more about timing, and the crystal ball.
  • I-One Device and androPixel can  be huge threats.
  • And, will be.
  • The bigger worry is not just that this would suck the wind out of Microsoft Mobile, but potentially out of Windows as well. If that really happens it could be an existential threat to Microsoft. I wish Microsoft realized that all these are interconnected and you sometimes don't get to choose your battleground. It's like giving up on that beachhead because it's just a small swamp without much economic value.
  • Microsoft is already hedging against loosing Windows.
  • It's pretty obvious Google is working on Continuum like experience for their next OS. And with apps and developer support, they'll win this market again. Same as with Apple.
  • Old article by Daniel. Look at what he said at the end.
    .
    Anyways.
    .
    .MJF: "I realize this year was a year when Microsoft planned not to release any new Windows Phones itself. But the question I keep getting is why is Microsoft wasting time updating Windows Mobile when the market share is one percent? You don't have that many phone OEMs. Why not just say, you know, maybe we'll come back some day, but for now, let's just stop playing around with mobile."
    .
    MYERSON: "Technically, there are really two things that are unique about Windows Mobile. One is cellular connectivity and the other one is the ARM processors that are there. And I think both cellular connectivity and ARM processors have a role in the technical landscape of the future.
    So we're going to continue to invest in ARM and cellular. And while I'm not saying what type of device, I think we'll see devices there, Windows devices, that use ARM chips. I think we'll see devices that have cellular connectivity.
    When you stop investing in these things, it's super hard, super, super hard to restart. And at Microsoft we have a few of those examples where we stopped. Sometimes, when you're investing into growth. it's easier, but when you're investing for technical strategy or things like that, sometimes people can question it -- like you're doing right now. But especially among your readers, I don't think there's much debate that ARM processors have a role in the future. And cellular connectivity does as well."
    .
    .
    . He wasn't kidding when he said that ARM and cellular have a role in the future.
  • LOL. Apple and Google will still win because they have the consumer market like 99% of it.
  • After a long time,am reading such a post. Thanks. +1
  • Best thing you've ever wrote
  • Sarcasm... Lol
  • IOW= in other words
  • Hmm, this is an interesting perspective. Putting it this way makes me curious to see how this turns out. I'll be watching, that's for sure.
  • beyond phone = W10M will be canceled as Band 3
  • I mean, I don't know how to make this more clear: Windows 10 Mobile is just Windows 10. The core and much of the shell is the same. There's nearly no dev costs. How many products do you have with Windows IoT? None. So, are they going to cancel that too? No, because it makes no sense.
  • I've tried to point this out to people as well.  I spent ten years working off and on on Windows.  We had builds that never saw the light of day, such as Alpha, Sparc and MIPS.  It cost us virtually nothing to build them but made certain that we were designing the OS to be architecture independent.  Right now the situation is the same, they want to continue to make certain they are capable of running on ARM at any time, and that they are designing for all form factors, regardless of whether or not they are actively producing products. This strategy ensures that if they see an opportunity they can execute on it quickly with minimum cost.  The cost of maintaining a mobile branch is minimal, just as the cost of maintaining a MIPS branch for 15 years was minimal to non-existent.
  • Apple had a version of Mac OS running on Intel for years (starting with System 7), even after they discontinued Rhapsody, they continued Mac OS X Intel.  But they didn't need to release Intel hardware until they made the transition, and they didn't continue to release PowerPC hardware "just in case".  No doubt they have a version of macOS running on their own ARM chips.  Do they need to release hardware for this?  If Microsoft wants to goof with an ARM version of Windows, why do it publicly?  Who does it benefit?        
  • I am failing to see your point here.  MS hasn't been releasing any ARM devices for quite some time now.  They have an existing installed base, however, and since they continue to produce builds of Windows for ARM, there is little reason not to release them to support their existing customers, as small as that market may be.  They also have third parties who are using the ARM version of Win10, such as HP and Alectel. There is also the IoT market, which is also using Windows 10 for ARM. Previous Windows versions for alternative architectures were always available to third parties who wished to release products based on them.  Indeed, DEC used to release an Alpha based version of Windows NT up until Compaq acquired them (and subsequently sold the Alpha division to Intel, sadly).  The point of making such builds is for those versions to be available for products, whether directly from Microsoft or from one of thier partners/licensees. The reference to Apple is misplaced.  Apple does not license macOS/OS X to third parties. As a result there is no one aside from Apple who can decide to release a product based on OS X/macOS.  They do not have a licensing business based on their operating system like Microsoft, Blackberry (QNX) and others do.
  • "Thank you for testing Windows" - there is your reason.
  • In PC World, Mark Hachman questions how much we actually use smart phones for making phone calls. Personally, I make perhaps a handful of phone calls per week. I use the Lumia 950 for surfing the internet (as a SURF interfAce), checking out Facebook, messaging (SMS, Messenger, What's App, Skype, etc.), as an interface to my Garmin smart watch, to upload photos from my mirrorless camera and sharing them with friends, to check my Spanish-English dictionary, the check a map, to check a Word document, etc., etc. So it makes sense to skip the emphasis on *phone*, and instead focus on the device as a surface/interface to the net, "pocket apps" (wallet, dictionaries, maps, etc.), perhaps even an interface to IoT. The device could thus serve as an interface to "instruments"/sensors, e.g., Garmin type sensors, medical sensors, multi meters (Fluke type), smart home equipment (read and set-up), weather stations (Netatmo, etc.), and so on. OK -- the problem is that iPhone and Android also share this functionality. So I don't quite see what would be distinguishing thing of a "Surface Pocket" thing. In addition to the above, my "dream" tool would enable easy development of such user interfaces, support for collecting data via such a tool and storing the data/interacting with the data in the cloud in some database (e.g., time series database). Of course, it should still be possible to make phone calls... But still -- what is new?
  • Maybe the "Creative Update" portion of the recent release plays a part? I thought it was odd that MS had 3D first up.  Not that I didn't think wasn't cool, but I didn't feel the lack of 3D functionality was holding things back.  And clearly this was targeting graphic artists, content producers, visual designers, etc.  This also aligns with Surface Studio. So where does this fit in the bigger picture?  And does that have something to do with Surface "Phone"? It appears MS is rallying the Creatives, empowering them to create incredible content, and maybe transition them to Windows-powered devices. Is this a brick that needed to be laid before future devices could be realized?
  • There in lies the problem for MS. The actual "phone" part of mobile is no longer relevant. It's ALL about apps! And with the MS pull back from mobile not only are they not getting apps for the platform, Win 10 is LOOSING apps. The list of highly demanded 1st party apps is precipitously falling. MS needs some kind of presence in the public eye or they may never be able to get support for UWP apps.
  • Now after all these, all that I pray for is, no matter what next device it is, it should be made available to consumers.....to us the Windows Phone fans. I still can't accept the fact that I'd be forced to choose between ios and android (with no consumer Windows 10 mobile device) when it's time to upgrade my 950. I hope it becomes readily available to we the fans too
  • Saying Windows 10 Mobile is just Windows 10 is like saying the Surface RT and Surface 2 devices (which I owned) were just like the Surface Pro devices.  The Surface Pro devices are full fledged PCs and run PC apps while the Surface RT devices were more like Windows 10 Mobile.  The Surface commercials highlight the fact they can run Photoshop unlike the iPad but also has a touch screen unlike the Mac.  I have an iPad (it came with a car I bought) and an old Android Nexus tablet but I'm writing this on my Surface 3 and I have a few Win 10 PCs and two Win 10 Mobile phones.  I was a technical beta tester of Microsoft products in the 90's (including Windows NT thru Windows XP).  I still have multiple Windows CE based PDAs I used back in the day.  My boss calls me a walking ad for Microsoft when he sees me with my Surface 3, Lumia 735, and Band 2. Well, I just bought an Android phone.  It's an unlocked phone that supports both CDMA and GSM.  It is replacing my Lumia 540 as my backup phone but I can switch it over to replace my primary Verizon Lumia 735.  I prefer how Win 10 Mobile works over Android or even iOS but the lack of apps is becoming a deal breaker.  I read the articles trying to explain why the app gap is less than many believe but I'm not buying it.  While a few bank apps are back in the store, mine aren't.  Many of the stores I frequent have apps but not for Windows 10.  The current answer for Windows 10 on PCs is use the web browser and that appears to be the same for Win 10 Mobile.  It works in most cases but right now one store mobile site I use is detecting he latest Edge browser on Win 10 Mobile as unsupported.  I haven't contacted them about the issue but what happens if they decide not to spend any resources their mobile site if the full site works for Win 10 on PCs?  The bigger app gap I see with Win 10 Mobile is support for the many IoT devices.  I use my iPad to connect to my iDevice grill thermometer and I'm using my new Android phone to configure the Amazon echo dot I bought today.  Microsoft's move to focus Win 10 Mobile on the enterprise will widen the app gap for consumer devices and services.  While the dev costs to support Win 10 apps on Win 10 mobile may be low I don't see the SiriusXM app I use a lot on my Win 10 PCs and tablets showing up on my Win 10 Mobile phone.  I will use both phones for the next month and decide which path to take.  I also have to figure what device will replace my Band 2 when it starts to die.
  • Well, the difference between then (RT vs. WP8.x vs Win8.x) and now (W10 vs. W10m vs. Xbox vs. IoT) is that UWP and OneCore has emerged. The platform is much more consolidated now than it was back then. They have also separated out most of the core apps Fromm the OS, so that they can update the most independently of the OS, but on all OS'es at the same time (maps, camera, Photoshop, etc) All of this together makes the cost of maintaining w10m and the apps running on it much lower.
  • Still need the developer community to flock to UWP apps. Win32 is too rich for many to abandon, and it makes little sense to publish both.
  • Phillyphan23 - This is the exact reason why I just dumped my 950 with NexDock and Display Dock for an Android phone.  I was excited about the Elite x3 but when my company said they won't support VPN, only Citrix that was the last straw.  The app-gap is REAL!  Too many watered down or missing apps which affect my productivity in business. At home the app-gap is terrible!  Buy a 3rd party Sonos app that may or may not work with the latest update.  Buy a decent youtube app buecause the "app" is actually a browser that doesn't support offline videos.  No Google apps.  Terrible!  To say they are waiting until 20xx to make a comeback is ludicrous!  Devs don't care.  Until they do I won't.
  • Update your rants... There is no w10"m".
  • Isn't it also a fact that people working for Microsoft and even Microsoft's mobile division, don't have more than 1% user share of Win 10 phones? That their own employees use Android and iPhones much, much MUCH more?
  • Not sure how you get to that as a "fact" ("don't have more than 1% user share"). We have never seen numbers on that, but sure, we know a lot of employees use an iPhone or Android. I also know a lot who do not and who carry a Windows phone. Additionally, there is no "mobile division". Not sure why for some of you that's still a thing. There's the Windows 10 team, which covers PC, Mobile, IoT, Hub, and holographic and there's the devices team. There is no mobile group. Hasn't been for awhile. I'm just not sure what the point of this comment is in relation to what I wrote.
  • I read that in combination with just that point about how Microsoft might be completely oblivious to what the mobile market (consumer AND enterprise) is about. It was an article very recently, don't know from the top of my head where (could be neowin, not sure) but there it was pointed out that within Microsoft as a business, a company, there the "marketshare" for Win 10 (mobile) was 1% as well.
  • But, how is that relevant? MS has already admitted to loosing the smartphone battle, and has said that they do not want to make just another smartphone. Nadella said it himself,, "I don't want to be just another Phone guy", something like that... Maybe that is what we're seeing now.
    .......
    Either way, you're not reading the article... MS isn't concerned with understanding what consumers want... They are more concerned with telling consumers what they want, and they have been good at it lately. A business has an infinite amount of chances to succeed as long as it's in business. Loosing out on a decade of popularity in one segment isn't the end of the world, as long as the world keeps turning. And, it will. One day kids will laugh at each other for carrying an iPhone, like they do now for carrying a flip phone. Times change, and out of all the tech companies in the world MS has one of the best chances to succeed in any segment.
  • I agree, Rodneyej.  I also think MS has been studying the consumer, learning, researching and analyzing.  Then, stepping back and attempt to change the way humans do what they do.  Surveying customers and mulling over wish lists is not going to result in The Next Big Thing.
  • Yepers again.
  • I predict a 'James T Kirk' style Surface flip communicator featuring continuum and emitting AR holographic visuals but has very few apps and can also make phone calls if required.
    Beam me up Scotty.
  • Honestly, I'd take a repurposed Samsung Focus, with a decent Facebook app, at this point.. That would be a huge improvement.
  • And this is what I mean. You're "lying"... MS is "lying". Nobody bis being truthful unless they're dropping yet another click-bait driven negativity dump It's incredible. 
  • I believe Herbert is referring to Jason Ward's article from last Friday.
    http://www.windowscentral.com/is-microsoft-passionate-about-its-mobile-strategy Microsoft's interdisciplinary approach to a category-defining mobile strategy faces a unique challenge that its rivals with a traditional linear approach don't even face. 99% of the consumer smartphone space is dominated by iPhones and Android phones. This is also true of the 100,000 Microsoft employees — most of those I encountered used iPhones or Android phones.
  • I'm from Finland.
    I live in Espoo.
    There is company called "Microsoft Mobile Oy"
    What is your take in HARDWARE design "mobile division"?
  • I do always trust MS . Just I do love u MS team and dev section .
  • It's time to think different.
    Once upon a time that used to be another company's mantra, on the tip of my tongue, but I just can't quite recall it ;-P
  • Hmm...intentional? :-)
  • Yeah I'd say Daniel was deliberately making that link, but only he could confirm.  :)
  • It was def intentional especially with Apple's failure to inspire last week ;)
  • Yeaa, the apple event was a sleeping pill compared to MS NY presentation. Made me forget the W10M story for a while. Amazing and truly innovative:)
  • "it's super hard, super, super hard to restart." --> And we all know how much Microsoft loves restarting (WP7, WP8, W10Mobile...) "Microsoft 'clearly missed' the smartphone category." --> They didn't miss it. They were late, had the odds stacked against them due to an existing duopoly, somehow still managed to achieve 5% global market share, including double-digit share and overtaking iOS in a dozen markets, and were on the path towards a positive tipping point--all of this without really trying, without advertising even 1/100th as much as Apple or Samsung--and then decided to "retrench", killing off all the headway they made and seriously undermining UWP in the process. "an x86 "Surface Phone" is thankfully not happening." --> I'm all for UWP, and I'd be delighted if Panos and his team come up with a Surface Phone that isn't x86 that somehow makes me think I'm wrong about this, but, as of now, I think an x86 Surface Phone is a must. I want a mobile device that can run all of my software. Project Centennial aside, there are millions of Win32 apps that will never be ported to UWP. I want a Surface Phone that I can put in my pocket and connect to a screen and use all of my applications. I'm not sure why I should be "thankful" that isn't happening.
  • Taking a look at millennials and younger aka the next generation at where computing is headed...do you really think x86 is something they want or something that 45yo and up want? Because if we're talking about creating a next-gen (literally) mobile device I see x86 as an anchor, not a catalyst. When I imagine what some teenager today will be using in five years, it's not win32 apps.
  • Agree, it really is all about the next generation. Just look at their Windows 10 launch TV commercial with all the kids. People need to look beyond 0-5 years. If W10M serves your needs now, stick around.
  • Saw a photo recently that Panos RT'd of a 15 yo trying Studio for the first time, who drew this awesome image in just 15 minutes. Clearly, they see those kids using this tech as the future. Panos even focused on his own kid and Surface Book during the NYC event. That's not just a thing for them, but what they see as the future for computing.
  • Isn't this tech already out there, though?  I'm sure it is quite expensive, but I recall Jason Pohl of OCC (American Chopper)drawing one of his designs on a large touchscreen monitor that looked very similar to the new Studio.  That was like five years ago?  The computer is an HP in this photo. http://www.cgw.com/images/Media/PublicationsArticle/PG33_2.jpg
  • OldMillXxX   That looks to me like one of the older Wacom Cintiq display/digitizers similar to this....  http://cdn.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/wacom_21ux_1.jpg Yes, those have been around for a while.  They can cost ~$1600 - $2000 on their own and you still need a separate workstation to power it.
  • Yeah! That it is - definately!
    Microft just "Appletized" it into a neat, beautifull package called the Surface Studio
    together with that iDial ... I mean the Surface Dial
    Still confused how quickly this happened - was Steven Jobs really the root of Apple iNnovation?
     
  • OldMill, my Dell AIO has a couple of features of the Surface Device, emphasis on 'a couple'. It does not have the same graphics capability, the 4K screen, or pen capability, to name a few. So while it sorta kinda looks like it and can fold flat, one machine has some juice behind it and one is a damn good desktop that does what I need it to do, not a trend setter. In other words, don't be fooled by one or two visible features.
  • I completely agree that youth will drive the next phase of devices that shape computing as a whole.  But, as we've seen, won't Apple simply appropriate what Microsoft introduces...improve it as only they know how to do...put an Apple logo on it...and then sell it to those same kids who would rather have an iDevice?
  • They are at the cross road. Mac OS wasn't designed for touch. IOS is no workstation OS.
    And they want to sell both iPad and MacBook.
  • Why not a win32 app? Millennials down know what a win32 app is, they just want something easy to use and meets their need and dont care what format its in. Dont care how it works. Dont care what it needs to run. Just wants it to run and work like they think it should.
  • Win32 is a platform built 20 years ago, when people didn't care about energy consumption, registry bloat, security and other things essential to a healthy ecosystem nowaday. It's not built for modern app development, simple as that.
  • Actually, 30 years ago. Before viruses, malware, internet and security.
  • The problem here is the alternative is running UWP apps, which run through the store app. That ridiculously horrible, considering that we are supporting adding limitation rather than removing them. Let's say you want to release an app from a specific category that a company doesn't support - you as a develop is SOL.
  • And  yet if it were x86 compatible, it could run Bluestacks and we'd not only get our UWP/WP apps, our legacy programs, but also any Android apps we wanted. The app gap would be filled, and we'd be able to use our 3-in-1 pocket pc not only to make calls, but also to run apps, AND to hook up to a monitor and use as our computer (not as continuum acts *like* a computer). Now *that's* a paradigm shift!
  • People give Blue Stacks too much credit in this scenario. It's great but no I'm not interested in running it on a phone....
  • Why do you think bluestack cannot become Uwp app?
  • Wouldn't something like blue stacks run better on ARM chips natively vs. trying to emulate it on a x86 chip.
  • Bluestacks could run just fine on ARM, as it only provides a thin layer around Android. But they will never meet the terms of the Windows store.
  • That doesn't mean it can't be available on Windows mobile, they could publish from their own site.
  • 100% agree that the future and savior of Windows is not an x86 phone.
    ​The problem is, I see phones/mobile tablets continuing to dominate as THE personal computing platform for at least a decade.  ​The other problem I see is that no matter how impressive the tech MS comes out with, its generally ignored by the press and the market until Google or Apple does something similar. There is a strong anti-MS bias out there and I dont know if they can ever overcome that.
  • I think that is starting to shift as well.  Just look at Apple's lates smartphone numbers.  Things are on the decline in that space as it has become saturated and no longer as exciting as it used to be.  I think smartphones are starting to shift into the space of where PCs were not too long ago.  All of the people that wanted a smartphone have one.  Once they find one they really like, they try to hang onto it for as long as possible.  It isn't so much a growth market now.  So if Microsoft want to capture that space they can't just make another me-too device.  They have already tried that.  They have to do something different.  It is hard to imagine what that could be, but that is why they get paid the big bucks. :)
  • I'm thinking it's not going to be soley about the device, but will include peripherals, services, cloud, AI, all working in concert.
  • ;-)
  • Oh, I don't know, I think last week's event potentially started a change in that perception in the long term. Surface Studio dropped quite a few jaws around the Internet, many of which from Apple fans - you should've seen their reactions in fansites and forums following Microsoft and Apple's events, it was priceless. It's now up to Microsoft to continue flourising the good will towards them.
  • Not too shocking to me... the Studio is gorgeous hardware with 'good enough' internals and an overwhelming focus on 'creators'. In other words, MS is the new Apple..
  • The thing is, phones/mobile tablets will only continue to be the primary mode of personal computing until a better mode of interaction comes along. Change in the technology world doesn't just happen, it has to be imagined, implemented, and then the people have to be convinced it is a better solution. The problem that you believe MS will have is in convincing the people. Well, it has to be compelling. I mean absolutely, undeniably compelling. Consumers have to look at it and think, "damn that would be so awesome and convenient to have. I didn't know I needed that." And that is the key of it. As far as consumers are concerned, the smartphone is the best possible solution that their imagination will allow, so something better has to be presented to them.
  • People don't care if it's win32 or ARM... Win32 can also make touch apps.. Why wouldn't it have a future???...
  • When I imagine what some teenager today will be using in five years, it's not win32 apps.
    Then Windows is already dead as a desktop OS.  Because when I imagine what apps are created in five years, UWP is minimal or non-existent, just like it is today. Having an entire computer in your pocket, one that runs any app at all,  in the right mode, is compelling.  The chip doesn't matter.  Google is certainly moving in this direction and Apple is working on it and hiding it.
  • UWP is minimal? It was a blast for me, and now, I couldn't imagine using any device as my daily driver that doesn't run them. Take my laptop as an example. Since Windows 10 launched, I switched from Opera to Edge, uninstalled Adobe Reader DC and switched to Foxits UWP app for PDF reading, installed the UWP VLC app, and after keeping them side by side, decided to uninstall the win32 variant, because it was useless. I use the Deezer app instead of their website (I even subscribed to their service :D ), and the same is true for social apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Baconit, Disqus, Awesome Tube (Youtube), etc... I found a great UWP password manager as well, called OneLocker, and a very good podcast app, Grover Pro. And just recently, I switched from WinRAR to 8Zip for handling archives. (WinRAR is still installed because I'm lazy :D ) And the list goes on... The number of Win32 apps I use on a daily basis is decreasing faster than the speed of light. The area where Win32 is still strong for me is mostly just gaming, but I play many UWP games as well. So win32 is dying here :D
  • There are still quite a few high powered apps that are only win32. Most high powered stock and financial programs are win32. I use them and they are VERY complex. As a developer I'm not sure right now I can even see a way to do them in UWP with, for example, 10 or 15 Windows and super fast updates. Someday UWP will have the features needed to do them. And let's not forget the big Kahuna win32 program, Visual Studio. It may be sometime before we see a UWP version of that.
  • You may be right about the finance apps. I'd bet you are. There are also design apps, editing apps, modeling, and a lot of other niche-type apps that couldn't be done easily in UWP. However, most people don't need those apps every day, and even fewer people need them on their phones. That said, developers have created a lot of apps that do these things for iOS, Android and UWP. So many of these things can be done, it's just a matter of when there is enough demand for someone to find a way to make apps that do these things on mobile devices.
  • for me it's all about gaming to, when it comes to Win32!
  • Are games like Gears of War in the store only allowed to run on x86? Are they coded in win32?
  • They are coded for Win32. There's no reason conceptually why big, long games like Gears of War couldn't be on UWP, the only problem with publishing them there is that Windows 7 and 8 users wouldn't be able to play that version.
  • The chip is more important than you seem to give it credit for
  • I believe they may wait till the launch of 5G mobile networks giving us 20Gbps + connections speeds. It is easy to see that this may form a new catagory of device that could supplant the pc / mobile etc as we currently know it, combined with holographics and AR this could enhance video communication? 
  • Next year WiFi ad standard! Great for fast connection to other devices and sensors. The Surface Pocket may be able to power an AR/VR visor.
  • Disagree. x86 IS A MUST. Otherwise all tries with Continuum is a joke. At lease for enterprise market. At lease now.
  • What millenials want to work with and what they'll get are different things. I want everything on UWP too but it's not going to happen. There are organizations that still use software from the 1980s. One organization implemented a massive initiative to ditch their legacy program from the 1980s and move it all to a more "modern" .exe file. That initiative began one and a half decades ago and they still have not completeed it. Every field has unique software required to do work, and that software is not going over to UWP anytime soon, if ever. Take data analysis, for instance. If you're in that field, you need to use a program like R, Stata, SAS, or Python, and none of those programs are going to get converted to UWP. I once saw a guy on Twitter complain to one of those companies that their software doesn't run on the new iPad Pro. People want to take their work with them and if it was going to happen the 'mobile app' route, it already would have with iOS or Android. It hasn't. And that is why the HP Elite x3 uses virtualization to run Win32 apps. They know businesses need it. The problem is that virtualization is expensive and requires Internet access. The solution is a phone, such as a Surface phone, that natively runs full Windows 10. A teenager today working in the real world five years from now is going to be using Win32 apps or that teenager isn't going to be employed very long. That's reality: enterprise adoption of new software is very, very slow. A Surface phone needs to come now, not a decade from now. And it needs to be different from iOS and Android. How can it be different? By running Win32 apps. That's how. Not by running mobile apps. Android and iOS already do that.
  • So what you're saying is that some big, slow corporations won't be able to have their employees perform all their daily work on Windows phones anytime soon? That may be too bad for them, but I don't want to buy a bad phone just because someone's IT department somewhere can't get their tools to run on modern hardware.
  • MS had so many models with stupid names!
  • I believe you're thinking of Nokia
  • They were numbers...not names.
    Example: Nokia Lumia 820, 920 then 520, 620, 720, 1020, 1320, 1520
    See? - Numbers...
  • I've probably asked this question a dozen times, and haven't been asnwered a couple dozen; How were they "late" when they actually had already had a mobile OS on the market when the iphone came out? This is assuming you mean that the iphone made them "late".
  • Microsoft already showed a tablet with Windows XP, but they didn't go further on that as it was large, clunky and the whole world kinda smirked at it. Microsoft's Courier was also a good idea, but got canned. While later such developments by others took markets by storm. Having something isn't the same as being the first.
  • Being first is important. Being best is important. But nothing is more important than just pushing your product.
  • I had one of those tablets and they were great. MS never marketed them. I never saw one in a store and they were more than double the cost of a similar laptop. No one would pay extra for tablet functionality and MS gave them no compelling case to do so.
  • They did not have a multi-touch interface, thus making them late
  • Windows Mobile was antiquated and not user-friendly. When iOS came out with mutitouch, swiping gestures and such, it made Windows Mobile look ancient (even though it was infinitely more capable as far as features and capabilities.). When Apple added the App Store, they lept ahead even further. I used to scour the internet looking for Windows Mobile apps for my PocketPC and phones. In that moment, MS was behind experience-wise and they stayed behind for years - IMO, until WP8.1.
  • Pretty much all touch screen devices tended to have crappy resistive touch screens rather than capacitive too.
  • They weren't really late to the mobile market. MS actually led the mobile market for a while; but they were very late to see the mobile market shift with the release of the iPhone. There was Windows Mobile 6.0 which I used on a couple of different devices. Then there was nothing, for a long time. In response to lots of pressure from carriers and customers, MS released WM 6.5 which slapped a new UI over the same underlying Windows CE based OS. Then there was nothing, again, for a very long time until Windows Phone 7, which was hailed as visually innovative but which jettisoned most of the security aspects that businesses loved about Windows Mobile 6 and 6.5. Yet Windows Phone 7 was again built on Windows CE, an OS that couldn't keep evolving for the phone ecosystem that was beginning because it was designed to run on ATMs and gas pumps and such.   Why was MS so slow in evolving from Mobile 6 to 6.5 and then from Mobile 6.5 to Phone 7 rather than moving on from CE? There really is no mystery about this. Former CEO Steve Ballmer has been candid about it. He blew it. He shifted lots of resources from mobile to fix the mess that was the failure of desktop Windows Longhorn and its Vista aftermath. Desktop was the bread and butter of MS and needed fixing. They didn't forsee that mobile would explode as it did. There were clearly stumbles later as well in making the OS shifts and hardware decisions. And yes MS did achieve some measaure of success for WP 8 and 8.1 in certain markets, but at an overall cost to the company that was unsustainable. I take no pleasure in this history. I've loved several of my Windows Mobile, Phone, and Mobile (again) devices. I will use my 950XL until the day it dies. Yet I understand why MS had to move on to searching for the next thing in mobile instead of continuing to try and reinvent history. I think they are a more disciplined and focused company now, as evidenced by Meyerson's comment about how hard it is to restart investment in an area (ARM and cellular) once you stop and his allusion to what happened in the past when they did just that.
  • Great comment.  I don't know the inner details of CE, but to me it was a great mobile OS that supported a subset of .NET, IIRC.  I rememmber some great apps on my Moto Q and HTC whatchamacallit (the one with the single button and touch screen).  When HTC started putting shells on top of CE, the first couple of layers of UI were quite good, but jarring when after a tap or two, you ended up in the old Outlook client (whcih was quite good IMHO).  The move to Silverlight on 7 orphaned all the old CE apps, a huge mistake and a strange one given MSFT's normally relentless focus on app compat, and severely reduced the API surface available to developers.  You intimate that CE was ultimately going to be a dead-end, and you may be right, but I've always felt that MSFT should have put major resources into an iPhone-like CE shell and application UI, and provided a smooth upgrade path for the .NET apps on CE.  WP7 was a total reset, and it seemed like MSFT just threw away the entire installed and developer base with that move.  One wonders where Windows Phone would be today had MSFT been iterating on the old CE and .NET platform insteard of going through three platform resets in six years.  
  • They were late because they didn't have an answer to Android and iOS until WP 8. And even with Windows Phone 8, they didn't have all the features of Android or iOS.
  • I can understand how you would not want to give up your x86 applications, for me it is roughly the same but I can also see how virtulization could in face turn the tables on that as well. We virtualize desktops now for workstations and HP has obviously made their version of virtualized legacy applications (though I have not tested or looked into how well this works). I would not be surprised if continuum can some how VPN back to your server and use your folder redirections plus virtulization of legacy applications through a VMware type server application. How neat would that be to take your phone, hook it to your dock and it connect back to your server in the enterprise world.
    ​Even in a consumer sense, a lot of IT junkies have their own server at home. I've seen here on windows central alone deals for VPN network connections at lifetime deals for decent prices. Run that off your already standard 4G plus possibly 5G by 2020 and you have your game changer with almost existing OS/Hardware. SD830 is rumored to already be able to take advantage of that 5G speed as well.
  • Amen, brother! Nadella keeps saying, "Why does everyone keep asking me about Mobile?" Umm...because You killed it! That's why
  • I agree with your first two paragraphs. HOwever I personally would loathe to have a phone running X86. Mostly because I think there is no way to make that product and have it not  suck, but also partly because I just don't want to have any X86 apps in my pocket.
  • Hoping for the best.
  • So, what are Windows Mobile users suppose to do in the meantime? They could at the very least fix the bugs that plague the Lumia 950's.
  • I find this statement is odd. For one, we just revealed that new Tmobile Alcatel phone that is coming and two, Windows 10 Mobile gets updated monthly (for production) and bi-yearly for features, and nearly every week/every other week for Insiders. So, in the meantime, I see way more happening on Mobile for Microsoft now than 2 years ago.
  • In all honesty you see more from MS tha just about anybody. But again, that's lost on people. Somehow. 
  • You have a point with the high frequency of updates, Daniel, there is no denying that MSFT is in overdrive when it comes to OS improvements, but...
    A/ the new Alcatel @ $400+ is not as affordable as Lumia 6XX or 7XX used to be
    B/ my 640XL, is getting slower and slower with every recent build (was great till this summer), so I'm not sure what I'll move to in 2017 once it becomes too laggy If it bottoms out on me, I'll have very limited set of choices on TMO. Fierce XL is gone, Idol 4 will be $460. What will I do by the time a new category is invented? That is the gist of the question @tboling was asking and I second it.
  • Idol 4S for Windows is absolutely the best device for that money.
    If you want a cheaper device with the same specks you'll need to wait for 2018 and move to China.
    On the other hand if you want yet another cheap device then buy a used Lumia 950 (XL) or 930?
    Explain what you want, please?!
  • Not interested in used devices, not gonna live under a rock till 2018, and your China suggestion is not worth retorting to. To answer your question: I need a W10 mobile device, which will not keep throttling as my 640XL started doing on the recent builds (because it is getting long in the tooth), and which will not cost me $460 a piece. I always buy 2 phones for my family, so price does matter in my case. Windows fan or not, I can't justify picking 2 Idol 4Ss for this price in a completely Mac-based household. I've been with WP since L521, 635, 640, etc.. because they were excellent value proposition for what they've offered and never paid more than $200 each. Once the last bits of Lumias are off market next year, I won't have much to pick from in the bottom range. You completely missed the point I tried to make above.
  • I see, it looks like you have limited choices then. Based on your statements, maybe just buy two iPhone 7s and replace your accessories with Bluetooth enabled stuff, to save money?
  • I'm still enjoying my L950. My concern for the future is if we start losing apps at an accellerated pace. So far, I havent lost anything I use, but if that changes, I'll be bailing out.
  • To me, "in the meantime" is something I can get my hands on to replace my 928 with a cracked screen that has been faithfully limping along the past few years. I'm in Wyoming so I have only one big red option for cellular carrier. I recognize Microsoft's efforts and I see where they're headed - its exciting stuff. In the meantime it sure would be nice to have an option to replace my current device with until Windows X is ready for prime time on a pocket sized device that I can call home with.
  • I think that the Idol 4S for Windows might be carrier unlocked - just shovel that money!
  • I would look to see if you can pickup a Lumia Icon (L929), it runs great on 'big red'. Sadly Win10 does not currently support 'double-tap to wake' on the Icon, but it is still a nice phone that runs Win10.
  • Article title claims the phone will be unlocked, but do not rely on an unlocked phone. I assume the big red option you mentioned was VZN, so do some research before you try and see what LTE bands your carrier has in your location. Just because the phone is unlocked doesn't mean it will have LTE compatible with your phone. I'm not saying it won't work. Just saying may not. According to the leaks, Idol should support LTE band 1,2,3,4,5,7,12,20.
    VZN and TMO overlap on 2 and 4, but not 13 and 12 respectively, so if your area has predominantly 13, you may be SOL.
    Pre-LTE (3G,HSPA) connectivity between VZN and TMO is a non-starter as they are CDMA vs GSM - different frequencies, different platforms altogether.
  • You know, I was just thinking a few hours ago about the bugs that plagued my pre-smartphone era devices. It seems to be the same issues we have today, random restarts ( sometimes just being off), lockups, and other issues. I don't think bugs are exclusive to Windows (although sometimes they are more prevalent). 10M is a whole lot better than it was last year, and next year will be even better.
  • Great article, but once again you're talking to a bunch of people who either can't, or simply refuse to see past whatever apple is (or isn't) doing, and... snapchat. 
  • I think it's very difficult for people to think beyond "smartphone" in today's terms. It's not until someone creates a product, gives you a sizzler reel with some edgy music do people get how to move to something new. I think it's funny that literally every Surface product so far is not something I read people wanting here in comments. That's the trick to device category creation. People think the current is fine until something better comes along.
  • I agree with you 100%. But what makes it frustrating (I guess I can use that word) is people's refusal to not even look beyond what's currently available, just simply look away from it.  I still see the typical cynical drivel put out about the Surface. And I'm kinda axiously waiting for the predictable negativity to come out regarding the Surface Studio. 
  • I dont see that. I've noticed large adoption of Surface from professionals, students, and random people at Starbucks.
  • Yep. Surfaces are everywhere. And the product placement in media is pretty awesome
  • That's the kicker. There was not much negativity in media about the Studio. Some praised it, some said it was a good first iteration and second one will be better. But those blogs (whose opinion I personally value anyway) did not rip it into shreds. Nothing like the mocking they all did about Surface RT and its quirky bendy kick stand back in the day. I think the tide has started turning for MSFT and I too see now more Surfaces out in open public than a year ago.
    And that's good.
  • Re: Sean D.,
    "Bunch of people" = Millennials and younger?
  • Typical supposed "WP fans". 
  • It is indeed VERY hard for people to conceive a Mobile device that is not a "smartphone". When people begin to contemplate the functions of a pocketable computing device they automatically begin to place the various functions of that device within categories in their mind to which they can relate. Often those functions inevitably are "laid" parallel to functions their smartphones perform because it is the easiest frame of reference. Once thier mental picture has been fully painted they stand back and simply see what they've always seen- a smartphone. I think people need to think beyond where we are now. Use our imaginations. Be creative in our thinking. In a recent article, I pointed to where Microsoft is investing, as Daniel clearly put forth in this piece as well and others as well. Follow the money. :-) AI, bots, holographic computing, augmented reality, Continuum - and the "unknown". But what would a smartphone look like as a collage of this tech? An ultra-mobile Continuum powered PC, (3-in-1)that connects to AR glasses perhaps? We're talking a few years down the line. Let's think bigger than what's in our pockets now.:-)
  • Bingo. As Tim Cook said before (in a different context): "just follow the money" ... to see what the product is.
    The next device won't be just a communicator or a tool to reach internet and apps. It will be gateways to a hub. We're the hub. There probably will be multiple devices taking different forms and shapes. If you break it down into basics of human sensory apparatus, we can probably rule out taste and smell for now and focus on vision, hearing and tactile feedback. So, probably head wear (eye/ear), tactile (wrist, fingers, hand, other) or free form (pocketable, not attached to body). I think
    1/ the form factor is not what is holding us back, they can all figure that out 
    2/ we kind of know what we want as well - we want everything and everywhere
    3/ the toughest nut to crack IMO is how you interact with this thing - that is what is cooking in their labs, that is what will drive what you can or cannot take with you on the go, and that is what will drive the form factor
  • is the unknown  unknown only for us or for you too?
  • Terry Myerson, I have zero faith in him and Satya right now when it comes to mobile even though I'll continue using W10M until it improves or is gone all together.
  • I would say also they need to protect there patent portfolio for mobile which they collect revenue from manufacturers of infringed devices.
  • This is actually pretty inspiring. I needed this article. Lately I've been feeling depressed about the possibility of having to switch to Android. This article is both humbling, and gives me a sense of relief. I feel humbled because I kept getting angry that there was no "Surface phone", but now I have a reason to stop wanting it. It's a relief because I don't have to fear switching to android. I need to trust that Microsoft has a bigger plan, and that they will bring something special to the table.
  • Depressed about a smartphone??
  • I don't mean clinically depressed. I meant feeling down with the thought that at some point I wont be able to be as productive as I am now. Smartphones to me are tools. Windows 10 is a highly efficient, reliable tool. Android... well.... to me its a mess.
  • I found it to be the opposite. I feel stuck in limbo right now not having a clear plan to what will happen. If windows phone as we know it is truly "dead" it would be really nice if MS could offer an easy method to flash Google off of Android phones and auto replace all the pertinent parts with Bing and MS services and Apps. I won't go to Android cause i want to keep Google off my device, and iOS way over charges for its services that aren't as good as their competitiors in some ways.
  • Alcatel just did that for you with its Idol 4S for Windows.
    Three different models of which one is Windows.
  • They are making waves, that's a given at this point in time. But MS needs to knock my socks off with specifically the HoloLens and the surface phone... They are the future
  • This is all fine. But, they should better support what they do have. Poor support and devices will bit them in the butt later.
  • Another reason might be that IoT = $$$$ for the next decade. Custom solutions for many industries will work on arm cpu's and connect to azure's hub. 
  • Why would an x86 based "Surface Phone" not be a good thing?
  • 1) Intel isn't making any more mobile chips 2) x86 uses more battery and requires a larger operating system. On a mobile device, both of these are deal breakers.  3) Microsoft is slowly transitioning from x86 to UWP. There's no point in adding x86 if it's the "past." 4) Why would you really want that? x86 programs have scaling issues on laptops and dekstops. Would you really want to deal with that on a 5 or 6 inch screen?  
  • Because x86 is old and the smartphone world is new.
  • The fact is that x86/64, by design, was not originally developed for mobile. The architecture was initially developed for performance. There will always be a place for x86/64, but probably not in mobile (in the traditional sense i.e. smartphones). We all know that if you want to get 'real' stuff done, you use x86/64. ARM does not remotely come close to x86 when performance is the goal, regardless of what Apple might claim on the so called iPad 'pro'. I wonder how long it will take to render a 4K video on an ARM processor, things that Core and Xeon processors routinely do. This also includes all the sophisticated CAD tools used in industry which rely almost exclusively on x86/64 chips.
    That said, ARM has its place where performance is secondary to power consumption such as smartphones - and this is also a relevant portion of the computing ecosystem.
    Therefore an x86 based Surface Phone with today's level of x86 power-to-performance ratio will only serve a shrinking market - not good enough for hardcore x86 work and also too power inefficient for pure mobile. x86 virtualization as HP has done with the elite x3 is a decent middle ground imho.
  • Actually when I look at the lowest powered Gaby Lake (Y fanless)
    and then think of the Cannonlake 10nm shrink ... it could work
    BUT
    IMO it still should be the Creators Update device with 10 Mobile & UWB
    No legacy computing for the Mobiles
  • Well because the days when we used to mount our X86 machines in the dorm refrigerator's door in separate component bags to keep the overclocked Durons from melting are over. I miss that. That and the graphite pencil to do the CPU deed.
  • I still don't understand why they couldn't make a 960 with a better design and slightly updated specs while we wait for this new device category. If we had that perhaps there wouldn't be less than 1% and a load of high profile apps leaving recently. As for timeframe, I totally get the when its ready thing, but without even a guestimate and lack of OEM devices being available I'll shortly be forced to move to Android which I really do not want to do.
  • Surface: Making devices you didn't know you needed. Ain't that right, here's another one: Surface: Making you spend money you never knew you had! I honestly don't need or have the money for that Surface studio, but I know that it will be mine, and I will use this Surface Pro 4 of mine to purchase it
  • lol, well, Microsoft's theory on this is more nuanced: 1st gen is Surface, 2nd round is for OEMs to take the idea and run with it, sometimes improving on it. Third gen is the design is now "generic" and an accepted device like the traditional laptop of today. All of this means in two years we should have Studio clones on the market. Of course, that does nothing for device lust :P
  • Apple used to do this, now they just update current hardware. when was the last time Apple did anything truly innovative? The touch strip?
  • They are slowly removing items from their current hardware #courage
  • ROTFLMAO at #courage :-D
  • The surface phone will come, it's just a matter of time when Win 10 will be less buggy and more integrated
  • ok, I think Surface Phone will come, but if you look at iPhone 7 sales or Samsung sales due to the Note 7 incident, is not looking as good as in previous years. Smartphone industry has reached its peak, now is going downhill.  But as Dan says, there are plenty of small devices that can become the next big thing and all those are powered by ARM chip, thats why I think Microsoft is taking Windows 10 Mobile updates so seriously.
  • The iPhone 7 was released in the last few weeks of last quarter, so we're not going to get accurate sales figures on them until this quarter's report.  For Samsung, they lost more money than most companies make and still managed to turn a healthy profit. They'll be just fine going forward. 
  • Yeah but then they got more bad news again. Samsungs brand is getting tarnished. IPhone sales and nearly all Apple device sales are down, hard to sustain that peak of theirs.
  • This is a bit skewed since it's Android Central readers (so, more technically minded than your average consumer), but 88% of responders said they would still buy a Samsung phone in the future.    http://www.androidcentral.com/survey-samsung-users-stay-loyal-after-note...
  • Android users are not more technically minded than other users... On the contrary.
  • Didn't get that 'technical' part
  • It's going downhill, but people still replace their "mobile devices" more frequently than their "not so mobile devices"
    This means new device every few years = more profits for ?????
  • MS basically had over 5 years to tap into a growing market, they failed to do that, and now the market is saturated. So now they expect to somehow revolutionize things and create a new category of devices, but I honestly don't know what they can do in terms of the smartphone market. Every Surface device so far, while good, hasn't exactly overturned any markets.
  • Microsoft makes more profit from Surface line then most of the smartphones OEMs.
  • I fail to see how that relates to anything I wrote.
  • Imo the only way they can keep windows mobile alive is to continue the arm AKA windows RT development. When they're ready they'll switch to full blown windows 10. until then they have to play both camps just like they did with windows RT and for windows. Paltry support for the ARM version right now is just a fact of life.
  • or ... they'll expand the Mobile 10 to a full blown Windows, huh?
  • ARM is nowhere ready in terms of performance compared to x86/64. Except all you want to do is watch youtube, visit facebook, read ebooks etc. How will 'real' industries like microchip design, ship building, spacecraft design etc. run their design and simulation tools on ARM chips??? Heck you probably can't even compile the WM10, iOS or Android OS on an ARM device!
  • After last weeks event I can actually envision some of what a Surface XX might be. I like that MS takes steps to innovate and want to develop how we use software, be creative etc. And doing the hardware to suport that. BUT if it will take another year or more for it to be released, they could have at least  released a L960.
  • It's an interesting question if they knew before abandoning Lumia hardware if it'd be this long. I have reason to think that there have been errors along the way pushing this plan back further than originally planned.
  • Yes, of course it can be many reasons for a the delay, software development, hardware components and so on. or just waitng extra time for the "right" time, or alinement of others, marketing etc. Interesting though.
  • Or, put differently, they are letting HP, and a few others fill in the gap. Sucks for those who prefer first part HW though.
  • They can´t even sell the 950 already in stock with crazy prices and promotions... and you want than to sell an 960?
  • If they release something amazing by spring it should still be within a timely window, but I would agree with you if it goes beyond the summer.
  • The 1%-argument gets idiotic... how large is the market share of any single Surface device? Why couldn't they move on with a low risk hi/lo-product line of Lumia phones building on the 650s design, incorporating the state-of-the-art processor of the year and minor tweaks, but not changing too much, which is Apples strategy? And Myerson's comments are downright retarded; for hardware, there are third party drivers. For ARM or architecture agnosticism, there once was .NET! The really hard part is to build a thriving app ecosystem, and this can be considered cancelled.
  • how large is the market share of any single Surface device?
    3% of all PCs. Surface is not meant to push out their OEM partners or sell a lot. They're meant to inspire consumers and manufacturers to create new categories.
    Why couldn't they move on with a hi/lo-product line of Lumia phones building on the 650s design, incorporating the state-of-the-art processor of the year and minor tweaks, but not changing too much, which is Apples strategy?
    No one was buying them and it's kind of a waste of money for them I guess.
  • In July 2015, which according to your post was the crucial date, what was the market share of Lumia devices? I tend to say, way north of 3%. This makes Surface a fail, even to Microsofts internal double standards. If risk was a problem, they could have licensed the build to another manufacturer. Now, they are stuck on an ecosystem made up of HP, a no name and a burning European brand. And on to the desktop, what should I think of an ecosystem, where no appliance maker gives a damn about supporting Windows 10s VPN, while Android and iOS support them OOTB?
  • In July 2015, which according to your post was the crucial date, what was the market share of Lumia devices? I tend to say, way north of 3%. This makes Surface a fail, even to Microsofts internal double standards.
    You're comparing 3% of the PC market to 3% of smartphone market and calling it a fail even though they made money on Surface...and it helped kick in 2-in-1 market? This is gibberish.
    And on to the desktop, what should I think of an ecosystem, where no appliance maker gives a damn about supporting Windows 10s VPN, while Android and iOS support them OOTB?
    I dunno what you should think, nor do i really care as this is not what I was talking about?
  • Actually, it was you who stated that nobody was buying Lumias, which clearly is hyperbole to make Microsofts decision look good. And, honestly, I don't want you to answer the unanswerable. I'm only stuck wondering, why a "business focused" OS gets no third party support, which is only required because Microsoft refuses to bring their implementation up on par with iOS and Android. UserVoice has entries from 2011. Finally, we absolutely require our business devices to support LTE... the business-oriented pro category-defining Surface line has no LTE option. Despite Myerson telling us, that cellular is a critical part of Windows. Maybe he should tell Panos.
  • I find wearables to be a flop right now in time in late 2016, with Apple Watch being the most popular platform, I'm glad Microsoft cancelled the Band 3.  However, Internet of things is not just wearables, what about coffee makers, thermostats, smart lights,  what about drones, AI bots, autonomous cars, all this requires mobile hardware in where Intel is not efficient due to TDP of Intel Atom chips. Here is why I think Qualcomm and Microsoft are thinking in the next big thing beyond smartphones.
  • Me too, actually. The "notification fatigue" when you are always connected eventually wears you off. 
    If you look at Apple how they talked about the watch during the refresh, they heavily focused on health features instead of the smart watch ones. I've gone back to my original G-shock and am looking for a regular watch with some minimal smart features (notifications of SMS or call), such as the Fossil Q or similar.
    One thing, which got really old really quick was the fact that now I had yet another gadget to plug-in and charge every other day or once a week.
       
  • 1. Just make a blatant copy of the Galaxy Note 5 and slap W10M on it. 2. Keep kicking the Office Mobile team in the nuts until they put all the features of the Android versions on the W10M versions of the apps. How fracking hard can it be?
  • You do realize we had years of that and it didn't work. I think you're confusing what you want, which is fine, with what the rest of the world wants, which is not that.
  • We had years of what? Which Windows phone had a pen and digitizer and apps that can use them?
  • My point is simply doing that won't get Windows anywhere with consumers. That's thinking too small, too obvious, too much of what's now. Look, Microsoft missed that boat. 'slapping W10M ' on Note clone will barely move the dial. I mean, you need to answer why someone would buy that over something else on the market? (Also, no one knew Note 7 would go down like it did; it was on track to be a huge hit for them, one that MS would not have won).
  • Daniel + Redmond is clearly missing an important factor ADVERTISING.
    Belfiore + the likes always assumed that they don't need to advertise mobile features on TV like Samsung + apple now do with living images, low light cameras, colored phones, etc... They believed they're so cool everyone would talk about it and buy them because Joe did and Ben smoked androids with windows phones.....
    Meanwhile Surface team spends $400 million to pay the NFL to use them. Now commercials all day Sunday for surface, iPhones and Samsung phones.
    What did Microsoft mobile do.... TV/movie phone placements? FAILURE.
    Sales people at ATT/Verizon never pushed the phones Microsoft should've hired a professional 3rd party advert team + made catchy commercials like their competition does playing all day like on Sundays.
    The best part about this new "gameplan" is the arrogance that the competition isn't working on the same ideas
  • I want to believe in windows mobile, but until Microsoft makes something to make me interest in windows mobile(again) I'll leave the ship. I'll go for the iPhone 6s and come back, when Microsoft gives me a reason to come back. It's hard to deal with the bugs and the missing features. Thank you Microsoft for the nice time I had with windows phone 8.1, I'll keep my Lumia 650 and help as much as I can by giving feedback!
  • This new category better be enticing enough to make people stop thinking about the lack of apps.
  • That's exactly what it has to do. Of course, they're also betting on UWP growing, the rise of AI/bots, and the downward trend of apps and app stores. It worked for Surface Studio, didn't it? Since when is Windows 10 known for media creativity vs. Apple and MacOS apps?
  • Surface Studio works, because it is a Win32 desktop, where professional design software can be run. This is hardly a result of UWP, or of a disruptive strategy. And actually, I know a good few designers using Surface Pros as not-so mobile workstations, so creativity was a thing before Surface Studio.
  • "Windows devices, that use ARM chips. I think we'll see devices that have cellular connectivity." Which could very well be just Surface tablets akin to the Surface 3 LTE or even a computer-on-a-stick. So, what can we take from all of this: - Windows Phone/10 Mobile is dead and so are phones running Windows 10 Mobile. Including the Elite X3 which IS a phone, no matter what HP's marketing wants you to believe. Don't expect mobile oriented apps on it or anything worth your while going forward. You have the virtualisation of programs there but you have to pay HP for it. Which is just stupid business for the end-user. It's cheaper to provide a phone and a tablet. - The Surface Phone won't happen. It seems by the looks of it, Microsoft has already ditched the project. - Since it seems that there won't be a "Surface Phone" running an x86 chip and therefore legacy Windows programs, you can also consider Continuum as good as dead.   As for what new category will Microsoft create on the mobile space? We don't know. But if you're looking for a smartphone, it's now high time you start looking at Android devices (or iPhones if you're dumb) and forget the all Windows 10 Mobile thing. And if your concern is the looks of WP, then know that there are Android launchers on the Play Store that will replicate the WP UI for you. If you're waiting for a miracle to happen that shifts the market away from smartphones into something else - like Jason for example - then I hope you have a really really comfortable chair to sit on. Even if Microsoft creates a Frankenstein creature that's half-phone-half-something else, the entire market won't shift towards it. Just like it didn't shift away from tablets. The Surface-line did manage to create a new category of devices but Android tablets and iPads still outsell them. And in the event of Microsoft creating such a "new phone concept", all the underlying problems of Windows Phone will just show up again. The x86 powered phone was their best bet for making a mobile version of Windows viable for consumers.
  • Which could very well be just Surface tablets akin to the Surface 3 LTE or even a computer-on-a-stick
    Surface 3 was ATOM and x86; same goes for computer on a stick. I think you're confused.
    The Surface Phone won't happen. It seems by the looks of it, Microsoft has already ditched the project.
    Love how you know what they were working on and now have canceled "by the looks of it".
    Since it seems that there won't be a "Surface Phone" running an x86 chip and therefore legacy Windows programs, you can also consider Continuum as good as dead.
    Microsoft's future is not with x86 and Win32 it's with UWA. Old people care about legacy.
    If you're waiting for a miracle to happen
    Right, we can just assume that everything in computing technology aka the field that is moving the fastest in history, will you know, be the same in 5, 10, 20 years.
    Even if Microsoft creates a Frankenstein creature that's half-phone-half-something else, the entire market won't shift towards it.
    Who claimed that - and only that - is a metric for success? I haven't. No one else, either. Today we have wearables, IoT, tablets, two-in-ones, laptops, ultrabooks, hubs, compute sticks, smart TVs, gaming consoles, phones, phablets, etc. Not one of those is more dominant than another.
    The Surface-line did manage to create a new category of devices but Android tablets and iPads still outsell them.
    Apple is having a blad with the iPad line. And aren't OEMs like Dell dropping Android tablets?
    The x86 powered phone was their best bet for making a mobile version of Windows viable for consumers.
    Tying legacy hardware to legacy apps is not the best way forward for consumers who are leaving the desktop.
  • Surface 3 was ATOM and x86; same goes for computer on a stick. I think you're confused. Surface RT was ARM.
  • Ya know Dan, I get tired of your f-ing attitude about alot of things. This time it's "Old people care about legacy." I understand the point you're trying to make, the future is not win32 - but why degrade the folks that created this technology filled world for you to live in? I'm 50 this year, so I assume I'm part of that old group. I've fully embraced UWP and extol its virtues, but also created a fair amout of win32 based apps of the years. Today came from yesterday - don't spit on it. My hope for you is to have some little dope label you old when your time comes - and it will come before you know it. 
  • He meant mentally old or old in thoughts. No vision. Just trying to keep the present. You know.
    Nothing about physical age - unless you admit that elderly people do have such a tendency
    but not all, not you - and besides... Daniel is quite old already...
  • If disembowelment of a blog post, piece by piece, was a felony offense, a 1st degree murder was just committed right here. I'd be found guilty as an accessory, since I agree with most of what you wrote. I admit I did not know dell was dropping Android tablets.
  •  
    Microsoft's future is not with x86 and Win32 it's with UWA. Old people care about legacy.​
    Nonsense.  Businesses, especially at the enterprise level, care about legacy and continuity.  They go where their applications require them to go and, guess what, that's not UWA, and it's not likely going to be UWA for a good long time.  UWA might be fine for the end-user desktop, but expecting multi-billion-dollar enterprise software companies, like the software company with the nine-figure contract to deploy their EHR software to the hospital network I work for, to switch to UWA is folly.
  • This hits one of the cruxes we in the enterprise services face. In general, I'm agnostic on the technology we apply - as long as it does the job efficiently. The peril - briefly touched on in the article - is the vacuum they're leaving open in the near future due to lack of tangible "things" - devices and a broad suite of UWP apps. We use more than a few highly specific, integrated, vertical suites that I see no vision from Microsoft as to how those will function in a UWP world. In the meantime, nature abhors a vacuum, and others - Google in particular - will eventually get something to stick amongst all the poo they fling against the wall. It's a situation that recalls Microsoft's beginnings: filling the vacuum the IBMs and DECs of the world ignored once hardware sufficiently miniaturized to break free of central data processing centers.
  • Those applications were never written for touch, with mobile connectivity in mind or with any concern for battery life. Not something you'd want to run on a mobile device. They could instead run in a virtual environment and be accessed via RDP, Citrix or something similar - while being docked and running in Continuum... until at some point they are finally rewritten.
  • "Surface 3 was ATOM and x86; same goes for computer on a stick. I think you're confused." I was talking about cellular connectivity when I spoke of the Surface 3.    "Love how you know what they were working on and now have canceled "by the looks of it"." I could be wrong. Hasn't happend much lately though.   "Microsoft's future is not with x86 and Win32 it's with UWA. Old people care about legacy." Love how you think you know what Microsoft's future is, even though pretty much everything else points otherwise.   "Right, we can just assume that everything in computing technology aka the field that is moving the fastest in history, will you know, be the same in 5, 10, 20 years." And you think that in 5, 10, 20 years we'll be going back to monster devices? Or to underpowered devices? The miracle is Microsoft's mobile efforts ever being relevant.    "Apple is having a blad with the iPad line. And aren't OEMs like Dell dropping Android tablets?" And? Did any of that lead to an increase of Windows tablets? No. The point as you perfectly understood, was that even when Microsoft created a disruption in a market - tablet market - that didn't turn anything towards them. The Surface didn't suddenly became the most popular tablet in the world and consumers didn't rush to mass adopt it. With mobile the same will happen. No matter what Microsoft manages to create, they won't be taking people away from Android and iOS.  
  • Suppose the worst case, that Surface phone gets cancelled, but Microsoft still could get iOS Bridge issue fixed, I'm thinking that can open a gate for OEMs to keep putting Windows Phone on new hardware.  However, the point that Terry Myerson is trying to make is that Microsoft wants to invest on ARM for the future of smartphones, something that does not need a 4G LTE connection, but runs on ARM CPU which is capable of connecting to your smartphone either if its an iPhone or an Android or a Lumia 950XL and that can deliver intelligence for a wide range of use cases in the Internet of Things industry.
  • that ignores the point where he says the device will also have cellular connectivity... why would i pay for two data plans?
  • For IoT, they have the wrong strategy. They need Nano Server to be able to run on ARM, with vital development on .NET Core instead of proprietary UWP.
  • Windows UI is proprietary interface of Microsoft. So, no one can make skins
  • Except there are tons of them on the Play Store and Microsoft is not one bit concerned about it. Also, Microsoft's patents don't patent "a UI with squares".
  • Why do you need a Windows-based phone when an Android or iPhone is perfectly compatible and does more? You don't. Who said that? Consumers. End of discussion. Ten years ago, everyone who was anyone had a BlackBerry. Enough said. 
  • I think that it will be some holographic phone,Maybe
  • I like to use my Win10Mobile device, i think its good step from MS. i havent any problem with my Lumia 650
  • Read that Myerson quote, and it's pretty damn clear what he's saying. Cellular is separate. The Surface Phone is gonna be full Windows, non-ARM, and it's gonna be cellular. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a Surface Studio-type monitor wirelessly paired with a super-powerful full-x86 Surface Phone, instant connect. Now that would wow a lot of people. So, I totally disagree with your read that an x86 phone is "not happening." I think he's saying the exact opposite.
  • "Technically, there are really two things that are unique about Windows Mobile. One is cellular connectivity, and the other one is the ARM processors that are there. And I think both cellular connectivity and ARM processors have a role in the technical landscape of the future. So we're going to continue to invest in ARM and cellular. And while I'm not saying what type of device, I think we'll see devices there, Windows devices, that use ARM chips. I think we'll see devices that have cellular connectivity." How do you read that and come to the conclusion that the Surface Phone won't use an ARM chip?
  • I don't get why you need Windows 10 Mobile then if you're going "full x86". It also doesn't explain why keep your ARM code around as you don't need it for an LTE modem. Phone and Messaging are UWP and already run on x86.
  • "I don't get why you need Windows 10 Mobile then if you're going 'full x86'". I don't think they do need W10 Mobile. They just need to add Windows 10 Mobile's features (like cellular connectivity) to Windows 10's Tablet Mode.
  • I have to disagree with you 100%. I, and it appears a lot of others, interpreted Myerson's quote as the exact opposite. It'll be ARM, it'll have cellular connection... but it won't simply be a phone. It'll be a device that also makes calls.   Edit:   ugh... this was supposed to be a reply to the post above mine. Not sure how it got here... Edit Edit: ok... so apparently these multi-paged comments sections don't work well in my browser... the comment *did* go where it was supposed to go.
  • That's absolutely *not* what Myerson is saying. Edit: since my previous post did get posted properly... you can ignore this.
  • VERY CORRECT Daniel! I thought the same thing. Also, Xbox is missing a portable / Continuum device category. Whatever their next protable device will be, it must provide means to be Productive, Creative, and have the ability have a very rich gaming (xbox) experience. By the way, I think Kinects still has a future with VR. Yes, The Kinects can provide a visual of the room within the VR while a person is wearing the set.
  • Consumers on the outside looking in think they have all of the answers. People accuse them of developing something great and then abandoning it (that happens, but it ahppens with all companies including Apple). The reality is that Microsoft has proven themselves with the Surface line. And they have continued to develop and improve on the Surface devices they have released thus far. I'm glad that they are ignoring the "wisdom" of the critics on sites like Windows Central, and are contiuing on with their thus far proven vision. I look forward to future developments.
  • lol soz but onedrive free storage removal, rebooting windows 2 times skype preview works on a day to day basis, gestures is not suported on mobile windows 10.  No working wireless pay mobile,  we have features missing from apps that years ago could do these things even drag and drop doesnt work within the desktop envoinment.  Hell i cant open my edge browsers new tabs to my home page or a page of my choosing and you think microsoft has proven themselves.  Yeh im a regular users not a outsider looking in but looking at my windows desktop and my mobile lumia 930 all on normal builds.  Looking at the 5 hours my mates brand new surface too to update after buying new and then watching it fail as he had to return it to store next day, then watching it take again a painful 4 hours to update to be usable out of the box, isnt exactly encoraging, hell built in skype which could have worked couldnt even share video or photos on desktop, strangly on mobile it was fine  lol.    I love windows 10 desktop but its got some serious issues with skype and edge, and it really shouldnt have now.  Other features we are used to and using have gone and well i also love and thing 8.1 mobile was the best but removing facebook intergration and sticking in androids hamburger menu took away from that, and still i like windows mobile 10 but micrsoft is constantly been proving to me they are nowt a reliable or even keeping pace with competitiors software.  If anything id say microsft exell above the competition at creating hardware but their software development at least from a consumer point of view is just terrible.  I use windows 10 dailty on desktop tablet and mobile its obvious and by obvious i mean glaringly obvious something is not working at microsft in the software department and marketing.  Panis is a breath of fresh air but even he cant hide their issues. Also after restoring my lumia 930 from my own saved image on onedrive many times on 8.1 and many times on windows 10 its only ever came back bug free 2 times and thats after 25-40 restores over 2 years.  I never hears of the same restore image being different  in bugs in each attempt till windows 10, thats just freeking wierd and im only talking official normal builds.  Aften their lack of working proptent me to instal from freah to solve issues, but honestly i want my phone to restore and do it reliably.  Windows 8.1 and 10 dont.  I can only go my experience but i feel like the abused pchild in my relationship ith microsft, i love them but they dont love me and thats evident with their lack of consumer suport on mobile.
  • stopped reading at "lol soz"
  • your comment is simply unreadable!
  • some of the things you said are actually possible. i'm starting to wonder if you simply don't know what you're doing.
  • With all due respect, u can say there will a window 10 mobile with ARM. But u can't say x86 is not happening. We all excepted surface dial is competitor for amazon echo. But its not. So, there may be a possibility that we may see x86 windows 10 mobile
  • Sure, it could happen. But with Intel dropping out of cellular or the complexities of running ARM code next to x86, I don't' see how you get there.
  • Dude, who is "we"??
  • I for one think that a very low powered CanonLake2 Y-series underclocked and locked device is possible.
    BUT
    It would still run the Windows 10 Mobile, UWP, Continuum2, etc
    no - legacy - apps (unless fuly converted to Mobile 10)
  • AR or VR on mobile devices. Only that can be a new category for a mobile device.
    And Surface Phone will arrive soon or later, but not what windows fans thought about it but what MS thinks can be a new category;")
  • PlayStation VR is having much more attention from game studios than Galaxy Gear VR and Son'ys VR has just been launched, so I think ARM is not the route to go for VR.  Sony's chips based on AMD or Oculus VR/HTC Vive are going the correct way (x64 chips) But as Terry Myerson says, ARM is much more than a smartphone, thats why its important to have a OS based on ARM
  • In fact, to add onto that--I think they'll avoid the "Surface RT" fiasco by letting partners release ARM Windows Mobile for the time being--then, true to their word and explicit vision, release the "Hero Phone"--the x86 Surface Phone--when it's good and ready.
  • Bad news. Droid ate the hero phone for lunch. Phone is dead.
    It will be "a device" with connectivity and which also happens to make calls. 
  • i think its fairly clear from Myerson's quote that it'll be a device that runs ARM and has cellular connectivity. It'll be a device that can also make calls. But it won't be a phone.
  • With all due respect, u can say there will a window 10 mobile with ARM. But u can't say x86 is not happening. We all excepted surface dial is competitor for amazon echo. But its not. So, there may be a possibility that we may see x86 windows 10 mobile
  • This is what I wrote on mspoweruser two months ago:
    Can “Surface Phone” (and it’s 3rd party clones) provide clear differentiator? Sure. It’s support for desktop x86/x64 apps. And this can be done without Intel CPU inside the phone. There is anyway no point to run desktop apps on 5” screen. So it is not required to be embedded into the phone. Consider a dock having Intel CPU (+RAM and Storage). It runs some firmware (like hypervisor) instead of OS and fully controlled by Windows on mobile device. In terms of price it can be affordable (these days there are Computer Sticks in $100 and they include Windows license while in this case this cost can be avoided). MSFT can even subsidize the price to get its cut on app sales or online service subscriptions. Recent Windows feature additions support such direction: Desktop apps support in the Store, Windows Containers, Continuum, app installs on removable storage and so on. Such docks can have various form factors, price points and hardware features – i.e. embedded in display, having discrete graphics and large storage and so on. It can support holographic platform… The opportunity is really endless.
  • Agreed its totally possible and really ends up just being like a "local" virtualised app model like HP provides with the cloud. And imagine the cost savings for enterprise when you don't need a new handset every few years and instead can just upgrade the dock. However, I'm still hoping for an advancement in battery tech or x86 power consumption to allow a mobile device to just be full Windows 10 with cellular and the mobile UI present based on screen size. I don't want to run Visual Studio on a 5" screen ever, but I do want to run Visual Studio in Continuum on my actual "phone". When they make an ARM compatible UWP version of Visual Studio or at least Visual Studio Code then maybe I will drop this dream of creating, debugging and deploying a UWP all from my phone but until then that dream is very much alive.
  • Wait... you want to have a desktop that can't work without your phone plugged in it?
  • I understand the pull back from the "consumer" market in mobile, but what I don't understand is the lack of support of the platform from an apps perspective. They say they want their OEMs to jump in and take the mobile market and you have HP and a few others looking to towards Enterprise, but unless Microsoft starts to embrace their own dev tools, UWP/Xamarin to build true cross-platform apps, there will never be a reason for even the Enterprise to embrace a Windows mobile device.  Case in point, Flow.  It is an Enterprise level service but only released on iOS and Android.  Why does MS not build their apps using their own tools like Xamarin especially for apps that don't really need "native" code and release on all 3 platforms? Devices like the HP Elite X3 don't have a  chance in Enterprise unless Microsoft starts to support mobile for at least their own Enterprise level services. That said, would be interesting to see where they go with all this, if anywhere.  
  • Agree for the most part but from what I understand often this happens because MS buys the tech through aquisitions where apps are either already released or nearly done and its quicker to market to just continue with it. But for me even with that being the case I still think MS does need to fully embrace Xamarin and make all apps and services cross platform with feature parity and release dates within the same month, Windows should always be first as a matter of principal but I wouldn't be so butthurt if it was at least within a month.
  • What Microsoft is doing right now with mobile is the ground work for their comeback, I believe that they don't think their one core is complete enough to introduce Windows mobile on a scale that would warrant advertising, which Im sure they'll do when they reach their goal. We are helping them to reach their goal by utilizing the insider builds. As is right now, all mobile phones regarding their capabilities have plateaued. I think Microsoft wants to avoid the similar bland features of the same thing as the other phones out there.
  • These articles are so full of horse xrapp
  • But compared to your rebuttal it's the best argument yet.
  • All the negativity comments here seems to be sucking the energy off the write up. I understand what Daniel is saying and MS is just so incredible. I'll keep me fingers crossed here. I'll stick with MS all the way up!
  • Although I get the point of Daniel, it was a shame that we didn't see a very last Lumia while working in that new category of device. I'm about to change my 3.5 years Lumia 920 due to battery problems, and I feel being left out without many options if I would like to stay with Windows on mobile; here in Mexico there's only one carrier, out of three (not AT&T), who offers Lumia and by this time the only models are the 650 and 950 XL. I would like to know what Microsoft think of those of us who are really committed with Windows "Phone".
  • I don't disagree. In fact, we can all agree that, ahem "mistakes were made" when it comes to Mobile for Microsoft. Not a mistake, but like dozens. That and let's be honest, Google and Apple made some compelling products. Then again, sometimes we see great innovation from companies who have their back against the wall. Microsoft can do one thing that Google and Apple can't do right now: take a risk.
  • Do people still read what Mary Jo Foley has to say about W10M? :-/
  • The sister of the Beverly Hill's cop?
  • Look, man, I ain't fallin' for no banana in my tailpipe.
  • Amazing read. I was just thinking about this last night. What if MS is really gearing towards a type of device where computing, functionality, and ease of use were placed above making calls. A type of device where they say, oh ya, by the way it can also make calls. Interesting.
  • It's funny because some of us were discussing that's how the ad would go down. You show all this great computing stuff, inking, maybe something 3D and then as the camera pulls away it rings.
  • Nadella imitating an anti-Trump: "You're hired!"
  • That would be the brilliant Surface Book moment when the screen detached, they tried to do that with the Surface Studio too but it was far less impressive but totally appreciated anyway! Though I still disagree with one thing adamantly, x86 on mobile is not a dead end and though ARM is a big part of the future and UWP is definitely the way forward for windows development, x86 isn't going anywhere for a very long time and if the battery issue can be resolved or worked around then there are huge benefits to an x86 mobile device that happens to make calls too.
  • That's what Samsung did with the Note5 commercial featuring Nao.
  • I recall hearing that the Surface Studio took four years of development. How long as the Surface team been in charge of Mobile? One year? Perhaps they require more time but the others in this field are not standing still thought it does seem that Microsoft is more innovative now. Their cancelling the Microsft Band is quizical as well. I imagine it was due to being plagued with tearing straps and battery failures. I also recall some statements on their intent to license the design for others to offer but apparently there were no takers. What is the future of Microsoft Health?  I am losing confidence on Microsoft as a hardware provider
  • I recall hearing that the Surface Studio took four years of development.
    I was told 2-3 years mostly because of the display. Even Yoga Book, which was originally just an Android project, took over two years.
    Perhaps they require more time but the others in this field are not standing still thought it does seem that Microsoft is more innovative now.
    True, but others do not have a unified OS, yet they do have a problem with a bifurcated one. Apple needs to address MacOS vs iOS. Android needs to reconcile Android with Chrome. Both need to get beyond mobile onto other devices.
  • Microsoft is well positioned on the desktop they are well positioned in cloud - gaining on Amazon and likely overtaking them. Apple and Google are splitting mobile. Google only just now moving to cloud (other than Google Apps). Apple has a desktop presence but it is ho hum. The future looks more promosing for Microsoft than google and apple  
  • Microsoft only just now moving to desktop (other than Windows).
  • i know in last years keynot they made a referance to 2 years to make a new device and i felt that was aimed at mobile so guessing 2017-2018 at latest, still they should have kept releasing a flagship phone each year and tried to maintain their fan base.
  • If the 950s were the last two traditional smartphones made for the fans its a shame they didn't nail the design. Hardware its great and until now I've been fairly happy with mine. I think they should still be releasing phones until the next big thing. Stay in the market and keep the pressure on OEMs to make phones for the market. For me this actually makes me want to switch as its just not moving quick enough. I've been a windows phone user since 8.1 and bared with it hoping apps would come and we would see growth. Well that's come and gone. It's a shame they couldn't keep market share at least for now.
  • exactly.
  • Here since 8.1!!
    so you should know how those of us here since 6.5 tp2's feel
  • Agreed. They could have helped the 950/950xl a lot if they had included a voucher for a Mozo cover.
  • Hmmm, maybe...just maybe Nadella had us all fooled. His strategy just might be working afterall
  • He doesn't want to restart but doesn't realize that's exactly what they'll have to do anyway. If this next thing doesn't happen quickly we'll be left with an ARM platform with no apps. Good luck in launching a new device category without apps. It will just be Windows Phone repeated all over.
  • I think by restart he means a platform reset.  Sticking with W10 avoids this problem down the road.
  • Well the good news here is, UWP. The app model will not change and hence everything working on Windows 10 UWP will still work. The only thing that will change is the form factor / input / output etc. However, by the time it gets released you are pretty much spot on with the fact that we are likely to lose even more big name apps unless those big name apps actually embraced UWP at least for desktop.
  • And hopefully in the next 24 months (or whatever the lay-low time period ends up being) the platform can mature and get a whole lot more feature-rich and robust than 7 or 8/8.1 had time for.  One wonders if a big reason for the lack of UWP uptake is the current state of the platform's APIs.  Just conjecture.  
  • Have kept my L925 alive for over 3 years now not least because it's the best phone I've ever had, but also in the hope that a suitable W10 successor would emerge. Went into EE store this afternoon (UK) - only one Lumia device on display (650). However, still prepared to persevere with the OS as I don't care about the app gap - after all, apps be a thing of the past in the near future. Hanging in there and really don't want to make the change to Android/Ios.
  • Buy the Idol 4S for Windows.
  • Is windows available? link you shared listed OS Android OS v6.0 (Marshmallow)  
  • I was you, I now have a Galaxy S6 Edge + and I've not looked back.
  • a great Microsoft  insider indicates there may be a Microsoft Windows 10 mobie smart phone coming after all. This not a shock to me because Microsoft has sold a large number of smart phones to the New york Police department and it is Microsoft's statements that the next line of new Windows smart phones will be targeted to be sold to Enterprise customers,US Govement, State, and City instututions. it appears that Microsoft will sell the Surface smart phones to Windows smart phone fans & average persons but Microsoft intends to make Windows 10 Mobile smart phones a niche product to sell to businesses.
  • Niche for business is another way of saying, our surface phone might not sell many so well downlplay it and hope for the best. Truth is everything micrsoft has done since 2015 has caused their developers to take away apps and their customers to leave windows mobile.  Surface will not save micrsoft when it comes to mobile.  Releasing updated and full featured software at the same time of before the competition does would but 2 years and still their own gestures app is not suported by windows mobile 1-0.  and touch setting only has the mute function.  This is not a sign of a good modern software company.  I see micrsoft now as a hardware company that is laging in the software department.  Hell on my desktop its a daily battle if sktpe operates the same way every time.  Sometimes my pc doesnt ring, sometimes it does.  Sometimes it messes my camera settings and sometimes it just sucks.  Again gestures now skype preview are not making the case for micrsoft.  They have serious software issues and i dont think they know how to fix them. its funny but if microsft had released a yearly lumia flagship and i mean premium not  the 950, and they suported all the features windows 8.1 mobile had like facebook intergration and gestures beta and had a working wireless payment mobile offering like android pay, i propably would have stayed even when paypal left but they cant even do that.  Hell threatning to take away your last few million users mobile free storage is not gona win over the fans either.
  • I want a Surface Mini with cellular connectivity
  • okay.... how about a 3rd patry device?
  • I find the idea of this article, category creation, an intriguing one and agree with it for the most part. Surface Pro, Surface Book, Surface Studio, hell even the original Surface Table are all devices that brought something new to each area. What I disagree with is the smartphone portion. We all know MS can't compete head to head with the iPhone 7, Galaxy and Pixel/XL BUT ceding ground in the name of taking your time and being innovated when you really don't have the cache to do so seems wrong. I understand it's damn if you do (lose money releasing a 960/XL) damn if you don't (release anything and lose mindshare) but there are people like me who really just want a new device and aren't really interested in waiting 2/3 years for innovation to hit. I'm sure when whatever their idea of a Surface Phone is debuted, I'll want it, until then, I'm really thinking about moving to the Pixel XL because there's no upgrade path for me for the foreseeable future.
  • Alcatel Idol 4S for Windows is coming - just for you, :-)
  • Ha. I don't know if I trust Alcatel and it's T-Mobile only.
  • Elite x3??
  • That's not really an upgrade path for consumers. It's a nice phone though.
  • I'm having the exact same feeling but I don't want to get something literally from Google, I still find them an evil corporation and want to give them as little money as possible. I'll probably get some Samsung phone and load it with Cyanogenmod if that's still a thing (Haven't been keeping up with Android for many years now so I really don't know what's available right now). App gap has never been a problem for me until it was announced that Amazon will remove the Kindle app from the store, and that's got me pushing towards Android unfortunately.
  • Use Amazons Cloud Reader in your Browser - if there is no App use the Webapp. No need to change the OS.
  • Microsoft need to AT LEAST keep manufacturing a couple of basic Windows phones. e.g. a L650 and 950. In New Zealand it is hard to even see Windows phones in advertising any more, and this just put them outside people's sights and minds. What does it really cost them to release an improved L650 once per year? If I am forced to leave the Windows Mobile platform, then I will have little reason to stay with Windows at all, since for me this is a package deal.
  • im in the same boat as you.  I want to stay and be in the windows eco system but no viable windows mobile phone will mean leaving the windows family includeing desktop.  Hell if mac or android was as big in gameing on desktops id have gone already.
  • Why not just the Idol 4S for Windows?
  • A Continuum device that connects to a 4K TV, I'll pay $1,000 for the mobile device and base station and put my iPhone on eBay. 
  • not enough real CPU+GPU power until the Snapdragon 830 comes along.
  • I presume 1% is still pretty big in terms of raw numbers...?
  • Well yeah considering out of a couple of billion... would love to have that market reach thanks.
  • Daniel, Thanks for the article... this was the right time to hear this. Now we wait for the right time for when the Surface team decide "it" is ready.
  • Think of...an LTE-enabled Microsoft wearable. Everything else just becomes a Wi-Fi-enabled PC, in whatever form factor you need at that moment...
  • They should have given us at least one windows 10 mobile flagship a year, even if it is will not sell in millions
  • Like: HP Elite x3, Alcatel Idol 4S for Windows, Acer Jade Primo, NuAns Neo (& Neo 2 coming?), ...
  • Not a single one of those is made by Microsoft and none are guaranteed software updates. They may be abandoned in 6 months or less. 3rd party Windows phones are not know for software updates. It isn't a surprise when you take sales numbers of 3rd party devices. Why bother updating a phone you only sold a few thousand of?
  • I'd argue that none of those listed can stand shoulder to shoulder with the Best Android phones. With W10m OEM phones there's always a week element to the hardware, whether that's screen, SOC, IP rating, Camera etc. Give me a GS7 running w10m and you're talking.
  • I sort of have the feeling Microsoft wants to make a mobile game console. They have leverage there with the Xbox and pc gaming that Google and Apple don't have. If they could make a device that gamers want to have and that happens to make phone calls too (because cellular connectivty over 4G is good enough for some games when there is no or only slow wi-fi) The Windows store is a good platform for selling games and with UWP it should be easier to make a mobile version or companion to flagship PC and Xbox games. The mobile version of Fifa 15 might be testing the waters a bit together with EA. It's a huge game, but because it's football it's a bit outside of view of the American tech press. ​Only problem: Nintendo seems to have had the same idea with the Switch.
  • At this point, I could care less what they want to call it. I just want new Windows 10 devices.
  • I just wish I can live up to a day when I can see such a beautiful ad like Studio or Surface has for a phone from MS.
  • Surface Phone = 3 in 1... Phone, Tablet, Laptop/Desktop. I can easily see Microsoft make a Surface Dock (like NextDock) for the Surface Phone.
  • Those are some interesting quotes. It makes one think. I don't think they can get away from the Smartphone classification though. If it has cellular connectivity and it runs an ARM processor, it will inevitably be called a smartphone and compared to the iPhone and Galaxy by the media. I don't really care what they call it, as long as it still fits in my pocket.
  • I just wish if we get that Windows 10 ARM version... Maybe resurrect the old Surface RT? Or something similar. I really loved my RT.
  • I would use a smartphone that had amazing battery life that looked like something from the early 2000s
  • I don't understand why they won't put out at least one refreshed flagship per year, though. Even just a 960 update with the same camera, 820 processor, and slightly better battery life and exterior aesthetics. Even if it runs at a tiny loss for the company, surely keeping a foot in the mobile space is worth it? Every product cycle that passes without a hardware refresh sees more people leaving the "burning platform" and getting snatched up in the web of Google or Apple services.
  • i totaslly agree, they should have released at least 1 flagship a year, maybe then payp[al would not have left, and if they made it a premium metalic phone id have probably stayed.  I cant believe someone down voted you cause what you said was so true.  Hewll do people think paypal would have left if microsfts mobile platform hung on with 3%
  • Acer, Alcatel, HP, NuAns, ... pick yours.
  • The only one clsoe to flagship status is the X3, and it is 1. WAY too expensive and 2. not designed for "prosumers" given the Continuum focus and weak camera.
  • OK, just looked up the Alcatel. It's got nice stats, but we'll see how it performs once hardware gets reviewed.
  • They could have done this prior to the 950. They needed to have a 926, 929, 1521 that would have kept all the contract Verizon and ATT customers in the ecosystem. Instead they canceled mclaren and did nothing. Flushed most of their users down the drain right there.
  • Nadella May be has a psychological Problem beeing third Best?
  • ok then i will enjoy what ever in the market until we see what they are going to release.
  • Just because MS wants to try to create new product categories and/or shift paradigms doesn't mean it'll actually happen. You can't create so-called mindshare out of nothing: You have to build on something that already exists.
  • MS is changing mindshare with Surface brand. You can see that by the response of MS event vs Apple event.
  • No matter, I have faith in MS and will keep using my 950 till they show the next innovation. If the Surface, Surface Book, and Surface Studio show anything, it is that transitioning the responsibility for any future design to the Surface group was a smart move. The 950 is a great phone and it does everything I need for my daily mobile life.
  • do you wirelessly pay on the 950 now or is it still not implimented? 
  • Yes, if I use my BoA card I can use it, but then again, that isn't a huge selling point for me.
  • The 950 is a bargain and soon sold out
  • Only when following scenarios happens, windows 10 on mobile will be successful. 1. All app interactions are replaced by Bot interaction model. Something like Skype bot talks to some banking (third party) bot for depositing checks or making some other transaction. Cortana talking to Yelp bot to get the information and display it to you in its own format. 2. All Xbox games are compatible with Windows 10 mobile platform device (no phone). May be my wishful thinking :)  
  • apps is a big issue paypal leaving was ther last straw for me, but i dont have a bank santander app, i dont have here maps and microsft maps is not a suitable substitute currently.  I miss paypal, you tube official app and i loved metro tube and tube cast but googles offering is just better and reliable even with adverts.  Then you also have gestures beta still missing from windows 10 even after 2 years.  All these apps are just the tip.  When you search google maps for a place then can click to street view and people recognice the place, you begin to see the gaps in maps with microsft..Gaming is a hugew and posibly the bigest deficit on mobile but you know what, a hand full of mobile game sis enough for me as i cant exactly play bf1 on my mobile and personally 5.5 ich wouldnt do it for me.  My favorite mobiel experience is 8.1 mobile and 10 in second if it wasnt for the hamburger menu but theres only so much time and so many apps im willing to do without and well add a phone that cant even do wireless mobile payments like my s7 edge can its very easy to understand why micrsofts mobile helping has fallen into none existance  consumer wise.  Hell i couldnt recomend windows mobile not for 2 years now even if it is the best.  Micrsoft dont even suport their own app gestures on windows 10 a even though on the app store it says it works on windows 10.  What a load of tripe.  it never has, not on my 930 or my 830.
  • Use the respective Webapp
  • Everyone keeps going on and on about 1%. What does that mean? 1 million devices? 100 devices? 1 device? Percentage is a completely useless measure unless a upper limit is known. One percent of a dollar is a penny. One percent of a billion dollars is... do the math. Would you like 1% of a billion? So last I heard there are over 2 billion smartphones in use... 1% of 2 billion is.... not to shabby thank you.
  • There are ~330 million smartphones sold each quarter. 1% is rounding up. Microsoft has been capturing about 0.6% of the market. That means they sold ~2 million phones last quarter. It doesn't sound bad, until you realize Android is moving 300 million. 2 million is nothing, especially for a large company like Microsoft.
  • Just look at Verizon, ATT, Sprint, or T-Mobile's web site. Do you see a windows phone? They are effectivly selling ZERO handsets where it matters in the US.
  • personally i think they should have ketp releasing a flagship lumia phone, premium ofc not the 950 which to many of us was disapointing in design and feel.  Im now personally more disapointed cause there was no offering for me or even developers to stick with.  I couldnt care less about holo teck or vr not till headsets become like glasses, what i do care about now is becoming part of one eco system, i wanted that to be windows but no mobile means ill be forced onto their competitors, probably android.  If androdi or apple focus on desktop gameing ill do something i never though id do in the last 20 years, id move to them.  Itrs only gaming that keeps me here on windows desktop with skype preview that sometimes works and sometimes doesnt lol, thats kinda like alot of things in windows 10 deskop currently.
  • Why I believe Surface Phone & W10 Mobile are DOA for consumers: No Google apps. That alone is a deal-breaker for the entire market that are on iOS/Android. Those are the most common apps.
  • You're gonna get 100s of thumbs down for this comment and Rubino's gonna give you a Whoopin! You should already know that wp boys don't care about apps because they can just use edge browser.
  • You have more Control over WebApps than Apps
  • Who uses google apps? Nothing google even appears on my PC. The endless fantasy that the world can't work without google apps.
  • https://www.apple.com/itunes/charts/free-apps/#mn_p I count at least 10 Google apps in the top 100 iPhone apps. I don't see any Microsoft apps other than Skype. Even Office doesn't register while Google Docs does! Seems like no one uses or needs Microsoft apps.
  • Indeed, that's why most people ended up on windows phone: The desire to get away from Google and their data mining/ targeted advertising.
  • And I just want an firmware release that makes my L950 runs cooler... and also not so hot when charging. It´s very uncomfortable, especially when I have to answer an call while it charges. I'm not asking much ... just a fix for my mobile microwave.
  • Two weeks ago, no one said: "We need a giant Surface that can also act as a drafting table."
    ​Actually, I've been saying that since they launched the Surface. ;) And had been saying the same thing for nearly 15 years since I used my first Wacom tablet in school. It's so funny how the creative industries are huge massive market chunks that affect literally everyone's lives with the things they design and create and yet they're almost universally dismissed as niche and a non-existent market. And yet here we are, making amazing things, taking up about 4% of all businesses in the US and continuing to be one of the largest growing industries for years now, bringing in over £70B a year in the UK alone. ;) Surface Studio, tbh, isn't all that revolutionary. Microsoft simply found a gap in the market that for some reason no one takes notice of other than Wacom (and they, like Apple, only do the bare minimum with each new product - the Cintiq line has barely changed since it started almost 15 years ago) and built the perfect product for that market. The Dial, while still very cool - is also an extension of existing tech. And Wacom have been using something similar in their graphics tablets for almost a decade. But Dial takes it to the next level with screen integration and OS level integration. Not to say I'm not drooling at the thought of the Studio. It is literally my dream PC - I've wanted a device like this for half my life. But outside of the technology inside being bleeding edge - the main way it's revolutionary is that it's actually been made instead of only existing inside the minds of creative professionals the world over - and that it's influential enough in the media to garner mainstream attention. As for Windows 10 Mobile. I'm excited to see what they do, I genuinely have no idea what they could be working on but hopefully it'll turn up in the next year and blow us all away. At the very least I just want pen input and some UWP versions of major apps like Sketchbook Pro and Clip Studio Paint along the way. But it has to do more than ape the Galaxy Note - which already does the phone-as-sketchpad pretty well. It's definitely a long game, and Microsoft needs to play it well. It's getting a lot of good press with the Suface line, but Windows 10 has had a fair few misfires. Thankfully no one really even acknowledges Windows 10 Mobile exists in mainstream media so when they do return to market it'll be treated like a whole new thing. And hopefully Windows 10 will have smoothed out it's various issues so people are more excited to try it on a mobile device. Especially if it has some other killer feature...
  • So what is the conclusion here?  is surface phone coming or not?
  • I live in Finland, Espoo, the same city where the Microsoft Mobile Oy is.
    It's coming - just do not hold your breath
  • what people needs from Microsoft is not another phone but a small computer in your pocket, something that can run full windows on a 5.5 or 6 inch screen, full phone capabilities but not be defined as a phone at all. Something similar to a small tablet with cell technology. Add in continiuum, gaming, ink related apps, all the things that make a small surface tablet in the palm of your hand special.
  • Absolutely Windows 10 Mobile & Universal Apps
  • I think the problem is not Microsoft making great devices. The problem is Microsoft itself or rather their reputation. Microsoft will always be associated with antitrust, monopoly, Embrace-Extend-Extinguish, and boring business stuff. The're not Apple or Google which each are considered "cool" by everyone else.
  • that actually got me excited, even though I know there's nothing else that can be done, this is just what I wanted to hear, a NEW thing coming out, a brand new kind of thing in tech, just like VR and hololens, so far the surface team can deliver such things, so I'm very excited to see what's next, and hopefully it can replace my phone :P
  • ~6.5", 3x2 tablet with cellular and active stylus. Spring 2018 release. Will be very similar to desktop Windows but no x86 support. That is my best guess.
  • that small? It's going to be HUUUUUUUGE!!
  • Cool.. At first it kinda cloudy considering how we want to hear that they are indeed gonna launch another "smartphone"..but the Surface team really is special. They create category devices... I am now convinced that Microsoft Mobile isn't just about phone...
  • F*ck me, this was good!! I'm so thrilled to see what will come to fruition from all of this!!
  •   I think that we have already seen a prototype of the next mobile from Microsoft. Cast your minds back and think of that lovely fold open phone/tablet that was cancelled. Now cast your minds forward to a 5" device that either slides or hinges open to a seamless double display. The 5" mode allows use as a phine or "docked" continueam device, while the fully open mode gives you a tablet. There may even be a stylus in there somewhere.  I think that the technology is almost there to do this in a slim and light device.    
  • I've often thought that Courier with a small, dockable/detachable phone only handset that was closely paired with Courier, but yet could still make calls independently as well, would be an interesting package. How small could a phone only handset be made?
  • Ok. I'm trying to digest this. It's still not clear to me. The Hillary Clinton email saga is more clear to me than MS Mobile strategy. Here's my thing : Are making a smartphone? MS yes or no. This ARM and cellular connectivity bullshit could be done for a tablet. Nadella killed Mobile when it reached it's highest point...smh. So anyway, I'll play along: Ask someone at MS if they are making a device that I can carry in my pocket, be able to make and receive calls on it, have apps? They can call this device whatever the hell they want to call it. That's what people want to know.  
  • Yes
  • A clearly stated argument for dumping Windows Phone.  Maybe someday it might morph into something that might be included in some new category of gadget, but in the meantime, Satya is leaving us all twisting in the wind.
  • OK. Windows phones are dead. But Windows cars or Windows refrigerator​s will be alive someday.  
  • Trump's voice: WRONG!
  • All that I nice but still what will users be able to do with the device? When will more apps come to the ecosystem? Will apps even be necessary with the new device? And how long does Microsoft realistically expect those poor loyal fans to stick around and make the experience live up to the competition?
  • One can't help but wonder if the device does not progress to a 4" screen less slab 5mm thick (battery, processor, mic and speaker for private chat) that wirelessly docks when in range of a screen for continuum. While mobile use it wirelessly docks to a set of stylish AR glasses. The ingredients are all there.
  • So it sounds like Windows Mobile is basically dead for feature updates. They will just be updating it in order to keep ARM and LTE support in Windows for future non-phone devices? Doesn't sound like current phones owners have much to look forward to.
  • Read the article again.
  • Yup. Specifically mentions that ARM and cellular are the only valuable part of mobile. I wouldn't expect much in the way of feature updates going forward, especially for phones. You notice they didn't mention any feature updates for Windows 10 Mobile during the announcement of the Creator's Update. It was supposed to be mobile focused and yet they didn't even mention mobile once. There probably won't be much new for W10M until early 2018 and that is only if they find a niche for Surface Mobile. Otherwise, Windows 10 Mobile is basically dead. It is just a placeholder for whatever Microsoft may choose to do in the future.
  • Umm, cellular connectivity is something MS could just add at any time to all of their Surface devices? They don't need phones just to have devices with cellular. To date, they've only put cellular in Surface 2 and Surface 3, and none of the Pro or Book devices, which I would find really desirable personally...
  • Again, I continue to give Nadella props for calling out Balmer's flat feet when it comes to mobile. No way should MS be watching mobile happen like some reality show. Balmer could be so bothered with it. We begged and we got this pacifier called "Kin". Its time somebody spoke to this. Thanks Nadella. In the words of Vinny Gambini​, "your honor, the defense rests." "I do not think any of that is a coincidence. Nadella recently made headlines for stating what everyone has known for years: Microsoft "clearly missed" the smartphone category.​"   
  • I guess ultimately what I want to know is should I really keep investing my time and energy in Windows Mobile? I have a 950 XL and am really starting to like to HP Elite X3, and I'm not too concerned about any rumored surface phone, just tell me that I'm not wasting my time and I'll buy on payday. I get the app gap is real, bit I've learned to work around it.
  • As long as HP is in the game, MS is in the game I believe. And HP is selling the X3 to businesses with 4 years contract I heard.
  • I get this is a device intended for business use, but I like it for a personal phone. Just so much negative talk about the decline in support for Windows Mobile that shelling out $800 for it almost seems like rolling the dice on it. IMO
  • Support for Windows mobile will be developed for 3rd party devices like X3; and for strategic new 1st party device.
    As long as they continue Win10, there is no need to abandon W10M. This is the new paradigm of OneCore.
  • First solid argument pro W10 mobile I've heard in a long time. Thanks.
  • I don't much care for what Microsoft calls it. 3 in 1 or otherwise. If its portable, like fits in my pocket portable, makes calls, and has UWP, then I'm happy.
  • One thing that I noticed about this article is that it made my imagination run wild. It made me rethink what is mobile. The new categories that Microsoft and Windows have created have been multi-use hardware. I don't expect the new mobile device category to be any different. How about an ARM based mobile device that can dock with an Intel docking station? Seamless file connectivity between the two devices. All the files stay on the mobile device but have a Continuum style interface like the current phones. I just can't seem to give up on x86 availability. I'm glad the future of Windows Mobile isn't relying on my imagination.
  • X86 may be "old", but I think it is a mistake to think it is going away anytime soon. "Creators" use it!
    We really need more "creators".
  • .
  • "Better than iPhone, better than Galaxy."
    ​Love that slogan.
  • Sorry, I have zero confidence that MS knows what they are doing here or even why.
  • Good
  • "The greatest feat the Surface team has accomplished is consistently making devices you did not know you wanted." It is really exciting to see Microsoft having a take on this philosophy, and applying in a much more courageous way that the company that made it the company it is today (can you guess which company I'm talking about?).