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Microsoft's focus on Android and iOS is proving to be the right call

Outlook on Android
Outlook on Android (Image credit: Windows Central)

When Microsoft decided to kill Windows Phone in favor of adopting Android and iOS as first class citizens for its mobile experiences, many Windows fans were quick to assume that this plan would backfire and see Microsoft fall out of the mobile space altogether. But in 2019, that couldn't be further from the truth, as Microsoft's mobile apps are proving to be incredibly popular and some of the best on iOS and Android right now.

This strategy has proven particularly successful on Android, where Microsoft's apps are among on the top download charts on Google Play. In the last few days, Your Phone reached number one in the top free apps charts on the Google Play Store. It has over 10 million downloads, as does Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Launcher. Outlook has crossed 100 million downloads, with Skype and Office rocking one billion downloads. That's a huge number!

Microsoft's 'Your Phone Companion' tops Android Google Play rankings

Microsoft also owns SwiftKey, which is many people's keyboard of choice on Android. It's fair to say that all of Microsoft's apps on Android have been a huge success for the company, and now Microsoft is integrating Android into the Windows ecosystem as a first class citizen with Your Phone integration, and is even using Android on the Surface Duo which should further cement the experience between Windows and Android.

I frequently see people in my Twitter DMs claiming that Microsoft's efforts on Android and iOS are wasted, since both platforms aren't Windows. It turns out, however, that it doesn't matter what the platform is underneath. If Microsoft is able to provide quality apps and services on those platforms, users will come. Microsoft's mobile experiences are the best they've ever been in 2019, and it's all thanks to Microsoft quitting out on Windows Phone.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to live in a world where Windows was a third option for smartphones, but we don't live in that world. As such, I'm more than happy with Microsoft focusing entirely on Android and iOS for its mobile efforts, because it means my Microsoft ecosystem experience is better as a result. My Android phone compliments my Windows PC more than a Windows Phone ever did.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

102 Comments
  • Yeah feeding the competitor ecosystem with high quality free apps is great... for Google
  • It's win for MS, too. From a business perspective, you retain millions of loyal customers and gain millions more for your services in both enterprise and consumer markets. Allowing those customers to be able to seemlesly use those services not matter the device is ideal. I personally believe that Microsoft efforts will benefit more than just those of us that like to use Windows devices, and that is the ultimate goal.
  • but it also makes it so much more easy for those loyal users to move on to Android PCs and Imacs since they can use all Microsoft apps on those competing operating systems. Hence, this looks like the beginning of the end for WIndows as a dominating operating system. Perhaps MS now sees Android as th e future? As a Windows 10 fan I am very nervous about this... very nervous....
  • "Hence, this looks like the beginning of the end for WIndows as a dominating operating system" We are WAY past that point. Windows is no longer the dominant OS sold on computers today. In 2018, Windows was on less than 20 percent of computers sold. Yes, that includes PCs, phones and tablets. Just 10 years ago, Windows was on 95% of all computers sold. MacOS and Linux made up the remaining 5%. Android is now the most used OS in the world at 40%, with Windows at 35%. In the U.S., it is Windows 33%, iOS 31%, Android 21%, Mac 9% and Chrome 3%. Windows has never had such competition. Basically, 1/3 of computer/internet users are using Windows, but 2/3 are NOT using Windows. Thus, Microsoft HAS to have apps and services on Android and iOS. MS - and everyone else - can see where things are going AND where they are right now. It was not a question of "making the right call". It was seeing reality and making the ONLY call they could make: Adapt or die.
  • Not sure where you got your numbers buddy. Windows OS holds 80% of the market share. Wouldn't be the most valuable tech company in the world with over 1 TRILLION in value. Android is free and works on everything from flag ships to $50 phones so of course it's going to be used to save manufacturing cost. Also Android and full Windows OS aren't in the same class. One is mobile centric while the other is desktop computing. Microsoft been leveraged Android and Linux years ago, teamed with Sony, their main competitor in the console market, to bring their gaming network intro a relevant stage, and has made humongous strides in cloud with most Fortune 500 companies on their product, and produces a product that most businesses couldn't do without in Windows. Not made up, you can Bing or Google it.
  • It's a big help that Chrome books are so cheap and that many schools accros the USA have multiple ones in every classroom.
  • I know Chrome OS has a terrible market share globally but it sits at 6% desktop share in the U.S. Given the bulk of those are young school children the potential for future loyal Google users is huge.
  • In my opinion Chrome OS in schools is doing our children a disservice. Who would hire you if your resume says..."proficient in Chrome OS"? MS should crank up their efforts in the education sector here in the US.
  • @ITMedCEO, I actually agree. Personally, youngsters using full Windows would be a much better idea. I can assure you that I am ambivalent when it comes to Chrome OS.
    It's a shame MS were unable to pull together a package that cash strapped schools could adopt.
  • Schools adopt Windows around the world.
  • Not my children, they absolutely hate the things, they can't wait to get home to 'proper' computers, like my Surface Pro 4 or Go, let alone the desktop which is regularly fought over. I've even considered getting one, it certainly would stop the kids trying to play games instead of their homework. If anything Chromebooks are showing the kids how bad Google is.
  • That's literally both less that what windows mobile once held globally, and what mac osx peaked at before the company nearly went bust. Yeah, potential for growth, but also potential for the entire project to be scrapped. And as discussed, not a valuable market skill, so that will also stand in the way of service loyalty.
  • I learnt it the hard way. If you want your child to become a carpenter when she or he grows up, let them go with the public school wave of Chrome and google docs... else you are better off with getting them a private tutor who can teach them MSOffice, or else they will have a really hard time in university and/or on their first job
  • You literally contradicted yourself with your own numbers. 20% and then 35%. 40% and 35% are also only marginal differences, and relatively irrelevant when you consider one is ad based volume sales, and the other higher margin software sales. It's apples and oranges. Especially confusing when you think about your catergorization of 'computers'. Are ATMs not counted, smartwatches, or smart appliances? Terminals, services, or IoT in general? Seems like you misnamed it. Google makes most of it's money on search, still does, android is just a vehicle for that little search box people often fail to remove (or the assistant, which goes to the same place). MSFT makes it's money from a diverse range of sources - video games, azure, office subscriptions etc, for which windows is a platform. Google could stop supporting android altogether tomorrow, and it wouldn't matter, so long as they has somewhere else to pimp their ad platform. Microsoft could not do the same with windows - the platform is intrinsically vital. If it fails, microsoft fails. Apple is actually a hardware company, at the heart. They profit from device sales, particularly the iphone. These are all very different models for profit. Which raises the question: how does microsoft actually gain significant profit from android apps? And if they do, why are their efforts on android so minimal? And if they invest in android more, will that subtract from their efforts with UWP, their windows platforms bridge to the future? Adapt or die indeed.
  • I wish that Microsoft put in a wee bit more into their apps and made them at least as good as the Windows Phone apps... At the time I last used an Android device, I had to drop it like a hot potato since the Microsoft ecosystem on Android was so so flaky... that was just a few months ago... since there are no choices around, this time around, I do hope that once I get my Xperia 1 replacement of my Windows 10 device in a few weeks,, I will never need to look back at Microsoft.
  • Everybody has already moved off mobile MS products so they can't possibly lose any more customers.
  • Don't tell the Surface team that info. They may think all these Surface sales numbers are all made up. ;-)
  • There is a mobile surface? I just see a bunch of laptops...
  • If we're going to start being silly, there are 1000s of mobile computers out there in the real world, being used to support businesses across the USA, they're running WinCE. One of my jobs is looking after this equipment, so I have a bit of experience - next time you're in Costco or other stores, take a look at what's being run on the handheld barcode scanners.
  • I don't give a crap what operating system the bar code scanners at Costco are using. Why would I or any consumer?
  • It matters because they represent a vast number of devices out there that are being used and require software from developers, but really I was just pointing out, if you're going to be stupid suggesting Surfaces aren't mobile, then why aren't you counting the huge number of windows devices that are.
  • Those only require one app that is custom made for them. When Snapchat (or whatever developer) looks at Windows installs to help them decide if they want to support it, they don't count Costco's product scanners. They don't matter for consumer developers.
  • You are not being silly, every time one of the millions tap their Presto card in the greater hamilton and toronto and ottawa areas, it is on a windows ce device. But we know that the next gen will likely not be windows, since windows is like dead and no longer interested in cool stuff... just making more money is the aim of that organization
  • And looking at the potential future, no one wants to stay with the so called legacy desktop... may continuum gracefully relent to the future of IT and discontinue and rest in peace, since even that dream of a Windows future is now no longer something we can pursue.
  • Do you know that 90% of Chinese manufacturing machinery runs on windows? that's what I saw the last time visited China for a business trip.
  • It's more likely for PCs to die out entirely than for macOS to overtake Windows in marketshare, let alone for Android to become anything more than a Wikipedia footnote on PCs.
  • Not sure what you're inferring regarding the PC/Mac OS part of your post. The Mac Pro and even Mac Book lines have been treated more as curiosities than real products by Apple for a while now.
  • So true... glad to see that there are others on the same frequency. Apple and Microsoft are out, as far as client side browsers and operating systems are concerned. But Apple still needs credit for not relenting. Reminds me of Shakespeare's King Richard the Second... some people do or die while some are cowards
  • Guys, how many times do I have to tell you that it was nothing like that? This was premediated sabotage. There was no need for Microsoft to block Skype for Business access on Windows 10 mobile on Office 365 subscriptions in December 2018 when Windows 10 mobile was officially supposed to be supported till December 2019. On premises Skype for Business still works on Windows 10 mobile and the only applications and services that have been blocked from Windows Phone in 2019 are Microsoft owned. Should I ever trust them again? What if a new CEO comes in 3 or 4 years and takes another U-turn? This is not the way you expect a professionally managed publically owned company to work. Premium phones cost thousand to two thousand dollars these days, more than premium laptops... consumers cannot be treated like carrots and cauliflowers. This is obscene. They could have easily continued support for Windows for a couple more years, based on the last sales of Windows phones on the Microsoft store. I still have a brand new sealed Alcatel Idol that I purchased from Microsoft Store... we as consumers should be the last people to try and justify their creepiness
  • This article pretends as if Microsoft wouldn't have made Office for iOS and Android if they didn't dump Windows Phone OS.... I hate to break it to you, but Office existed on iOS and Android before Microsoft dumped Windows Phone. No different than the fact that Office has existed on Mac OS for decades.... This is a completely unrelated to Microsoft pulling out from having their own ecosystem and platform that they could integrate across various screens. Microsoft has been making apps since the 70's so we all know they're more than capable of creating good apps on other platforms. Microsoft created a lot of good innovation in a short amount of time in the mobile space. It took awhile before a lot of things that Microsoft did became standard on other devices. So we have no idea what the future would have been like if Microsoft stayed in the game. Saying that years later they have some good apps on iOS and Android, doesn't answer that question at all... Not by a long-shot.
  • However, I'd argue at least when windows phone was a thing they were at the very least trying to prioritize it over other platforms. And part of the strategy, if I remember correctly, was to have the more capable app (or in some cases it was built into the OS natively) on windows phone even if it was offered on another platform.
  • They never prioritized their own mobile OS over anything, it was always iOS first, then android then WP/WM at some later point (and more often than not, wasn't even released at all)
  • @theefman, that's how I remember it too. I recall all the angst from WM fans that MS were releasing their best products on Android/iOS first.
  • 2015 data from Forbes magazine:
    "
    Financially Microsoft is one of the biggest winners from the growth of Android as a platform, thanks to its wide range of patents. Samsung's royalty payment to Microsoft in 2013 was for over one billion dollars ($1,041,642,161 and fifty cents), roughly $3.41 per device. With roughly 300 million Android handsets sold last quarter, that could be another billion coming to Redmond.
    If you go with Android's total installed base of 1.808 billion smartphones, at that $3.41 value, Microsoft's take from Android could easily reach six billion dollars.
    "
    Need to say more?
  • I have posted this for years. Microsoft makes money off every Android device that's sold. I never knew why Microsoft didn't use the money they earned from their Android funds and turn it back around and invest it back into their own mobile system. I guess it's better spent as a dividend. I'm not a fan of articles like this, because Microsoft has been investing in Android and iOS for years. This is nothing new.
  • I don't see how this could be "feeding the competitor" when Microsoft will release a Android device!
    If android is where microsoft mobile apps can shine, so be it!
  • If your reason to go Android is to use YourPhone app, do yourself a favor and buy the recent Samsung phone -- it will be half-useful there. There rest of Android manufacturers or 2-year old Samsung phones -- not so much. I would also wait until the silly limitations of YourPhone have been removed... like non-configurable 25 most recent photos, but that might fit your use pattern.
  • The Surface Duo is a no-compromise mobile Surface device! I will have access to all my apps I use daily including my employer's apps. As I watched the Duo reveal during the Oct. 3rd event, I was thinking I would have to give up all my apps except for the Microsoft ones and find work-arounds. Then it was announced that the Duo will run Andriod, I yelled "YES, NO-COMPROMISE!!".
  • I am die hard WP guy, I adapted to change, I went with Pixel 2 XL, an android HW with MSFT services and apps in use. I was ecstatic like you said when it said Android OS, which eliminates the App Gap argument and noise plus MSFT can skin the daylight out of Android to make it theirs and for MSFT services fans. Get this, known fragmentation issues associated with android should not be an issue with MSFT Android device(s)
  • I suppose you don't have to worry about an "app gap" if you're not even in the game. That's how Microsoft dealt with it, let's be honest. By giving up. They gave up on trying to convince developers to support their mobile platform. Although I personally experienced no app gap--everything I wanted or needed was, in fact, available on the Windows mobile platform, and with a much better user experience--that clearly wasn't the case for most. But it's sheer folly to pretend that Microsoft somehow "won" by caving in and simply attaching themselves to the coattails of another OS, this time just hoping to convince users to continue using Microsoft products on someone else's OS. As for your assertion that Android fragmentation won't be an issue, I find this to be quite humorous. There will always be Android fragmentation. It exists extensively now, and will continue so. I'm sitting on an S10 with Android 10 beta--which doesn't support as much as Android 9 did.
  • Fragmentation doesn't matter and never really did. Every phone with Google Play Services will be kept to to date for several years. That is all that matters. When it comes down to reality, Windows phones were more fragmented. There are very few app incompatibilities between Android 4-10 devices as every Android 4 device is still being updated regularly with modern APIs! Looking at Windows phone, version 7 isn't compatible with version 8 apps and they aren't compatible with version 10 apps. The hardware that went into these phones was so far behind many of them weren't updated. That is fragmentation that actually matters.
  • But it hasn't been completely dropped, you are still getting updates and new apps may be compatible. Android 4.4 was released 6 years ago! Not a bad run.
  • @bleached: you are confusing Android the operating system and the Google Play services. In Windows world you argument would have sounded like: kernel.dll has an overflow bug, allowing privilege escalation, but .NET services are still being updated...
  • That is a ridiculously specious argument to make. What you're referring to is generational differences between Microsoft's various efforts in mobile operating systems, not fragmentation within the same generation as is the case with Android. And as for forward compatibility... are you serious? I would no more expect a Windows Phone 7 device to run Windows 10 Mobile apps than I would expect a 1st generation Xbox to play games designed for an Xbox One X. Windows 10 Mobile was *backwards* compatible with Silverlight apps designed for previous generations of Windows phones. It is, however, reasonable to say that anyone with an interest in Windows phones probably agrees that Microsoft badly handled the generational differences in Windows phone platforms and support for older hardware to be upgraded to the newer operating systems.
  • Fragmention, as in one Android phone doesn't look like another or is a version or two behind, doesn't matter at all. That is actually Android's biggest strength and the reason it grew so big. Being open meant freedom for the manufacturers. Freedom from Microsoft's strict rules about their software and compatible hardware. An Android phone from WP7 era is still being updated and is compatible with new apps. You don't expect that of WP7, but "fragmented" Android is doing it.
  • > An Android phone from WP7 era is still being updated and is compatible with new apps. *Some* Android phones from WP7 era could still be updated (I would love to see the concrete example) and *some* new apps might still run on these phones.
  • > Windows 10 Mobile was *backwards* compatible with Silverlight apps No, Silverlight runtime was ported to Windows 10 Mobile... and to the Windows 10 Desktop, and to MacOS... You are confusing (one of) the frameworks for app development with the underlying operating system.
  • When the Duo launches, the "You'll have to pry my Windows Phone from my dead hands" crowd will still find something to moan and groan about. I'm hoping the Surface team will also release a single screen phone device, but the Duo is one device I cannot wait to arrive.
  • I hope they release a single screen version as well. Wife wouldn't want a dual screened device since she doesn't do any productivity. When she does, it's on a Chromebook and that's once in a blue moon. But a single screened phone by Microsoft would probably be something she would adopt, considering she may move away from iOS. She enjoyed Windows phones, (L1020 was her favorite phone ever according to her).
  • There are hundreds of single screen Android phones to choose from and you can put the Microsoft Launcher on them all. Unless she has a specific issue with iOS that Android solves, there really isn't a reason to switch. Android is quite polished these days, but if you are used to iOS, why bother?
  • Did Microsoft Launcher learn to turn landscape? Last time I tried it insisted on portrait operation on Android 9/Pixel XL 2016.
  • seeing my Android Launcher in landscape on a mobile phone sucks a big-time. I hate it (that can never happen on iPhone)
  • I think it's based on screen size. It doesn't do it on my 5.7" phone, but it definitely can turn landscape on my 8" tablet
  • "It turns out, however, that it doesn't matter what the platform is underneath." Yes. Someone finally gets it. No one cares about Operating Systems. The fewer, the better. For users AND developers.
  • Yes, lets forget about all that competition stuff, the foundation of our modern economies, and become beholden to massive mega-corporations like Omni Consumer Products who do everything for us so we don't have to exercise any brain cells making decisions like "what is the best product for my situation?" Since when has competition resulted in better outcomes for consumers anyway?
  • There is plenty of competition. Two is plenty. As someone famously said "I don't see the point in a third mobile OS". Who WAS that genius who realized this obvious truth? Neither did developers see the point. Thus, exit Windows phones, stage left. Just as 2 Operating Systems were plenty for the last 30 years in PCs (Mac and Windows, Linux never went anywhere on the desktop for a reason), 2 mobile Operating Systems are enough today. More than that just causes too much fragmentation and extra work.
  • That might be true if it weren't for things like PWA and UWP, both of which can target Android and iOS too. The operating system itself is becoming obsolete when you can develop once and have your app on all devices. As a developer myself, I target all three, and all of my apps are PWA/UWP
  • So you create mediocre iOS and Android apps so you can also have them work on a dead Windows platform? Makes sense.
  • > The operating system itself is becoming obsolete when you can develop once and have your app on all devices. I have heard this argument around the time the Darthmouth BASIC was introduced... :)
  • I wish Microsoft were allowed to fix Androids God awful file and storage management, I honestly hate this Google world I'm forced to live in but Microsoft makes it as bearable as possible
  • My sentiments precisely.
  • My Windows Pc is not fully sync with my iPhone. Soon, I’m switching to MacOS to get all synced. I don’t worry about Windows because I’m not losing anything. All the windows apps are available on MacOS. Therefore, Windows 10 will die. Maybe windows 10 will be available on another OS just like Cortana.
  • Exactly. MS needs to up the game on IOS to keep from bleeding PC users. And iPhone locked down, blah blah bad excuse. Get it done.
  • I wish I could say the Microsoft on Android experience was anything other than 3rd rate, but I can't. And, as of the S10 beta, there is no support for Cortana at all, which is a critical aspect for me. Just as some others have tried, I, too have attempted to configure Android to bring something resembling feature-parity with the experience I had on Windows phones. Unfortunately, Microsoft seems to be focusing on features I care nothing about at the expense of features that are most important to me. I feel like someone who used to dine on lobster and I'm now settling for carp.
  • @Painfully_Candid, you need to accept MS has moved on from Cortana at least in the consumer space. In fact, I recall MS even stating they were doing this. Look, I get it. You love Cortana but it just didn't gain traction. MS get this, why can't you?
  • @Bluey Ross ... and Microsoft launcher could not work in landscape mode on at least some Android phones, and YourPhone app shows 25 most recent photos, non-negotiable, not-configurable. And Microsoft Outlook could not sync contacts from Android phone to outlook.com with any degree of reliability... Look, I get it -- these things are not important to you. And, before you ask -- all of the above was duly logged into Feedback Hub.
  • It’s been better for everyone that MS gave up the phone dream. The focus on apps over operating system has made the *actually* important things more seamless and fluid. Yeah MS might need to do more negotiating to get their apps pre-loaded on devices or work harder to have people download their apps. But overall the quality of that app ecosystem, and tying customers in to it, is a better long term gambit than Windows Phone itself was. It’s paying off for everyone even if we’re not getting a true third option for smartphones. Better a widely used app ecosystem that works smoothly within another company’s OS than a self-owned OS that has *significantly* fewer users.
  • Lately, you people have been so vocal on how everything that microsoft does is so so awesome, and no no negative comments. Did it ever occur to you that they could put in a bit more effort into development (as opposed to in kickbacks to you), to merge skype and groupme, to bring it on par with whatsapp etc... I am so so tired of having to be forced to use whatsapp. No one believes me anymore. I am now the black sheep of the family, pushing everyone for microsoft products. They should either fix them or get out of the consumer business all together... my two cents... but they are of course the more powerful and 'more intelligent' . If sabotage of all consumer business is the intent, just shut it down immediately, and fire all the people working in those areas, why create a scene about the whole thing?
  • We get kickbacks?! WTH is my check...
    I am so so tired of having to be forced to use whatsapp. No one believes me anymore. I am now the black sheep of the family
    I'll admit, this made me laugh a bit.
  • Everyone in the UK uses WhatsApp. Soccer mom. My mum. People merge work and home life into WhatsApp. Football teams manage the teams with it. WhatsApp is like Facebook, first mover wins. It seems odd to us outside of the US why you’d stick with outdated SMS.
  • I honestly couldn't care what messenger service I use, I have 4 installed on my PC, 2 for work reasons, I don't understand what gets people so vocal or upset. At the end of the day for the majority, they're all similar in functionality for someone who wants to send text, pictures or make a phone call over the internet. Far more important is access to a keyboard when typing in the messages and drag and drop, to send files to contacts, which I'm hoping a dual screen device would make a heck of a lot easier.
  • @Sandeep Maheshwari "I am now the black sheep of the family, pushing everyone for microsoft products" Then stop being a pain in the butt. Your family, like everyone else, just wants to use what everyone is using.Stop being 'that guy.' Why are you being 'that guy?
    Stop fanboying your family and just let them be happy.
  • They could do both...
  • That's because Microsoft treated windows phone as a second class citizen 😅. Not to mention the constant reboots of the platform did not do anyone any favours along with colossal mishandling of certain functions - i.e: 1) no notification centre at launch of Wp8 2) msd cards being co-opted by the O/S as part of file system (Wp7) 3) outlook defaulting to the photohub thus preventing you from attaching documents as there was no file explorer at launch of Wp8 so you had to share links. Which many people found to be a long winded process because they are so used to just attaching documents in email on the desktop. 4) Also the reduction of the search button to a QR Scanner before being replaced as a hot key for Cortana. The advanced functionality of Bing was locked to the US only. 5) Tap to pay requiring secure sims and at launch only Orange in France had that functionality. 6) Crappy landscape support of Wp7 which meant the HTC Touch Pro 7 the successor of one of stellar devices of WM6.5 (the Touch Pro 2) was reduced to a beta product. Just to name a few.... oh let's not forget everything that made WM6.5 great for enterprise users was not available in Wp7 from the get go either. Microsoft seriously loses all basic sense when it comes to mobile lol and had Microsoft given parity to their own ecosystem as well we wouldn't be in a situation where a flagship Surface product runs Android. There were a few flash points where Windows phone was making major headway. Had Microsoft maintained the momentum and grew those flash points we would have a healthier Windows store as well as more UWP apps for the Neo and Windows 10X. Which they could have used to segway / leverage point for a Surface wearable / band therefore negating the need to have the Duo running android just to gain access to apps. As the apps would have been there from the get go... but Microsoft's foresight is really not 20/20 when it comes to mobile 😅.
  • @TechFreak1, Good post. I read so often how it was Google or any number of different villains who doomed WM. In reality it was MS itself that did the most damage with its inability to entice developers. A lack of committed developers means certain failure which is why I fear for W10X.
  • *It's refusal to prioritize development for its own platform* resulted in their inability to entice developers, resulting in a lack of committed developers, resulting in the failure of WP. Because of this I do see W10X not bringing in a huge wave of devs. Can't do this crap for many years, burning devs and thinking they will all of a sudden come back to dev for this form factor. Gonna be an uphill battle to get more apps to fill the store to compliment Neo. They needed to lead by example, not only in hardware, but in app development for THEIR OWN platform. Then again, we are way past that already.
  • You guys missed a step. A lab of prioritizing development of Windows Phone lead to a lack of sales, which lead to a small user base, which caused developers to ignore the platform. Developers do not come before users. This is the issue W10X is going to face. Get as many of those devices as you can into people's hands as quickly as you can. Otherwise, it will only be a matter of time before any path forward is no longer viable.
  • Yes true, android compliment the PC experience better except for one important thing. The photo app. At the moment I need to deal with 2 different apps and set of pictures. One for all the local pictures (even if already uploaded to OneDrive) and OneDrive for all my other pictures in the cloud. Which make the experience annoying
  • No issue there if you use Google Photos and it is an amazing service. Microsoft photo tools don't compare.
  • When it comes to editing pictures, I use Fantasia Painter, which I actually started using on Windows Phone and which was released on Android a year or two ago as people migrated. Then I use OneDrive for syncing. Google Photos (or most other photo editors for that matter) can't even hold a candle to Fantasia Painter, which has almost every tool you can think of, with even more forthcoming.
  • So Microsoft admits it sucks at Operating Systems compared to Apple?
  • "This strategy has proven particularly successful on Android, where Microsoft's apps are among on the top download charts on Google Play. In the last few days, Your Phone reached number one in the top free apps charts on the Google Play Store" This really is poor by WC. To not correct the record on an obvious mistruth is shameful. The following has been posted to the the original article on this matter 'Microsoft's 'Your Phone Companion' tops Android Google Play rankings' "Matt Brown This was published over the weekend, and has since been corrected. Apologies for any confusion. Thanks for reading, always super appreciated :)"
  • It's fun to see how Apple put 5 to 10 years into iOS and MacOS to beat Microsoft, and how Microsoft and Google gives up on everything after a couple of years saying, it did not work. I wonder where Apple would be now if they had given up after 2 years. The focus on Android and iOS is not the best move, and frankly it is not even true. It is not focus they had put on iOS and Android. It is sheer support they introduced. Nobody can be serious that MS does not have the money or man power to do the same thing they had been doing for the last two years along with supporting their own platform. It is a joke that fans are able to run full Windows 10 with a modified shell on Lumias while Microsoft can't have double te effort on the same. It is simply a joke. This whole mobile does not need a third OS thinking is the worst thing I have ever heard. Why does not this "wise" thought apply everywhere? Why gaming needs an XBox then? Why cloud needs Azure? The biggest lie in history. Microsoft simply could not pull it together. And it does not even apply to its mobile OS. It applies to its workflow, thinking, support chain. The same thing is happening to Windows 10 that happened to its mobile division. And it's not because there is no need.
  • In all fairness, Apple wouldn't even be around at all if it weren't for a financial boost (in addition to Office on Mac) in the 90's from Microsoft. Apple nowadays reminds me of Microsoft in the 90's actually -- close platform, no third-party standards, and as arrogant as you can get. Meanwhile, Microsoft is more open source, standards-based, and actually quite a bit more financially stable than they've ever been. Interesting what can change in 20 years.
  • Apple only survived because they embraced intel, in an effort to open their system, and got a cash injection from bill gates. They have gone from a goodly portion of the desktop market, to a premium phone company too. They have pivoted multiple times, and abandoned things when times were hard.
  • > Apple only survived because they embraced intel, ... and got a cash injection from bill gates Hopefully you do realize that the two events are 10 years apart. One did happen before Apple's return to the land of living and the other one way after. Can you guess, which is which?
  • You need to tell this to Jason Ward. He thinks Windows 10 X should have telephone features...he needs to realize that mainstream mobile app development will never come to Windows.
  • @ITMedCEO, It's too late for Jason, he hasn't just drunk the kool aid but he bathes in it and has it injected directly into his veins. No malice in that, just having a laugh.
  • You and Blueyross are both missing the obvious though.
    There will be 1 Windows.
    There will be a shell that can adapt to any screen size.
    Cellular support is just an OS module and needed for the Surface Line.
    UWP apps work and XAML makes them adapt to screen size. Therefore you pair of charlies, app development for mobile is no longer a specific OS, it’s no longer a separate development chain. You can just build a mobile phone device with the 1 Windows kit and apps developed for “Desktop” Windows will work on mobile. I feel sorry for these authors having written so many articles explaining this and you guys still don’t get it.
  • Then why is Duo using Android?
  • Simple, because the Duo is a phone. The NEO is a PC. Right now, Android does phone better than Windows 10X, so Microsoft chose it over W10X for the Duo. The jury is out on whether or not W10X adoption will cause more apps to be developed (Microsoft intends to have it be the default Windows version for most people, so there's certainly a possibility), but right now a W10X-based phone would be DOA. It will likely take years before a W10X could be viable for Microsoft (maybe a third-party hardware OEM could do it?) but a healthy mixture of PWAs and steady UWP development could go a long way toward making it work. No one can predict the future, and the past is no indication that the future will be better or worse, so we'll just have to play the wait and see game.
  • Windows 10X is definitely DoA if Microsoft doesn't have faith in it, if they don't get it in as many people's hands as possible. I agree that Duo will probably be better with Android, but not going all-in on 10X will seal it's fate.
  • I think that's a valid question. The success of a particular niche hardware seems hardly as important as to whether there is development for UWP, long term. It would seem the route to success would be making as many hardware platforms work better with UWP, as possible.
  • Right now? Right now Windows 10X does nothing other than smoke and mirrors. The whole point of this human race is to compete with others and better them. Not just become a parasite or slave... The stars are not on the side of Windows right now and the influence of Satan will hopefully subside in a couple of years, if some good sense prevails.
  • Ok, but they have the OS in the form of Windows 10X. If most people want to buy Duo with Android, fine. But why not allow those who want run W10X on it. They already develop an maintain it for the Neo. Going with Android is of little risk. But, letting people choose between Android or W10x is of little risk as well. People who do knows what they get. And if they want, they could just load the Android image of MS just gave people the propper tools. I have the P30 Pro. I don't like Android, have not installed SnapChat (it's evil actually) and never will. All in all, I pretty much use the same apps I used with my Lumia 950XL, until Facebook killed its apps. But those are on W10, and they work well enough for me. I don't need this Android thing that I don't want, and I'll never buy anything Apple. So why should I not be allowed to just use Windows 10 on all my devices if this is something Microsoft could easely enable me to do, with close to no risk and very little cost or effort? There is a relatively large fan base that would absolutely love being able to run W10x on a phone. Sadly, most would perhaps not be able to buy it. But, moving into dreamspace, the 950XL runs W10forARM rather well. Why not make it available for that phone as well. A small token of respect and admiration if you like.
  • There is not "a relatively large fan base". That is the issue with Windows phones. The fan base isn't sufficient to keep these products afloat alone.
  • I'm glad Microsoft services work pretty good on iOS. What's missing is Maps and Groove on iOS. Planning a trip with cloud Collections on Maps on the PC, and then just opening Maps on W10M to see the same Collections was awesome. Prior to earlier this year, Groove could play stuff from the cloud on PC and W10M. Just had to place a mp3 file on OneDrive on PC. Then open Groove on W10M and play it. That was awesome. I currently don't trust third party apps to access my OneDrive for cloud music playing. They want to have read/write access to your OneDrive. No thanks. I have to now use the completely over-engineered iTunes on the PC to sync music. If somebody hasn't done it, how about putting Windows Calculator on iOS. It is open source now. Having the same calculator on PC and W10M was awesome. And the Window's Calculator is best of class. Would love to have it on the phone. I also would love to see Alarms and Clocks on iOS. The default Clock app on iOS is pretty lame compared to the one on Windows 10 and W10M. These apps would make we feel more like I'm on my PC (which I love more than my phone).
  • The Windows 10 calculator IS available on iOS. It is called Uno Calc. All the same options, astonishing amount of conversions, etc. I assume it is on Android as well.
  • Hey, thanks naddy6969 for pointing that out!
  • I thought outlook was already over 100k? Anyway, if it's a success, how much money does it make versus how much was spent on development?
    Does it actively keep people in the paying service ecosystem, or using windows products? Clearly it's nessasary to have apps on android. But I guess success depends on how you define your goal. If the goal is simply to have a presence, sure.
  • This isn't an advantage for Microsoft, it's not like they are going to sell tons of the Duo. Having their apps on Android in general, of course, is a huge advantage, but they already have that. The Duo isn't going anywhere with its outdated 2 screens and what will almost certainly be very little developer support. Their first party apps will run great on it, so if you need pretty much Office on such a platform then it may work for you. I have a feeling that foldable phones, which of course MS will fully support, will make the Duo even more obsolete than it is today, and it's not even releasing for another year. If anything this may signal more of a decline in windows OS, which I have a feeling would be fine for MS as long as they were getting their profit from services and subscriptions. Microsoft seems like they are trying to hedge their bets either way with windows 10x AND android devices.
  • You'll be surprised by how Microsoft will partner with big dev. team and how other developers will adopt Windows 10X and UWP (since Adobe has chosen UWP for future development, see Adobe XD, Dimension and Fresco)