Should Microsoft begin marketing Windows Mobile to the masses?

Since the introduction of Window Phone 7, fans have vicariously struggled with Microsoft to reach 5% global market share. A tiny number indeed, but a threshold that somehow declares a level of relevance our long-standing 3% and even more dismal current sub-1% simply does not achieve.

Recent "news" that Microsoft would be ending the Lumia line, while continuing development of Windows Mobile, sent many writers and fans into a tailspin. Of course, we knew that Microsoft's first-party Lumia's would be ending, but when over 90% of Windows phones are Lumias there is an undeniable market and emotional impact.

In the wake of these events we are expecting the anticipated Surface Phone to fill the first-party void sometime in 2017. If the latest reports hold true, however, that can take nearly a year to occur. That's a lifetime in tech as competing devices routinely receive an annual refresh. As such, iOS and Android will continue their evolution on fresh devices in the hands of users throughout this year and into the next.

Partner devices will represent the Windows 10 Mobile platform.

During that same period and going forward Microsoft needs a mobile presence. Many would say we have the answer to that: Microsoft is all business in the enterprise. That conclusion, however, does not adequately address Microsoft's partnership with Windows phone manufacturers whose devices are not enterprise focused.

So what exactly is Microsoft's focus for Window 10 Mobile? It is, after all, the platform that will be running manufacturing partner Windows phones which will be the primary representatives of the platform going forward?

Does Microsoft's duo user philosophy apply to Windows Mobile?

Windows phone partners, though not joining the ranks in droves as Redmond (and fans) desire, are slowly picking up the Windows phone banner according to plan.

Joining the ranks of the manufacturing partners we've previously identified is Connecticut-based WhartonBrooks. Like Alcatel, this Window phone fan-founded Microsoft OEM partner and possibly future and some current partners are representative of an interesting quandary in which Microsoft may have placed themselves.

Consider this: Microsoft has temporarily retrenched from the consumer smartphone space but manufacturing partners are in no way restricted to the enterprise Microsoft is (or was) targeting with their own hardware. The problem?

An enterprise focused platform would negatively affect consumer focused partners.

Despite Microsoft's duo user — professional and personal — ideology for its range of products and services, many assert that the mobile iteration of the Universal Windows Platform is strictly enterprise-focused. If this is true how do we, or more importantly, how does Microsoft, reconcile the fact that Windows Mobile is a part of the enterprise- and consumer-focused Universal Windows Platform?

Furthermore, how does Microsoft reconcile that notion, with partners like WhartonBrooks and Alcatel that are planning consumer-focused Windows 10 Mobile devices?

What we know

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of this topic lets revisit Microsoft's philosophy as a company and who they envision their customers to be.

In Satya Nadella's Bold Ambition and Our Core memo he identified every user as a duo – personal and professional- user:

We will think of every user as a potential "dual user" – people who will use technology for their work or school and also deeply use it in their personal digital life… developers and partners will thrive by creatively extending Microsoft experiences for every individual and business on the planet.

It is telling that that Nadella identifies developers and partners as entities that would help facilitate their duo user vision. This is an important point that clearly foreshadows Microsoft's appeal to developers and manufacturing partners to embrace the UWP which serves both consumers and enterprise.

Nadella reiterated Microsoft's duo consumer and enterprise focus two years after that initial address in an interview with Business Insider in April of this year:

I go back to our core focus as a company. Whenever somebody asks me, 'Are you a consumer company, are you an enterprise company?' I say, hey, we are a company that's centered around users who both have a professional role as well as happen to be consumers. That's where our strength lies.

Looking forward

[In a specific appeal to partners](http:// /microsoft-memo-reveals-shifting-mobile-strategy) Microsoft shared the following in May of this year:

We'll continue to adapt Windows 10 for small screens. We'll continue to invest in key areas – security, management, and Continuum capabilities – that we know are important to commercial accounts and to consumers who want greater productivity.

Of note is the company's continued reference to consumers in this appeal to manufacturing partners. Moreover, though productivity for consumers is mentioned Nadella has clarified that, "Productivity for us goes well beyond documents, spreadsheets and slides. "

There is a consistent duo user message over the years.

In a nutshell, it speaks of getting things done with technology. The memo continues with Microsoft's commitment to the universal platform, developers, support of Lumias, partners and development of future phones.

This commitment was reiterated during Microsoft's 2016 Ignite conference where a diversified first-party device portfolio was also confirmed. Microsoft directs its products and services on a broad scale to the professional and personal user in most of us. What is specifically seen is that Windows on mobile devices is seen as part of that duo user strategy.

Windows phone partners have consumers in view

If Windows Mobile were indeed strictly enterprise-focused Windows phone partners with a heavy consumer focus, like WhartonBrooks, have a dilemma. Derek Egerman, WhartonBrooks Chief Strategy and Planning Officer said the following of the company's mission to CEO Greg Murphy:

I know that one of the important things for Whartonbrooks is to get feedback from the Windows users out there. That was the whole point, if we go back to the beginning, is that you [Murphy] were a Windows user who wanted to improve your experience with Windows Mobile.And you first wanted to build some apps, realized nope I'm going to do the whole phone. And it was really about trying to build something that a Windows lover really loves themselves and could use. And is just going to be a part of.And you don't want to do this standalone. You're trying to get other people to say hey, this is what I want. And we can put that in there. We want to be the ears of the Windows user.

Moreover the company's press release further supports this duo-user focus: "We have the one device that takes care of all your needs. It changes with you throughout the day to meet your office and personal needs in every moment." Consumers are clearly a focus for this Windows phone partner. Alcatel who is targeting Millennials is another.

Microsoft partners are targeting consumers.

Of the twelve other partners identified there may be others who are targeting their Windows Mobile phones at consumers. This fact is important for Microsoft, fans and industry watchers to recognize. Would Redmond push for and enter into partnerships with manufacturers who are targeting consumers while strategically positioning the platform strictly for the enterprise? That would be illogical.

Microsoft needs to push Windows Mobile out of the shadows

HP Elite X3

HP Elite X3 (Image credit: Windows Central)

After Microsoft retrenched from the consumer space last year, it was logical for them not to advertise Lumias to the masses. Windows Mobile was also a far less mature platform at the time. But here's the question. Since manufacturing partners have embraced Windows 10 Mobile and some are targeting consumers, would it benefit the platform and the ecosystem for Microsoft to advertise the existence and benefits of the now much more mature Windows Mobile to the masses?

Could manufacturing partners benefit from Microsoft advertising Windows Mobile?

Now might be an ideal time to market the mobile iteration of the platform; highlighting features like Continuum and Live Tiles, particularly as part of the current Windows 10 push. Doing so during Windows 10's early stages shows the uniformity of the platform. To make efforts to proactively "introduce" Windows Mobile at some point in the future would make this integral part of the UWP appear tacked on.

Window phones are vanishing from the collective consciousness of consumers. Sporadic promotions and limited marketing by local Window phones partners won't put the Windows Mobile component of the UWP in the minds of the masses. If manufacturing partners and the anticipated Surface Phone are to succeed Windows Mobile needs to be as much a part of public awareness as Windows on PC.

Both PC and phone partners need Microsoft's marketing and promotion support.

Microsoft is aggressively pushing Windows 10 features on PC through television ads. Since Windows Mobile is a part of this universal platform and is being continually developed it would make since to promote the entirety of the platform that partners have embraced and consumers use. Both PC and phone partners need Microsoft's marketing and promotion support.

Simply put, since Redmond has partners like Alcatel and WhartonBrooks with current and coming consumer-facing smartphones they have to publicly push their mobile platform if they expect their partners to succeed. If Windows Mobile has no mindshare, then the promise of the UWP falters.

Of course, aggressive ads showing the benefits of Windows Mobile and Continuum may generate some consumer demand for difficult to acquire high-end devices like the Elite x3. Given the scarcity of Windows phones in the market, the pickings are admittedly thin. Microsoft's marketing team could create an "elite" air around the devices — could that begin to lead to a beneficial luxury elitist branding akin to what our own Daniel Rubino has mused for the platform?

Microsoft can't leave manufacturing partners hanging

It is imperative that Microsoft put their full marketing weight and support behind the partners that have embraced and will champion their platform, particularly since they're ending their own Lumia line. If a manufacturing partner is targeting consumers, in line with Microsoft's duo user philosophy, Redmond cannot leave them "hanging" as it were. There needs to be a consumer-facing emphasis, from Microsoft, on the consumer benefits of Windows Mobile.

It is important that Microsoft aligns its messaging around its mobile strategy and duo user ideology. There needs to be strong, unambiguous language expressing support for the enterprise and consumers for the mobile personal computing platform just as we see with the desktop. If Windows is a duo user platform, Windows Mobile as Windows is both consumer and enterprise focused. If this is not the case the Universal Windows Platform is inherently divided.

If Windows Mobile is strictly enterprise focused the UWP is inherently divided.

If Microsoft is reluctant to promote Windows 10 Mobile alongside Window 10 for PC, manufacturing partners like Whartonbrooks, Alcatel and others, will be left unsupported trying to sell a platform that will be growing increasingly obscure.

The majority of the current 1% of Windows phone users own low-end devices. Most users in that segment of the population are statistically unlikely to upgrade to a higher end Windows phone even if one were available. Thus, though the enthusiast market is a worthy target winning users to the platform is important.

Working together

Ideally, the phasing out of Lumia has positioned Redmond to phase in a marketing strategy that promotes Windows 10 Mobile in a way that makes it as visible to the masses as Windows on PC. If not, small manufacturing partners may find that their resources may be woefully insufficient to push both the platform and their devices out of the shadows where consumers can see them.

If Microsoft markets Windows Mobile, OEMs won't be burdened with "educating" users about its merits.

An ideal synergy would be Microsoft bearing the weight of promoting the mobile platform to the masses (alongside Windows on PC), while partners promote their devices to their target audiences. This would allow partners to focus on marketing the merits of their devices without the burden of fully "educating" the masses about the platform.

What are your thoughts? Should Microsoft begin actively marketing Windows 10 Mobile along with Windows 10 on PC in support of both PC and phone manufacturing partners?

Sound off in comments, in forums and on Twitter!

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!

  • Thanks for reading folks! As partners embrace Windies Mobile and first-party devices leave the shelves it becomes increasingly important that Microsoft's mobile platform support the target audiences Microsoft's partners are reaching for with thier devices. It is undeniable that some phone partners are targeting consumers. It is also a fact that Microsoft has a duo user focus for it platform.. I believe this includes Windows Mobile. As such, if Microsoft remains silent about its platform in the mainstream, as the dialogue continues with Android and iOS there "introducing" Windows Mobile at some comfortable future point may yield little fruit. A simultaneous introduction of Windows Mobile as part of the UWP with Windows 10 would be profitable fir the long-term results for the platform and the immediate support it lends OEM partners. What say ye? Let's Talk!!! Oh yeah, I know about the app situation, but to do nothing with Marketing Windows Mobile now hurts current partners and lends little hope for achieving mind-share in the long run. MS is working on the app situation as we've talked about with the Bridges and bots, whether that succeed or fails that can't wait for an outcome there to decide about pushing Mobile.
  • I think they'll need to continue pushing Win Mobile now. So many people I know don't know a single thing about them, but advertisement like the HP X3 where it was simple and just showed what Continuum looked like would eventually help with awareness. I'll be partnering with MS Store to do a roadshow at my kid's school with computers loaded with Minecraft. It would be great if Minecraft Mobile also worked on Continuum, because that would definitely generate a - wha? moment. I know WM is targeting Enterprise now, but the real miss for MS is targeting Education. These kids are growing up in the Google Classroom ecosystem and to some degree iOS.
  • @That would be great!
  • @Witness, do you work/get paid by Microsoft?
  • No. I wouldn't mind working for them though and have thought about just doing part time at the store for kicks. I often know more about their products than their sales people do, but that's retail.
  • @Witness, wow I'm surprised you'd go through so much effort to help MS. What makes you do that? I'm saying this to be nice and caring at you. You don't need to be loyal, or do MS's work for them if you not getting compensated. And what's wrong with a google classroom or even iOS if it's meeting their purpose or if they happy    I understand what you mean about store consultants, when I bought my 920 I knew more about it than them.
  • Whats wrong with someone being passionate about acompany and their goals? And not liking companies and their goals. Google and Apple and Microsoft have very different core values and goals to getting where they want to get. I happen to love Microsofts ideas, especially the last 5 years or so. Nothing wrong with rooting for Microsoft if you love their products and love their directions and goals. ​I just think there are much better, much more powerful computing platforms than single app focused iOS and browser focused Chromebooks. Powerful systems are being left out for schools for cost savings and ease of management. And in the end I think that is bad for consumers.
  • Correction: Google, Apple and Microsoft all have the same CORE VALUES: Make money, drive up stock price and return profit to investors. Period. 
  • MS have better values than iOS and google? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
  • I think Witness intends to get paid lol.
  • It would be great, but really the point is to combat the dumbification of computing as I like to call it - haha. Computers are complex and a skillset should be developed like in the past. These days, everything is just poke a button/icon.
  • Same here @Witness ! The sales people really know nothing. We fans know more about Windows 10 Mobile than them !!
  • So true.
    Education sector is the most important.
    It's time MS to start subsidises Surface device to school and universities.
    It will pay off big time in the long run.
  • Apple and Google have been doing this for years. It kinda reminds me of the same seedy tactics that tobacco companies were doing when they would advertise to children. Get them hooked when their young... that kind of thing. I really hope Microsoft doesn't follow Apple and Google down that sewer drain. I would like to think they are better than that, and stick to deals like the Surface tablets for the NFL.
  • I wouldn't classify introducing your computing platform to schools with walking in a classroom with a pack of marlboros and showing kids how to inhale. That's absurd.
  •   MS (Ballmer) blew the opportunity back in 2005-2007, he did not understand where the mobile market was going and since you can see interviews from back in the day as to how wrong he was, not sure I am providing new details.   MS has about as much chance of taking market share as Deutche Bank coming back and buying all the other world banks, the percentage is probably close to zero chance.   The mobile market is very saturated, to the point where its starting to showing up in iPhone and iPad sales.   Other than the limited sales of the Surface, generally nobody cares about MS's mobile hardware strategy.   I don't see that changing unless something very drastic happens... people are just not going to drop their iPads and iPhones over some marketing.   My guess is MS will go with a very high-end phone (Surface branded), if they can't gain traction... they will get rid of the phone hardware completely at some point.   I'm the only person I know of that owns a windows phone, I haven't run into another person that has WP in about 3 years... nobody cares and additional marketing probably won't help.  
  • The Surface Phone is something that would be drastic. Literally a computer in your pocket. Then again, only most of us on this site would actually recognize how awesome that would be. Talking to iPhone users, you get a real sense as to why a dumbed-down interface sells like hotcakes. It would take years for that demographic to get to the point where they would desire a phone like this.
  • I like my WP, I would probably go to a dumb phone if MS ditches the WP.   But at the end of the day, I seriously doubt anyone cares... heck people are ditching their windows PCs.   Now me and you might not.... but the vast majority of the world doesn't care what MS is doing on their phones or even tablet (the surface has gained some limited traction).   People don't need a full PC on their phone... they don't even want a PC at all.  Just my two cents.  There are a lot of factors which determine winners and losers.... I doubt marketing is the sole factor.   If you want evidence of a vast superior product losing.... 80s mac.... neither IBM nor eventually Windows could even come close to competing... windows won on price, but it wasn't even close to being as good.  
  • Nobody wants a computer in their pocket. No one cares about it, outside of fans like yourself. If they did, developers would have flocked to WM because of Continuum, which they haven't. It's all well and good if YOU think it's a wonderful idea, but the fact is the world out there is simply not interested. A Surface Phone will accomplish absolutely nothing - the issue is the ecosystem, which is almost the sole reason WP/WM failed to get off the ground. With no ecosystem, there is no point in releasing a mobile device. No amount of fancy specs, rebranding and relaunching for a forthcoming mobile device by MSFT will mask the major issue, it is simply too late. MSFT should be withdrawing from making mobile devices, and focusing on the existing Surface models and continuing that line, in addition to producing services for iOS and Android.
  • We're already seeing smartphone users wanting a computer in their pocket and as such, seen incremental features that make these phones more functional across the board. The thing about a Surface Phone and the lack of ecosystem you speak of is inaccurate. Yes, there aren't enough apps for Windows Mobile to compete, but the moment a phone can run x86? The ecosystem is already there in the form of full applications. It may not take off in the consumer market initially if that were to happen, but for a mobile workforce it is a great solution. Even in my office, there are quite a few dumb terminals being used. That could replaced with standalone monitors and our mobile users connecting to them with a Surface Phone. Anyways, it would be great. How MS markets it is another discussion.
  • No, no one wants a computer in their pocket. Sorry to burst your MS-centric bubble, but you need a reality check on how the market is moving. Nobody cared about Continuum outside of "well, that looks fun" when it came out, and now, everyone's forgotten about it except for the fans of WM. None of the "functions" you mention mean anything without the services to utilise them. It's like designing a jet that cannot fly. At the moment, people are happy with VPN and the way mobile apps function. If anything, desktop design of programs is following suit of mobile design, not the other way around. The market is even more app-centric than ever before, but, you wouldn't see that happening as you're on a mobile platform which has no developer interest or growth. With all the services that you do not have access to, you're unable to see what's going on for the 98%, sorry, now 99% of the market that is on other platforms. As for x86 - again, you're bringing up something about WM only, but the 99% of the market has no interest in. Nobody cares about the gimmicks of WM that you're using as some kind of validation, no one is interested. A Surface PHONE will not achieve a single thing apart from giving you the same problems in an updated fancy physical form - no ecosystem, unstable, unfinished and unable to perform standard functions and service interaction that is required for the mobile world of the 21 century. A STRONG consumer movement what WM needs to succeed. It's what it needs most, regardless of all the exuses biased fanboys will come up with. There is no way you can try to justify this. No amount of essays the writers here publish can hide the colossal failure of Microsofts mobile strategy and a Surface Phone will not help either. 6 years and 3 iterations of MSFTs mobile roadmap in conjunction with a now unbelievable 1% of marketshare, combined with droves of developers leaving WP/WM to focus on iOS and Android is all the proof that you need.
  • Like many others on this site, WM isn't the only platform I use. I also have Android and iOS. Although I don't like either of those platforms much, which is why I continue to use WM, I do wonder why you're here. I mean, I could go onto iMore and tell them the iOS interface is terrible, the services have hiccups or that their users require an OS that even a toddler can use, but who has the time or energy to do that? You do.
  • I'm here because Microsoft DO make great products. I like their tech. I've never hated them. I might be on iOS now and yes, it's great but I'm no Apple fan. Believe it or not I don't "hate" WP/W10M. But I'm certainly not going to write fanboy dream rubbish about it like you are. MSFT overall are innovating in fantastic ways these days, but they're bringing their ideas to market in pitiful ways. As a supporter of them, it's incredibly frustating.
  • Fanboy dream rubbish. The concept of a Surface Phone, or even just a branding is far from just being a dream. Rumors are rampant and there is an actual possibility that it could happen, so how can speculation be considered fanboyism? By that definition, anyone who engages in speculation is a fanboy of whatever is being discussed. You say it yourself - MS overall is innovating. WM is definitely sagging. The overall conecpt of the the entire portfolio of systems working together (XB, WM, W10, Holo) is something that would be great when everything is running the way we expect them to. You as a supporter would have to agree and I too share in frustration in the execution. Now, I could just say WM sucks, but the other stuff is great or I support everything MS has except WM as you do - what actual good does that do? I happen to like how WM works despite missing some apps (I don't need hundreds of them) and Continuum has found a way into my workflow - I'm in that 1% that hasn't abandoned the platform yet. Should I abandon it simply because it is the least popular OS? Is that the best way to wait it out on another OS and come back when it's fair weather? That's not for you to decide and I don't know why you spend the energy to try to convince me and others to give up and head over to Android/iOS whilst supporting MS products... just not WM.
  • Your comments show nothing BUT fanboyism. You're seeing only your own views, and not the reality of the MARKET's expectations being met. The market and it's acceptance is what will determine the success (or rather HAS determined it's utter failure), and not your own personal views, which you're unable to observe outside of. That is the premise behind what I'm expressing. For the hundedth time, I don't think MS sucks. I don't think WP/W10M sucks. Hands down, those are the most advanced and brilliant OS's for mobile we've seen. But their execution (via marketing and blunders with roadmaps and strategy) has been beyond appalling. The products themselves though? Brilliant. I'm sure a Surface Phone will be beautiful, but, it WILL suffer from the same current issues, and will achieve nothing nor change anything. It's just too late now. Should you abandon it because it's the least popular OS? Indirectly - YES. But not so much because it's the least popular, but because the industry and the market has zero interest in it, and what you can do with it will diminisheven more than it already has. Eventually, you and the remaining users won't even have a choice, you'll have to jump ship. The rest of us who have had enough will simply shake our heads quietly.
  • I would occasionally ask someone that is in the tech industry, or are into tech in general if they know what Continuum is. Almost none of them do and when I show a few of them, they think it's great. So, to the core of this article's question and to the potential change in perception in the market - should MS begin marking WM? Yes. You think the product is brilliant and they have done a bad job of marketing it, so should they just give up? On the same note, you have a very pointed view in this discussion and I'm not accepting it, yet even you continue to market your view to me. Why haven't you given up and abandoned thread?
  • To the core of this article's question, should MS begin marketing W10M? To that I say "no" - it's too late, move on.
  • Great. With a single sentence, this concludes the back and forth. You have your opinion and I have mine. Have a nice day.
  • We don't know what "Surface Phone" would be or wanting to be, there is pretty much no hint aside for our own speculations. Smartphones are literally computer in the pocket anyways, architecture-wise and software. What makes it different from our desktop-class computers is the user experience, the use-case and focus of the hardware and software. Though Continnuum is indeed a factor that makes it bit like "PC-like", though I'm not even confident with the current stage of Continuum to call that when it nothing much different from an Android tablet hooked to a monitor/TV. The important thing that matters to the users are the ecosystem around it (especially the apps), usability (performance and reliability), and how fun it can be for the user. People don't want a "computer" on their pockets, they need something that help them to get things done, socialize/communicate with others, and entertain them. People already have laptops or desktops on their own, especially from their office and it serve very well. Continuum at least the current stage isn't the answer yet to the consumer until the ecosystem around it exist to maturity and usability (apps/software and hardware). Unfortuantely the main problem is rather classic, the large amount of quality apps. We do have apps even quality apps, heaps of them. Thing is most is not there yet or never, fad or not. So we need alternative to at least lessen the injury of app-gap problem, attractive hardware + software + good UX combined, a formula that even iPhone have in its early days when it doesn't literally even have an App Store. At the moment, we lack very attractive hardware for the masses, software is still "on-progress" and the experience vary though fortunately improving .
  • Exactly, totally on point.
  • "...nobody cares about MS's mobile hardware strategy" Bingo. Absolutely right. The public doesn't care. They can buy a Fire tablet for $50 that has more apps than any $800 Surface tablet. And that folks, it what it's all about.
  • So many clueless.. Wow
  • If only Nokia had bought Microsoft Mobile division and not Microsoft buying Nokia...
  • They absolutely need to be marketing it. They never should have stopped marketing it but that's just a personal opinion.  But a big part of that marketing is going to be apps. The best marketing they're going to get is from the users telling other people how great the phone is. Current users know it, but we're immediately disregarded by other users specifically because of the lack of applications. Yes they're working on bridges and bots, but if developers don't have an incentive to use the tools because of a lack of users they're not going to do it. Windows Mobile has been facing a double edged sword since the beginning. No customers so no point in developing apps, but no apps so the customers won't come. Microsoft needs to provide some sort of benefit to those developers who port apps over so they see an immediate benefit. That gives them developers who can word-of-mouth with other developers on how easy it is, and users who can word-of-mouth other users about all the new apps coming to the platform.
  • Yeah, the apps are still the biggest hurdle that doesn't have single solution to chicken-and-egg problem. To credit at least Microsoft is already trying to solve this with 'bridges', but unfortunately they're not even considered mature and doesn't even gurantee that developers will just publish an app to the store, because its always more than converting apps. The solution that I can see imho is really making the platform and whole ecosystem attractive to people that makes them to buy it regardless of app-gap issue, and lastly indeed MIcrosoft needs to market it that it exist and why people have to choose the platform. The biggest issue though is Microsoft itself, often giving mixed signals even to its customers and other actions that hurts their own platform. Microsoft can't handle PR very well at all, so why people would trust them? They make controversial decisions, releasing some products that are not yet ready, and the messaging that sometimes lacks action.
  • One fundamental problem with Microsoft's approach with It's Duo user is that it limits the consumer portion of that Duo again to the "corporate" consumer. There're masses of consumers out there that have no need for continum like features. In fact I will argue that most ordinary consumers have no regular need for "productivity" features as described by Microsoft. Most consumers are looking for ways to communicate and interact in all the modern forms. Microsoft needs to address this in their approach to W10M for their manufacturing partners whose focus are consumers to succeed. This is also critical to attract developers and bring the UWP to fruition.
  • This WartonBrooks (can't even spell it I know, I am sorry) thing is becoming ridiculous. In an article about partners you focus on the one that has yet to prove everything and anything. You either have seen this miracle device and it is not the Coship rebranded or the owner is a friend or he is paying very well. I hope it is the first option. Another thing: "The majority of the current 1% of Windows phone users...." is not true you refer to market share number but you talk about usage share. Windows phone users are 2.5 (see .net marketshare statistics)
  • True, WhartonBrooks is more of a prospective partner, but hey it's not like there's a lot of consumer-focused manufacturers to choose from right now. You may be correct on the market share vs. usage share. Unfortunately, Nadella seems determined to reduce both numbers in the consumer space over the next few years.
  • Yup, +1 from me to the nadella strategy. I'm giving my mom my 950 and switching to a Mi5. I'll keep a 640 for app testing... So sad!
  • I think Microsoft should start pushing Windows 10 Mobile and also that we all (readers, authors, sites) should start pushing a consistent message and at least a consistent name of the OS. Since the OS is officially named Windows 10 Mobile and not Windows Mobile, which could lead to possible consumer confusion (Isn't Windows Mobile dead? What version of Windows Mobile is it...6.5? Can I upgrade my HTC Touch Diamond to the latest Windows Mobile?), as tedious as adding a 10 between Windows and Mobile can get (maybe abbreviate it as W10M when possible?), we have to do our part in not giving room to confusion, regardless of some Microsoft employees speaking or even publishing material with the incorrect name. Saying Windows Mobile also disconnects the OS from Windows 10 and that is an important mistake that we all cannot afford to make. Windows 10 Mobile has to ride on the success of Windows 10 and to actually, taking the 10 out of Windows 10 Mobile means a totally different OS and to consumers, Windows Mobile does not let them know that the OS is related to Windows 10 at all, thus removing the instant benefits laid out by Windows 10, UWPs, security and more. Windows 10 Mobile isn't a version of the Windows Mobile OS, not the 10th version of Windows Mobile, an OS named Windows Mobile but rather a mobile version of Windows 10. The correct naming does matter, especially with the up hill battle of building brand awareness and creating consumer mind share. Those unaware will only become aware of what they read or are told. What they know to be true will be the message, the name, the brand that we provide. We have to be consistent and so does Microsoft. I've contacted Microsoft about their inconsistencies in places (Windows Phone 10 in some official materials, apps, in the Store, is the worst offender...) Incorrect marketing and naming aside, I absolutely believe Microsoft should start including Windows 10 Mobile in nearly every Windows 10 ad, even possibly ending some ads with "Windows 10, now available on your phone!" after showing features and the Windows 10 Mobile name. Even including a Windows 10 Mobile powered phone somewhere in the ads would be a start. All of those Surface ads should have had a Lumia 950XL on the table or and EliteX3 or ANY of the OEM phones, giving them exposure and creating consumer interest and questions of "What phone is that???". As of now, for reasons you have stated, Windows 10 Mobile is "Out of sight, out of mind". True Story: This morning, on my way to work, I went to McDonalds. My sole purpose of going was to get a buy one, get one deal. I walked up the the counter, mailer in hand and asked about the deal. The cashier said I need to download the McDonalds app. I told her that I don't have a McDonald's app. She called the manager to see if there was anything they could do. He looked at me and said. "You have to have the app to get the BOGO." I said "There isn't an app." as I pulled out my 950XL, turning it around to show the Microsoft logo. He said: "Oh, you have a Windows phone....(looks at phone...almost...almost rolls eyes) begins to walk away in and said "There is nothing we can do." I stood there shocked. The cashier tried to help: She said: "We have another sandwich, 2 for $3!!! I said: "No thank you. It is ok. Nevermind." and left and went to another establishment and got my breakfast. I was honestly upset. 1. The manager didn't even try to help or offer alternatives. I drove all the way there, not knowing that I needed an app, and was turned down. If I knew that I needed an app, and the app isn't on Windows 10 Mobile, I would have just downloaded it on my iPhone 6 or Nexus 5 and just called it a day. I was extremely disappointed in the service and how the manager seemed to dismiss me as a customer just because my phone ran Windows. It reminded me of carrier reps and their extreme bias toward the Windows Phone OS and device a few years ago. I was just there to buy breakfast and it wasn't a matter of money but rather a matter of service. 2. After being upset of McDonald's and nearly vowing to never eat there again (I rarely do anyway), I became disappointed in Microsoft, for the very reasons listed in this article. Windows 10 Mobile is out of sight and out of mind for the simple things in life that are becoming necessary, not because consumers asked for an app for a sandwich but because corporations are in fierce competition and will use anything to get a leg up on the next company. These new strategies often involve some app or service, that isn't "needed" (my mailed coupon should have been enough) but it is "just the way it is" right now. Since apps are the current trend, depending on what you do in your own life, even try to save $2 on a sandwich like the rest of the 97% or so of the smartphone world, you are left out, denied services, real...tangible things in life that can affect a person's day...mood or even ability to get food. My anger became a real sense of disappointment as I was basically told, get another OS, another phone if you want to be a part of this. Otherwise, you are an outsider. I shouldn't have to use what is in my opinion, speaking just on OS levels, inferior OSes to be able to apply a coupon. I should have to walk away from a restaurant feeling any kind of negative way about it. I am typing all of this from my 950XL, connected to a 3rd monitor with keyboard, mouse, Ethernet and more and I shouldn't have to give all of that up, for an app, for a free sandwich, for a barcode, for whatever small thing that cannot compare to the scope of the big picture of what Microsoft is doing and aiming for with Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile and UWP. As I drove to work, with food from another restaurant, I couldn't help but feel like I had just been personally, as a consumer, in all truth, physically retrenched, even segregated from other consumers into a category that does less, has access to less, day to day. As I've mentioned before, I have iOS and Android devices so I can easily install the app and move on with life but as Microsoft has stated and as Jason has stated, Windows 10 Mobile is supposed to be a dual purpose OS. I am loving everything enterprise and business about Windows 10 Mobile as an OS (need Verizon enabled hardware though), loving every bit of the advancements, wouldn't trade the OS for any other OS. Unfortunately, I felt like dirt this morning as a consumer, turned down for a BOGO breakfast sandwich because my phone runs an OS that didn't have an app and the company that sells the sandwich couldn't care less about Windows 10 Mobile or my $5 I was about to spend. After all, I am just 1 customer and Windows 10 Mobile is just 1% and I guess, as the manger started walking away from our conversation, I wasn't worth the time either. Microsoft has to take Windows 10 Mobile just as serious as they do Windows 10 because as of now, they still treat Windows 10 Mobile as a separate OS, likened to the days of Windows Phone. Fans of Windows phones may stick around until the end, I know I will, but consumers, don't have time for being turned down, missing out or being made to feel bad because of their choice of phone OS. If Microsoft doesn't push UWP, with the main point being apps across devices, compel developers to make UWP apps (I don't care if the McDonald's UWP was a web wrapper, as long as I could have received the food, as long as I wasn't excluded, turned away, I don't care how the app was made, as long as the official app was there), Microsoft will have given up their last chance of success with their vision of Windows running everywhere. If Microsoft doesn't do something, even things Jason talked about, others like Rodneyj have talked about, marketing their vision, products, the goal will NEVER be achieved with Consumers. Android and iOS aren't leading because they are great or advanced OSes, they are leading because Consumers can get and do nearly everything that they could currently want or need to do with phones that run those OSes and developers are making it stay that way. Microsoft can do all they can to build the most advanced and scalable OS but if consumers are getting denied access to services, even down to food, being made to feel bad, turned away, missing out and seemingly every single turn via consumer facing corporations, Windows 10 Mobile devices are destined to the same fate that has doomed Windows phones AND Symbian AND Blackberry phones for nearly a decade: real world consumer experiences that were negative beyond repair. Fans, power users and those of us with dual roles or who are more than just the average consumer may see value above and beyond apps to a point to where we were here when a lot of the apps we have now were not here and we will stay but your average consumer is not interested in being told "Sorry, there is nothing we can do" simply because their phone runs Windows. The hardware and software in the Surface phone will be great but in my opinion, the most important thing that the Surface phone will bring will be the fact that Microsoft will finally put the kind of Marketing and Money behind Windows 10 Mobile that the OS needs and deserves, the kind of money and marketing that will survive through quarters of losses and that will aggressively push the Surface phone and Windows 10 Mobile into the hearts and minds of consumers just like Microsoft did with the Xbox and Surface brands in their humble beginnings. P.S. Please forgive me of any typos, I have not had a chance to proof everything before posting it.
  • Unfortunately, I experienced many similar issues as you did and got tired of being left out for having a Windows Phone and not having the apps. I chose to leave Windows Phone to get the apps I need. Posted via my Moto X Pure Edition using the Windows Central App for Android
  • Sadly that was the same for me. I hung on for 5 years, devoted as hell. In the end I got sick of not having access to services that were becoming defacto in our modern world so I moved to iOS.
  • I'm with you. I love Windows 10 Mobile, I'm really happy with the ecosystem with my Windows 10 PC, Laptop and Phone, I feel excited when I found a new feature that are on both PC and Phone and looks the same and works the same. But we are treated as second class citizen by the developers. Some time ago, when Pokémon Go launched and all the world and the tech globosphere was imploding because of the success of the game, some of my friends mock of me because I wasn't able to play the game, even one of them call me "exiled", because I was outside and still are outside of the buzz. I feel bad, and that's just the most recent one. Always my friends are telling me why I still buy and support a OS that has no support from developers, even some of them get angry at me because I use a Windows phone jajaja Microsoft needs to push Windows 10 Mobile right now, time goes on, people starts to believe Windows phones are dead and the ones who still owns a Windows phone, most probably a Windows Phone 8.1 with 512 MB of RAM with no way to go to Windows 10 Mobile because they cand upgrade their software and they don't have options to buy new hardware because there are almost no options (and in countries in Latin America is even worse) they are going to buy an Android or iPhone, that's the truth. Most of my friends who used to have a Windows pone (WP7 or WP8) have changed to Android or iOS, and the reasons are many, mostly the App Gap. If Microsoft don't push Windows 10 Mobile soon and help their OEMs partners to get their devices to the consumer as much he does with PCs, Laptops (and even Tablets), this part of the Windows 10 ecosystem is going to keep failling pretty hard. Also, they need to keep polishing the OS; It's a lot better tan the last year when launched with the Lumia 950/950 XL, but is still a little too rought for many casual users and people who wants to get things done the easiest way possible, not to mention to trully give developers a big and nice reason to develop apps for Windows 10. I trully believe we have something big in here with Windows 10 on everything, we just need that big push that is the marketing to get things going in a better way.
  • Fun fact, in Italy people of my age and up (I'm 29) usually hide that they are playing pokemon because they feel ashemed and silly. And we "exiled" here in Italy usually call them loosers (as a joke, obviously)
  • I hear you. To steal someone's awesome words on here "I'm an adult, so I don't care about..." social media apps or Pokémon. However, the Pokémon issue still made me feel bad in the fact that I am getting left out, yet again, in something that has no reason not to be included on all devices. Even though I would never play it, it still stings just as bad. It's a good thing that I don't have friends, so they can't tease me for supporting a 'dead OS'. =P
  • Where's my potato? (: But seriously, it bums me out too. Still, that's the app thing. They make apps for the most stupid promotions anyways. A simple QR scancode or something could just as well be on a webpage ( or something like that). No store, no OS limitations. Oh wait, you have to make these webpages in heavyformats random phones can't render properly! My bad.
  • Try enjoying tmobile Tuesdays on a Windows mobile device... Oh wait you can't. :(
  • Try doing much of anything on a Windows mobile device. Oh... you can't.
  • Depending on what a user is trying to do, the same can be said about any OS. Also, the importance of what they can't do may be enough to keep them from using an OS as their primary. Even though I own devices running iOS, Android, Symbian and other OSes, there are things that I can't do on those OSes too. There are reasons that a person sticks with what they have and outside of financial reasons, it's usually because they like what they are using and it meets their needs. I don't make it a habit going around and being snarky and negative about it though as some people are fond of doing.
  • We can, it's just we have to go to the back of the bus and use the web browser version. But hey, at least we get our sandwich, unlike the McDonald's example.
  • Good lord.... way too long.
  • You wouldn't have said that if you actually read it. It is a perfect example of everything. What is right, what is wrong, what can happen, and they way others feel. I almost think it wasn't long enough! Sure it needs so paragraph breaks, but that's about the only thing that was wrong with the post. Also typing from a 950 Xl, I can understand the formatting issue. This keyboard does what it wants sometimes.
  • In Australia, McDonald's are running their usual Monopoly promotion where certain products give you little game cards that can jag you free food, etc. One card is a Second Chance card but you need to get the app and enter the card details to see if you win. I wrote McDonald's and said there is no app for Windows Phone/Mobile. They simply replied and said that I needed the app and that was that.
  • Australia was better originally, I have moved from Windows (1020) when Telstra was too slow to get 950's and now own a S7 Edge.  I miss Windows phone, VR was mind blowing but I don't use it a whole lot. If a Surface phone ever... Surfaces I will be extremely interested but it would most likely not be able to compete in a lot of ways that I would like... Camera is king in my book and MS doesn't have the clout even with old Nokia staff to smash it out of the park on the first go.
  • The bar is extremely high for Microsoft with the Surface Phone. I wonder what happens if they deliver but don't meet expectations
  • Well said
  • I agree with everything said, I was with WM since my ipaq in 2002 and finally gave up and sold my 950XL after several apps were pulled / didn't come. I hope that somehow MS can push the OS and get success with it, even if as 3rd place OS  with enough market share to get app parity would be a success. Apps are the current thing amd money should be put behind getting developers on board and keeping them if you want consumers. I fear that whatever MS bring to get around this with bots or whatever else will be too early / away from the mainstream and fail....then in a few years apple or google will bring it to market and succed like with XP tablets vs ipads etc.Great idea but much too early and tech was not ready to support the vision.
  • What an awesome post! This is exactly how I feel most days when apps are only advertised for the big two. Usually what I would get in return is so trivial, but being left out of it sometimes pisses me off to no end.
  • I feel you pain brother, grab a Snickers, go to Wawa tomorrow, 2 breakfast sandwiches $ 3.33( and they want your money).
    I watched the whole opening address from Microsoft and came to the conclusion, they screwed their Mobile partners on purpose. They omitted any mention of any Windows os Mobile devices. Are they setting up a Surface only plan? Cause otherwise this is just criminal.
  • well microsoft pissed on the consumer and the consumer is ******* back.. "a computer in every home" replaced by only computers for business and to hell with everyone else was the wrong way for MS to take when Android was hitting the pockets of 85% of the entire worlds population. MS has killed it self.
  • Microsoft has managed to lose the fanboys of Lumia and Microsoft Mobile. They killed the goose.
  • Im still here and loving it.. so false blanket statement... but thats what you do, so.. yeah...
  • I used to love microsoft lumia but the unfinished apps made me go to android and i enjoiit it very much , im waiting microsoft to advance in phones and maybe i will come back .
  • I'll keep using it just to be different.
  • That's what I loved most about the early ad campaigns that Nokia and MS ran.
  • Every time I have gone to a carrier store to look at the latest offerings, I end up walking away each time, holding on to my Windows phones. Seen great deals come and go, but again I stick with this. Why? Because I enjoy the OS. I have a Nexus 7, wife has an iPad, and I don't really care for Android or iOS. Yes it sucks not having mainstream apps but the core experience and in my use-case, I don't need those apps to function. The only app that sucks not having is Mint and that is because their website is not mobile friendly last I checked. My bank's mobile websites are awesome and for check scanning, I can easily pick up either tablet and scan the check. So this fanboy is here to stay as I am already "all in" on Microsoft Products and Services. Surface Pro 3, Custom PC running W10, Lumia 950, MS Band, and Xbox One. Awesome setup for my needs and actually been turning heads with my efficiency. MS Fanboy FTW And I am studying Software Engineering so I can be apart of the solution to a problem that exists for a platform I enjoy.
  • I think the is the best article yet Jason, a fantastic read! I'm still not sure W10M is ready for the big push though, for a large majority of consumers it will get the job done and Continuum really makes sense for older people who maybe want a computer but don't actually need anything other than a browser / email / MS Word then it really is a great value proposition. The real problem is the users that would do well with W10M are not generally the users who actually choose a phone themselves, they are the ones that essentially let friends and family choose for them. The ones that do chose for themself will find it harder to move to W10M especially if they are tech savvy, and as always that often comes down to apps. Just looking at Snapchat, if you currently use it and your friends use it why would you switch to a different OS that would essentially cut you off from that experience, and as such even though that persons parents will never know / care / want Snapchat, that person will still recommend the platform / device that they use themselves. Without total app parity across the board at the moment I really don't see how W10M can gain any mindshare let alone market share in the consumer space in the short/medium term. Enterprise is a whole different story though, the more companies that make the switch to devices like the Elite X3 and actually proliferate W10M devices through the rank and file, over time (a long time!) this will start bleed into the consumer space just like Satya says a professional is also a consumer, on the flip side of that a consumer is not always a professional so I think it's a very smart move to focus on enterprise. By the time W10M gains a sizeable enterprise market share the OS and platform will have matured to a much greater extent than it has to date and also the desktop market share and the holy grail of 1 billion devices will be a lot closer to home, people will have had years getting accustomed with tiles on their start screen and with hopefully a much better app parity (if only due to desktop / Xbox) and suddenly W10M is no longer a hard (read impossible) sale to tech savvy users. That is the exact point that would be able to tip the scales in Microsoft's favor and maybe lead to a 20-30% market share. As to when the right time to push on marketing for the consumer space is, I believe the release of RS2 is the best point to start so long as they have a serious consumer based OEM like Samsung releasing a device though perhaps that is only going to be around RS3. Whatever happens, I'm certain of only two things, I will have W10M on some device until for any reason it ceases to exist, and the other is that the journey to a 20% consumer market share in mobile is going to be a long way away perhaps even 5 years, I really hope it comes quicker than that but I have my doubts!
  • LOL here is how MS France PR supports the OEM by pushing away developers  
  • It's too late. Windows Phone is dead. It can't be saved. Satya Nadella killed it.
  • Yes, Windows Phone is dead. Windows 10 Mobile, on the other hand, is just as alive as iOS and Android are as all 3 OSes are in active development.
  • Windows 10 Mobile is NOT as alive as iOS and Android. Get real. Honestly, who you kidding?
  • Don't half quote me. The rest of my sentence was "as all 3 OSes are in active development". I was clearly talking about the active development of all 3 OSes and not whatever metric in your own mind that you conclude to equal "alive" or "dead".
  • That's not at all what you meant and you know it. Don't even try to defend yourself lol
  • That is exactly what was meant, and what was said.
  • From a corporate support perspective it is... hell MS updates 10 mobile more then iOS and Android combined... again your statements are just wrong...
  • So the fact that an OS gets updated monthly means it's dead? I think you don't understand what that term means. If it is dead how is it getting updates?
  • After few years you would say that windows mobile is dead but not windows Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Is English your first language? Or do you use some Microsoft spellcheck set for Albanian? Perhaps you type-and-drink your way through yet another illogical, misconstrued, uninformed posting on Windows, Microsoft and all things mobile that you do NOT have a clue about. 
  • Nice personal attack there ass hat!
  • They shouldn't have stopped advertising. I know it was Nokia, but the last TV ad I saw was the 1040 ( or whatever number the MP camera was). As I have mentioned before on here, I even saw WP devices everywhere (and still do) on tv being used by people on shows, but this is barely advertisement if consumers don't know WTF the device is.
  • I'd love to say that it's time to market, but I'm not sure that's true.  I haven't had a really good mobile experience since 8.1.  I just don't feel that any version of version 10 has been polished enough for every day use without every day frustration (even those that have been deemed to be general release).  My concern is that if you market heavy now and people try it out and realize it's not as "it just works" as they want, they'll conlude the windows is still not a real ocntender.
  • Agreed Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You know, your articles (though great, but painstakingly too long to read) could be shorter if you didn't repeat so much
  • You know, your articles (though great, but painstakingly too long to read) could be shorter if you didn't repeat so much
  • You know, your articles (though great, but painstakingly too long to read) could be shorter if you didn't repeat so much
  • No Way!!! should they market the failure that is windows mobile 10. It gets worse every day, not better. What MS should do is focus on fixing the platform. Develop stuff that gets people talking and deliver what they say they will deliver.
  • I think they will only market windows mobile after they launch the Surface Phone (likely the software will change so they'll avoid having ads to things that might change and lead to confusion among users)
  • Yes. Period.
  • +1 Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Too late.
  • You have a typo at the beginning it's Wringer not Ringer, one has bells and the other deals with drying clothes in a rather old fashioned way in a mangle  device.
  • Fixed, thanks.
  • Thanks to both you and Daniel!
  • To answer your title question Jason, yes, yes the should. They need to realize that people (even enterprise employees) don't like to carry two phones. They need to get w10m phones to be primary of people. No one wants to carry an iPhone plus a w10m phone
  • At the very least I feel they should have a budget, midrange and high end phones.... there are people out there wanting to upgrade their x50 models with nothing new from Microsoft to pick. I feel their big mistake with Nokia was producing so many different phones.
  • If I recalled correctly, when Microsoft wrote off Nokia and made the big "retrenchment" announcement (what?) two years ago, they said they'd cut the phone product line down to six: two low, two mid, and two high. Subsequently, after the 640/650 it evolved to high end only, or so it currently seems.
  • I've said that for a while. The display in my mates CPW branch was RIDICULOUS! More phones than users! Best sellers were the 640, 535 and....wait for it...435. To have two or three versions of another, 635, was also confusing for potential customers!
  • I would like to see ads that highlight "Windows everywhere" with clips from PC, phone, Xbox etc. Also focused Mobile ads featuring continuum and core apps and features.
  • This ^^^
  • Consumer-Prosumer-Enterprise customer.
    Microsoft has' to market w10m to consumers/masses.
    That was where they failed earlier, now they shouldn't risk OEMs to fail the same way..or it'll be a sad story.
  • Are you sure it's evolving?! More like regressing...
  • Blackberry is example numero uno of what can happen when consumer marketing disappears. Windows Mobile will join them shortly if they don't step up their marketing asap.
  • It shouldn't all be on MS shoulders though. I'm in Melbourne, Australia and haven't seen a single ad from HP, Acer or any other OEM making WMobile devices.
  • Even me in India
  • But MS would be pushing Windows 10, not really the hardware, which is their product. It makes sense, especially considering the fact that they are trying to be perceived as a software company that just happens to make some hardware.
  • I don't think so, at least not just yet.
  • They really need to get continuum polished and working like a full desktop, I.e. Windowed mode, before it can be appealing to consumers. Otherwise people just think "I can already cast my android and use a keyboard and mouse so its not that special". Plus people are so damn stubborn about apps. For many people I've talked to, its no Snapchat, no Windows Mobile. In a nutshell, i think Windows 10 mobile is not ready for advertisement yet.
  • Continuum is the future of computing. But, too bad Apple answer Google will have their own equivalents. Which will make desktops for most of the work force irrelevant. MS need to push business and consumers. Apple used the iPhone to push their other products and it's working. IMO, MS needs to have at lease one consumer premium phone and an iPad equivalent. People at my job choose them over a Surface because of weight and battery life. A surface RT with full office like the other RT device had mixed with UWP would be a killer enterprise device.
  • Very true. MS however has a slight advatage I think over Google and Apple because Windows is a well known desktop OS so one could infer that Continuum is like the desktop customers already know. Just the idea of running Android apps on a keyboard and mouse OS (Chromebooks) has already drawn interest from a few people I know, less than continuum. So people would go for ChromeOS solely for the App advantage even though its a subpar user experience due to form factor and in the long run won't make much of a difference, but nonetheless Google will have them sucked in. And the RT+UWP device sounds perfect, almost like what the Surface mini might have been. It might be great for enterprise but that darn app gap will deter consumers, which is why for now its full Windows. Not only does that provide both UWP and Win32 but the mix may push devs to build for UWP instead. So a new RT device is pretty far off but not out of sight imo
  • Rt+uwp= w10m
  • Good point!
  • It's not appealing to consumers. No one cares about it.
  • No, what is there to market? No decent choice in hardware, ms their own apps are often inferior on windows mobile, windows 10 mobile still is not stable enough and it has no to very few distinctive features. Lets wait another six months just to make sure that when people do make the switch the os will be completely stable and bug free. And hopefully there will be some interesting hw and unique features available by then.
  • How many years should it take to make this great mobile OS that you are talking about?
  • They should have had it ready a couple years ago. Instead they kept rebooting in order to build the exact same thing again.
  • Market it. Get it in peoples hands! Some people hands! Two things I would get on the platform before hand and pray nothing else pops up. Snapchat and Facebook Live broadcast ability. Then market the crap out of it.
  • Yes. It's funny they keep making digs at apple about mac pro vs surface. Are they hoping for free advertising from apple talking trash about their phone sales?
  • MS marketing? What's that?? 
  • An oxymoron is what that is.
  • Lol!
  • I definitely agree with starting an ad campaign, and hopefully it'll attract more users to our beloved platform :)
  • As a 950 user i say this with no regret... Microsoft has totally failed in mobile in terms of phones. The failure to transition WM6 to Kin to Wp7 Series 7 to WP8 to the 950/XL debacle There is nothing to market and no audience. No carriers want to support Windows on a phone for consumers. Microsoft has totally failed mobile in terms of "windows" apps & developer mindset (including MS apps). It's  just a bummer Android sucks and Apple phones are so gimped.  
  • People like me don't need Android or iOS. My 950 delivers all I need. And I think there are more people like me.
  • There are people like you and will hopefully be addressed by 3rd party maker sold unlocked at MS store, newegg, amazon, etc. Consumers are tricky to service and and noone is making $$$ selling phones except Samsung & Apple. Samsung abandoned windows phone long ago, noone is going to release a flagship consumer phone on windows. The carriers approach to phones is simple... what device will get us customer traction and revenue. Ask where windows fits the need for the carriers? It just doesn't after all these missteps.
  • My Lumia 950 does not deliver all I need,
    but still I am a quite happy camper so far
    and I would go for the Lumia 950 again
    (maybe the 950XL this time).  
  • You got that right. Loving my 1520
  • Nothing but truth here. I wanted MS to compete and suceed more than anyone, but even if they did have a killer device, they have no apps and the ones that they do have suck (let's just be real here), nobody wants these things, not developers, not consumers and not even Microsoft employees themselves.
  • I'm sure they have their reasons for undermarketing. (My term for it anyways) I don't agree with those that think Microsoft has abandoned "Windows on small screens". But in the smartphone centric point of view, which is what MOSt folks think is meant by "small screen", it does feel like there is no effort by Microsoft to market Windows on small screens. And THAT, I do agree with. What I don't have is a crystal ball. So I can't know what their strategy is. But they KNOW they aren't marketing. And that makes it intentional. Strategic even. Windows 10 Mobile devices (not exclusively smartphones) are part of the Microsoft Vision. I really believe that. And since I'm not the angry-entitled type, I'm kind of enjoying the stealthy and quiet period before the "entrenchment" period is declared over. I'm not really suffering in the mean time. I have lots of cool gadgets to play with. And I have no inferiority complex using Lumias and Surfaces and Contimuum.
  • That's a positive way to look at it as the undermarketing is definitely intentional.
  • Not yet. I would be good if MS can polish the RS2 features. As a smartphone, to use two different apps in split-screen mode would be a welcomed feature, but also considering that Continuum is the best way to work with your device as a PC, if the experiencie of using resizable windowed apps can be offered smoothly then that moment can be appropiate to start marketing windows mobile as a very good mobile operating system based on multitasking.  I would like to see, for example, using MS Word and a PDF reader app simultaneously in continuum mode (or MS Excel and Stata-in-cloud-mode), knowing that i can at the same wake up Cortana with my voice and ask her to make a call/skype or answer SMS/Skype Message/Whatsapp/Slack/Line/Viber/Facebook Messenger. Windows Mobile needs to improve its multitasking capabilities using Continuum. If MS achieves it, marketing their mobile operating system could have a very nice impact in consumer and media opinions.
  • Continuum is immediately rendered irrelevant with a cheap laptop that does everything you mention much, much better and with less fuss. That feature isnt a draw to anyone but Microsoft fans looking for ways to say they have the "better" OS.
  • Not even a cheap laptop, just a pc stick
  • They mad and downvoting, but your point still stands. Other than productivity geeks, who needs continuum?
  • I plug my Xbox controller and play emulator games on my 50" TV. It wont be only for productivity, when the OS is stable and developers open up their games for mobile.
  • Continuum is an absolute draw to ENTERPRISES: instead of buying a workstation PC and subsidizing/deploying a phone you buy one Windows Mobile device that can do both and is very mobile.
  • Agreed, Continuum in its current iteration is just a novely, a toy, too weak to be a productive environment, it needs RS2's improvements to remotely live up to its potential.
  • A significant part of this problem is that Microsoft has led the charge in producing devices that are priced premium but LAUGHABLE in that category.  Why WOULD someone who owns a budget device upgrade to a so-called high-end model if the repeated results have been overpriced, underperforming devices?  I love my 1020. No camera beats it.  The 950 has been such major disappointment that I no longer trust anything coming out of Microsoft.  So, where's the draw? Do we actually believe ANY OEM is going to produce a truly amazing device that doesn't look like--and feel like--an Android or iPhone knockoff?  I certainly don't.
  • The highest selling WPhones have always been the cheap ones. First the 520 then the 640. Now in the Lumia line the 550 sells the most. It's telling that the platform doesn't inspire users to upgrade to the premium models.
  • No matter how beautiful a phone, by the time you put a protective cover on the phone it will look like any other phone.  What they need is something a little bit different.  Windows Phone 7.X and 8.X was different.  But they removed so many good features when they moved to 10.X.  They are slowly trying to bring some features back.  Continuim is good.  But it won't sell phones to most consumers.  They don't care about Excel, Word. etc.  They want something fun that doesn't REMIND THEM OR WORK!  And no matter what great feature they may have Microsoft will still have the lamest commercial.  Their commercials suck.  I'll be rocking my 8.X devices until they don't work anymore.  Unless if the "Surface" phone convinces me otherwise.  Unfortunately, Microsoft actually gave up 2+ years ago trying to sell commercially.  I won't be surprised if they close shop next year.
  • ​While I've been with Windows Mobile from the beginning, I have to say that they need to make a compelling experience argument that Apple and Google can't compete with before they make their next push, otherwise, it's doomed to the same results with little to no benefit to the platform.  Devs won't get on board until there are enough users to(in their minds) justify their time with the development. Make integration with Skype and Skype for Business a best use experience. Leverage Office 365 integration and services in ways that can't be done on the other platforms including the advantage of using live tiles for notifications and dashboard like views to their customized environment. While I like the direction that Groove has been moving in, they should bring back the social experiences we saw with Zune where anyone could create those playlists and publicly share them with followers AND those "DJs" could update them on the fly with new tunes. Continuum is nice, but it needs to be polished and optimized for both desktop and Mobile usage. If Microsoft is going to jump back into the foray, they should do so with a better chance of winning not with the same plans they had from yesterday.
  • I honestly think that MS has no clue what to do with mobile.
  • They should have made the Nokia phone division a subsidiary and let them make a few phones a year. Then work with OEMs to make great devices.
  • Release phones on a stopped development W8.1 or unstable W10? n
  • Sorry but it was TL;DR. :) I too am puzzled by MS's apparent abandonment of consumer side of W10M. I don't think W10M, enterprise or not, can exist without many basic apps that currently sustain the existing users who are okay with the "app gap". Without consumers, those apps will slowly disappear and W10M will truely be dead. I'm sure MS is aware of this so I'm guessing there may be some key story behind MS's plan that we don't know about yet.
  • @TK2011 You should read the article.
  • Whatever you presented as an extrapolation to few statements MS has givem here and ther continuosly contradicts MS's own actions, remember your own article that MS needs to drive the windows first point and it was apparently not there, which means MS is never gonna attract devs, because their deeds are opposite to their statements. What can they advertise - how beautiful the OS is with its transparent live tiles etc? well wait which of MS apps have transparent live tiles?
  • Most of the airlines, hotel and taxi apps aren't on WP. So, what busy traveling sales rep would opt for one.
  • Why respond to an article without actually reading it. On top of that, why would you complain that an ARTICLE is too long to read in the first place. This isn't twitter or some other teeny bopper shortened character limit program. Someone can actually write something intelligent, and who knows, you may actually learn something or have your opinion changed. WTF is with the short attention span of today's age? Why is is so difficult to actually focus on one thing for all of 10 minutes?
  • Yes, Microsoft should start the marketing parade. Let's start seeing TV ads showing people moving from device to device, with whatever they were working on following right along from device to device. Show the full range of devices, all with that consistent, familiar Windows look and feel. Nobody else has that now, but you know it's in the works. Now is the time to toot the horn.
  • You can already do that no matter what platform you are on. The cloud makes moving from device to device easy and seamless regardless of the operating system.
  • The cloud and the fact that microsoft has the apps to work with the files from the cloud on any platform.
  • My point was that no one else has a unified platform across such a wide range of devices anywhere near to the degree that Microsoft has.
  • Which is why I happily use my Android device with Microsoft Office apps, OneDrive and Skype. MS is first and foremost a software company. Devices are their"hobby"
  • Microsoft should continue making windows phone for all and market it to whole world. Let the world know there is a phone with great features and comparative price. I am from India and I am using Lumia 730. The features iOS and Android are thinking now windows phone have that since birth. They (Ms) should patiently and confidently make phones for all market level users. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • And how many features would actually work world wide? Thats a problem now that shows no sign of being resolved anytime soon.
  • I think they dropped the ball and it is too late.. App developers are not , and have no motivation to make windows phone apps. I talked to my Home security manufacturer, They told me that I am the only Windows Phone App request they have had in over 2 years. I gave up and bought a galaxy S7.. the rest of my employess..(9) with Lumia 950's have had enough as well, I am switching them as we speak. I feel worn out from always pushing windows mobile, for the past 5 years I have, with no advertising at all from Microsoft.. I feel they left me hanging, why wouldnt they leave other mobile partners hanging too I am done, Thanks, Dave
  • Yeah, I reckon it's got to the point now where Windows Mobile has got so low a market share it can essentially start from scratch, and if it's treated as if it is the launch of a brand new OS with heavy and decent marketing, I reckon it could get a decent way back to where it once was - and perhaps quite quickly too. The mobile market is surely starting to stagnate - just look at Apple's iPhone 7, they're running out of things to do, really. I think a good, solid re-entry could work well. But what do I know? I never pretend to be an expert, MS know what they're doing, right or wrong, they're cleverer than me for sure.
  • But it doesn't look like brand new OS. It looks almost identical to WP7. People aren't going to be fooled.
  • "treated as if it was a brand new OS" was my key point. Nevermind if it isn't, what if they pushed it like it actually is? Also, with a market share like W10M's and the past performance of WP7-8.1, it pretty much is a new idea and look to most people.
  • Doesn't really look different at all. You are not going to trick anyone into thinking they are not alike.
  • No, you're not getting me - its the anti-W10M sentiment getting in the way. I said 'as if'. Throw the whole shebang at it, promos, sponsorship, adverts, posters, even live publicity stunt and events - just like you would when you release a new product. Even if it is old, it should be treated like it is brand new and revolutionary, like this is the greatest, newest thing. Yeah, its actually not new and the look has been quietly around for a few years - but with such a low established customer base MS can employ the same techniques as if they were starting out getting customers for the first time - because essentially they would be.
  • I'm sorry, but my W10M screen looks only slightly like my old WP7 screen. 8.1 yeah, almost exact same, but not 7. In that regard, windows 10 looks exactly like 7 and Vista and XP, and .... Of course things will look simular when based off the same style, but that doesn't mean exactly alike.
  • Indeed MS knows what they are doing, they are shedding the baggage.
  • Restart from scratch? How many times are you people going to put up with "restarting from scratch"?
  • Well, fanboys have to find something to defend MS...
  • Haha, no this isn't fanboy defensiveness at all, this is just an observation. Surely if you have next to no customers, you can start to act as if you don't have customers already if you want to market it?
  • Can we finally have Project Astoria, a custom ROM builder tool for any abandoned Android device out there, and then kick Googles butt? Or make a true Microsoft Android with a Microsoft Store to spare us from the humiliation of creating a Scroogle account. Something needs to be done, but, please, at all cost, avoid the half assed status quo, and stop creating unneeded features with insane logical errors (like turning a 600$ smartphone into a desktop, incapable of replacing a 100$ smartphone and a 500$ notebook).
  • Probably shouldn't mention the "Scroogle" thing. It is now embarrassing for Microsoft.
  • Question is what exactly are they going to promote? They'e already tried live tiles, most people didnt care. Continuum mimics the desktop paradigm that is being replaced by smartphones and tablet running other OS's so whats left? There are no exclusive, compelling features left to promote so its hard to see what they would now push as a reason to buy a Windows 10 phone.
  • All they have is continuum, which is irrelevant to anyone that doesn't have at least a Lumia 950. Anything lower cant run it, anything older can't run it. They used to have Cortana but that's available on ios and android....they tried to market office but at the time the apps suck and the new good ones are available everywhere...they tried live tiles but no one cares and the implementation was too limiting. Sync with pc didn't feel all that special, seamless or even any different than the way the others do it. They are missing features that the others do, they are missing apps that the others have. Their update timelines have not helped either with only recently it's been more or less aligned with it's desktop counterpart. No hardware to push, no special features to push...... It's been basically there as an alternative that no one is willing to jump onto. I felt 8/8.1 had the best chance to make inroads but they squandered the hell out of that when it just sat dormant for what seemed like ages before wm10 was released.
  • I have to agree with your comment. I really, really love Windows Phone but I just can't use it anymore, especially on Verizon. I appreciate articles like this and the fan base but I think there is just not enough life left in Windows Phone to even get excited about. At less than 1% of the market and having several years to gain traction, it is hard to get excited about it anymore.
  • I would say NO. Not because consumer market is not important or profitable for MS. But consumers have lost faith in Windows phones. MS ditched the entire WP7 users and then half of WP8.1 users and now killing the Lumia brand as we know it. Consumers will never trust MS with phones again. They can only enforce W10M on the business customers by dealing with companies. But even that won't save WPs as we all know the death of Blackberry occurred which also went the same way.
  • Microsoft has an abysimal record in Marketing and product placement on the consumer side. MS-DOS and Windows were generally included as part of a PC purchase. Consumers gravitated to Office because they used it at work. As such MS has almost always operated as an incumbent. They have no significant track record as a newcomer or additional player in a new category. As I have watched them fumble marketing opportunities and ne wproduct introductions over the years it's clear MS expects (read "sees themselves as entitled") to succeed in whatever arena they compete. And that's their big problem; they either don't know how to compete or don't believe they need to. The ongoing war with Verizon is a perfect example. When new 3rd party products (even enterprise focused products like the HP Elite) cannot be used on one of the largest carriers in the nation you're just not getting it done. t can safely be said that Apple's ongoing success is based almost entirely on Marketing. The IPhone 7 is hardly evolutionary, yet it's release garners the kind of attention MS would die for. It's just staggering. . . .
  • I do hope that more manufacturers come to market with devices. And you would think that with the continuing of the insider builds and aligning with additional mobile partners that they would certainly start promoting it soon. Maybe they are just waiting on a milestone to be met with Windows 10 pc? I'm willing to guess that if they don't start marketing new devices via partnered manufacturers soon then they will shelf it for consumers and try to just get the corp side. Then of course it would shut down altogether for mobile. It's just not feasible to have a business only mobile option with so many companies doing 'Bring your own device' programs now.... But I am by no means an expert in this industry. I personally hope they are able to get a sustainable market share in the coming years that will produce continued support from MSFT. Mainly due to the fact that it pains me to use the other mobile OS options.
  • No, not until they have a product lineup they are proud of. They were very quiet on the 950's. They should wait until Surface phone is release, and they should release the surface phone only when initial bugs are ironed out. Then they need to market it as much as they do the other surface products.
  • No. It would be suicidal. Win10m is not ready for "prime time". Integrated native apps do not have the stability or feature set of comparable ones on iOS/Android platforms. Secondly, with MSFT culling old Lumia handsets from the market, and not enough partner offerings creating demand for Win10m would be counter productive. From a strategic marketing point of view, pump advertising on Windows 10 PC, extolling that Windows is cool. If the public bites (through rapid adoption), push the Windows ecosystem. For Win10m to succeed within this context, in the consumer market, MSFT would be better off copying Apple's strategy, viz., create your own killer "halo" smartphone (Surface Phone, for example), which had better be fast, smooth and spec laden. Familiarity of Windows 10 PC through the earlier strategy would then make usage of Win10m simpler, encouraging uptake. MSFT partners can then come in with their offerings, filling in all other demographic sectors. My 10 year old son is of the opinion that iPhones are "awesome". I have several times asked him to explain why, having given him both my iPhone 5s and Lumia 950 to play with. His response, iPhones are "cool". My son, and others like him, are MSFT's future, not to mention, present. Crack this perception and brighter days are ahead, certainly in the land of Windows 10 mobile.
  • I think it's just about time, but more improvement needs to be there.
  • Market what? A business focused device from HP or some nigh on year old handsets with middling build quality, both sporting an OS that is still in beta after six years?
  • I have been waiting for "the big thing" a finished product, a real experience....and I feel like you...i feel like I had a beda during 5years and three windows phone..... SOON
  • windows 10 mobile is not ready for consumer yet. TOO many bugs, too little apps.  The platform is actually worse than Windows Phone 8.1
  • hmmm not anymore, it's been great since the Anniversary Update
  • I must be using a different Windows 10 Mobile than you.
  • Much more consistency in 8.1, one year of w10 beta testing, and still full of bugs. ☹
  • And yeah w10 mobile is still a beta to me ...
  • I agree with you, and was going to say I haven't had an issue yet, but I think I got my first random restart today since the update. Of course I heard about 4-5 notifications go off from my pocket before I was able to get to it to see the Microsoft screen so who knows WTF happened. To all that are b*tching about bugs still, you do realize its basically the same Windows as your PC? Do you realize how difficult that must be to run of of a phone? Also, I k ow its not an excuse, but Windows ALWAYS has had bugs, what do you really expect? Do you remember Win 95 or 98 first editions?
  •   i have anniversary update. Open camera app, turn hdr on with flash, take 1st picture ok, subsequent pictures goes without flash even though it says flash on. To work again have to turn flash off then on again. take 3 pictures with hdr on and i get a saving screen that take as long as 10 seconds on a Lumia 1520. Take pictures and click the picture icon and screen will go black sometimes, have to click power button and go back to lock screen. Wp 8.1 never hang on me to the point i had to reset the phone. W10m happened twice, yes i already did a factory reset, problem persists.
  • yep, something like that. WP8.1 was faster and much more stable because it was not an Os tested by insiders. Actual testing teams were doing a great job back then, all until Nutella ditched them. So now, we have a junk OS tested by free guinea pigs, plagued with bugs, horrible UI design and lack of interest from MS
  • Simply: they should not. The phone still has embarrassing bugs.
  • Nothing is more embarrassing than misspelling a word.
  • Yes please, already!  The shame of it is that Windows Mobile remains a terrific, under-supported platform.   Twice in the last few days I was in a public space, using my Lumia 950 XL, which when turned off looks just like every other large phone on the market.  But I was reading some emails and stuff and when I went back to the home screen someone came up to me to ask what kind of phone it was?!?  They were suitbably impressed by the amounf of updating information that was available at a glance, and also impressed by the customizability and the vibrancy of the UI and display.   And neither had been aware that there was such a thing available.   I just received my HP Elite x3 today, in the biggest box for a phone I've ever seen.  It would be nice if the device had a future.  One in which Microsoft was an active, proactive, progressive force.  In contrast to a fading giant bumming around the ascendant platforms, begging to be let in.   
  • It seems like Microsoft won the OS wars decades ago because of marketing and getting the OS to the masses.  Now, it seems like they forgot how importance of the general public and instead is now focusing only on corporate clients.  My impression is that the dominance of software went from IBM, to Microsoft to now Google and Apple.
  • Should have long ago. But not just Microsoft. The retailers that actually carry Windows Phone should also have incentive to push WP as a viable option to those seeking a capable smartphone. Whenever I go into a store and inquire about a new mobile device the sales clerk will immediately tout iPhone. Android as a second thought. Never WP.
  • With the current proliferation of 2 in 1 computers ,I see little inspiration in continuum.we have the pcs.Now give us a Wow phone that money can buy.
  • I'd prefer a Starcraft phone.
  • I think Microsoft should get into marketing OEM devices that support their current Win 10 Mobile OS. When and where possible, MS should be selling these devices in their store front and/or online stores. Despite phones like the HP Elite X3, Acer Primo and other business aimed phones being avai