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Microsoft's mobile failures killed Windows phones and could hurt folding PCs

Windows phone enthusiasts and critics know that Microsoft's commitment to smartphones was wanting. That reluctance to fully commit echoed through Microsoft's former CEO Steve Ballmer's infamous dismissal of the iPhone in 2007. The 2010 three-year-too-late introduction of Microsoft's modern smartphone platform Windows Phone. To a lackadaisical commitment to development for the platform (the world's leading software company could have aggressively and creatively modeled Windows phone app development), to CEO Satya Nadella's failure "to make Windows Phones if no one else makes them" promise.

Microsoft's brand is strong. Surface is succeeding. Azure is generating billions of dollars in revenue and growing profoundly. HoloLens 2 is inspiring. Microsoft Teams is beating Slack. Office, Dynamics and Microsoft 365 are expanding and Xbox and game streaming are potentially positioned to win big (if all goes well) in the next evolution of gaming.

Still, Microsoft's spectacular failure in smartphones, a computing platform that (re)defined mobile computing and birthed an ecosystem of apps, developers, carrier relationships, ambient computing and more may negatively impact folding PCs as part of Microsoft's always-connected PC vison. Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates gave this indictment in a recent interview:

The greatest mistake is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is ... Android is the standard non-Apple phone platform.

The impact of this failure is already affecting Microsoft's non-phone efforts and the ripple effects may continue.

Unfolding Microsoft's problem in an always-connected world

Folding PCs (just like Surface Pro and Surface Go) are equal part laptop and tablet PC. If always-connected, expectations for the user experience in both configurations would be understandably high. The ability to access anything, and use any app anywhere is the appeal of an always-connected PC, tablet, or 2-in-1. And the potential versatility of folding PCs, particularly if always connected, is profound though the technology has barely scratched the surface. Sadly, Microsoft's smartphone failings and poor tablet UI have already impacted the user experience of Surface Pro, Surface Go, and other Windows 10 2-in-1s in tablet mode. Microsoft's app ecosystem falls short of the competition and Windows 10 on a tablet is crude compared to iOS on the iPad. This is a direct result of the ripple effects of Microsoft's dubious commitment to mobile.

Microsoft is committed to mobile, just not Windows-based smartphones. The company's always-connected PC investments, Project Centaurus, previous investments in Project Andromeda pocket PC, its support of 5G and push for edge computing with partners like ATT and Qualcomm reflect a commitment to making cellular PCs of various form factors computing's next step.

Smartphone enthusiasts may overlook this commitment, but mobile computing is a broad and evolving landscape of which smartphones are an important — but an increasingly less exclusive — part. Still, Microsoft failed to realize how important smartphones are to the success of its mobile vision, and to the evolution of the broader mobile computing landscape in which its rivals are investing.

Why Microsoft should fix its broken Windows 10 tablet mode

Mobile OS origins have an advantage in a mobile future

Microsoft failed to see how important smartphones were to its mobile vision.

Apple and Google are aggressively moving forward with smartphone (iOS and Android) and browser-based (Chrome) platforms that are becoming more powerful. These platforms have morphed into tablet and, to varying degrees, laptop-scenario operating systems. Conversely, Microsoft let Windows-on-phone languish. Consequently, the derivative app ecosystem, user interface, developers, carrier and consumers relationships and more that support touch-friendly mobile computing on non-phone form factors also suffered. Windows 10 on the desktop remains unmatched, but the increasingly important elements of mobile computing for context-sensitive, connected devices like Windows 10 2-in-1s and coming folding PCs are lacking.

Microsoft's phoneless mobile efforts are moving forward. The company continues populating iOS and Android with Microsoft apps and integrates them into its ecosystem via Azure, Your Phone, Microsoft Graph, Cortana and more. Partnerships with companies like Qualcomm and PC manufacturers bring PCs of various shapes, sizes and form factors to the cellular roadmap as always-connected PCs; and as such, the company inevitably ventures into territory dominated by our "always-connected-phones."

Following the breadcrumbs to convergence

Microsoft's smartphone failures can have a long-term impact on potential innovative and new always-connected mobile form factors. This is unfortunate since the company's commitment to ARM and cellular connectivity development made clear that it had a vision for mobile beyond smartphones. And even with current size differences, the lines are progressively blurring between what a smartphone does and what always-connected tablets or PCs do. As always-connected PC tech advances and smartphones become more powerful, companies are also bringing folding designs and category-crossing dimensions to PCs and phones that seem to point toward an eventual convergence of the two.

Samsung's Galaxy Fold and Huawei's Mate X unfold to become larger always-connected android "tablets" while Lenovo's folding PC foreshadows a future where Windows PCs may fold and unfold into always-connected Windows tablets. As more smartphones cross into the bigger tablet category and PCs potentially become just as connected as smartphones and OEMs inevitably pioneer smaller versions of folding ACPCs, the converging we see happening between phones and PCs now may become more complete.

Small always-connected folding PCs and large folding phones may become less distinct.

Simply put, when both phones and PCs are on the cellular roadmap, the differences between the two platforms are less clear. I am not predicting that this convergence of sorts will happen, but I'm considering the possibilities of where this technology may lead. We already see folding phones and PCs. And there is already a precedent of companies making smaller versions of larger computing devices.

The Surface Go is a miniature Surface Pro, GPD Pocket is a pocketable PC, Intel's Tiger Rapids concept PC is specifically intended to inspire OEMs to make nearly pocketable PCs. It seems inevitable that OEMs will apply the same logic used here to make smaller versions of folding Always Connected PCs. Sadly, if they do, the impact of Microsoft's smartphone failures may continue, as they have on Windows 2-in-1 tablets, to hamper the mobile experience of those future devices including potentially pocketable folding PCs.

Mobile is growing up

Apple, via numerous upgrades and the addition of mouse support, has made iOS on the iPad a more powerful PC rival. Combined with unrivaled developer support, analyst Jeff Lin's rumors of a folding iPad as an ACPC contender may have the superior tablet advantages iPads have over Windows devices today and offer a "laptop" experience good enough for most people.

Android tablets, though plagued with an inferior tablet experience than iOS, still have an app advantage over Windows tablet experience that make them a better tablet for many users.

See more

Thus, as mobile computing matures and broadens and Android and iOS-based phones and tablets continue their path toward convergence, they do so with the inherent advantages afforded them by the success of their smartphone platforms. Conversely, Microsoft may continue to reap the consequences of its smartphone failures though it and manufacturing partners may embrace mobile's evolution and move forward with new mobile form factors.

Windows Lite, PWAs and fighting for mobile

Windows Core OS, or Windows Lite, with an adaptable UI for different device types or device states (a folding PC in laptop mode or tablet mode), is expected to be the solution to Microsoft's tablet mode woes. Microsoft is betting on Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), which are hybrid app and website properties to address some of its app challenges in a connected world. This process is going slower than hoped. Furthermore, AI digital assistants like Cortana and bots on the intelligent edge, in conjunction with 5G, and ambient computing via a variety of embedded and intelligent devices is projected to replace some of the things we now turn to apps to accomplish.

Before these advances to our computing experiences come to pass — if they come to pass — the future of folding PCs is looming on the horizon, and unfolding before us. And that future will have to contend with Microsoft's past choices regarding smartphones. Bill Gates made the long-term impact of Microsoft's smartphone failures abundantly clear:

It really is winner take all…If you're there with half as many apps or 90% as many apps, you're on your way to complete doom. There's room for exactly one non-Apple operating system and what's that worth? $400 billion that would be transferred from company G to company M.

Folding PCs will likely be very versatile, powerful and offer some surprise applications that make them very appealing as desktop computing, notetaking, gaming and creative devices for art, music, teaching, and more. Still, in tablet mode as always-connected devices on an evolving mobile landscape, or as smartphones and PCs converge Microsoft's "app-less" smartphone legacy may keep folding PCs, big and small, from reaching their full potential.

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

77 Comments
  • I've always known Microsoft to be a Software Company. They made the Windows 10 Mobile available, OEMs were not interested. That's how I see it. Hardware manufacturers can push any Operating System if they want to. Windows is a success because of the OEMs and Microsoft. If the OEMs are not there, Microsoft can not make on their own.
  • This is why I think Windows phones failed. Microsoft was outwardly hostile to manufacturers and carriers, then wondered why they didn't get support from them. Microsoft's future platforms need to be open and inviting. Limited and hostile will not bring success.
  • They weren't hostile but they were arrogant in their pursuits. That's why Xbox is not bigger in Japan.
  • They were hostile. Forcing updates, allowing apps to be uninstalled, and mandating everything down the buttons and specific SoC while charging to use it would be hostile towards manufacturers and carriers. Especially when Android was totally free and open with just simple pre-installed app requirements.
  • Windows 10 Mobile failed bacause Microsoft decided to shut down production of Limias right after releasing Windows 10 Mobile. Many companies halted developement of Windows app after that decision.
  • It was failing long before that. Us fans just didn't want to see it
  • Windows Phone was struggling and failing. But it was alive. It could be a platform for the future devices. It had more useful apps than Windows 10 have now.
    And than it was killed by their creators.
    UWP is almost useless without phone. That's why companies are shutting dows their native apps on Windows.
    Without UWP future touch Windows devices are doomed.
  • Windows phone failed because they continually screwed over the developers. The underlying changes from CE 6.5 to 7 to to 8.1 to 10 were non trivial from a developer perspective. When it launched there was actually pretty good OEM support.
  • Windows mobile had 10% marketshare at one point. The way I see it, is that there isn't room for more than one non-apple smartphone OS. But smartphones will be old news in 10 years anyway. Screens will get bigger, user demand for richer features will increase, voice control will get better, ar will hit the consumer scene. Eventually smartphones will be one of techs historical footnotes, just like the PDA, and the t9 fliphone.
  • It never broke 3.5% market share worldwide. 10% only in specific markets that weren't useful.
  • Pre-Windows Phone Windows Mobile, before the iPhone and Android, peaked at over 40% of the market.
  • Well, first, I have yet to see a single concept or execution of foldables that is anything other than ugly crap. Folded, they are way too bulky and cumbersome and they do not fit in normal pockets. Unfolded they are far too small to be as useful as even smaller tablets (the SP line is pretty much perfect tablet form, IMHO). When a Surface Pro is too big for me to take with me, a normal smartphone is exactly the right size and form to be able to do a lot of what my tablet can do but without the physical excesses that would otherwise make it horribly inconvenient to carry. A smartphone that unfolds simply is a half-measure that in no way measures up. A device that sucks as a phone and sucks as a tablet is not a device I want to carry. The SP is as small as I find in any way useful when I need sufficient work capacity, and a 5 to 5.5 inch smartphone is as large as I want to carry when I don't need a tablet. Microsoft is a player in tablets. They are a NON-player in smartphones. I think it is laughable for anyone to contend that MS is committed to mobile and then use Android as the example. Their Android apps aren't nearly as good as the Windows phone versions, and Cortana is a complete joke on Android by comparison, having virtually none of the most important capabilities that exist on Windows phone. And this lame "Your Phone" app is just ridiculous. I need INTEGRATION, not liaison apps.
  • Microsoft isn't a player in tablets, they make laptops with removable keyboards. Very big difference.
  • Exactly, and no one wants a laptop with no keyboard attached. MS is lost.
  • Microsoft's "brand" is not indestructible. We've been saying this for years; the failures in the smartphone world will come back to haunt them as a company that makes consumer products. The "brand" will continue to decline in the perception of consumers and employees. As the brand declines, those individuals won't just be choosing to avoid areas of failure from Microsoft, they will associate the failures with the rest of the brand's offerings as well. Microsoft is on a path toward a world of hurt, and they don't seem to be acknowledging that. And yes, I know, Microsoft is still doing well financially because their enterprise services are still bringing in the revenue. But alternatives to most of Microsoft's offerings exist, and the way that tech changes affects the products and services employees need to produce things. I feel like I'm seeing less need for Microsoft's mainstay products in the business world nowadays. On the consumer side, think about this for a second: if Microsoft were to launch ANY consumer product right now, could they gain a dominant position in that market? When's the last time they released a new product capable of dominating a market segment? I think they will keep doing R&D and keep failing to release any dominant consumer product because their market research will tell them that users will not be receptive to it. P.S.: I know this is a largely negative take, but it's not about negativity from my standpoint. It is just what I feel is true based on individual, anecdotal observations.
  • lmao, in enterprise Windows and Office products are still kings and probably will be so for decades. Most governments use Windows and Microsoft products and they don't change easily. Now that companies are moving to the cloud services Azure is a close number 2 if it is not number 1 over AWS because the brand is known to be reliable in the enterprise. Specially since you can use Azure onsite as well as on the internet.
  • You’re making the case for Microsoft being the next IBM. Which is fine, but who is really talking about IBM anymore?
  • Microsofts brand is doing better than it has in years.
  • As the next IBM.
  • Well written Jason, been saying this for ages now. Microsoft must invest in the Universal Windows Platform because everything they are doing hinges on it, focusing solely on ios and android is and will be detrimental. They can do both as Microsoft has the funds to do so but they won't because it's easier to generate profits Quarter over Quarter to attempt to monetise the competition. It won't last as it enables the competition to grow and go into markets that Microsoft has a foot hold in for now. Which in a generation or two will be different if they don't focus on UWAs. It was premature of Microsoft to push for PWAs as the uptake of PWAs will be slow because they do not and cannot replace complex applications until such time mobile data connection is so ubiqitious and high bandwidth. Which is given the current geographical limitation as well as physical and practical issues won't happen any time soon. 5G requires too much equipment and is not economically viable as I said before the only practical place to install 5g equipment is lamp posts as that enables reach into households. Given the constant frequency and high levels of energy required (both electrical and kinectic) to make the millimetre wave "useful". To prevent this you will need a constant stream of waves and over time due to absorption (attentuation along other methods such as compton scattering etc) you will have cellular anomalies primarily because energy is never lost it is always converted through various factors. Anyone who has studied X rays or medical imagining as part of their science modules, will know that this is not an ideal scenario let alone safe. Additionally, 5g will also require building penetration so you need even more concentrated 5g waves to enable it become ubiqitous. Hence why Scientists (about 230+ from 41 countries) have been raising concerns over 5g - https://emfscientist.org/index.php/emf-scientist-appeal I'm touching on this briefly because I'd end up typing several novels. Sure, the bandwidth benefits of 5g allow for vast amount of data flow. The questions should be asked in my opinion:
    1) at what cost?
    2) where do we draw the line? At a certain point, compression must be utilised otherwise it will spiral out of control.
  • I think the point of the Xamarin buy was to put the dotnet framework into the Xamarin framework slowly so you could use it literally everywhere (iOS, Android and Windows) and Blazor was the door to the dotnet framework to the web (client, browser, etc)
  • 5G only really has problems with the MM wave frequencies. It also can run on any frequency supported by 4G. It won't be as fast, but still faster than LTE.
  • @BaritoneGuy True, by running on 4G supported frequency it would be in effect be 4.5G and it would may prove to be the next step as opposed to a straight move to MM wave frequences. This reminds me of the battle between WiMax and LTE.
  • It’s already clear that 5G companies are not going to be selling it like 3G/4G. AT&T and Verizon have already stated they plan to sell it the way cable companies sell data: based on speed tiers and data caps. So 5G isn’t going to mean anything as far as enabling new kinds of connectivity. Most people won’t be using it.
  • Without Windows on phones there will be almost no touch friendly apps. Without touch friendly apps all Microsoft's efforts to make mobile Windows devices are doomed. PWA in not a savior. It's just a straw they are trying to grasp. I can remember even some banking apps on Windows 8 tablet before Windows 10 Mobile disaster (premature death).
  • PWA’s are not gaining any traction on any platform, least of all Windows. The web is just an awful platform, and most developers only want to make iOS and Android apps, which is why Apple was forced to add iOS APIs to macOS. It’s time Microsoft forked Android, really.
  • I don't see how windows Phone failures is connecting to Folding PC's. When one company starts to make Folding PC's, others will follow and eventually gain popularity overall. Besides, MS mobile was never on the level of PC's and being totally different platforms where PC's by standard offer and allowing people to do more, both never spoke for another.
  • Foldable Android phone will have apps.
    Foldable iPad will have apps.
    Foldable Windows device will not have apps.
    Windows Phone had much more useful apps than Windows 10 have now. Because people don't need apps on desktop/laptop. That's why Windows Phone was so important for the future Windows devices to succeed.
    It was grave mistake to kill Windows 10 Mobile.
  • ipad maybe, it has 'apps' worthy of running on a bigger screen (not that x86 applications aren't 'apps'). But once the screen gets big, the need for 'apps' drops off a lot. Bigger the screen, the less they are needed. Folding essentially has the opposite effect to what you are saying, it lessens the need for small screen apps. It demands more complexity, and deep functionality.
  • Well said Fet, spot on. MS would have been wise to simply keep W10 mobile deivison and treat it like a small business. Devolope 2 phones (high and mid end) every 2-3 years to keep your user base. But for god sake, keep the division alive. Eventually, touch screens will evolve and you'll need your OS to be ready. Now Windows will have only desktop apps. What a waste by MS.
  • 1) No apps, no want. Simple as that. I don't want gimped PWAs or have to use the web browser.
    2) Ain't buying a new category Microsoft device until at least 4 generations of it when I know they are all in on the device.
  • PWAs when done right can be just as user friendly as native apps. In fact you probably couldn't even tell the difference. Web "apps" have already taken over in the enterprise, it's only a matter of time before they take over as the dominant platform for all new app development on the app stores too. Unfortunately for MS, I think "a matter of time" means ~ one full decade. So if MS and OEMs are waiting on PWA, they might be waiting a while.
  • No one is making PWAs for Android or iOS, and why bother making them for desktops? PWA=DOA The web is a god-awful platform, which is why no web-based OS has ever succeeded.
  • "No one is making PWAs for Android or iOS, and why bother making them for desktops?" There actually are more than a handful of apps that work on *both* mobile and desktop... Twitter, Starbucks, Hulu, Instagram, Google Maps, Uber, Lyft, Alibaba, Flipboard, Flipkart to name a few. "The web is a god-awful platform, which is why no web-based OS has ever succeeded." Chrome OS is rocking and rolling actually, in... EDUCATION: Chromebooks have all but completely taken over K-5 education market, and a large share of 6-12 education market. CONSUMER: Chromebooks are beginning to take hold in consumer as well with some folks who realize that 99% of what they do is in a browser. That's not me, or you probably, but it's a *lot* of ppl. ENTERPRISE: More worrying to Microsoft though is that Chromebooks are also showing up in the workplace. (https://cloud.google.com/chrome-enterprise/chromebooks/ scroll down to the bit about Charles Schwab). In reality *most* enterprise cube dwellers today could work solely from a Chromebook since nearly all enterprise apps these days are web apps, excepting Office 365. But there are web versions of O365 that work on a Chromebook or there is of course G Suite itself. I personally think Windows Lite is more about protecting Enterprise from Chromebook than anything else. And they would be right. Microsoft needs to answer this. Fortunately they seem to realize that.
  • I've been using twitter lite and uber for ages as PWAs. No difference at all.
  • Google is focusing on progressive web apps and have been doing so for years now. If they adopt this universal concept Windows will be on equal groung which is exactly why Google will not promote PWA's.
  • PWA isn't quite ready, and you have it backwards. With PWA, ChromeOS is on equal ground with Windows. PWA is Google's Trojan horse for ChromeOS.
  • I think the rapid rise in Android pretty much from its inception, and rapidly taking the lead over Windows Mobile, and then decimating Windows Phone, is due to Android being free to OEMs. OEMs love free. If Android was not free, things would have played out much differently. There are laws against this. It's called predatory pricing. Free is about as low as you can go. The world though is blind to free software as being illegal under current anti-trust predatory pricing due to a culture that embraces open source. US congress is currently looking at breaking up the big tech companies. I think predatory pricing is something they should enforce.
  • Android as most people know it isn’t free. To make a devices that access Google Play Store you have to pay to license Google Mobile Services, meet multiple requirements, and receive device approval from Google. Only in China, where Google apps are not allowed (and inside Amazon devices), will you find actually free versions of Android.
  • Was it like that in the early days of Android (e.g. 2008 - 2011) when determining platform domination mattered?
  • My goal is to be the last person in the world still using a Windows phone. I wonder how many more years it will take.
  • 6 years later, i'm still using windows phone 7.5/7.8, and have no intention of upgrading ever. later
    -1
  • Many carriers have turned off their 2G radios. It won’t be long into 5G that they will do the same for 3G, as several have already announced their roadmap for turning off 3G.
  • The problem is not software or hardware. The problem is poor marketing. Good marketing can sell poor products. Bad marketing cant even sell good products. Microsoft has had many good products that fail simply because of poor marketing. Microsoft simply need to fire and hire a new marketing firm and invest heavily in marketing.
  • Sad, but true.
  • Marketing only gets you in the door, you then have to perform. Marketing wasn't the issue, it was performance after the sale. People just didn't like Windows phones and Microsoft gave the manufacturers no tools to fix the issues.
  • the problem is one word commiting
    when you want to lead you put a plan a vision. its nice. but if you are not commiting to it you won't see success
    after change in leadership came a change in focus and vision
    sorry to say ******* haven't thought we cancel windows mobile but we will keep windows
    eventually they will loose even laptops not just 2-in-1 or foldables
    and windows os will become what MacOS today
    and i am windows developer and windows "fan"
    it sadebs me but this what will happen
  • Great article, Jason. There absolutely is a space for a pocket Surface device. Microsoft can crush it, if they go all in.
  • Filed under: ‘Gee, ya think?’
  • We can blame Gates if you like but it was Nadella who said Microsoft would build Windows phones if no one else did. The man has a history of saying one thing and doing another and his anti phone stance will be seen as killing off any attempts to make inroads on the mobile market. Sadly, Nadella has consigned Microsoft to a third place computing company in the medium term.
  • The sad part is I fully support nearly every other decision Nadella's made... Windows 10... growing Azure... growing the Surface line... Hololens... growing the 365 subscription model... purchasing Linked In... purchasing Xamarin... the release of VS Code.... doing a complete 180 on MS stance toward open source... saving Github... giving the green light to cross platform MS apps on iOS, Android, Chrome, and MacOS... Amazon Music, Spotify, Instagram, Alexa, iTunes, iCloud, Linux, and Desktop Bridge apps (even popular open source titles like Blender) on the MS Store... Gamepass... XCloud... support for PWA... WoA... heck even Edgium... But killing off mobile? Argh!
  • You could be right jp, but I disagree because these other things, in my opinion, will ultimately fail because there is no mobile string to the MS bow. Without it all the other, currently nice things, will drop by the wayside. Yes, Nadella has done some nice things but he has demonstrated a lack of long term vision. He should go, for that reason alone.
  • "Mobile is growing up" - No truer words could be spoken... in terms of tech. What should be equally, perhaps more, worrying than the "app gap" to future MicroSofties is the problems a mobile "developer gap" would prove in terms of future *cloud* revenues. It's developers who often outright make the decision, or greatly influence the decision, on which cloud platform will be the back end for the consumer and *enterprise* apps they build. If you're writing primarily Android apps why use an Azure cloud, why not just use Google's cloud?
  • Apples 'mouse support' on iOS is literally hilarious. What exactly is android and ios's 'path to convergence'? Are they turning into PCs? Nope. Are they getting bigger? Nope. Do they run desktop software, or have good AR or VR support? Nope. There's no path there. No one is going to want to run snapchat on a tablet the size of a gaming laptop screen, you don't need to worry about that for awhile re:windows. The whole point of a 'path' to something is that it's step by step. At least Windows has a path, it's the only platform other than maybe ChromeOS that does.
  • Either Microsoft makes a mobile device as well as takes initiative to improve the desktop platform or Google makes a desktop platform. I don't think Google is going to make a desktop platform. I think the internet is making everything regarding tech more platform agnostic. A smartphone running Windows Lite is one of the only things they could do. It would be the next logical progression of the Surface Line. This is where the enthusiasm is for Microsoft. Maybe they should come out with a Surface Lumia with just the basics because that is what a lot of people need. Then they could come out with an Android phone like the Surface Galaxy. I'm really not looking forward to the next Surface event because it is just going to be a refresh and they will probably say nothing regarding software. Also, the Surface line feels a little flooded. So Microsoft has a Surface Laptop which is a tablet with a hinged keyboard.
    Then they have the Surface Book which is a tablet with a detachable keyboard.
    Then they have the Surface Pro which is a tablet with an optional keyboard.
    Then they have the Surface Go which is a smaller tablet with an optional keyboard. Some things I would like to see at the next Microsoft consumer event. (This was initially a list for Build 2019.) removal of bloatware
    Surface Lumia phone
    building more apps for UWP
    finishing settings
    better tablet mode (write new software for a dock.)
    better privacy settings
    more about PWAs
    bringing back music
    consistent UI
    better integration with Google
    finish cleaning up the Windows 8 UI
    talk about OneCore
    talk about their interest in Rust
    display some of what the OEMs are working on or just innovation in the desktop form factor like the SFF Sentry 2.0
  • "Finish Settings" LOL, The fact that this has still not been completely converted to UWP 7 years after Windows 8 (Windows reimagined! with modern UI) was released just shows what a total S&*%show Microsoft's UWP "Platform" is. Microsoft can't understand why developers aren't writing new UWP apps or converting their existing software to UWP. Update from Build 2032: "We have almost completed converting all settings to use UWP! - We are super close and will probably have it completely finished by 2037!!!
  • You are assuming they have Build next year, let alone in a decade. Rumors already starting this year was the last Build.
  • So MSFT does not have touch centered apps. Fair enough. That does not mean a large folding android will be as productive as a windows based PC. But data is sitting in the cloud. I use AppFolio to run my business. I can use it to perform certain mobile tasks (like taking a picture and storing in the database structure easily). But I spend 90% of my time at my desk using AppFolio on my PC to get the job done. I have a surface pro and go. Use the Go about 30% of the time. I use the Pro to dock at my office and at my home. If the average replacement cycle of a smartphone is moving towards 4 years, then why do we think the mobile platform is going to somehow keep innovating at the hardware level? Build a more compelling reason to use the smartphone to run your business.
  • Does anyone really believe mobile app developers are going to rewrite code for some mythical windows phone that captures 1% of the market? That ship has sailed. Can MSFT with Azure and other initiatives bridge the gap between mobile and PC? Sure. Software is what MSFT does best.
  • Microsoft only listens to business, not consumers even though we are the same people who essentially want something slightly different to use when we're not working which is why I believe they definetly need to introduce a phone or somerhing very close to one with apps that are the save as other platforms or better. Cloud will continue to thrive but they need to avoid being a one trick pony
  • Agreed. So much potential owning the enterprise. Imagine every office having a landline phone like a Lumia 1520 and via Windows 10, it connects with all their info. A Secretary could simply grab a contact and send it to their boss w/o having to pick up their phone or email. That phone could take voice messages and companies could dump Avaya (saving money). Your windows mobile phone would be intergrated via the cloud. So much potential.
  • The organisation needs a CTRL + ALT + DEL.
  • I will just list all Microsoft software assets (that are WEB BASED) and dare someone to tell me how a foldable Surface device with LTE and ARM CPU that has a superior pen support will be a failure in Enterprise, Corporate, Businesses and Education: OneDrive - just f*cking use this for File Manager, it has literally everything. Just make it read local stuff and devices... You already have the f*cking UI... it's almost perfect and a complete File Manager office 365
    - onenote
    - outlook
    - sharepoint
    - to-do, sticky notes
    - word, excel, powerpoint
    * linkedin
    * github
    powershell
    * enterprise security and mobility
    * dynamics 365 integration
    AZURE + ML workbench, IoT SDK, Cognitive Services
    powerbi
    sql server, .net, visual studio, quantum sdk
    remote desktop
    teams
    vs code
    translator
    movies & tv, photos, groove music player
    chroimum powered edge with native notifications from sites
    whiteboard
    MR ready
    skype
    paint3d, calculator, alarms & clock, snip and sketch
    cortana
    your phone
    xbox
    weather + news + sports + money
    bing maps
    WSL and Bash Literally make a well crafted slim and light Surface device with all these bundled to a new lightweight Windows Lite/WCOS OS with an appropriate price tag and ARM CPU + LTE + Type C and TB3 and great camera and then we talk... ALL IT F*CKING NEEDS IS A SPOTIFY AND A FEW MOVIE STREAMING SERVICES AS APPS, BUT EVEN THESE ARE WEB BASED NOWADAYS (SPOTIFY AND NETFLIX ARE PERFECT IN WEB...)
  • "I will just list all Microsoft software assets (that are WEB BASED) and dare someone to tell me how a foldable Surface device with LTE and ARM CPU that has a superior pen support will be a failure in Enterprise, Corporate, Businesses and Education:" OK, It will take the dare - It will fail just like every other Microsoft "Pocketable PC with Telephony" aka phone, LOL. Microsoft has the following history after the iPhone was released:
    1. Fail
    2. Fail
    3. Fail
    4. Fail
    5. Fail
    6 Completely abandon "phones" - with Microsoft telling everyone they "need to go buy an iPhone or Android phone!"
  • Microsoft's strength in mobile devices is in 2 in 1 devices like the Surface Pro Tablet & Surface
    books. Their Surface Laptop's next model will up their Game. The "Centaurus" 2 touch
    screen foldable Tablet will be a niche sales device. it's strength is will come in how well
    it can run windows X86/Win32 legacy programs & the New PWA apps coming out. if the
    Centaurus can do what the original 2010 Courier tablet software could do it will be a nice
    auxiliary device to use. the big question is can Microsoft get many developers to write APPS
    for it. If Microsoft does not get many developers to make Apps for it then it must run x86/Win32
    PC programs & PWA's Pretty well to survive
  • Microsoft has Apps in it's Windows 10 "Microsoft store" The coming Microsoft Surface
    "Centaurus" device running Windows 'Lite" must be Able to Access & use the Apps &
    X86/Win32 PC Programs & the New PWA Apps that are being created these days by
    developers. if the Surface "Centaurus can do these things it will survive as a product
    because it will be useful to enough for People to buy. if Microsoft put a built in basic
    4/5 G feature phone inside the case of a model of the Centaurus it would be a product
    people would buy
  • The key to Microsoft mobility device... Not just mobile phone... lies to a composable shell that allow PWA adapt to what so ever foldable or non foldable mobility device.
  • Excatly what I think. First they need a great tablet mode, which could also boost their Surface tablet line und Windows tablets in total tu catch up to android on tablet. That would help to fill the store with touch friendly apps. Then they could think about foldables or phone.
  • The Motorola Razr V4 (if it's really as depicted in recent articles) with some kind of Windows 10 OS, would be a game changer.
    I think Nadella was wrong to kill Windows Phone/W10M.
    The many comments on this website to continue a mobile presence were completely ignored and that's a doggone shame.
    Since moving to an android phone, I installed the Microsoft Launcher......not bad, but still isn't a complete Office experience.
    Those who tried to push the narrative that "smart phones are dead" were wrong.
    There are some really good Android phones with a ton of apps - but I'm not interested in apps. I simply want a secure device that I trust with Office 365.
    Microsoft could still reclaim a leading role in the mobile market. But it's got to realize that in spite of all of its innovative ideas and really neat stuff, they still need their own smart phone.
  • Building it as they go is what it looks like to me. Finalizing the cut off of smartphones and windows 10 mobile to me was more of a business move and honestly was a good one. I have a feeling that they had no road map once that happened. They are only waiting and unless business declines may not even venture any where else other than what they are used to...
  • I ***loathe*** the whole all or nothing thought process of it all because go to hell... 😒
  • Hi. You’re all smarter than me but I’m sad. Why? I just read that Windows is ONCE AGAIN abandoning mobile telephony. I’m a geek, my wife is the organized one. About 12 or 13 years ago I bought her A Samsung Blackjack at AT&T. She used the heck out of it, shortly thereafter around Windows mobile 5 Microsoft abandoned their mobile platform. She went IPhone and never looked back, me, I was an early adopter of Windows phone and LOVED my Nokia Lumia 900, until, no upgrade for you Mr. Faithful, your hardware won’t support where we’re heading so deal with it. I wrote a lengthy post on WC years ago about how I thought Windows Mobile telephony would thrive but I was wrong.... very wrong. Microsoft was SOOO LATE to the game they couldn’t pull off the come behind win. They made consumer and vendor marketing foibles galore...and they will suffer in that market segment. Today, if my wife is away from her phone, she takes her texts and/or calls on her IOS pad which sync... that’s functional. She had a 10 laptop since she’s bilingual and I have my Surface RT (/-8) and 10 desktop. My point really? Microsoft needs a clear vision and they need to act on it. No more complimentary OS upgrades as a global apology for thing like Windows 8. “It’s better to burn out than to fade away”
  • Windows Lite may well be suitable for mobile devices but Microsoft and partners really only have PCs. Windows tablets barely exist and mobile phones don't exist at all. It's a good play but it is only in one space - simple app orientated PCs for normal people. The vertical markets will still want PCs with full Windows. The failure of mobile phones was more than just mobile phones. It continues to roll on. It reduced the Microsoft service ecosystem and removed Microsoft from consumer products. It ended a universal apps platform that was really not very universal. It made it impossible for Microsoft to compete in the growing payments area and contactless payments via mobile. It removed a generation of developers who look to Android and IOS. Cortana was never really properly available globally has retreated to being barely usable for consumers. It now is a business aid and a front end for cloud enabled services. Microsoft is a desert with occasional tumbleweed for the consumer. The good news is abandoning consumer is great for business and shareholders. The share price and market capitalisation has rocketed. Microsoft's mobile failure has made it an enormously profitable company. Boring but rich.
  • Why do you think they might be done with smartphones. There's a 5
    device surface event this October.
  • “Android is the standard non-Apple phone platform.” Apple is also the standard non-Android platform. If you don’t want one, you HAVE to choose the other. Both are standards.
  • In 2016 when I got my Lumia 950 XL I had apps and more came as the UWP was embraced. However, when MS announced a full stop in 2017 it started to go downhill. I still look at my Lumia and it works. One felt secure and connected to a PC with this Lumia 950 XL. Now I use a Samsung Galaxy S10 with Microsoft Launcher installed.
  • I cannot see why I would buy a mobile device from Microsoft again after the major failure with Lumia 950 XL Windows 10 mobile phones. Samsung Galaxy S10 with Microsoft Launcher and Microsoft apps installed works better and could actually be called the real surface phone.