What would Microsoft's Windows Phone look like in 2024? It's like a micro PC running Windows 12 in your pocket.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella admitted that pulling the plug on Windows Phone was a strategic mistake.
  • While no longer in development, AR 4789, a concept designer recently shared a video of what Windows Phone might look like running on Windows 12.
  • Microsoft is potentially in a position to get back into the mobile market as it's currently the world's most valuable company.

While the Valentine's Day cheer continues to spill over from last week, a heartbreak for Windows Phone lovers is seemingly brewing. I know many of us wish Microsoft never made the strategic mistake that led it to pull the plug on Windows Phone. Am I the only one who secretly wishes Microsoft would make a comeback in the mobile scene with the Windows Phone running on a new OS? Maybe Windows 11 or Windows 12?

Well, I'm certainly not alone in this. AR 4789, a well-renowned concept-maker, recently shared a video on YouTube showcasing what the Windows Phone would be like today while running Windows 12. 

The video is oddly satisfying to watch, and I can see myself getting the phone if it existed. The concept borrows heavily from Microsoft's Windows 11 OS. But right off the bat, it ships with several features you'd expect on any modern phone, including an In-display fingerprint sensor and perhaps Always-On Display technology.

Interestingly, the concept also showcases a mini-taskbar at the bottom of "Windows 12 mobile." As you'd expect, it neatly packs several apps, including Microsoft Copilot (obviously), Start menu, File Explorer, Microsoft Store, and Microsoft Edge. I would presume that Microsoft would finally fix some of the critical issues that have been highlighted by users regarding the Start menu on Windows 11, and also truly incorporate a consistent Fluent design on these apps. 

RELATED: Microsoft confirms the name of the next major version of Windows, and it's not Windows 12

Of course, the concept also presents a scenario where users have access to a wide array of customization options. There's also a search bar conveniently placed on the phone's homepage, which is designed to let users search for stuff on the web (with Microsoft Bing set as the default search engine, as you'd expect).

Lastly, I'd expect it to ship with a ton of AI-baked goods and features. For instance, Microsoft Copilot's Circle to Copilot feature, which is heavily inspired by Samsung's Circle to Search feature on its latest line of Galaxy phones could be one of those features. 

There's no time like the present for Microsoft to get back into mobile

Windows Phone and Mobile

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Microsoft continues to fly high as the world's most valuable company, ahead of Apple. The tech giant's success has been attributed to its early and heavy investment in generative AI, coupled with its extended partnership with OpenAI

With a $3 trillion and counting market cap and lessons from previous mistakes, Microsoft could potentially make a comeback in the mobile market with Windows Phone and dethrone iOS and Android from the top seat. Apple is already in trouble as sales of its iPhone 15 series didn't pan out as expected, which can majorly be attributed particularly to the decreased sales in the Chinese market.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.

  • GraniteStateColin
    I would love a new MS phone, assuming the Surface team can still make good stuff w/o Panay. It's interesting how that video highlights how Windows seems to have shifted to look much more like Android. Without Live Tiles, it seems almost pointless as a mobile OS, but I'd be interested.
  • MBY
    It seems like almost all of what they showed here could be achieved through an updated MS Launcher with Windows 11/12 design language. That would be great to get. But MS seems to not be updating the launcher at all...
  • MPetrozio
    Microsoft did a good job with combining widgets and icons into live tiles. This was genius and one of the things that made WP great, along with the easy to use and fluid interface that utilized parallax effects in a great way. Metro was just cool. This combined with Microsoft services, such as OneDrive streaming music to the Music app, are the things I miss so much.
  • Dush Ku
    Looked like android copy, live tiles were the best
  • GothardJ2
    Agreeing with other comments here, I think this concept video misses what made Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile an interesting 3rd choice. It was something completely different than iOS and Android. This concept video, while showing some of the tech that could be integrated really just screamed Android with a complete Microsoft launcher. Nothing here really showed me that it would be worth having, let alone buying, a new Windows powered mobile device.
  • pjmlp
    All these wishes for the return of the Windows Phone miss out how Microsoft has burned the Windows Developer community, after pushing no matter what WinRT/UWP tooling, with multiple rewrites, only to back away from it.

    Even its desktop version on Windows 11 remains a pain to use, after they rebooted the whole story into WinUI 3.0/WinAppSDK.

    And then there is the whole issue about dropping it altogether and using Android instead on their Surface phones.

    Doesn't matter how cool a future Windows Phone would look like, if the Windows developer community decides it isn't worth going through the same pain yet another time.
  • Cosmocronos
    Like others already pointed out, the concept is well done but at the end of the day... is an Android device; the paradigm of Windows phone was completely different than the ones of iOS and Android. In all honesty, also considering MS past history, I would be very hesitant to buy another smartphone from Microsoft.
    Note that my first Windows phone was a Motorola MPX 200 and I kept buying MS powered devices till the Lumia 950XL; yes, I also had a Duo 1 and 2 but again Android devices, unquestionably interesting especially as hardware but the mystique was already lost.
  • ShinyProton
    Been there, done that, moved away.

    I owned several Windows Phones (including 520, 620, 650, 720, 900, 920, 950) and as with many other Microsoft products, I got burned by their usual and countless withdrawal from the market.

    Without an all-in commitment, which they never made, it wouldn't have gone anywhere.
    Bad decisions, often bad quality, bad ecosystem...
    In the end, they was no other possible outcome.

    And I'm now glad I moved away.

    Please guys, let go. It wouldn't work anyways. That simple.
  • naddy69
    "It's like a micro PC running Windows 12 in your pocket".

    This old pipe dream AGAIN? :rolleyes: "Desktop Windows in my pocket would be SO COOL! Wherever I go (hotels, airports, etc.) SOMEONE will provide me with a dock, mouse, keyboard, monitor, cables and power supplies to run it all!"

    Why would ANY hotel want to do that? Just travel with a laptop. WAY easier.

    Besides, we already have "micro PCs in our pockets". But they are all running consumer-focused software instead of Windows, and thus are much more "personal" than Windows will ever be.
  • ShavedMonkey
    GraniteStateColin said:
    I would love a new MS phone, assuming the Surface team can still make good stuff w/o Panay. It's interesting how that video highlights how Windows seems to have shifted to look much more like Android. Without Live Tiles, it seems almost pointless as a mobile OS, but I'd be interested.
    My thoughts exactly. While the presentation is nicely done, it's just amounts to another Android skin. No incentive for anyone to move, and definately zero incentive for developers to target another OS.