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Microsoft's Build keynote featured lots of iPhones — and no Windows phones

Focusing heavily on developers, the company continued to push its cloud-driven vision, with technologies that bridge the gap between electronic devices and the real world.

However, one of the most striking aspects of today's keynote was the wide range of platforms used ... or rather, the scarcity of Windows Mobile devices. Throughout the various demonstrations for cloud-based technologies, iPhones took center stage and appeared to be the preferred platform for showcasing upcoming mobile services and applications. Even in pre-recorded concepts of AI technologies, iOS-based devices were used as exemplary mobile devices in the workplace.

And there wasn't a single Windows 10 Mobile device in sight.

Multiplatform support and the 'intelligent edge'

This doesn't come as a huge surprise, following Microsoft's push in recent years to distribute its services across a wide range of platforms. No longer developing exclusively for its own platforms, the company's "mobile-first, cloud-first" proposal foresees experiences that transition smoothly between a wide range of platforms.

Although they're both competitor OSes, iOS and Android are still huge pillars of completing this vision. The Build demos simply highlighted the ubiquity of Microsoft services between devices, reinforcing that second-class support won't be provided to third-party platforms.

Looking at the broader scope of Microsoft's cloud offerings, these devices all fall into the "intelligent edge" – a concept heavily stressed by CEO Satya Nadella throughout the keynote. All of our internet-connected devices serve as an "interface between the computer and the real world" and bridge the gap between cloud technologies and our daily lives.

With Microsoft's traditional in-house mobile efforts depleting, today's keynote only reinforced its push for universal services across multiple ecosystems. While Windows still plays a huge role in this vision, the company isn't shy about showing its commitment to other platforms.

Matt Brown is Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.

176 Comments
  • I did notice that :) but I am sad aswell
  • It definitely wasn't the "Most striking aspect".....The phone part of this whole demo is the most boring and uninteresting part of the demo. There's literally nothing exciting on the phone side of it, but it's the back end systems that are important and interesting. As a developer I kind of miss when Build was less frequented by general fans and the focus was more on what we as developers can achieve. It's great for MS that people are getting more interested in it, but most people complaining that W10M wasn't used probably aren't developers watching it for it's intended purpose.
  • But, really, what would've been lost had they used a Windows phone instead? I don't get why Microsoft is so eager to give free advertising to their competitors at their own expense. From iPads at E3 to iPhones at Build, to Chrome pinned to the taskbar of PCs demoed at their Education conference, etc. They go out of their way to do these things, and the only people who notice are their die-hard fans, thereby ******* them off. I don't get it.
  • What would have been lost is relatability. Think about it this way: most of the people at the event and most of the developers Microsoft needs to target tools are not Windows Phone users. By demonstrating your new development tools and capabilities with Windows Phones, many developers will naturally make an association that those capabilities are in conjunction with Windows Phones. Even if Microsoft were to explicitly say it will work for all platforms, that little seed has been sown in the heads of developers. Instead, why not make the new developments more enticing by relating it to what the developers currently know and already accept? They're much less likely to build any association in their head that the development is for Windows Phone only, and therefore they are already in a better position to be receptive and interested. It is in a sense free advertising for the competitors' hardware, but Microsoft correctly identified that it has to worry more about software and platform right now.
  • Agre with you, but then they could have multiple phones. Like she is sending the notification from a Iphone to the other one who is using a windows phone. Just cross platform, that would have been better for advertising.
  • What are they advertising...there are NO WINDOWS MOBILE PHONES anymore!
  • That's exactly what has happened to UWP, everyone assumes that it is for Windows Phone only and it really much more than that.
  • That's true, and we can't blame MS for using iDroid devices, in that context... That makes perfect sense. Good point...
    Nevertheless, it still wouldn't have hurt to use all three platforms.. actually could've shown better cross platform support.
  • The only reason they didn't used a Windows Phone is they don't have one ready, it wouldn't make sens to use an existing Windows Phone either. After all Microsoft is a Software Company first. We will have more news about their new mobile device later, but i'm confident the foldable form factor will be choosen. Let's wait and see...
  • pathetic that they don't have windows phone ready...since 2010 they never seem to be ready
  • But there aren't three platforms.  There are two. There is no Windows phone anymore.
  • In which case they should have used Android phones...
  • My 950 isn't the most desirable devices at all, but I'm still in business... Once MS stops updates, and there are no more devices available, then I'll consider it dead.... Until then, I'm sticking with WP, even though it's on life support.... Right now, it's working fine for me, (no apps😬) so why should I just up, and switch because others are?... To follow the crowd? 🤔🤔🤔🤔
    Nope..... We will see.
  • Me too. Most likely i have to go back to a feature phone, since i'm too stupid for Android and don't want to afford Apple's Prices.
  • MS putting out WordFlow for iOS is ultimately what got me to try going to an iPhone.  And I have to say, I'm much happier with it than I was with my old WP.  Even the MS apps tend to be better on the iPhone than they were on W10M. I didn't change because others were.  I ultimately changed because there was nothing worth upgrading from an Icon on Verizon.  Tried a Note 5, hated it... Ended up with an iPhone 7 and it's a great phone.
  • The keyboard on iOS is something entirely unrelated to WordFlow. I don't know what it is, but I've had a Windows Phone since NoDo, and their iOS keyboard bares no resemblance to WordFlow. 
  • There will be no "Windows Phones"
    They seem to want to distance themselves from phones.
    Windows will however have sim cards that can text and call.
  • Perhaps in few years even Sim Card won't exist anymore, we will have an account to a Network provider then we just need to login and to pay a subscription and voila, we can surf and make call...
  • yeah right, like I am gonna stick out an 8" windows tablet to make a call instead of a phone...lol what a pathetic joke
  • What everyone fails to understand is that Satya Nadella did say Mobile first in his earlier presentation...he just didn't say that the mobile he was talking about was IOS and Android!
  • Mobile first doesn't mean phone first.
  • It definitely wasn't the "Most striking aspect".....The phone part of this whole demo is the most boring and uninteresting part of the demo. There's literally nothing exciting on the phone side of it, but it's the back end systems that are important and interesting. As a developer I kind of miss when Build was less frequented by general fans and the focus was more on what we as developers can achieve. It's great for MS that people are getting more interested in it, but most people complaining that W10M wasn't used probably aren't developers watching it for it's intended purpose.
  • I didn't watch too much of it (got behind, then bored), but the phone stuff was actually kinda cool, the way it exhibited the understanding of context. I know that's technically some Azure AI stuff, but it was triggered by phone text and voice commands, and showed some great productivity stuff...if you're not using a Windows device, of course.
  • It is a bit sad, but it makes sense for a software company like MS to go this route. I still have my L950 though. Won't let go of this bad boy. Haha
  • It's more than sad, its a fkn disgrace.
  • Welcome guys.. start music!!!
  • That's was particularly annoying.
  • It was a bit boring today. Hope for better tomorrow!
  • Yeah tomorrow will be more Windows focused, May see what coming in new in rs3 builds.
  • That's odd that there hasn't even been a quiet mention at that. I didn't watch the stream though, so is Azure the only time they even mentioned Windows 10 Mobile?
  • Think we have known this for a long time windows mobile is dead. I'm gutted love the is but found myself moving to android due to apps and it has everything I need on it from Microsoft.
  • Hurting windows fans😪
  • Windows *mobile* fans
  • waaaaaaahhhh grow up!   They have practically came out and said that windows mobile is done.  why would they use those phones when nobody uses them!
  • Sign of the times :(
  • No, I'm sure we'll soon get another delusional "Warditorial" explaining how those iPhones were actually Windows Phones and it's not dead etc etc, you know the drill.
  • Lol Warditorial. You are spot on though.
  • "Geting The Best Windows Mobile Experience Out Your iPhone" should be WC next heading.
  • Done!
    Five tips to help you switch from Windows Mobile to iPhone http://www.windowscentral.com/switching-windows-mobile-iphone
  • I think he need to remind us of what Satya Nadella said back in the 2014.
  • Damn, I thought I was the only one who found his articles pointless
  • Where did you get that feeling? Even us diehard fans are mocking him in the comments of his "articles"
  • Lol, I don't know, I used to read the first few comments and they used to support his point of view...but this was a while back...now I just see who wrote the article and if I see his name, I don't even bother opening it
  • only a few delusional fans now enjoy his fan fiction.
  • Even better than the actual articles are the five-paragraph replies to every single comment calling his delusions into questions with advisories to "go back and read" said article. Those are hilarious.
  • Jason come out now. Lol!
  • I believe you are confusing optimism for delusion.
  • We get it , Microsoft has moved on . 
  • Too bad that WP fans aren't getting it... then again I can't really blame them, I only "got it" about 2 weeks ago. Waiting for that galaxy Note 8 now ☺
  • To my understanding, the Galaxy Note 8 is the Galaxy S8 +
  • S8+ is too small. I imagine the note will be much bigger.
  • It's not a Note if it doesn't have a stylus.
  • As soon as the statement came out that they were not carrying over all denim phones...even though they could run 10 just as good as other phones that were moving on...I "got it" then and the next day I had 2 new iphone 6s.   my 1020s were sold and gone!  Iphone is much better than windohs 10 mobile.
  • It was really a little disappointing, but keep the high hopes of Microsoft developing something new!!!!
  • Don't waste time and friends if you think upgrade your phone.
  • And android phones. Simply more realistic than people using Windows Phones. But at least some would been great.
  • Don't people get it that the phones in this demo are not important....That's the most boring part of the demo - They are an endpoint for basic input and output not where the magic is happening
  • Oh, it's dead. I'm stunned by the lack of strength by Microsoft to just come out and say it. Somebody said it was for legal reasons, which kinda makes sense but is infinitely frustrating. "Sir, we appreciate your commitment to other platforms, but can you please explain the steaming dead Windows Phone carcass in the middle of the room??" ........... "What carcass?" Ugh.
  • They never announced the death of Windows RT either. And yes they cannot say it's dead, because they are obligated to support it until the end of life for all current devices, especially when it comes to 3rd party OEMs like HP.
  • If they said the obvious, that W10M is a dead end OS, then HP and Alcatel could sue them for breach of contract.
  • Announced or not, somehow I don't think the likes of HP are under any illusions about the health of this platform.....
  • Probably not, but they don't have teams of lawyers on the payroll for nothing. Still, you're right, the chances for a follow up x3 are slim to none. HP knows the score.
  • How can ir be dead when I am using it daily?
  • Using it and being alive are two totally different things...thats what fanboys fail to realize.  You can still use webOS but its still DEAD!
  • My old Nokia N8 running Symbian still boots up and works and it gets used as a gym iPod on occasion, but that doesn't mean it too doesn't run a dead end operating system.   The applications tied to services no longer work because developers stopped supporting it and switched off the servers.
  • Oh dw many of us will be sporting those instead of windows phones pretty soon too
  • that is the signe I was wating to go back to android... 
  • Microsoft obviously believes iPhones are the mobile platform of choice. Were the tools used on these phones written using Xamarin or Xcode? I can't imagine an Apple keynote that used Microsoft hardware but that may be the point. Windows Mobile (in Microsoft's future eyes), is not there yet. Apple mobiles are (for now and the next few years? the tools to be used on the 'edge' - certainly from a mobile / handheld perspective.
  • Read between the lines. Phones don't need the spotlight, because it's no longer about phones vs. PCs. vs. tablets vs. IoT vs. cars, etc. It's about Windows 10, cloud, and the experience you can get anywhere, across all devices. From smart speakers to factory machines. I think this sets the stage neatly for a potential reveal of a new device in Shanghai. They did mention there would be some exciting developments for end-users at the keynote tomorrow.
  • still dreaming, right ?
  • Think this guy is well past dreaming, more like deliriously hallucinating......
  • Whatever you're taking I'll have two. Lol!
  • Damn, stuck on my X3 while all the good stuff is going to competing platforms. I am kinda annoyed with MS about killing the best mobile OS around and on top of that pretending that they are not killing the best mobile OS around.
  • This Natella is fan Apple and iphone,i can't belive this.He destroyed platform,miss Steve the best CEO for me.
  • I'm on Elite x3, but i don't feel stuck. Nothing compelling for me to switch...yet. Going to ride this out and see where it goes. Been using all sorts of stuff since WM6.5. Until i can't make a phone call or email from my mobile, then I will switch. 95% of what I want is already there on Elite x3. There are a few nice to have apps to have, but that's not a deal breaker. I use my company iphone6 as a paperweight. For those unique apps, i do put on it to try. But i hate iPhones.
  • If you bought the X3 expecting support from anyone, especially Microsoft, you weren't paying much attention.
  • Sadella (or however you spell his name) running this company has been depressing. I'd rather go back to "DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS"
  • Nutella* "I'd rather go back to "DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS""
    Don't forget him stepping on an iPhone.
  • Sadya Sadella is correct.
  • I prefer Shatya Nutella
  • I'm not a developer I'm a Product Manager and a loyal W10M user. What I saw was not a lack of win phones but a message tailored to their audience, something much more important than a widget.
  • It's just annoying having to pay the sort of money Apple want for an iPhone then for it to be outdated a year later. Oh well - there is always the Apple up-to-date program.
  • Umm that happens with every phone not just iphones 🤔
  • Not the 950/XL. They're still the Microsoft flagship devices lol. *sarcasm*
  • a two year old phone is an old phone.
  • I think u missed the part where he said *sarcasm*
  • You can get an iPhone to last a long time. I'm happy with a 6S, and my wife still uses her 5S.  If there was one complaint I would have, it's that the cameras could be a little better. They aren't terrible, but not out in front by any means. 
  • What a surprise...
  • I mean, that is what people use, so make sense. I don't use, but I get it....
  • What is the matter ?
    New Windows Phones are Coming Soon............ since 2015 !!!   Nadella told us already.    LOL
  • You mean he lied to us??? Say it isn't so.
  • When is the next Big Jugs Update and the "liar liar pants on fire" talk show? Hosted by you know...who else?
  • The biggest bag over the head kick in the face.
  • LMAO...sure thing, Clark!
  • if the Head of windows uses android and most of microsoft employees uses iphones why would you assume they are going to take care of windows phone ? its a dead product
  • Intelligent Edge is such a bad name. Why would you name a product with another product's name inside it when they aren't related? I satill get people asking me what Edge is. Intelligent Fringe might've been better, but "fringe" doesn't always have the best reputation.
  • They are such different things--Microsoft Edge a product and "the intelligent edge" an already-existing design principle--that they probably really won't cross paths that much.
  • I completely understand that. From a marketing standpoint it just seems like a poor decision.
  • Disgusting - if they had done a proper job marketing this wouldn't be the case. Microsoft is its own worst enemy in the consumer space.
  • iPhone or Andriod?  Help me decide
  • ok. it one or the other. hope this helps.
  • If you used Windows Phone during the glory days of wp7.5/8 and u miss the stability and speed, iPhone. If you liked how half-assed and unpolished Windows Phone 8.1 and 10 are, Android.
  • LMAO
  • I am a Day 1 wp7 original.  Thank you. 
  • I prefer iPhone over Android, but that's just my opinion.
  • OnePlus 5, on Android. Apple products are just too fragile to be called mobile, Imo.
  • I tried Android and just couldn't get comfortable using Google. iPhone 6S plus here and happy enough. Yeah, I wish it had worked out for W10M, but when my work dropped support (BYOD), I had to find something else. 
  • Have the 6s Plus too and it's fine.  The best you can say is, it's stable, and you can pull it out of your back pocket and it almost always works. Most of the newest geeky-hardware features are on the high end Androids these days, but you know what,  I need my day to day tech to just work without having to think about whether the apps I'm using will lose support in a year. On the Android side, a good underrated phone that doesn't get a lot of press, but always found reliable in the past are the Sony Xperia devices. They're not he most bleeding edge as far as specs, but I rocked an Xperia Z2 for a couple years and I loved it.  I think the latest is the Xperia XZ.
  • I say the exact same thing johnny...I have a 6s....but if I move to android,  it will be some sort of xperia device.  very nice!
  • Latest Sony is Xperia XZs (5" HD screen, 820cpu) which is out now, but coming next month (June '17) is the Xperia XZ Premium with 5.5" 4k screen, 835cpu, 19mp camera (back)/13mp front, front stereo speakers, 4gb ram, etc. Much of that is actually better than the S8's. I checked with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile and none of them plan to carry the phone here in the US (altho all carry the S8), but it should be available from Best Buy and Amazon unlocked. No word yet on price.
  • Iphone.  
  • Go for Oneplus 3T or Xiaomi MI6
  • Just don't buy tech from a company run by Nadella and you should be fine. Man this stock is going to crash when cloud growth slows.
  • Just don't buy tech from a company run by Nadella and you should be fine. Man this stock is going to crash when cloud growth slows.
  • So basically buy a android Or a iPhone because Windows 10 Mobile is dead...the writing is on the wall clear as day
  • What Windows mobile?
  • $24,393 USD raised by 102 backers 2% of $1,100,000 fixed goal, 5 days left. RIP Cerulean Moment.
  • Understandable. Personally I'll be using a Windows 10 related phone in the foreseeable future, and I know I'll get support for it, so I'm not worried. Microsoft everywhere is better for everybody.
  • why build a car when you can drive somebody else's?
  • Great...Microsoft is the Uber customer of the tech world.
  • Nothing surprises me at all.From the time, Satya Nadella took the reins of the company and his first event on Office  I knew the emphasis was on the mobile platforms where user base is high but "die hard fans" failed to realize this and thought it meant only better support for Windows phones. Fans are socially tired. 
  • Why would they show off WP? It holds less than 1% market share as of January 2017. iPhone and Android should be the premier devices to display on.
  • Why, would they have sold them if they weren't going to back them?
  • Is there any easy way to get your notifications one Windows 10?
  • Feed me!!!
  • Nadella told us all in the past two years this was coming. We just didn't believe him. Now he is showing us and he is going to reveal his iPhone soon.
  • Well he has already shown his iPhone Pro few years back. 
  • Never noticed, didn't think that was released yet
  • I use MS services on Android because it lets me select what I want for default programs. On iOS, you cannot select any of the MS stuff as default. Therefore, exactly why would iOS users use MS stuff again?
  • I wouldn't say "any." I use Bing as my default search, and my .live account handles exchange duties. I use Outlook for work, so I prefer it to be separated. Changing the default browser might be nice, but it's not like MS offers Edge on any other platform anyway. 
  • Odd because, on this very site, they showed that the MS programs could not be made as default programs. (Or any other for that matter.) Could be I remember things incompletely though.
  • You can change search backend and set up the mail client to use Microsoft services. That's what he's referring to. 
  • Second class status is reserved for users of Microsoft's mobile platform, of course.....
  • Ouch, but it's the truth, unfortunately.
  • what more proof do you guys want that they don't give a damn about their own mobile OS?? pathetic the way they keep lying that windows 10 mobile is not dead...lool
  • Thank GOD I switched to Samsung S7 Edge
  • 2017 is the year of the liar, from donnie to real house wives to even microsoft themselve they bee lying, sure we support windows on phones, they lieeeeee
  • Unfortunately, promoting using an iphone really just encourages people to go all Apple. I had moved to Surface Pro and Windows Phone from Apple and was all in. Ended up having to go back to iphone from lack of mobile support and gradually the Apple ecosystem is pulling me back. I've used my mac more and surface less in the past few weeks.
  • These days, Microsoft is becoming less reliant on Windows per set and focusing on services, for consumer and back end. Microsoft's message would be: "go ahead and use that MacBook, it's a great device! And by the way could we interest you in a copy of Office 365 for Mac and iPhone?  And did you know that Apple's back end cloud services are dependent on Microsoft Azure?"
  • Time for everyone to move on, even the die hard fans; no point hoping for another Windows Phone; Once my Lumia 1020 dies, I am going with the Nokia 6 or whatever comes after it from Nokia.
  • "second-class support won't be provided to third-party platforms", no that is reserved for their own platform...
  • All this means is MS are smart enough to know mobile users ha e phones and Androids. This doesn't mean something portable that makes Phone calls isn't coming. It was smart to show what they needed on devices people have now. It doesn't hurt anything MS may be working on for the progression of portable computing.
  • Can you imagine Toyota talking about their tech and features using a Honda to display it?.... No. That's why people think MS is done with mobile.
  • Bad analogy. Toyota haven't stopped making current cars like MS has. What would be the point of Toyota officially confirming they no longer make cars as they are now. And then advertise stuff using cars noone drives from years ago????
  • Whatever helps you sleep at night
  • Hello darkness my old friend...
  • We need sad Ballmer!
  • It would have been an absolute joke if MS would have used a Windows Phone. You can't kill off a product to