Perfect (Windows) 10 Part III: Microsoft's Mastermind CEO Satya Nadella & flagship phones

This is all thanks to communications from Satya Nadella at the end of Microsoft's 2015 fiscal year. Well, thanks to his redundancy at that time.

Instant Replay

Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, by way of three memos, an interview with respected industry watcher Mary Jo Foley and an earnings call, clearly repeated the vision he presented in his July 10, 2014, memo.

Yes, the answers that have satiated the appetites of hungry Microsoft watchers this year can be found in a year-old memo.

Oh, wait. You thought the Nokia write down, the end of the low-end Lumia push, and the strategies surrounding a focused portfolio of first-party value, flagship, and business phones was new information?

Au contraire mon frere. Nadella made much of this very clear in his 7/10/14 vision-setting memo last year.

But being human, we simply forgot or missed it entirely. So when Nadella began executing against his vision this year, based on last year's pronouncements and coupled with shameless repetitions of what he said in 2014, many saw something new. Analysts saw a new strategy, investors saw a new opportunity, writers saw a new headline and enthusiasts a new hope. Nadella? He just saw his old plan coming together.

We've discussed the Nokia write-down and the low-end push and value phones. Before we address flagships let's quickly revisit the type of leader we believe Nadella to be.


If you've followed this series, you realize that I've surmised that Nadella is a mastermind. Not the fictional villain that likely came to mind when you first read the word. As seen below I'm using the Myers-Briggs personality type (INTJ -Introvert, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging) as the basis for this classification.

"INTJs (Masterminds) radiate self-confidence and an aura of mystery, and their insightful observations, original ideas, and formidable logic enable them to push change through with sheer willpower and force of personality. At times it will seem that INTJs are bent on deconstructing and rebuilding every idea and system they come into contact with. Employing a sense of perfectionism and even morality to this work – everything should be open to questioning and reevaluation. And, if they see a way, INTJs will often act unilaterally to enact their technically superior, sometimes insensitive, and almost always unorthodox methods and ideas. And every idea must pass. Is this going to work?"

As before, this sounds like Nadella to me.

Flagships…Wherefore art thou?

As noted in part II Nadella's first year as CEO saw the execution of a mobile strategy where Microsoft pushed into all corners of the globe. Redmond drove Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments "in the near term".

Clearly, Nadella understood that the preclusion of flagship Windows Phones from the near term line up of devices during his first year would not settle well with enthusiasts. But he took a measured risk with this short term strategy, trusting that his long-term vision would accommodate the passions of Microsoft's enlisted fans.

He concluded that the rewards of investing resources into building as broad a base of Windows 10 compatible devices as possible outweighed what little benefit the platform would have gained diverting resources towards a flagship phone during FY15.

I believe that Nadella considered the following as he committed to this course.

  • Diverting resources toward a flagship device during FY15 would have reduced the amount of Windows 10 Mobile compatible devices he could get into the hands of users ahead of the release of the platform.
  • The market hadn't been enamored by Windows Phones. At 3% market share, they were barely noticed. A high-end device would have certainly flopped (as all other high-end Windows Phones had) against Apple and Samsung's flagship phones during Q2 of FY15 and beyond.
  • The enthusiast portion of the Windows Phone market share would have been the primary demographic to purchase a flagship phone had one released. In addition to the negligible amount of devices that would have sold to those people, the hardware would not have been able to support forthcoming Windows 10 Mobile features like Windows Hello and Continuum. Hardware capable of supporting these features wouldn't be arriving until Q2 of FY16.

Thus, conceivably less than a year after enthusiasts will have invested in a new flagship, the latest and greatest Windows 10 Mobile devices would be released. These would be devices fans would love. But many who would have purchased pre-Windows 10 flagships would have found themselves stuck in a situation with an 'outdated' phone.

The more, the merrier, no fan left behind

Nadella wants as many enthusiasts to invest in the new Windows 10 flagships as possible. They will, after all, be the ones to champion Windows 10 phones. He couldn't risk satiating their appetites with an 'appetizer flagship' that could potentially preclude their investment in the new phones when they launched months later.

Additionally, he couldn't risk embittering enthusiasts after the new phones launch. Positive commentary would be critical from this vocal group of enlisted fans to help promote the new platform.

In my estimation, Nadella measured the cost of the current negative "no-flagship" sentiment from fans pre-Windows 10 Mobile, as less detrimental to goodwill than negative post-Windows 10 Mobile sentiment could be. If fans felt burned by investing in new pre-Windows 10 flagships when Windows 10 phones launched just months later, that sentiment could muddy the message of the new platform.

Sure the way of technology is such that your newest toy is made "obsolete" just months after purchase. But in regards to the industry-first, transformative advent of Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile flagships, Nadella knew that no fan would want to be left behind of this historic shift. Nor could he afford to leave anyone behind. Not because of some loyal, Marine-type, "no man left behind" sentiment. No. His strategy required it. He needs us.

To fulfill his vision, Nadella needs to bring everyone along. Consider. By way of the low-end push, the market would be saturated with Windows 10 Mobile compatible devices on the low-end.

On the flip-side, by withholding flagships until Windows 10 Mobile is ready, virtually all high-end hungry enthusiasts will be primed and ready to tote Windows 10 flagships at launch.

This strategy ensured that the optimal number of Windows 10 phones (from the low-end to the high-end) would be in the hands of the greatest number of users soon after the launch of the new platform.

Eyes wide shut

Before we wrap up, I'd like to revisit some of the messages that have captivated the industry of late. Investors, enthusiasts, writers alike seem seduced by a belief that Microsoft has a new mobile strategy. They can't be blamed entirely. Nadella did seem to infer by way of a 7/8/15 memo, 7/14/15 interview and a 7/22/15 earnings call that there is a shift in strategy to address Microsoft's mobile woes.

Naturally, considering the state of Windows Phone over the course of Nadella's first year, the industry must have been anticipating a change of some sort. He had proclaimed a bold and ambitious vision on 7/10/14 after all. A vision that, by the estimation of some, had clearly failed.

Take particular note, below, of what Nadella offers as responses to an audience expecting a change in his strategy. Then compare that to what he said on 7/10/14. I've bulleted the quotes for easy comparison.

7/8/15 Nadella sent an email themed "Sharpening business focus" that followed a 6/25/15 memo titled "Aligning our strategy and structure".

"In the longer term,

  • Microsoft devices will spark innovation,
  • create new categories
  • and generate an opportunity for the Windows ecosystem more broadly.
  • Our reinvention will be centered on creating mobility of experiences across the entire device family including phones."

On a July 22, 2015, earnings call Nadella offered the following regarding high-end devices, when asked about Microsoft's phone strategy:

"You have seen some of the numbers, some of the progress we have made in Surface. I feel that we have a formula there that I would like to apply more broadly in terms of growing, just delivering innovation, growing our economic return for it,

  • stimulating demand,
  • creating categories,
  • all of that is what I want to do broadly. It applies to phones. It applies to Surface. It applies to HoloLens, and that is how I view it."

In an interview published on 7/14/15 Mary Jo Foley asked the following:

"…now what we're doing with phone is more like what you're doing with Surface. Your phones are going to be more of like showcase devices for what Windows Mobile can look like on a phone."

To which Nadella responded,


Bold Ambition

Now, within the contexts in which they were presented all of the above messages seem to communicate a new focus for Microsoft's mobile efforts. But as the title, "Aligning our strategy and structure", of the 6/25/15 memo communicates, Nadella was just bringing the firms structure in line with a strategy communicated a year earlier. A strategy that many had forgotten.

Allow me to remind you. You'll notice below that Nadella simply repeated, above, everything he shared with us one year ago on 7/10/14.

  • "Our first-party devices will light up digital work and life. Surface Pro 3 is a great example – it is the world's best productivity tablet.
  • In addition, we will build first-party hardware to stimulate more demand for the entire Windows ecosystem.
  • That means at times we'll develop new categories like we did with Surface. It also means we will responsibly make the market for Windows Phone, which is our goal with the Nokia devices and services acquisition."
  • ...we will obsess over reinventing productivity and platforms. We will relentlessly focus on and build great digital work and life experiences with specific focus on dual use.
  • Our cloud OS infrastructure, device OS, and first-party hardware will all build around this core focus and enable broad ecosystems.
  • ...Computing is ubiquitous and experiences span devices"...

Stimulating demand, enabling broad ecosystems, creating new categories, mobility of experiences, first-party hardware (phones) following the Surface model, etc. are all part of the vision Nadella shared last year. They are also all things Nadella recently presented to inquiring minds asking about a new mobile strategy.

Thus, because the year-old message was forgotten we've seen reports claiming an alteration of strategy and that now Microsoft will be following the Surface model with their first party hardware.

Folks, though Nadella's recent messages have gone over well with industry watchers, in truth, we've read it all before because he said it all before.

Yes, our long-awaited flagships (and value and business phones) were always destined to follow the pattern of the esteemed Surface model. Always.


Finally, there is no alteration of course. There is rather the execution of short-term objectives of a year-old vision. I do believe that Nadella has contributed to the perception that there has been a strategic shift when he felt that that perception benefited how Microsoft is seen in the industry. And he has done this while steadily executing his long-term vision without interruption. Mastermind

Jason Ward

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!

  • Great insights as always. Even got the wherefore=why part down.
  • @someone2639 Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed! :-)
  • @Jason Ward:
    This is so much awful lip-service I might almost forget my good breeding.
    Ignoring the trail of slime you cover the persona of Satya Nadella in, I just engage with the most glaring of your unjustified and non-proven assumptions:
    A) How do you know all Windows Phone/Mobile afficionados will love the new flagship devices?!
    So far the drawbacks (on-screen buttons; cheap build quality, that can no longer be compared to the legendary sturdiness of "classic" Nokia Windows Phones) enrage me so much, that they outweigh potential benefits (decent camera; SD card slot; swappable battery) by a wide margin.
    B) Nadella cancelling the last Windows Phone 8.1-flagship was the most awful thing to ever happen. Some people can not afford to buy every device of their liking off-contract. Microsoft didn't force anyone's hand to buy a pre-Windows 10 Mobile-flagship. But getting the last Windows Phone 8.1-flagship one year before the release of Windows 10 Mobile would've been the perfect opportunity to make a fully informed decision, knowing it won't support all the new shiny features of Windows 10 Mobile; but providing the user with time to watch the development of OS and hardware. This would've allowed a more informed and laid-back decision which Windows 10 phone to get finally, in case you don't like the 2015 devices. And judging by the reaction so far, I'm not the only one who has strong doubts about the upcoming Windows 10 mobile flagships.
  • You could have disagreed with the points Jason was making without being such a dick. " I might almost forget my good breeding." Thats prety funny.
  • @Visa Declined:
    Quite an accomplishment for someone who (in contrast to me) didn't mind to keep his manners, to tell me to not be such a dick...
    Way to go!
  • I'm just curious, but why do you presume to know how "cheap feeling" the two upcoming flagship devices are before they have ever been released, and by only looking at rather shaky renders that someone who isn't related to Microsoft at all likely created? And why do you seem to assume that having on-screen soft keys instantly makes a phone less desirable? Sure, there are pros and cons to them all, but many people can--and do--make an argument against capacitive soft keys. And what good would releasing a Windows Phone 8.1 flagship have done? The OS wasn't ready to stand up to Android or iOS at that point, because it had no future plan to draw developers to it. Windows 10 Mobile may or may not be a better operating system, but it at the very least as several plans set in place to make it easier for developers to create apps for Windows 10 Mobile and to lure those developers closer. Spending the inevitable millions developing, releasing, distributing, and marketing a proper "flagship" only to watch its sales flop as the current Windows enthusiasts couldn't or wouldn't get it either because of carrier issues, happiness with their current Windows 8 flagships, or belief that something better is just around the corner wouldn't have been worth it to Microsoft or Nadella. It would only have tarnished their reputation more to have a flagship that they spend so much money on fail because Windows Phone 8.1 isn't up to par.
    Of course, this is all my opinion, but it still irks me that you would be so arrogant as to throw off your own opinions as fact, as well as being rude for no apparent reason. There's no reason to it. If you would like to let the world know your own opinions, then say them. But as opinions, and not fact, and with consideration for who you're talking to. Thank you. Have a lovely day.
  • @Zachary Bodds:
    Of course I don't KNOW the exact level of build quality right now.
    In argument A) I was making an educated GUESS about the build quality, judging from the entry level like look of the "flagship" devices. They look comparable, so if their build quality is comparable, it would be subpar for a flagship.
    My opinion against onscreen buttons is founded in using such a device for three quarters of a year, a time full of inconveniences happening (accidental presses on the Windows button, forced app closings by simply pressing the back button once) never before with a device with capacitive buttons.
    Considering argument B). Again: I would've loved getting a Windows 8.1-flagship one year prior to the launch of Windows 10 mobile, knowing FULLY WELL that it would only support a subset of Windows 10 mobile's features after the update; but keeping that device for another year would've granted ample time to have a look which better, full featured Windows 10 mobile devices are around the corner and to decide which device to get next.
    Now I feel forced to get either Lumia 950 or 950 XL despite my concerns, because we don't know what to expect down the road. Additional suspicion they might be the last Windows flagship phones if Nadella is not pleased with the sales figures adds up onto the pressure.
    Do you people actually read? Mr. Ward was the one insinuating that everyone would be loving the flagships. Calling him out for that blind audacity was kind of exactly my point in argument A). All my statements were always meant as my opinion. Where exactly did I try to sell my opinion as a fact?!
  • Ignoring everything else you said for just a moment, I'd like to point out that everything you said was labeled "this is" or "it is" and, no, you never explicitly exclaimed anything you said was fact, but the syntax was the same. Never did you say "this is what I think" or "this is my opinion" or "but you're entitled to your own opinions." Now I understand your arguments, but honestly I don't agree. Just my opinion. Although, yes, in a perfect world Microsoft would release annual updates to their flagship devices and they would be equal and/or greater to any other flagship on the market, it just doesn't work like that. Microsoft does not have infinite resources and it would've required a great deal to design, build, produce, distribute and market a proper flagship device, when Microsoft already has Windows 10, the Surface line, many software products and research projects, and the new Windows 10 Mobile operating system to look after. After a very expensive acquistion (which, by the way, I believe was quite well-founded and a necessary purchase), Microsoft--and in extension, Satya Nadella--had to make decisions about where to cut corners and where their priorities lay. Nadella needed a direction to focus, so he acquired Nokia to take direct control of Microsoft's own mobile operating system and seek to reverse the damage that Nokia had inadvertently done by releasing numerous mobile devices. Yes, many Nokia-labeled devices were released after Microsoft had acquired Nokia and more Microsoft-labeled devices that didn't make sense but all of those were Nokia projects and Microsoft couldn't waste those resources, and, as Mr. Ward stated, Nadella wished to flood the market to put Windows Phones in more hands. Slowly, as the acquisition of Nokia became more stable and more natural to Microsoft, the Lumia line was slimmed down to the essentials, and Microsoft started focusing on every device, to make it the best it could be, such as the rather fantastic Lumia 640. During this time period of Nadella attempting to stem the tide of native Windows Phone releases yet use the released device to his own good, Nadella had to decide whether the resources required to build a flagship device was worth it. If he did it, he'd have to divert resources from other, more important projects. Remember, Microsoft is, in the end, a business, and they have to make money. Surface makes Microsoft money. Lumia does not. So, remember, the focus for Nadella is not the already presumed-failure Windows Phone 8.1, but Windows 10 Mobile. If Nadella's plan to push Windows 10 Mobile fails, Windows Phone as a platform fails, so Nadella, instead of diverting resources to less important projects such as a flagship phone that wouldn't have been on par with current devices anyways and would've flopped without a redesigned operating system and refreshed plan to capture developers' attention, he focused instead on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. Again, this is just what I have percieved over my observations and from my own personal experience, but I just want you to realize that there is logic behind Mr. Ward's argument, even if I don't agree with everything he says.  
  • @WindowsPhoenix You are conflating your personal 'opinion' of what you think should of happened, with facts of what did happen and why they happened.    
  • @WindowsPhoenix Thanks for your response. In response to question A, "How do you know all Windows Phone/Mobile afficionados will love the new flagship devices?!" The answer is I don't. As I did throughout this series I either included direct quotes from Nadella or alluded to something he said. That statement regarding flagships fans would love was actually a statement that Nadella made regarding his faith in the these devices. My statement in the contect you read it in was alluding what Nadella said. B) Regarding the point of the cancelled McLaren. I don't think any enthusiasts, self included were not disappointed. I had spoken to someone in Microsoft a few months before the cancellation and things really sounded promising. It was a disappointment to hear of the cancellation. The McLaren, had it launched would have brought some new things to the table - in the way of 3D touch. One thing to keep in mind about flagship Windows Phones, is that though at this point it will likely only be enthusiasts who purchase them (even if one launched last year) is that bloggers, journalists and industry watchers he can influence the general publics perception of the devices will certainly write and vlog about them. So just consider. had a flagship launched last year, there would have been nothing "new" or uniqie about the device to make it stand out. We(fans) will have bought what certainly would have been a well-speced device but in comparison to iPhone 6/Plus and the Galaxys from last year - writers, journalists and vloggers would have found it uninspiring. Those articles and videos which would have likely slammed what would have been perceived by consumers as Microsofts "best attempts" could have really hardened the hearts of potential users when Windows 10 would come along months later. By foregoing a flagship last year Microsoft almost certainly avoided what could have been really negative press heading into the unified Windows 10 launch(es). As it stands now, Windows 10 is off to a great start and is being perceived well by users (iOS and Android alike). That positive Windows 10 momentum could be used by MS to help promote Windows 10 phones (with no recent negative press that a failed flagship could have brought). Sure the wait irked the enthusiasts, but it may prove more beneficial to the platform as a whole. Time will tell.
  • @Jason Ward:
    If you say the statement regarding Windows Phone fans loving the new flagships was alluding to something Nadella said, then I'll take your word for it. From your choice of words it looked like a conclusion of yours to me. It might have helped if you added an "as Nadella expected" into the sentence.
    I have a little trouble understanding your standpoint regarding the cancelled Windows Phone 8.1-flagship. You said it would've supported 3D-Touch. And you said any new flagship would need to bring to bring something new or unique, that fans could love and jounalists could write home about. 3D-Touch would've fitted that bill perfectly in my opinion. So I still don't understand the justification for the cancellation of the last Windows Phone 8.1-flagship.
    (I'm sorry for my late answer, but I wanted to find some time to reread parts of your original piece.)
  • @WindowsPhoenix I apologize I should have been more clear in my response. When I began referring to flagships "not being released" last year to now, I was excluding the aforementioned McLaren which we had already established was cancelled but would have certainly brought something distinct to the table. In light of the fact that MS cancelled that device particularly for the reason the 3D touch tech wasn't ready for prime-time, my discussion had progressed beyond that device, excluding it,I was speaking in reference to any device MS would have brought to the table would not have possessed anything to truly boast about as a differentiator and turn heads. Its best bet since the dropped McLaren has been the unified platform of Windows 10 and the features such as Continuum, universal apps and Hello that it brings in tow. Thanks for the response. PS: Here's the quote from Nadella 7/8/15 memo that I alluded to regarding flagships fans would love: "We’ll bring business customers the best management, security and productivity experiences they need; value phone buyers the communications services they want; and Windows fans the flagship devices they’ll love."
  • @Jason Ward:
    Alright, I was focussing on the McLaren concept, because it was the only potential Windows Phone 8.1-flagship I heard about.
    I really appreciate that you took the time to engage in further discussion of the topic.
    But I have to say that I remain skeptical about the upcoming Windows 10 Mobile flagships and, in consequence, remain skeptical about Nadella and his leadership decisions.
  • I want flagship!
  • Haha, yeah, I'm really sick of reading/discussing all of this. Show me don't tell me, Microsoft.
  • They have already showed you. Wait a month.
  • Lets see how well those mid-range-looking flagships will sell in USA...
  • Maybe those leaked renders are false. Just some early work done by Nokia. It could be a brilliant move by a mastermind like Satya Nadella to leak false renders to the press so they could catch everyone off guard when they release 2 new flagships with a brilliant new design thats gonna rock everyone's world this October ;-)
  • This was my exact thought last week when I saw those renders.
  • Then you sadly haven't seen the surface phone leaks. Incredible looking device.
  • The fact that Microsoft did not denied those leaks (and the apk uploader too) let me think it's all sadly true :(
    I'm still hoping to see a super top metal Surface Phone at the level of iphone6/GS6 Edge for Xmas, or it's simply too late (in my huble opinon).
  • You are joking right? The surface phone leak is incredible.
  • @Michael Bennink:
    Here's to feebel hoping...
  • Paul Thurrott said the renders are genuine and from Microsoft.
  • @venetasoft:
    You're very generous by calling them "midrange-looking"...
    Actually they look like Microsoft's entry level devices (Lumia 5xx, 6xx).
  • Incorrect. Only leaks so far.
  • We aren't talking about the leaks. I'm very much right. We are getting new flagships. And the Win. central team has seen them lol.
  • Uh, we haven't seen anything yet. Only an unfinished OS and exactly 0 new devices. Yes, there are leaks and rumours but MS haven't showed us shit yet.
  • Nothing is rumors based on win central. They have seen them.
  • They've never said that. All they've said is that their 'source' for the specs is reliable. Show me the article where they said they've actually seen the final product. The point is also that MS themselves haven't shown us anything at all. We can only assume the information is good, but until then we don't kmow for sure and we're still waiting for them to show us.
  • Go look at every article Daniel wrote. That is plenty of examples. He has seen them.
  • Just provide 1 example. I read practically every article on here and I've never read he has physically "seen them". Even with the 'leaked' renders, they never said 'yep, exactly what we saw!'
  • Seriously it's your fault if you don't know what everyone else does. I'm not going to scroll back through hundreds of posts to appease you. Do it yourself.
  • The burden of proof is on you, since you're making the claim, and if it's in "every article Daniel wrote" it would be easy for you. I can't very well go hunting for something I don't even believe exists. It's okay, I'll just call you a liar and move on.
  • Naw man, then feel free to move on. It is now up to you to find that proof. No point in me trying to find something out of the hundreds of articles. Everyone else on here knows it, don't try and make me fall for you innocence, that is your own problem.
  • Yeah, and everyone else here knows it's not true. See? I can make up things too. Curious that he didn't mention, even once, that he'd physically seen them in this article. It would be easy to say "sadly these leaked renders are 100% accurate as we've seen them in person", but he didn't say that and they have never have claimed it. This article has this quote "I have personally seen internal documentation about both these phones, including images and specifications, I have also spoken to sources who have seen and examined Cityman aka Lumia 940/950 XL in person" - which just proves my point. They've seen reliable documentation including some images and specs - which could mean anything. It doesn't state they include actual photos of the final product, and clearly implies they haven't seen them in person as they had to rely on 3rd parties for that feedback.
  • It's not making up anything, it is true. Everyone here knows that and talks about it in the comments ALL the time. The writer of this article has never said they've seen it. I did specifically say Daniel. Seeing I.ages of the devices is proof enough. And having Microsoft sources who have worked on and seen is also proof enough. You are alone in this argument. There is no point for you to continue.
  • Stop saying "everyone knows that" like it's some claim of truth. I pointed to two articles by Daniel and in both he didn't claim to have seen them. You and "everyone else" are just blowing smoke out of your arses.
  • If they've seen them no doubt it was under NDA and they would be legally obligated to keep that undisclosed. What they've read and heard outside of an NDA is something theyare able to disclose. Think about it. Some people just enjoy arguing and I suspect you are one of those people.
  • Right. Some people just blindly believe anything non-reputable people say, and I suspect you are one of those people.
  • No, I believe the facts, and the facts are that people here have seen them. THe fact that you don't know that is based on your own ignorance. There is LITTERALLY no point for you to continue arguing becausey you are plain old wrong. Just stop, you've already gone so far down the hole it's not even funny.
  • The interesting thing about facts is that they can be proven, and you haven't proven anything except repeating "everyone knows" like a simpleton. I provided evidence that they haven't seen them, so you are just believing whatever other people have told you and blindly accepted it as truth. I couldn't give a rats arse what you think is true, when all evidence presented thus far (i.e. mine) indicated they've only seen docs and not the final products. If you can prove otherwise I'll happily eat my words.
  • Facts can be proven, but since it is so easy to comment on this I'll just keep doing that. I'm not going to waste my time looking at other articles for your sake, I know the truth hundreds of others know the truth that's what matters. Your ignorant. Besides that, the quote from Daniel's post is proof enough in itself. You arguing against it is in itself your opinion, which ignores the facts of what it says. They have in fact seen pictures they are legitimate, they have seen the devices them selves, that is proof end of story, STOP.
  • Everyone knows the moon is made of cheese, but that doesn't make it a fact. The quote from Daniel said clearly they had to rely on other people for their impression of the actual device, which he wouldn't need had he seen it - that is a fact, and you haven't proved otherwise despite reiterating the same thing endlessly. You're just too naive, lack the capacity to follow a simple logical explanation, and just believe what others falsely claim to be true.
  • Um.... your logic is false... and you sound like a troll.  YOU made the statement that it was there, YOU should be able to back up your assertion. Your attempt does not even make interal sense.  IF you must troll... troll in style, not stumble around hoping you can create issues.
  • You are joking right? Lol.
  • Folks if you're reading this in the app, don't forget to check out the included "sharable" sway which brings the current parts of this series together in one one place!
  • Thanks for pointing that out. I would have missed it.
  • @Fail_Safe No problem.:-)
  • @Jason-Ward Thanks for pointing Sway out on the Windows Central app, but I can't seem to find the "sharable" sway in the article.  I open the article and see Read - More - Comments.  Is it located in the More section?  Any help is greatly appreciated.  It's great windowscentral is using sway!  I'm really interested in seeing how it's used.   Thanks! 
  • @JerrySmithill Thanks for your interest. There are a couple of ways to see it.
    1) You can open the article in the browser and view the embedded Sway at the end of the piece.
    2) You can swipe to "More" and choose "View Links"...Go all the way to the bottom to "External Links"
    3) Here you go: :-)
  • Sorry to be a grammar twat but: You're*
  • I also wonder why the Americano use "your" for "you're", and "then" for "than".
  • Sadly, it's not an American thing exatly.  It's more of an "internet and smartphones dumbing down the world thing".
  • @Jason Ward:
    What for?
    Sway works like sh*t in Internet Explorer!
  • @WindowsPhonix Your feedback to the Sway team can be facilitated through established feedback channels. The team is very appreciative of feedback from users. If you have not shared your assessment of Sway on IE with the team I encourage you to do so. Let's make products better.:-)
  • I see Windows Phone market share dropping down further, with nothing but a likely more expensive, heavier and thicker plastic flagship, to counter all the chinese $300-400 high-end phones with great cameras, processors, displays and designs.
  • Who knows?
    If a flagship is no beatiful like a 930 it will confirm that Satya is not a mastermind, but a politician put there to destroy ms
  • And there's the problem with most smartphone users. They have no clue what they are getting, just as long as the numbers are higher and it looks prettier (which is subjective anyway). And the looks thing is foolish since so many people just wrap the thing in a case anyway. If more people knew what they were buying, like really understaood it, the smartphone business would be very different.
  • I would never, ever, put my 1520 in a case, because it looks amazing, I'd do the same with any phone that was aesthetically pleasing. So far I haven't seen anything from Microsoft that seems like its at all geared towards windows phone in the last god knows how long.
  • And what does the looks of the phone do to increase functionality? I mean it's not like they have designs that would physically harm you, or that they were trying something new and made a completely outlandish design. I don't know, I guess I'm a function over form type of guy. If the phones do what they claim, and the app library continues to grow, it's a success to me. Other people can stare in awe at their Note 5 with broken pens, or their iPhones while Apple deletes stuff from it.
  • Finally! Someone speaking sense about form over function. It irks me how many comments are about how ugly the flagships are and how it's time to jump ship becuase the phone isn't pretty. What an absolutely stupid reason for dropping the windows phone for an Android or iOS phone. If it fits in my hand comfortably,and I can still put it in my pocket, I don't care if it's made out of titanium or polycarbonite. If I get continuum, a good solid rear and front facing camera, and I can make phone calls (as well as the other standard windows phone features), I'll take it.
  • every other phone on the market looks pretty much the same, other than the galaxy s6 edge. Microsoft new phones do not look like other devices on the market and when you hold it in your hand you will not think oh this is not a flagship.
  • I never use a case on  my phone, so the whole "you're going to put a case on it anyways" mantra doesn't fly with me.
  • Ok, so what does the looks really have to do with it? Has anyone ever walked up to anyone else and said "man your phone is ugly, I bet it's a piece of crap" I mean, it's a big rectangle, most phones are. I really am starting to think that everyone that is complaining about the looks are just looking for something to complain about since they've run out at this point.
  • With the leaked photos the phone design leaves a lot to be desired. It's possible these new flagships will not boost market share.....sales will tell.
  • Yeah, I'm quite disappointed / worried about it. They had the perfect design in the Lumia 925. All they had to do was re-use that design with their updated specs. Instead, the leaked renders of the Lumia 950 look...well, very uninspiring.
  • It's all subjective. I much prefered the design of my 920 and so didn't "upgrade" to the 925 even though it was much thinner and lighter. I didn't think the two-tone metal design was that elegant, nor was it fun like the colourful poly 920's. I tried to get a couple of friends to get a 925, but they went with iPhones even though they couldn't really afford them. I agree the 950 looks a little plain in renders, hopefully it'll be more fun in the flesh.
  • Someone in another article who buys phones for their company said WP always comes out top on reliability and breakages. Also, with the new tech and a highly efficient OS, that's all good. And of course W10 too. I just don't want or like this design and if this is the best design that the Nokia team can come up with for a flagship then please pass it over to the Surface team. If the 950 sells really well, and I hope it does, then I'm the minority!
  • Pretty much all of Nokia's former mid-range and flagship phones are better looking than the renders above: 830, 920, 925, 928, Icon/930, 1020, and 1520 were all good-looking phones. That's what makes the blandness of the renders above so surprising. It just doesn't make sense given what has come before.
  • Upgrade from 920 to 925, really? Same processor a year down the line, no wireless charging and half the memory. The design was great but too many compromises. 
  • I had a 925,the best phone i ever had...the design,camera,screen,not onscreen buttons and batery life where amazing,all i need in a smartphone
  • well maybe if they are actually going to release a surface phone(in metal) they will make the other flagships with plastic so surface phone will seem better. after all surface phone will be microsoft's signature phone like nexus, nokia will be "free" some time n the future and they will need a device like that. my humble opinion
  • A phone sporting a cool camera, iris scanner, continuum, W10M, triple flash, Office suite, 8.6mm thick, long battery life (rumored)... uhmm... Take my money!
  • +1 :(
  • So? Microsoft just lost $US 7 billion for Nokia's devices writedown in end of 2015 fiscal year.  Today, Bloomberg announced that Samsung lost US $44 billion in market capitalization due to the poor sales of their Galaxy S6 flagship device and their Galaxy Note 5 Pen fiasco.  That's the value of General Motors, just lost in less than 6 months.  Investors should turn their eyes outside of flagship smartphones, perhaps the only company that will keep making money from smartphones in the future is Apple. Lenovo, Xiaomi and Huawei will get marketshare but their profits will be much less than what analysts expected  about 2 years ago.
  • Good article, but you do realize that wherefore are thou actually means 'Why are you' and not 'where are you' haha
  • Was just thinking the same thing =)
  • So the line is really "Why are you Romeo?"?
  • Yes, Juliet was upset because he was who he was, because of the fight between their families. She was forbidden to see Romeo, just because of who he was.
  • @Kamil712 lol...thanks. Just see it as a play on words :-)
  • Wp buttons on screen are horrible for a flagship, hope the lcd is more tall and wp buttons near the bottom border
  • Have you see all other OS new smartphones? Including Apple's? On screen...........
  • iPhone doesn't have a black bar running across the bottom of their screens. There is a tiny back button built into the upper left hand corner of iOS apps, but everyone uses the edge swipe to navigate back.
  • You do know onscreen nav goes away with a swipe and while playing games or videos. They work just as good as captive buttons I don't understand and never will why people wanna live in the past
  • I love the on screen buttons on my Nexus 5. I'm glad it's there with the new flagships. No more bright ass capacitive buttons at night. And no, using battery saver shouldn't be a worlaround.
  • @jdholland79:
    We've had this discussion numerous times...
    If a device has a hyperactive touchscreen, like the Lumia 535 for example, on-screen buttons are the worst that could happen.
    Forced app closings happening all the time, when the user simply tries to use the back button.
  • @WindowsPhoenix, Why are you assuming that the new phones.... that nobody outside of MS has seen/used... will have such an issue?  Just because something failed that doesn't mean it can't be fixed/improved on and come out in a better form.  I mean if the Wright Bros had that attittude......  You state "If a device.... " I would submit that IF that happened.... you would have a point.
  • What once took one step now takes two. That's one reason why on-screen buttons suck.
  • On screen buttons are superb
  • Even more sad, those are not even lcds, but cheap oled panels
  • This article series feels like a terrible joke after the recently leaked flagship renders!
  • Agree, it seems to me more and more that nadella is doing a terrible work!!
  • Apart from the divided asthetics, the specs for these phones are what we've been clammoring for. Some people are nitpicking on the 820 snap dragon vs. the 810...but really it's a almost negligble point if they can make the OS more efficient than Android or iOS.  I'm pretty sure we'll see some cool looking aluminum cases.  If not, just go to DecalGirl and make your own.
  • I disagree. The least of my problems are with the design - though I must admit, they do not come close to my 930 or my previous 800. And making them black and white only is a real blow - the signature Lumia look is gone. My main problem is with the lack of QI and the forced flip cover. I find the flip cover to be the single ugliest looking thing ever done to phones. I always laugh at people who look like they have a tablet against their ear with the flip cover folded out and wiggling as they walk. Yuck. But now that`s the only way to ge QI? How will that flip cover work with QI car holders/chargers? I don`t care much for even higher ppi or processor core count, but with a similar camera, no physical navigation buttons, lack of color options, no beatuiful curved glass display, no QI, it feels like a downgrade from my 930. No thank you.
  • the rumor is that they are including a charger on par to the moto Xs turbo charger
  • I'm thinking if these flagships from Microsoft don't sell well its the last opportunity for ARM Mobile devices using Microsoft logo, in the future Microsoft is thinking about Surface Phone which the Nokia team won't have participation on design. My best wishes for both former-Nokia engineers and Surface phone engineers, both may suceed.
  • Absolutely right . Like how he accepted the design  of those 2phone it s like joke    
  • I prefer function over form. The specs are great! And why is everyone being picky over the design? I see nothing horrible about these phones. Camera bump? Large bezels? Give me a break. All I care about is if it can take great photos, stream 4k video, and play awesome new mobile games. Also Continuum will be great and invoke jealosy during PowerPoint training sessions.
  • I still dont understand why the 940 and 940XL need to have two different designs. Why not keep them looking the same with different screen sizes as the differentiator? And on the back at the bottom in small/clean font "Lumia 940" and "Lumia 940XL).
  • Waiting for new iPhone.....
  • Honestly it will probably look the same as always.. Just saying.
  • It's a guarantee, it's going to be the S model which means exactly the same look and marginally improved specs.
  • The iPhone will still be the king of smartphones, specially after Bloomberg's announcement today that Samsung has lost 44 $US billion in the past 6 months (value of General Motors company).
  • I've been wondering so I'll ask here. Do you folks think the the anticipation of the "surface phone" will cause sales of the 950 and 950xl to suffer? Possibly creating a temporary dampening of windows 10 mobile sales? Just a curiosity, all opinions welcome.
  • I don't like the design of the 940 so won't be upgrading from my 930. I will install W10 at RTM through insider and that will be good enough for ne. I will wait for a less plastic bucket design and if the next flagship looks like an actual flagship then I'm in.
  • I feel the surface phone will attract elite users that have $$$ to come off of yup. But most like me with less money to throw around will probably stick with the two flagships.. Guess I'm saying it depends on the price point of a surface phone... There are those though that are going to rock the best no matter the cost hehe
  • I think if they're done right (and it sounds like they will be) the 950s will sell well, regardless of a possible Surface phone.  If I'm thinking correctly, a Surface phone would be more of a competitor to the Samsung Note series.  I would like one (and hope they do make it before I'm due for new hardware!), but not everyone wants that type of phone.  The 950s look like good hardware, and if W10 Mobile is done right, I think it could boost sales.  As long as they advertise it right, and throw some money at the carriers.  Carrier sales staff has always been a detriment to WP sales.  I've never looked at a Windows Phone and not had the sales person try to steer me at an iPhone.
  • After seeing the designs of the 950/XL, yes. If the 950/XL had been designed more attractively, like hte 925, I think people would buy it instead of waiting for a possible Surface phone. Now, they'll likely wait for a Surface phone, which, ironically, may never come if the 950/XL doesn't sell well.
  • I think that's definitely possible.  There is a whole lot of desire for a Surface phone and any news of one would put some people in a position of choosing.  For sure some people would get both, but a lot of people would hold off altogether on 950... waiting for the Surface.  If Nadella's flagship plans revolve around enthusiasts, enthusiasts really want legit, super premium metal bodied phones inspired by the tablets.  Some will skip these now to wait for that...
  • Negligible impact. 1) Beyond these fora most people don't know it is in planning 2) We don't know when it is coming - true enthusiasts will get the 940/XL anyway 3) It will likely be expensive, 940/XL will be a bit more affordable 4) 940/XL will likely be MUCH more widely available - heck, if its the Surface model, it won't be available anywhere other than MS stores in the US for a good long while. :D
  • I think that they aren't going to sell well regardless of the surface phone. It's a fact Microsoft is struggling at mobile and I highly doubt any of the upcoming phones are going to change that.
  • You would be surprised
  • @jdholland79:
    Why? Because of onscreen buttons?!
  • I think the Surface phone is more or less a synonym for a Lumia without Polycarbonate (but with Aluminum or magnesium). As many don't like the design of the new 950 & 950XL, there will be many people ditching them both. 
  • Hopefully a unlocked Verizon model or Verizon picks one or the other up. I'll buy it.. My icon been a good phone, I hope these new flagships carry the trend forwards..
  • I'm hoping Microsoft will sell their phones like the upcoming Moto X Pure Edition. Unlocked on all carriers.
  • They have already said they are going to. Just don't know on which model it will begin.
  • MXPE is the best value flagship phone in my opinion and will be my next phone. I finally gave up on WP. I wanted to hold out until the Surface Phone, but my expectations are always dashed when MS releases; it's always something...a number of somethings actually. 
  • OT: What's with the Start10 contest? :o
  • Ended and prizes already handed out
  • Let's hope this isn't a story of too little, too late...
  • I'm afraid that is the case. It also seems like a "hail Mary" play to me. This will likely be the last wave of WP's. I just hope some other OS comes along. I do not like iPhones, Android, or Blackberry.
  • I don't think So and if you do your crazy Microsoft like Nadella has said from the beginning if yall can learn to read and understand what it says is Microsoft is in this for the long haul. If you don't understand just cuz people like you over here in the usa are vein and only care about looks there are places that looks don't matter and Microsoft and windows phone are picking up market share and getting alot more popular then they are in the us.a it's also gaining ground in enterprise in Europe taking 25% market share in enterprise. In brazil its market share is growing india and Russia and europe all growing wp market places funny how only in vien country's like the usa that they don't sell but Usa. Is to important and Microsoft will never pull out of the usa market. They may not sell that much here but they. Will make up for that with increases in more sensible markets like Europe
  • " cuz people like you over here in the usa are vein and only care about looks" Sure, it's only Americans that want their smartphones to look high quality. You've got it all figured out, don't you? So stupid.  
  • Why does it have to be either or??? There is absolutely no reason why a high spec phone can't be very aesthetically pleasing other than uninspired designers. Many cars prove it doesn't have to be either or. 
  • Im losing hope.. With MS not focusing more on mobile builds, bringing plastic flagships and not seeing much changes in UI in current and upcoming builds i think MS is going to be at the same position with WP as it was during 8.1. Hope they succeed this time as i dont want them to fail again
  • Completely agree with you, this is their last chance. These recent builds are not bringing anything new, just fixes that don't give much hope. Only hope is that they bring more tempting features which are both present and absent in Android. Which, to this point seems unlikely. Only time will tell whether they add new features and stuff that would actually make us feel more feature complete than Android does. Having full hope in Satya, we shall see what happens.
  • Propaganda part III
  • Ok, one thing that many people are forgetting: APPS!! We need apps. Apps, apps, apps...
  • Apps. Apks. ;)
  • Virtually no WP owner has forgotten that.
  • This is a risky move taken by Satya, but I have seen progress being made as people in my area have been talking more about MS in a positive manner.
    But I'm still hoping those recently released mock up renders of Cityman and Talkman are NOT the final designs. A French blog site where someone came up with a render of the flagships using the L930 design had it really good!
  • Yay, Myers-Briggs personality types! I'm an INTJ as well. This type is also commonly referred to as the Architect.
  • And the visionary. Welcome to the club!
  • INTP is "the architect' not INTJ.   That said there is no real validity to the Meyers-Briggs methodology.  It was outdated decades ago and superceded by much more modern analysis methods.  Its resurgence in recent years is due to its simple test format, lending itself to an easy online form.  That does not mean its relevant or useful at this point.  Few if any practicing psychologists or psychiatrists make use of it today as modern science in this field points towards spectrums of behavior rather than static 'types' regardless of how many types are created.
  • I love Windows Phone but when my 1020 got long in the tooth I decided to try Android and now I fear I've gotten use to this thing. It is going to take something more impressive than the leak images to bing me back. I'm gonna hold out for a Surface Phone. One that is made out of the same kind of materials as a Surface, with 4 gigs of ram and an Intel processor so I can make full use of Continuum for phones.
  • A pity the leaked images were not closer to the WC renders. They looked meaner. A bit of a disappointing flagship offering after all this time waiting. More flagshit than ship.
  • Reading everything at once makes me feel much better about about WP. I'm just so damn impatient! It felt like I waited for years for my 640 to hold me over until the flagships come out... I didn't realize how long I'd have to wait for them. Oh well. I trust him. I'm sure it'll be worth the wait, just like the 640. But this has got to be WP's last chance. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • What does Satya Nadella and the new Lumia talkman have in common? They're both not fun to look at.
  • Good story, and there are many arguments as to why flagships have been 2 years in coming. However, as always, different interpreation and views could be injected to the discussion. "Diverting resources toward a flagship device during FY15 would have reduced the amount of Windows 10 Mobile compatible devices he could get into the hands of users ahead of the release of the platform."   MARGINALLY, perhaps. They had the McLaren and unless the 3D tech as a major part of the innards, one could reasonably argue also that it would have been possible to release it sans all the 3D stuff. Of course, the perception would not been great. Instead, I would just put out that it would have been good to release a 930i, with "corrected" specs, and perhaps even slightly slimmer profile. I am sure they could have handled that without need to reduce the large number of low end devices they have been churning out.   "The market hadn't been enamored by Windows Phones. At 3% market share, they were barely noticed. A high-end device would have certainly flopped (as all other high-end Windows Phones had) against Apple and Samsung's flagship phones during Q2 of FY15 and beyond."    
    Even the new flagship WILL flop if your yardstick is the iPhone or Sammy. The flagships are important for that existing 3%, and perhaps even taking it to 3.2%. NOT to dream they could ever beat the iPhone/Sammy flagships.   "The enthusiast portion of the Windows Phone market share would have been the primary demographic to purchase a flagship phone had one released. In addition to the negligible amount of devices that would have sold to those people, the hardware would not have been able to support forthcoming Windows 10 Mobile features like Windows Hello and Continuum. Hardware capable of supporting these features wouldn't be arriving until Q2 of FY16."    
    True. At the same time, EVEN some enthusiast got tired of waiting and moved on (and given there are, relatively speaking, very few enthusiasts to begin with, loosing any is not a great thing, obviously. Second, the "real" enthusiasts would quite likely upgrade to the new Hello/Continuum hardware anyway. And of course, even a little bit of highend mindshare and visibility may be better than no mindshare.  Plus, I don't know what makes you conclude the postponing a late 2014, very early 2015 flagship would have meant having to postpone the Hello/Continuum hardware to Q2/2016? Especially if it had been a 930i. Bottom line - I personally tend think they should have relased something, while minimizings its cost, and accepting that it would have been a break even device at best, perhaps another loss leader. :)
  • This!
  • Agreed !!!!! So many bad decisions
  • And he expects mobile growth with those Flagship phones? Idk about that...
  • It's possible.
  • No, he is giving room for other (so far imaginary) OEMs.. ;)
  • I am convinced his strategy will ultimately FAIL.  He WILL leave some fans behind.  Namely, those of us who have 100% bought in to the ORIGINAL idea behind the Windows Phone operating system and who DESPISE what it has become--which is not much more than a pale knock-off of Android.  I think it's a misstatement to say that Satya is drawing people into the Windows ecosystem, or even that this is his goal.  In truth, he's just trying to bring various apps to the other platforms.  There's nothig to actually DRAW anyone into Windows.  I also think the strategy to expand the brand through flooding the market with cheap devices, like Android did, was a mistake because it changed nothing in the market share.  Nothing.  Before Satya came on the market share averaged 3% and afterward it's virtually no different.  What he DID do was lower the standard of the devices and expectations compared to what Nokia had going.  There have been NO noteworthy advances coming out of Microsoft.  One thing I could count on when Nokia had it was that the camera was going to be significantly better.  Now?  They are barely keeping up with competition, much less being able to brag that the cameras on their devices smash the competition.  What Microsoft is coming out with may be high-end, but there is nothing "flagship" about them, unless they are only looking at their own, limited brand.  Continuum is not going to amount to anything as far as a mechanism to draw people.  And Cortana is now being spread to all the competing systems, so that's certainly not a draw.  At one time, I had hopes that Windows Phone would finally begin to take hold, and I was certainly one of the biggest chearleaders.  But with the disappointment that is Windows 10 and the fact that my Lumia 1020 is still what I consider to be the last best Windows Phone, I see nothing on the horizon to get me all that excited, much less try to convince others to give up their Android or iPhone.
  • This, too!
  • 1020 has spoiled me. I cannot go backwards in camera tech.
  • Absolutely agree. The new Lumia devices are probably only meant to keep current users in the fold, and preempting their jump to other platforms, but now that I'm finding out that only AT&T will be an official carrier at launch yet again, and the alleged premium pricing point,  a good number of current users on other carriers will depart the Windows phone ship. Nobody's going to be jumping carrier plans for these new devices. With most of Microsoft's services now available on iOS and Android, most Windows users on Verizon will likely be jumping to a new iPhone in a month or so.
  • Insightful comment.  McLaren was designed to be better than 1020, unfortunately it got cancelled.  I agree with you, these 950 and 950XL are not flagships, they are not sucessors of 1020 and if they fail they may be the last Microsoft phones to come with ARM CPU.  In the future, I'm thinking Microsoft will still support mobile devices, but they will be much more Continuum Oriiented and could be the Surface Phone with Intel chip, just as their Surface convertibles.  Just my 2 cents.
  • All hail the arbiter of what is or isn't a flagship! Seriously, this again?
  • Wow. So much wrong in one post
  • The design of the new flagships doesn't show any mastermind at work, to be honest.....
  • It is supposed to give the other OEMs (???) room to enter.. :P Some say. Anyway, I will wait to see them in real life etc. - they might be quite nice in hand, actually.
  • Room to enter.....a sinking (mobile) ship?
  • We're sorry, you didn't make it to the next round.
  • These flagships are made for MS fans only... I mean fans like those hords of idiots who stand in line to buy some nice packaged fruit (but without the nice package). Some sort of unconditional enthusiasts... that's so sad. Bold innovation is something missing since Nokia fell down and Steve Jobs left this world. As a resilient Lumia 1020 user I must say I'll pass on these two and wait and see what else brings the end of this year
  • Surface phone would been better options than these awful Qualcomm chips but it's my opinion.
  • The flagships will probably flop again as Samsung already has it's flagship devices out and Apple will also start selling the new iPhones by September end. An early November sales start for the new Lumia's will be too late to keep people waiting.
  • I remember, as a child, everything taking time to prepare in scroupolous detail, even pop-corn. My mom would get out a heavy pot with a lid. Heat oil in the pot until just the right temperature, not too hot, not too cool. Then, she would add the dried corn to the pot, cover it and we would all wait around the stove as the sizzeling corn popped the first kernal, then second, third while the aroma of sweetly popped corn and the rapid pop pop pop of the meticulous preparation of this delicious snack transpired until the last pop. A lot of melted butter and salt later, everyone sat down and shared a huge bowl of yummy pop-corn. Then came jiffy-pop, then micro-waved foods and wah-wah-wah!!!, I want my pop-corn now!!!!!!
  • Lets take a look at how the Vision is working so far...Strictly looking at phones made by MS. - 830 - much talk of class action suits due to inaccurate or false proclamations about what the device had and would be able to get in the future -635 - not a bad starter phone ...but did it really have any impact on the market share? Numbers still look the same to me -640- still only a starter well..nice dispaly...any impact on market share? Maybe this is why TMO is dropping it -640XL - nice size and pretty good hardware for the price, but who exactly is selling this phone? I  can't find it anywhere -Flagship - still none on the horizon...I know we have all seen renders of whats coming...but when? and when you are as far behind in the mobile market as MS can you afford to keep going at this snail pace. The next flagship released by MS will be their FIRST and with all the time they have had to get it ready, anything less than a Dazzler will be ignored
  • You iTrolls are getting desperate
  • You want to marry Nigella (Lawson)?
    Hmmm.... Alright.
    I didn't know she uses Microsoft mobile devices on her cooking shows but I suppose it's quite possible
  • ABSOLUTE CLAP TRAP. NADELLA _ the visionary? Time will tell!!!!!
  • So I was waiting for a new competitive flaghship with Windows with the capabilities of Win10 for 4 years (Im still with wp 7.5) and my nokia lumia 510 is almost broken, and all that will be given to me as a new Windows 10 flagship won't be really a true flagship win10 device and the true one will come 5-6 months later?????????????????????????? Really??? I am forced to buy crap now and AGAIN wait for the "messiah" (the surface phone) and AGAIN GIVE MONEY? Well, no thank you. Hello iPhone 6s
  • How are those not flagships?
  • That I would also like to know. I just asked Cortana for the definition of 'flagship'; the response was "the best or most important thing owned or produced by a particular organisation." Hmm. A high-end Lumia that has more features and technology packed in than any previous Windows Phone, with new features like Continuum and an iris scanner/ Windows Hello, and will be advertised by Microsoft more than any other device surely - surely - must fit that description?        
  • It boggles my mind that someone would be invested in the Windows ecosystem (e.g. waiting for 4 years) but still be on WP 7.5. You missed out on a lot of great phones during that time, dude. 920, 930, 1020, 1520... all of which will run WP10.
  • I've really enjoyed this series of articles, very insightful, and really shows how much of the world has reacted to news and not really reported correctly - a bit of thought never hurt anyone before they press publish. There is however one small change I'd like with future articles, and that is how dates are shown. Being from the UK it makes the article hard to read with dates I the wrong format for us - perhaps having the full month written would just be the icing on the cake :)
  • Yes please. The way Americans write dates is very un-intuitive. Especially with a two digit year. Have we learned nothing from win2k????
  • @daveh101 and Vincent thanks so much for the support and your positive feedback. I I'll keep that point in mind:-)
  • I go with YYYY-MM-DD with everything, can't go wrong with that :D
  • Right you are =)
  • So, no flagship last year and flood with cheap phones. Effect, windows= cheap phones so not to cannibalize the flagship for windows 10 phone. Then we only have renders and leaks of so-so design windows 10 phone supposedly to be released this year and we have rumors of surface phone by 5/16. Great plan.
    I'm sure there will be a 4 series explanation of this next year.
  • If this article is to be believed, my opinion is that Nadella needs to go. At his pace of executing his vision, Samsung and iPhone will leave him eating dust just like what happened to HTC.
  • Joe must go as well. Been delivering too little too late if ever.
  • yep if he's to blame on the lack of
    DE successor on whs11 then I agree he has to go
  • So basically, Microsoft is attempting to build a hardware business that can compete directly with Apple, plus the added low-end phone market.
  • At this pace, Microsoft can't simply compete with Apple. Being behind in in market share and release cycle, and, if they have a compelling design, not even specs, they should release an official picture of their flagships now.
  • Basically you're wrong. They're making a few reference devices and hope other OEMs step up, of which there are promising signs already. Nothing high-end yet, but nothing to suggest otherwise either. iTrolls roaming here don't count.
  • Not trolling...making an observation. I am a Softie and have been since 1980. I'm just stating that Microsoft is finally in a position to compare products, something they have never been in a position to do because they've always been only a software company. Comparisons have always been made between the two even though one had basically a turnkey system while the other had a system that ran on a multitude of configuations developed by anyone other than them. Not so with the Surface and Windows Mobile. I'm hoping that their products can finally be compared in the same light (and I hope MSFT compares favorably).
  • Too slow, too late...
    I want Ballmer back :(
  • i don't like those on screen buttons, Ms is slow on giving features that are being requested by the users but fast on making changes on features that no one has never complained about.
  • Innovation is the part which is left now.
  • Looks like Gandhi.... But without the mustache.... And taller.
  • Now will have that Continuum for the Xbox and make it the PC as well? :) with apps coming...I can see that. That would be the Surface model imo.
  • Well the phone in 4th and 11th pic has got an awesome look.... It's got a bold design and color is attractive too (the blue one) ... I don't understand why people are saying that the look is bad and everything... Well i think only the black one is ugly (one with metal ring) .... The blue one is looking good to me...
  • Seems to me that the plan is to do something similar to what google did with the original nexus 7 tablet. Decent specs for the price opening up the market for similar smaller devices. At that point in time there were many other OEMs interested in android, google didnt have to convince them to join up to android. This contrasts with microsofts position. No notable OEM is interested in making windows mobile devices and as such Microsoft has more than 95% of the windows mobile market...the exact opposite to what Microsoft wants. A sexy, high end device may sell ok, but it won't encourage other oems to join up, which is what Microsoft needs. This seems to be the reason for the dull images leaked. Microsoft needs to show how well the new hardware and specs work together without being so attractve that it scares other OEMs off. Almost  something like a referance design that other OEMs can feed off of to make true high end devices allowing them a "head start" before following up with their own sexy, high end device. Microsoft needs the Samsungs and LGs of the world to make good devices and market them. In the absence of this, Microsoft will make their own hero device and likely repeat this cycle trying to tease OEMs to get on board. More on topic: i enjoy reading Jasons work just this time i get the feeling that there was no need for three parts. It was, imo, too wordy and indirect anlong with alot of repetition that added nothing to the overall idea. I feel that this 3 part series could have been easier to follow as one article with bullet points and a timeline with a short and clear conclusion. Just my 2 cents.
  • The only thing that will encourage other OEMs to jump on board is, high sales. And with limited carrier support in the U.S. (apparently only AT&T will be an official carrier, with T-Mobile carrying a rumored variant of only one of the devices at some point down the road) the new alleged devices won't do much to move the needle on Windows phone market share.
  • The only thing that will encourage other OEMs to jump on board is the possibility of making money. Android has alot of sales but android one hasnt taken off, even if it did, it represents barely changing an OEMs financial situation as they are all sold almost at cost. Most OEMs are losing money or barely getting by. Allowing room for the OEMs to make money at the top end is smart. realistically speaking, when given a chance, almost everyone  is going to buy a highend from Microsoft over another OEM as most windows phone fans are also fans of nokia styling. No one wants to compete with the OS maker to sell phones. As per the idea of moving market share, imo that ship has sailed. WP will always be a niche product.  
  • @idey Thanks for the input:-)
  • I think a lot of you have the wrong idea. Think about it... When windows phone 8 came out, the Lumia 520 was crushing android and apple flagships, with the windows phone challenge. Getting a flagship then was only for the sake of camera and hardware specs. In short it was an over kill. Then came the 1020a real game changer. Then the 1520 the Lumia flagship. To this day the 1520 is no slouch. Now before we can talk about a flagship, let's talk about the platform. Windows 10. It goes without saying that it is far from over. But at the same time we demand a flagship. Where is the logic? Logic dictates that windows 10 as a platform will be the main focus for this year. By 2016 conversations about how fast and awesome windows is as a platform will take front stage like windows 8 for phone. Continuum will be the selling point after all Lumia s have upgraded. Then after everyone has accepted how cool continuum is, the flagship comes out and kills the competition. Mark these words or this post rather.
  • @Alpha Mangi Thanks for the input. Great points. :-)
  • Let's not also forget that continuum is a laptop (alienware, acer, toshiba, sony,etc); a desktop (alienware, acer, toshiba, etc)
    A tablet (alienware, acer, toshiba, sony,etc)
    And yes even a phone (alienware, acer,toshiba,sony,etc)
    Microsoft changed the game. Fine tuning is all that's left. Don't be surprised when companies like acer sell a laptop with their phone or tablet as a bundle.
    This is truly the power of continuum.
  • I see a not too distant future of walking up to my desk with my phone in my pocket, sitting down, my phone screen appears on my monitor, a built in real sense camera authenticates, and I'm ready to work. If nowhere else, these things could reinvent enterprise.
  • That's a nice vision, but that's a years-down-the-road thing.   Probably most Microsoft executives will even tell you that.  The bottleneck is still the hardware.   Just isn't there yet.
  • I dream of that one day when Windows Mobile actually becomes much better in most aspects than Android. I hope this will happen with Windows 10 Mobile. This is the last chance for Microsoft. However, This man is the one and only strongest hope that Windows 10 Mobile shall thrive in the mobile space similar to how Windows 10 has done in the desktop space. These flagships are very much hyped and I hope that these shall be the Keys of Success for Windows 10 Mobile.
  • I don't understand the need for a flagship phone, must people who have them don't use them to their room potential, and as for cameras,12 megapixels is more than enough on a phone, unless you plan too view those images on a very large monitor or print it larger than 24". Must pictures taken stay on the phone, get posted on social site or worse deleted. As long as a phone runs smoothly and has a good OS must people should be happy.If you want a removable battery and the option for expandable storage, than also understand that the phone needs to have a plastic type material in it's build, try pulling off a soft metal back cover a few times it will bend. Personally I feel the renders are ok,I am more concerned about how these new phones are promoted. We have the innovation that others have, most android and iOS owners just don't realise that. Apps is what's needed not flagships.
  • The highly attractive, "sexy" Nokia C7 had a metal back cover and a removable battery.
  • Take out this guy... Another Mandela
  • The voice of reason
  • Only way for me to get a new device will be a Windows Hello and Continuum capable device with minimum 5.7" and 20mp camera. My 1520 is still a beast, and is still one of the most capable devices out.
  • I really wish they'd do something similar to the heft and weight of the polycarbonate on the 920.
  • The last flagship device from Microsoft/Nokia was the 1020, the Cityman and Talkman will come with Snapdragon 808, which is not the best CPU, in 6 months Samsung will launch the S7 with 820 and will make Microsoft/Nokia devices obsolete.
  • What about the 930? That was the one Microsoft/Nokia pushed to the front of the 'fleet; - therefore it is a 'flagship' in every sense of the word.  
  • Flagship phones are going to go nowhere, no matter how good they are, until Microsoft realizes they need to put these phones in the hands of the Kim Kardashians, and the Justin Biebers, and the Taylor Swifts of this world. THAT is the only way they are going to get any kind of traction with the mobile devices, as sad as that sounds.
  • edge for wm10 isnt ready. there's times ive needed to take a peek at what going on in my router & surprise the router rejects edge. I have my sgh-899m still on 8.1.1 as web browsing is still much smoother on it
  • Jason, (great name, by the way) this is a fantastic analysis series of articles.  Really excellent.  It makes so much sense now.  But I'm now even more convinced than ever, there will be a Surface phone(s) in early 2016.  I don't think the 950/950XL are 'flagship' phones, according to MS.  I think even Terry Myerson said mentioned the words 'high end', not flagship.  When I saw the leaked pictures in the past week, I would agree, they look 'high end' but not flagship.  I think the rumor of something(s) coming out in early 2016 may be the ACTUAL flaghip and it may have a "Surface" name.  This will be the phone that everyone wants to get their hands on and it will turn heads that the 950/950XL won't.
  • @DCJason Thanks man!!! Right back at you about the name. :-) Thanks for the support. I'm definitely looking for great things from Microsoft. As I said at the end of Highs and Lows Part VI: Noteworthy : "Yes, Microsoft has seen the future, and as in the past, they are early. The difference is this time they're moving forward full throttle. And as awesome as they are, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella assures us that Cityman and Talkman are just the "colorful" beginning. “ "You've got to remember even the Apple regeneration started with colorful iMacs. So let us first get the colorful iMacs. I think with what we're doing with Lumia, we're at that stage. I want to do good devices that people like, and then we will go on to doing the next thing and the next thing."–Nadella 7/14/15 Let's see what 'surfaces.'"
  • @Jason Ward, thanks for the link of your other article.  I don't know how I missed that one.....but you would have never known from my comments!  I'm right with you!  So, do you think this 'real' flagship phone will also be the launch for Continuim?  Or maybe the 950XL will also function with Continuim and therefore Continuim will launch before?  But maybe this 'flagship' will be so elegant and so high end spec enough to be the 'enterprise' phone that every exec wants to have in his hand PLUS it become their computer when they dock their hone at their desk.  It may be death to the enterprise PC/laptop, but it makes sense to just buy one device, the flagship/Surface phone, plus a docking device for their office workers.  Wow.....mind blowing.
  • At this point, a flagship is not priority. Samsung live off flagship phones every other day. Mean while the android platform is not concrete. Same goes for apple. Even though they have a more stable platform.
    Microsoft need only focus on what they said they will focus on.... Perfecting continuum, PERIOD! Everything else at this point is coloured bubbles.
    All the flagships and details can come later.
    Platform first... Building later...
  • I'll believe it when I see it.. So far so good..
  • As a unconditional MS fan and user of several phones, tablets, laptops and computers I feel I can give an opinion on the development of Nadellas development of W10 idea. I feel completely disappointed with the way MS has kept us holding on some promised developments that have not been up to the development of competitors that are constantly offering leading edge apps and products that are changing our daily lives quickly and efficiently. I chose MS for all my com and work but guess I missed on the proper tech as MS is only lagging behind trying to catch up desperately without succeeding. New products look just like a try. Surface 3 Pro comes 2 or 3 years later than Vaio duo. About phones I own the Icon but long for the Samsung 3 I dropped. Instead of going forward I am going backwards holding to MS. So far I don't see it getting any better. Have upgraded to W10 on my PC and my travel phone 635. Compared to W8.1 and Android I feel is not as great a leap as they want us to believe.
  • Just wish I had the benefit of this insight when the 1520 came out instead of holding onto my 920 - hoping for a flagship phone during holiday time 2014 and then into early 2015. Oh well.
  • Jason, I think when you say "infer" you mean "imply." Inferring is taking bits and pieces from various communications and trying to figure out the real message. Implying is leaving bits and pieces of information in various communications to suggest the real message. Otherwise, nice article.